November 01, 2009

Texas Governor's Secret Jerusalem Trip Raises Questions

By Bennett Cunningham
October 29, 2009

The city of Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and it has a new defender: Texas Governor Rick Perry.

In August, Perry was given the "Defender of Jerusalem" award. So Perry and his wife flew first class to Israel at more than $5,000 per ticket. The governor's security detail of four Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers was also along for the trip.

They all took the 7,000 mile journey to accept the award at a time when the governor was asking everyone else in state government to cut back on travel. During a speech in Houston, Perry directed state agencies to "curtail taxpayer funded travel."

According to state documents, the taxpayers' bill just to take Perry's security officers on the 5-day trip was more than $70,000. The breakdown includes $17,000 for rooms at the swanky King David Hotel, nearly $13,000 for food and more than 350 hours of overtime.

The specific price tag for the governor and his wife are secret. So when CBS 11 asked to see the governor's expense records for the trip, we received four pages and no specifics. Perry refused to do a formal interview with us and would only say, "Going to Israel or other countries is a wise investment for the state of Texas."

Keith Elkins is executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Elkins and his organization fight for government transparency. Elkins says, "This Governor operates under the premise of 'believe what I say, not what I do.'" While Elkins suggests, "There is something else going on here," he doesn't know what that 'something' is.

Records obtained by CBS 11 show the governor's airfare and trip costs for he and his wife were paid for by Irwin Katsof, a financier for energy companies around the world. And the man who presented Perry with the Defender of Jerusalem award, Guma Aguiar, owns a company that made billions of dollars in the Texas natural gas industry. Aguiar also created the award given to Perry.

Just two weeks before Aguiar and Perry posed for pictures in Israel, Aguiar posed for a mug shot in Florida. He was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. Aguiar pleaded no contest.

Sheila Krumholz is the executive director of the Washington D.C. based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks the effect of money on public policy. She says, "There is just too much of a potential for a conflict of interest with these trips particularly with privately sponsored trips." Krumholz also wonders, "Is this the real deal or a sleight of hand to provide political cover of those attending?"

CBS 11 obtained a list of people on the trip. The organizers describe those attending as "an elite cadre of 20 executives in, gas and oil, biotech, finance and technology." The list includes an out of state Congresswoman and Texas Railroad Commissioner Victor Carrillo, whose agency regulates the oil and natural gas industry in Texas.

Carrillo says he paid his own way but refused to show CBS 11 any of his expenses. Also on the list of travelers: a host of energy executives, the governor's family -- which included his son's fiancée -- and a member of the State Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Juan Hinojosa of McAllen. Hinojosa told us the trip was not about energy. "I don't recall discussions about oil and gas with the business people there," he said.

The governor and others met with the President of Israel, the Prime Minster and Israeli soldiers. They toured the old city of Jerusalem and snapped photos of Aggie souvenirs (the governor is a graduate of Texas A&M). Perry even took time to do an interview with an Israeli TV station. Remember, the governor is doing all this while asking other state employees to "curtail travel."

Like the governor, State Senator Hinojosa's entire trip was paid for by Katsof, the financier. Hinojosa also received the Defender of Jerusalem Award. But unlike the governor's four pages of documents, Hinojosa gave us everything he had -- fully disclosing the nature of the trip.

Hinojosa maintains there was no conflict of interest by accepting the trip. "We as public officials have to make decision on public policy. Not who contributes money or pays for a trip," he explained. But Krumholz disagreed, saying, "This trip raises real concerns for the potential for a secret junket."

The trip also had its share of perks. CBS 11 obtained private emails and found the organizer, Katsof, asked attendees what kind of scotch they preferred for a "scotch and cigar bar" where they would admire "a starry Jerusalem." Krumholz says trips like this "can be a lucrative way to conduct business. You pay for vacation and in return you may get contracts or government brokered deals worth millions of dollars."

In late May a Texas appellate court ruled that all DPS expense reports for the governor's security detail were to be made public. A few days later, the state legislature passed a bill to get around that court ruling, allowing DPS to hide the expense reports of the governor's security detail from public view. The law took effect immediately.

(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.) - Source


  1. Rick Perry pledges alligance to the flags
    of the United states and Israel.
    Two nations indivisible.
    And to the zionist for which we wage war,
    with liberty and massive wealth
    to the Chosenites only!

  2. Jerusalem, The Nation Called Israel And Biblical Israel - Their Fate

  3. Speaking from Texas, I tell you that this man is scum. Furthermore, he has killed more people on death role than Bush did; which makes perry the biggest death penalty killer in the history of Texas. he even killed two people who were innocent, thus ignoring international pleas for him to stop.

    As far as the energy oil and gas corruption, look no further than Texas where it all starts. Enron was a company that had no dollar value other than high speculation amounts which the man who ran Enon is best friends with Bush; in fact, his lawyer Alberto Gonzales helped pave the way for Bush, and friends to not get in trouble for ripping off money from the many people. keneith lay was the guy who ran enron, his houses had copper roofs, and fireplace stones shipped in from a castle. If the people and the news had gotten the story straight, then we would all of had a better view of what was to come with deregulation, speculation, and flat out theft. So, suggest you keep a close eye on Texas, it is slat in the middle of all this mess that you and I can not afford to remain silent on anymore. Just watch, the next governor that replaces perry will be even worse; that is always the way it goes; until you and I say it is enough.

  4. The emporers wear no clothes and this we all know and see more and more each day, as the apocalypse continues (in the Greek the apocalypsis means the unveiling or lifting of the veil or seeing those things that were hidden such as relationships, interests, lies, deceptions, etc.).

    Keep it coming!

  5. Not to worry, Perry will leave office as a multi-millionaire even though he is paid a government salary. My concern is this man has presidential ambitions and from what I have heard, he has a line of bs a mile long. Watch out America - Perry is coming!

  6. Debra Medina next governor.

  7. It is obvious that Perry considers himself to be amongst the new American royalty.

  8. this flu in ukraine will kill us first, we are already dead

  9. It takes Jewish money to get to become President.
    Perry and them are thinking ahead.

  10. Debra Medina is the real deal. She is a Ron Paul Republican and she has a real chance to win. In a Texas Monthly poll, she got about 75%. In other polls, she is neck and neck with Perry and Hutchison in the Republican primary. Vote for Debra Medina for Governor!

  11. Debra Medina...

    Do I see a Texas and Mexico marriage in the make?

  12. before any US politician rise in prominence
    he must bow down to the jewish altar in israel
    and pray at the wailing wall , that shows HIS masters of this world that he is an obedient lap dog , then jewish financial aid comes to his campaigns funds , and the jewish media will start
    presenting him with a glowing picture

  13. The 5th of November is just around the corner.

  14. Boycott all Israeli products.
    STOP all WELFARE CHECKS to Israel.....
    Symington Amendment
    The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 was amended by the Symington Amendment
    (Section 669 of the FAA) in 1976. It banned U.S. economic, and military
    assistance, and export credits to countries that deliver or receive,
    acquire or transfer nuclear enrichment technology when they do not
    comply with IAEA regulations and inspections.]

  15. I live in Texas. BTW, a couple of years ago Perry tried to foist the Guardasil vaccine on the state. It was the cancer "preventative" that he wanted in our 13yr old girls to prevent cervical cancer down the road. He also took some big bucks from big Pharma. I'm guessing Israel knows he can be bought.

  16. Ahhh, the stench of human waste waffs about this scumbag. You got to give it to texas, producing not only "THE" stupidist president ever, you also have the pleasure of producing a scumbag like perry. You ever wonder how these people get by on a day to day basis.hinojosa can't remember anything about energy, explain how this clown can hold office if he can't remember the simpilist conversation. The gov is a liar the same as that pukebag bush is, as we see in the wmd's. Time for you good folks to go to the poles and elect a individual who will stand up like Ron Paul.

  17. Our corrupt political system naturally weeds out any honest individuals in favor of megalomaniacs.

    Rick Perry is a typical "gentile front man" who's lust for power and wealth allows him to be paid off or blackmailed. Henry Ford talked in depth about this type of spineless creature.

    This is how the Jews have always operated here in America.

  18. It's now official - there's been no actual shortage of Holocaust survivors:

    'The Israeli Prime Minister's office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million' (extract from The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein of the City University of New York, published by Verso, London and New York, 2000, p.83).

    Googling "holocaust survivor" supplies 1,710,000 items

  19. Statement by Richard Lynn, Professor Emeritus
    University of Ulster, December 5, 2005:

    "I've checked out the six volumes of Churchill's Second World War and the statement is quite correct - not a single mention of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war.

    Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe is a book of 559 pages; Churchill's Second World War totals 4,448 pages; and De Gaulle's three-volume Mémoires de guerre is 2,054 pages.

    In this mass of writing, which altogether totals 7,061 pages (not including the introductory parts), published from 1948 to 1959, one will find no mention either of Nazi 'gas chambers,' a 'genocide' of the Jews, or of 'six million' Jewish victims of the war."

  20. Elie Wiesel vs Encyclopaedia Britannica

    Wiesel has been one of the most prominent spokesman for the very sizeable group of people known as Holocaust survivors. Wiesel has chaired the US Holocaust Memorial Council and has been the recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Peace Prize...

    Time Magazine, March 18 1985:

    ‘How had he survived two of the most notorious killing fields [Auschwitz and Buchenwald] of the century? "I will never know" Wiesel says. "I was always weak. I never ate. The slightest wind would turn me over. In Buchenwald they sent 10,000 to their deaths every day. I was always in the last hundred near the gate. They stopped. Why?"

    Compare this with Encyclopaedia Britannica (1993), under ‘Buchenwald’:

    "In World War II it held about 20,000 prisoners.. Although there were no gas chambers, hundreds perished monthly through disease, malnutrition, exhaustion, beatings and executions."

  21. I don't think many Texans will take the chance to vote on an Hispanic candidate. Her loyalty to Mexico and illegal aliens' interests over the state's will be questioned. Just like dual-loyalist Israelis' loyalty is now questioned.

  22. To the poster of the Ukrainian outbreak info.:

  23. You guys better watch what you say, as Ari said. The non-citizen usurper occupying the White House just passed the defense spending bill which had the totally unrelated "Hate Crime" bill attached. It's is going to be used to the fullest to stifle ANY criticism of zionism, research on or questioning any aspect of the Holocaust and Israel. It will be a FELONY crime with prison time. Old criminal terrorist traitor Abe Foxman finally got his way. We're no better than Germany, Canada or any other European country. The First Amendment is dead. The only one we have left is the Second.

    Ask Rick Perry if he gave the money back to Merck that he took to try to make the Gardisil vaccine mandatory for our precious children in Texas.

    Locked, loaded and buying strong rope.

  24. That stinky stuff really does rise to the top, doesnt' it?

  25. We fear the Jews because without them the world would be without! Without most things taken for granted. Medicine, technology, art, music, literature, science, theatre. Their capacity to believe in the notion of life, liberty is undenyable. I suggest we design ourselves in their vision of a free and gentle world -- but don't get me wrong -- don't fuck with them, they'll not stand so idly by as you walk them into the cattle cars this time around!! P.S. ever wonder why it's never a Jew you see straped to a bomb blowing up a market place. Never see Jews in America in "drive by shootings." Doubt I've ever heard of a Jew robbing a convenience store. And yet when a colored is shot in a drive by shooting, a drug deal gone bad, or during a holdup, they rush them to a hospital where a Jewish surgeon fixes their sorry ass.

  26. Yes obamaladen supremacist, the privileged always have had access to the best education and opportunities. Of course someone of your ilk might wonder why Thomas Jefferson was so successful and not one of his black servants perhaps.

    What a repugnant racism you exude.

  27. Just the facts guy (oh anointed one). Jews were forced into ghettos of Poland and Germany. Privileged? Opportunity? Hard work, something you may know little about, got them out. I'm an Atheist so I could care less which race or religious sect achieves. I only look at history to tell me that those who believe they can achieve do (white, black, pink or purple) makes no difference. The rest have their hand out. My first time to this site and I saw nothing but repugnant racism towards Jews and Israel.

  28. atheo, he's right dude. So who isn't a racist. Blacks call us cracker, honky. Sharpton & Jackson race bait every chance they get. "Distribute the wealth" is racism against whites for the unjustices they've perpetuated on the minorities. Please!! give me a break.

  29. obamaladen,

    Are you in denial about Jewish privilege? Or are you simply ignorant?

    Let me enlighten you about history, a subject you seem to not excel in. Jews in eastern Europe were indeed quite privileged. Serfdom ended at about the same time slavery did in the US and wasn't much different either. How many Jews were serfs? The fact that their horizons were limited under the feudal social structure does not make them "unique victims" indeed their opportunities exceeded those of all but the very top of the elite.

    Now get to "work" and study up. It would be sad to go through life perpetually making a racist fool of yourself.

  30. If you look, you will find that it was almost all jews that dragged the slaves over here

  31. Good for him for showing his support for Israel -I am going to vote for him and not the washington insider. Anytime you have main stream media going after someone just like they did with Sarah Palin it is a good indication he is the more conservative of the two. Of course liberals will say he has been in office to long and time for a change -- same bull they used to get Obama elected.