Rick Perry GOOD, federal government BAD

I’m worried about Rick Perry. I’m afraid he’ll run out of material before the November election. Are there any federal agencies left that he hasn’t lashed out at? Yeah, we get it. Federal government BAD, Rick Perry GOOD.

Now, he’s picking on the International Boundary and Water Commission. Ever heard of the agency? Didn’t think so. It’s an important, yet little known agency that oversees the Rio Grande levees and U.S.-Mexico water treaty. Suddenly, the IBWC has become fodder for Perry’s growing list of federal complaints.

Last Friday, his office fired off a two-page letter to White House officials, where he claimed that only a fraction of the $167 million in federal stimulus money for immediate levee upgrades had been spent. Perry says if the IBWC doesn’t spend the money quicker,  the feds should hand over the money to a Texas state agency to be disbursed.

According to the IBWC,  there is $220 million for levees and $154 million has already been spent – the majority of it in Texas. This money is also for Arizona and New Mexico.

In any event, this is the much maligned federal stimulus money, that Perry makes a show of rejecting at every opportunity. It’s nice of him to finally notice the levees in the Rio Grande Valley after a decade in office. The Rio Grande Valley has been repeatedly hit by flooding this summer. A lot of work has already been done on the levees – thanks to the constant lobbying of local officials to fix them.

Sally Spener, spokesperson for the IBWC, who was no doubt puzzled by the governor’s sudden attentions to her agency, told the Associated Press, the levees “were in their best shape” in years during flood conditions this summer.

“That was, in part, due to the construction that had already been undertaken,” she told the AP.

Spener also added that all the contracts will be out by the end of the month, and noted that the agency doesn’t pay out all the funds until construction is complete.

Now that Perry’s crossed the IBWC off his list, let’s see what other federal agency could Perry single out? How about the National Weather Service? We don’t need the feds predicting Texas’ weather, cramming their warnings and advisories down our throats. It’s a violation of the 10th amendment!

If Perry is so worried about the state of our levees and the flooding of the Rio Grande shouldn’t he be at the Border Governor’s meeting today in New Mexico?.

Neither Perry or Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, are attending. Isn’t Mexico in the midst of a bloody drug war?  And isn’t Perry frequently harping on that fact, warning about spillover violence and impending chaos.

Seems like it would be a good idea to meet with other Mexican and U.S. governors to gather some intel and discuss ways to improve border security. He could also discuss the U.S.-Mexico water treaty and the flooding that’s been deluging places like Presidio because of dam releases in Mexico. Just a thought.

Melissa del Bosque is a staff writer and a 2015-16 Lannan Fellow at The Investigative Fund.

Published at 6:18 pm CST