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unholy hour of 6:30 a.m. for the Texas State Prayer Breakfast. Ostensibly the event was about promoting prayer and the 58th annual National Day of Prayer two days later. Still, the,political overtones were impossible to miss. In remarks that opened the breakfast, Jimmy Gregory of Texas Disposal Systems Inc., an event sponsor, urged everyone to vote for Perry in the 2010 governor’s race. Sen.. Kay Bailey Hutchison, likely to challenge Perry in the GOP primary, wasn’t mentioned. Perry gave a strictly apolitical speech. But it was a stemwinder. He told stories and parables and read his favorite Bible verses. The crowd was rapt. He concluded with Jesus’ instructions to remember the neediest. “The sign of the saved is their love of the least:’ Perry said. “If you want to see God, you must be among the beaten and the broken … . To see Jesus, go to the inner city, give a sandwichnot a sermona sandwich to the bag lady who lives under the underpass. To see Jesus, see the unattractive and the forgotten.” Under Perry, Texas has slashed funding for many safety-net programs, but it was still a hell of a speech. The governor then introduced country singer Clay Walker, who called Perry a “Christian leader” and added, “We don’t have enough Christians in office in this country. I don’t think we’ll have enough Christians in office until they’re all Christians.” If anyone was feeling overly chipper after Walker’s performance, Gary Bauer, the special guest speaker, took care of that. Bauera former head of the Family Research Council and GOP presidential candidate who now heads a nonprofit called American Valuesopened with a dour warning: “You folks have already been to the mountain top, and now here comes the guy from Washington, D.C., to lead you through the valley of the shadow of death.” Everyone laughed, but it soon became clear that he wasn’t kidding. “I want to urge you to bathe your country in prayer, my friends, because I believe we are in a heap of trouble Bauer said. “If by some tragedy tomorrow, America was gone, this world would sink into another dark age. Your country is the only thing that stands between us and tyranny and darkness. … This country is in the middle of two great wars, and if we lose either one of those, we are doomed.” Bauer’s first war is the fight in Iraq and Afghanistan against “Islamo-fascists.” It’s only a matter of time until radicals unleash a nuclear or biological weapon on a major European or American city that could kill millions, he said. His other war is here at home against an Obama administration trying to perpetuate the killing of the unborn; against homosexuals trying to destroy his sacred concept of marriage; against the ACLU hoping to remove Christianity from public life; and, more generally, against a vile, sex-obsessed pop culture. One solution, of course, is prayer. Another, apparently, is to vote for Perry. “We need about 49 more like the governor;’ Bauer said. Dave Mann Always an Aggie THE GOVERNOR’S CROSS-FERTILIZATIONS AT A&M Two years before he recently finagled a controversial deal to grant $50 million in state funds to his alma mater, Gov. Rick Perry bought a home near Texas A&M University and declared it a “homestead” for tax purposes. This homesteadappraised last year at $235,870is one of several steps in recent years that boosted Perry family ties to A&M, Bryan, and College Station. The moves have spawned rumors that Perrya former A&M yell leadercould be positioning himself for a career as chancellor of the A&M system. Perry strengthened his Aggie roots in January, when his Emerging Technology Fund quietly awarded an unprecedented $50 million to A&M for a drug-development center. When the news broke in March, House Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Pitts, a Waxahachie Republican, expressed concern that A&M had signed agreements to collaborate with two struggling biotech companies. One, Austin-based Introgen Therapeutics Inc., filed for bankruptcy in December 2008, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration rejected its cancer therapy, Advexin. Introgen has previously cropped up in the governor’s financial disclosures. Perry’s disclosures for 2001 through 2003, for example, reveal that his then-dependent son, Griffin, maintained a modest stock portfolio, including up to 499 shares of Introgen. In January of the last year of Griffin’s reported Introgen holding, the stock traded for a little over $2 a share. When the FDA granted the company’s request for a fast-track review of Advexin in September 2003, Introgen stock soared over $11heights that Introgen never hit again. Though disclosure law required the governor to indicate if and when Griffin sold the stockand for what amountPerry never did. Instead, he stopped reporting Griffin’s Introgen holdings in his report YOU DON’T SAY: “We were all lovin’ on each other in there.” Gov. Rick Perry, quoted by the El Paso Times as he left a back-room meeting about transportation planning with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, House Speaker Joe Straus, Transportation Commission Chairwoman Deirdre Delisi and Rep. Joe Pickett. 6 THE TEXAS OBSERVER MAY 15, 2009