Re­port: Man who helped Greens also paid by Perry

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE -

A Repub­li­can op­er­a­tive who helped get Green Party can­di­dates on the Texas bal­lot was also be­ing paid by Gov. Rick Perry’s cam­paign, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in Wed­nes­day’s edi­tions of The Dal­las Morn­ing News.

Cam­paign fi­nance re­ports show the Perry cam­paign paid Stu­art Moss for mileage while he was do­ing po­lit­i­cal re­search in Novem­ber. That’s the same time he helped the Green Party field can­di­dates.

Perry spokesman Mark Miner main­tains that the gover­nor’s cam­paign was not in­volved in the Green Party pe­ti­tion drive.

Democrats, who say lib­eral Green Party can­di­dates could siphon votes away from Perry’s Demo­cratic chal­lenger, Bill White, have sued the Green Party to iden­tify the source of the $532,000 that bankrolled the pe­ti­tion drive that made it pos­si­ble for the third party to get can­di­dates on the Novem­ber bal­lot.

Miner said Moss’ work was re­lated to the GOP pri­mary in March. “It was for re­search. Our cam­paign had had noth­ing to do and con­tin­ues to have noth­ing to do with the Green Party ef­forts.”

Al­though sev­eral Perry al­lies have ties to the pe­ti­tions, Moss is the first Perry cam­paign worker con­nected with the ef­fort.

Moss was re­im­bursed $204 for mileage for a trip to Hous­ton, ac­cord­ing to cam­paign fi­nance re­ports. His em­ployer then, for­mer Perry speech­writer Eric Bearse, said Moss was do­ing the re­search on his own time as a po­lit­i­cal vol­un­teer.

E-mail ev­i­dence shows that the same day he was be­ing re­im­bursed by the Perry cam­paign for mileage, Moss for­warded in­for­ma­tion about cam­paign fi­nance laws to as­sist in the Green Party drive.

Ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony, Moss and for­mer Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey ini­tially re­cruited a Uni­ver­sity of Texas stu­dent in late 2009 to col­lect sig­na­tures. The Moss and Toomey ef­fort failed, re­placed by a pe­ti­tion drive spear­headed by an out-of­s­tate GOP con­sul­tant.

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