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Meet the Shady Dallas Mega-Billionaire Industrialist Pouring Money into Rick Perry's Coffers

Most Americans have never heard of Harold Simmons, despite his fantastic wealth, because he wisely keeps his head low.

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According to a spokesman for WCS, the Texas governor’s happy and lucrative relationship with Simmons did nothing to help the company except to turn the billionaire into “an easy target. ... It made the state redouble its efforts to be thorough.” But the Texas officials who opposed the approval on principle have since quit their jobs with the state. As one of them told the L.A. Times reporters, “This is a stunningly horrible public policy to grant a license to this company for that site ... . Something had to happen to overcome the quite blatant shortcoming of that application. ... The only thing I know in Texas that has the potential to do that is money in politics.”

As for the Texas official (and Perry appointee) who overruled his own scientists and approved the deal, he left state government, too—to work as a lobbyist for Simmons. He says that no undue influence led to the favorable outcome for his new employer.

Texas must be the only place on earth where anyone would believe that.

Joe Conason is the editor in chief of

© 2011


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