Conservatives have become so demoralized by the economic and moral chaos America finds herself in that it’s easy for them to be swept away by a new candidate who enters the race with lots of media hoopla and an alleged reputation for being a solid conservative.

They all want to believe that the new guy on the white horse galloping into the primaries is the superstar we’ve all been waiting for – Ronald Reagan reincarnated. Of course, I’m referring to Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas governor who has done so much to create an economic boom in Texas.

But there are some disturbing positions he has taken over time that every conservative should know about before committing to vote for him. In fact, I have found 10 areas in which Perry has taken positions anathema to conservative principles. Before conservatives get too excited about Perry’s candidacy, it would be wise to ask Gov. Perry questions about these areas of concern, which I have outlined below:

1) Gov. Perry supported the construction of infrastructure for the North American Union. Gov. Perry was the prime mover in favor of the construction of the NAFTA superhighway, also called the Trans-Texas Corridor. As author Jerry Corsi has documented in his book, “The late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada,” this superhighway was part of a larger plan to create a North American Union modeled after the European Union, or EU, with the goal of ultimately eliminating the borders that exist between America, Mexico and Canada. Of course, the long-range goal of such continental unions is the elimination of sovereignty altogether, with all North American occupants become NAU citizens, the Constitution be damned.

A million-and-a-half acres of land would be needed to accommodate the 4,000-mile road, rail and pipeline system. The highway would have been four football fields wide. Perry threatened to use his eminent domain powers to confiscate this land from private ranches and farms to construct the Trans-Texas Corridor. It would have been the largest private land grab in American history. There rose such an outcry from the people of Texas that Gov. Perry put the project on hold.

Questions to Perry: Do you support the goals of the North American Union? Do you support any NAU/NAFTA project that would undermine U.S. sovereignty? Do you think state and federal governments should have the power of eminent domain to condemn unlimited amount of private land?

2) Gov. Perry favors trading with communist China and allowing Chinese front companies to set up shop in Texas. Most free traders during the Cold War era approved of the notion that we should cease trading with the Soviet block and should embargo its products. For the most part, much of the West, at Reagan’s request, did this as well and this tactic contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire. Documents from communist China obtained by our intelligence agencies have revealed its plans to dominant the U.S., both militarily and economically. Why then are we trading with them?

The Chinese government-controlled oil company, CNOOC, has partnered with an American firm to purchase mineral rights on 600,000 acres in Texas for the purpose of extracting shale oil. Moreover, the Chinese have built the Tianjin oil pipeline factory in Corpus Christi. Indeed, Texas has become the favorite destination for Chinese government front companies that have invested billions of dollars into Texas projects, all with the consent and support of Gov. Rick Perry. For example, two high-tech Chinese firms, Huawei and ZTE, are building their U.S. headquarters in Plano, Texas. Both groups are suspected of espionage regarding technology theft; just ask British intelligence. These two companies have also sold fiber optic technology to Saddam Hussein, who promptly used it to build anti-aircraft guns used to shoot at American planes. These firms likewise sold communication technology to the Iranians and the Taliban.

Questions: Do you think it is fine to promote free trade with communist China? Is it OK to help Chinese companies grow stronger, even though they are selling technology to our avowed enemies such as Iran and the Taliban? Is it OK to allow Chinese firms suspected of espionage to build plants in the U.S.?

3)Gov. Perry did not become a Republican until 1989 and served as Texas chairman of Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 1988. During this time period, Texas was become more Republican and many Texan politicians switched parties to keep getting re-elected.

Questions: How do we know your conversion from liberal Democrat to conservative Republican is authentic and not done for purely political reasons? If your conversion is the result of a true appreciation of conservative ideals and principles, who influenced you to make this change? What conservative books, leaders or thinkers influenced you?

4) Gov. Perry is weak on immigration issues. Perry has been accused of being indistinguishable from George Bush when it comes to a variety of immigration reform issues. When Arizona passed S.B. 1070 to give their law enforcement officers the power to enforce existing federal immigration law, Perry, citing Texas’ “rich history with Mexico,” said S.B. 1070 “would not be the right direction for Texas.” He claimed that having police checking the status of suspected illegal aliens involves “taking them away from their existing law enforcement duties, which are critical to keeping citizens safe.” Is it safe to have illegal aliens roam the state without fear of deportation?

Perry has also said that he supports “free flow of individuals between these two countries who want to work and want to be an asset to our country and to Mexico.” And regarding E-Verify, Perry stated that “E-Verify would not make a hill of beans’ difference when it comes to what’s happening in America today. You secure the border first, then you can talk about how to identify individuals in an immigration situation.”

And he has opposed real border security as well. About a year after George Bush signed the Secure Fence Act in 2006, Perry stated in Mexico City: “We know how to deal with border security, and you don’t do it by building a fence. You do it by putting boots on the ground; you do it by using the technology that’s available … and coordinating very highly with local, state and federal officials. … But the idea that you’re going to build a 1,200-mile wall … is idiocy. It absolutely would not work.”

In 2006, Perry, echoing George Bush’s rhetoric, said, “neither amnesty nor mass deportation is the answer” but then essentially called for amnesty, urging passage of “a guest worker program that takes undocumented workers off the black market and legitimizes their economic contributions without providing them citizenship status.”

In 2001, Perry signed the first-ever state DREAM Act, which gave in-state tuition to illegal aliens. When questioned about it, he said, “To punish these young Texans [illegal aliens] for their parents’ actions is not what America has always been about.”

It is this record that prompted NumbersUSA, one of the nation’s leading immigration reform groups, to give Rick Perry a “D-” on the ratings assigned to all presidential candidates.

Questions: As president, will you support legislation to require all government agencies to use E-Verify? Will you commit resources to finishing the border fence? Will you order the Justice Department to stop suing states that simply enforce existing federal immigration law? Would you pursue an immigration reform plan that includes any type of amnesty?

5) Perry joined the Bilderbergs. In 2007, Rick Perry joined the Bilderbergs and has attended at least one of its annual meetings. The Bilderberg group is a secret society composed of hundreds of the world’s most powerful elites, most of whom are hostile to the notion of sovereignty and support world government to varying degrees. They are strong supporters of the U.N., EU, and other one-world entities. Invitations are only extended to people who share their views. Perry is a member of this group. It is presumed Gov. Perry was invited to join due to his effort to construct infrastructure for the North American Union in preparation for the merging of the American, Canadian and Mexican economies.

Questions: Are you still a member of the Bilderbergs? Why would you be invited to join this group?

6) Under Gov. Perry, spending and debt skyrocketed. In 2000, when Perry took office as governor, total spending by the state of Texas was $49 billion. By the end of 2010, spending had almost doubled to $90 billion. Thus, Perry increased the state budget by $50 billion during his 10-year tenure. Indeed, the total debt for Texas has doubled under Perry, and as a result the state is now dealing with severe debt problems.

His response has been to raise every possible fee he could. He also raised franchise taxes on Texas’ small businesses. Indeed Perry has had to borrowed money for many projects in Texas. The current debt of Texas is more than $216 billion, and the debt-to-GDP ratio is higher than 18.5 percent. The Texas debt clock can be seen here. Despite Perry’s reputation as a job creator, the latest unemployment statistics from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal the Texas unemployment rate to be 8.2, one of the worst in the country.

Questions: How much is Texas really in debt? Why has spending in Texas doubled in 10 years? Do you believe it is OK for government to spend more revenue than it takes in? You claim Texas is creating more jobs than all other states; why, then, does Texas have an 8.2 unemployment rate, one of the worst in the country?

7) Gov. Perry undermined parental rights by requiring all sixth-grade girls to receive a vaccine against a sexually transmitted disease without parental consent. In 2007, Gov. Perry issued an executive order making Texas the first state to require sixth-grade girls to receive the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine. The vaccine was produced by Merck, which stood to receive a hefty profit from the mandatory program.

There were all kinds of conflicts of interest. Two of Perry’s former chiefs of staff worked for Merck, and Perry’s current chief of staff had a mother-in-law working with Merck. Perry also received $6,000 from Merck’s political action committee during his re-election campaign.

Moreover, there are dangerous side effects that could include death. The program created such an outcry from parents that some even sued the state for undermining parental rights. Under siege, Perry eventually allowed a bill to go into law that reversed the executive order that created the program.

Questions: Will you admit that there were numerous conflicts of interest among your staff regarding this program? Do you believe it is fine for a state to pass laws requiring medical procedures for minors without the consent of parents?

8) Gov. Perry vetoed an eminent-domain bill that would have helped protect property rights for Texas landowners. The purpose of the bill was to make it more difficult for politicians to grab private property for various pet projects. “With this veto, Gov. Perry has left every home, farm, ranch and small-business owner vulnerable to the abuse of eminent domain,” said Steven Anderson, director of the Institute for Justice.

Questions: Do you believe government can confiscate private land for any governmental use? At what point do private-property rights trump government ambitions?

9) Gov. Perry signed a hate-crimes bill. Shortly after Perry became governor, he signed a hate-crimes bill. Such a law gives harsher sentences to certain crimes based upon a person’s perceived bias to some class or group. But juries really can’t determine what’s in a person’s heart and, besides, all crime should be punished equally, regarding of the race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. of the victim. In other words, under hate-crimes law, if someone beats up a white person and then beats up a gay person, they receive a heavier sentence for the latter crime. This makes a travesty of the concept of equal application of the law and is likely unconstitutional.

Question: Why would you support legislation that creates a two-tiered system of justice? Why can’t justice be colorblind? Do you not have any constitutional concerns with this approach?

10) Rick Perry endorsed Rudy Giuliani for president in 2008. Giuliani is liberal on a host of issues, from “gay rights” to gun control and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Question: Why would you endorse one of the most liberal candidates in the 2008 presidential race? Did you not care about how he would use his views to advance liberal social policy?

Steve Baldwin is a longtime conservative author, campaign consultant and researcher. He is a former member of the California State Assembly and served as executive director of the Council for National Policy from 2000 to 2009. He is a co-author of “From Crayons to Condoms,” a book published by WND.

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