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V SWEET SMELL OF DEATH VIEW the prosecution statistics at bdo.corn/ immigstats “It’s not r Ilij L; n 1 r, it 11 it ‘: laliti il ii LJ it II [11 11,’1. ‘ 11 1 II’S C7-7r11130CiliallA6 r L 0-‘ea: , the same Omc. Flower fan Rebecca Hadley, speaking to KHOU-TV after visiting Lois, a huge flowering plant at the Houston Museum of Natural History that smells like rotting flesh. The smell attracts beetles that carry pollen from other flowers. “The flower girl at Jessica Zabala’s wedding is purple, six-feet-tall, uninvited and smells like dead bodies.” Associated Press story on a wedding at the museum while the flower bloomed. Corpse flower blooms are the largest in the world, reaching 10 feet in circumference. “We were thinking about clothespins for everyone’s nose.” Zabala, to KHOU, on how she was coping with the wedding-crasher “She’s tall and pretty and it opens slowly.” Victoria Benavides, age 11, describung Lois to KRIV-TV. The flower will not bloom again for years. SEE Rick Perry’s most recent campaign filing at FOR THE LATEST political analysis, read Bob Moser’s Purple Texas at Bill White PHOTO BY JEN REEL defenders in Laredo saying that they spend 95 percent of their time defending minor illegal entry and reentry cases. And once convicted, these prisoners must be housed instead of deported. That’s fueling a boom in private detention centers and federal prisons. Immigrant-rights advocates were hoping for something different. “I expected there to be some changepriority for some more serious offenses instead of just layering one penalty after another on these people,” Teran said. “It’s an enormous amount of money they’re spending, and it’s not stopping people from migrating.” FORREST WILDER DEPT. OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE Governors Associations Do the Wash BILL WHITE LIKES TO REMIND VOTERS HE’S BEEN A SUC cessful businessman, but Rick Perry’s team prefers to highlight White’s legal career as what the governor calls a “trial lawyer”. White tries hard to distance him self from that label, pointing out that he wasn’t a per sonal injury attorney, and he may have found a way to distance himself from trial lawyers’ money as well. Texas trial lawyers are big donors to Democratic candidates, and White has certainly profited. His campaign has received more than $20,000 from employees of the Baron and Budd law firm; $75,000 from Williams, Kherkher, Hart and Bounds; and $50,000 from prominent trial lawyers Walter Umphries and Steve Mostyn. But the campaign may have gotten even more from trial lawyers, thanks to the Democratic Governors Association. The DGA operates nationally, accepting money from folks all over the country and then distributing it to specific campaigns. White got more than $1 million from the DGAbut a closer look from the Houston Chronicle showed that many of the same Houston trial lawyers gave much larger amounts to the association. Mostyn gave a $400,000 donation to the DGA. Williams, Kherkher, Hart and Bounds shelled out $125,000. Umphries gave the group $75,000. Of course, no one can be sure that these donations were directed to the White campaign, since all of it goes into one pot and then gets distributed to candidates in large chunks. But it certainly is an alignment of interests. Even so, Perry will have a hard time using the DGA money against White. Perry just paid a $426,000 settlement in a lawsuit over violations of state campaignfinance laws because of donations he received from the Republican Governors Association during his 2006 race. The governor’s campaign accepted $1 million from the RGA only 10 days before the election, and Democratic opponent Chris Bell argued that the association should have reported the original source of the money. As the Observer reported in March, many corporations that have benefited from Perry’s Enterprise Fund, such as Hewlett-Packard and Tyson Foods, happened to have given large sums to the association shortly before the RGA checks arrived. Under state law, corporate money is strictly forbidden for campaign purposes. So if Perry starts criticizing White’s campaign finances, it could come back to haunt him. ABBY RAPOPORT 41 THE TEXAS OBSERVER WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG