Gov. Rick Perry said Wednesday that Democrat Bill White should leave the governor's race it's true that he owned part of a company that got taxpayer money to deal with Hurricane Rita while White was mayor.
“By his own admission, Bill White intervened regarding a contract given to BTEC, a company he had personal financial ties with, to provide generators for the Houston Coastal Water Authority following Hurricane Rita’s landfall in 2005. If this is true, and Bill White did unethically steer taxpayer dollars to a company he had a personal financial stake in, I am calling on him to immediately resign from the race for governor.
“Hurricane Rita was one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit our state, affecting hundreds of thousands of Texans. For the mayor of Houston to engage in profiteering during a tragedy is unacceptable and local authorities should investigate this alleged violation of public trust, as well as any others that may exist. Bill White has an obligation to the people of Texas to address these allegations immediately.
“There is no greater responsibility for a governor than to protect citizens from a natural disaster. I am proud that Texas is a national leader in emergency preparedness and response, and I will continue to make this a priority as we enter the current hurricane season.”
Perry's remarks were made in response to an Associated Press report that White invested in a company — Btec Turbines — that was hired, when he was mayor, to assist in the cleanup after Hurricane Rita. White was on the company's board before he was mayor, and invested $1 million in the company after the hurricane work was done. He told the news service he made $500,000 on that investment. Katy Bacon, his campaign spokeswoman, reiterated Wednesday that White had no conflict of interest, because he had no financial stake in the firm at the time it was receiving government money. "Career politician Rick Perry has sunk to new lows," she said via email. "His attack on Bill White's leadership after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita is not only false, but absolutely appalling. Bill White had no financial interest in BTEC during that time."
Quotes in the governor’s campaign rhetoric have rarely been attributed to the governor himself, but instead to a spokesman.