Rick Perry

Class of 1972 Rick Perry was recently confirmed as the U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Secretary of Energy and former Texas governor Rick Perry published an op-ed with The Houston Chronicle Wednesday, criticizing the 2017 SGA student body president election results, in which Bobby Brooks won after losing the popular vote to Robert McIntosh, who was disqualified for failing to file an expense report.

Perry, who is Class of 1972 and a two-time Yell Leader, cited specific grievances with the disqualification of McIntosh, asking for answers from the A&M Board of Regents and claiming the Judicial Court decision was one made from a desire to push diversity, and not to fairly punish McIntosh.

Perry specifically noted the severity of the infraction as his main objection with McIntosh’s disqualification.

“In its opinion, the Judicial Court admitted that the charges were minor and technical, but, incredibly, chose to uphold the disqualification, with no consideration given to whether the punishment fit the crime,” Perry wrote in his op-ed. “The desire of the electorate is overturned, and thousands of student votes are disqualified because of free glow sticks that appeared for 11 seconds of a months-long campaign. Apparently, glow sticks merit the same punishment as voter intimidation.”

McIntosh, who is a university studies senior, said he was unaware of Perry’s plans to write a op-ed and appreciates the Secretary’s comments, which he feel gives validity to his cause.

“I'm thankful for Secretary Perry's support of fairness in the Houston Chronicle today. I did not at all expect his editorial and I'm humbled to have his support,” McIntosh said. “He made a compelling case which I fully support and continue to fight for. Our campaign team won the election and was subsequently disqualified unfairly. Diversity, at it's heart, is equal treatment of all, and we hope this situation is resolved in a way that ensures a fair and more transparent process now and in future elections.”

After citing his reasons for writing the op-ed, Perry then questioned A&M’s push for diversity. Perry said he feels that Brooks’ sexuality swayed the outcome of the election, though Brooks did not include his sexuality as a part of his campaign platform.

“Every Aggie ought to ask themselves: How would they act and feel if the victim was different?” Perry wrote. “What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male? What if Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? Would the administration and the student body have allowed the first gay student body president to be voided for using charity glow sticks? Would the student body have allowed a black student body president to be disqualified on anonymous charges of voter intimidation?”

While Perry is requesting answers from the Board of Regents, A&M faculty play no part and do not interfere with the elections of either members of student government or the position of Yell Leader.

Amy Smith, spokeswoman for Texas A&M, expressed a gratitude for Perry’s desire to remain loyal to Texas A&M, but said the university was not, nor could have been, involved in the decision to disqualify McIntosh.

“We appreciate Secretary Perry’s long-term commitment to his alma mater and to the state in general,” Smith said. “We were surprised that he weighed in on the university student body election and respectfully disagree with his assessment. These elections are run by the students with advisors from student affairs and issues that arise are adjudicated in accordance with the Student Government constitution and by-laws.”

Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communication for the TAMU System Laylan Copelin referred The Battalion to Smith as well.

Smith went on to indicate that McIntosh was not given unequal treatment because of Brooks’ sexuality as Perry implied.

“The disqualification of the leading vote-getter resulted in the certification of Bobby Brooks as the next Student Body President effective April 21, 2017,” Smith said. “To suggest that the same decision of disqualification would not have been made if the roles were reversed is to deny the Texas A&M of today where accountability applies to all.”

Smith said looking forward, the university supports the office of Student Body President and will be excited to work with him in the 2017-2018 academic year.

“Bobby Brooks, in this role, represents all students of all backgrounds,” Smith said. “I know that he takes this responsibility seriously and we look forward to working with him.”

Chief Justice of the Texas A&M J-Court Shelby James and Election Commissioner Rachel Keathley declined to comment at the present time, as did Brooks. 

Josh McCormack is an English senior.

(11) comments

Texan4Ever

If my memory serves me correctly, then-Gov. Perry usurped the A&M System's process for appointing a Student Regent to the TAMUS Board of Regents in 2014, and even bypassed Chancellor John Sharp's recommendation when naming Tarleton State University student Colton Buckley (who has since then come out as gay) to the Board of Regents. Although not an elected, rather an appointed position, Perry's point is moot here when he claims in his op-ed piece that the A&M student body president's election process "made a mockery of due process and transparency." Mr. Buckley's name was not included in Chancellor Sharp's recommendation to Gov. Perry, according to records obtained by student reporters via the FOIA. However, he ended up being hand-picked by the governor to serve as the TAMUS Student Regent. Those names Sharp submitted for consideration in 2014 were: Andres N. Holliday Jr. from Texas A&M-San Antonio; Chelsea Jane Nkrumah from Texas A&M-Kingsville; and Jill P. Mobley from Texas A&M-Commerce. Like this instance, where the loser in the A&M student prez election was a supporter of the GOP and Perry, Buckley also had ties to prominent Republicans, including former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, former Ag Commissioner Todd Staples and former state Rep. Sid Miller (Buckley served as a campaign manager for Miller at the time of his appointment). I wonder if Perry remembers bypassing that "transparent" process and pulling strings for aspiring politician Mr. Buckley, who, like Mr. Brooks, is openly gay? Articles for reference: http://texannews.net/colton-buckleys-rise-to-tamus-student-regent-position-an-unusual-one/. Mr. Buckley comes out in 2016 during an interview with "The Blaze": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-nWa1diUxY

chetbrewer

Of course Mr Perry fails to mention that the kids parents were major contributors to him. Its unfortunate that he can't support the student governance decision and imputes evil motives

Rick Cromack 97

Since I bleed maroon, I've had quite a few people today ask my opinion about this.

So, here it is:

[1.] Secretary Perry is correct: The manner by which he was elevated to the student body presidency cannot help but diminish and to some extent delegitimize, Mr. Brooks' successful election and term of office.

[2.] There are rules to university elective campaigns, and consequences for violating them. Mr. McIntosh's disqualification is unfortunate, but he received a fair hearing by the appropriate determining campus administrative body, and there is no compelling reason to suspect that that process was itself manipulated, tainted or politically motivated.

[3.] Sec. Perry has a perfect right to his opinion, and the manner by which he makes it known. That being said, perhaps a more responsible and constructive tactic would have been to use his substantial influence to speak his mind, privately, to the University's leadership concerning this affair. By airing his thoughts so publicly, he has damaged the institution, faith in its governance and the integrity of its student-leadership culture, and probably the peace and fraternity of one of the nation's largest and most prestigious places of higher learning. Texas A&M is widely touted for its friendliness, diversity, and rich and positive campus life. Perry's opinion is perfectly valid and his status as both famous alum and former State Governor may demand he weigh in on this matter, but taking actions that may serve to turn Aggies against one another is NEVER, in the parlance of his and my alma mater, "Good Bull". In fact, this is BAD Bull, Mr. Perry, very Bad Bull, indeed, no freaking good for anyone, including Messrs. Brooks and McIntosh, and you, too, Mister Secretary. It is in NO true Aggie's interests to see our "Farmers" FIGHT, and you, sir, ought to know better than this. Clearly, you do not. Once again, you've proven that your mouth routinely runs ahead of your senses. This is why I never voted for you in any election, and why, despite your massive electoral success within The Lone Star State, you will NEVER ascend to the nomination of your Party, much less, the Presidency: You let your horses slip their reins and run away, frequently, off a cliff.

[4.] The installment of Texas A&M's first publicly gay student president ought be a moment of pride for a campus and student body long derided, and not always without merit, as being hostile and unwelcoming to persons of varied ethnic, religious and sexual qualities. When I arrived at A&M, Ronnie McDonald was just finishing up his term as our first Black Yell Leader, and over the last several years Aggieland has seen its first African-American student body president, its first female, Black, and Hispanic Commanders of its Corps of Cadets, its first female (and also, Hispanic) University President, and its first African-American head football coach, among many other significant breakings of barriers and exclusive (not in a constructive way) school conventions. Frankly, such an atmosphere of inclusion would have been amazing to a student of my day (mid-1990s), and as a former member of the school's Traditions Council, I am so very proud that my beloved Aggieland, home to so many traditions, has now fully incorporated the celebration of diversity into its long and noteworthy list of same. (Heck, back in my time at A&M, just empathizing with the once-infamous anti-Bonfire basement-window signage at -- IF I remember correctly; I am the very definition of an "Old Ag", now -- the Butler Building, might well have gotten you a pretty decent beating, certainly in the rather shabbily wonderful NorthGate of the era, of an evening.)

[5.] I will refrain from terming the former Yell Leader -- Mr. Perry -- a "two-percenter"; his love for our alma mater is manifest, and he has done much over the course of the last four and a half decades to bring honor and esteem to the beating heart of Texas's higher-education system. This is not among those worthy efforts. However, Aggies do not "boo". Instead, we honor the tradition of the "horse's laugh". This, sir, is for you:

https://youtu.be/rPQNZM0JmWY

...In short: SIDDOWN, BUS DRIVER.


Rick Cromack
C/o '97

fishJones'66

Hey Old Army !!!! Woops, I forgot Old Army has been dead for a long time ! Perhaps Bobbie Brooks can tell the Administration that the name must be changed to The University of Texas at College Station !!! Seems fitting !!!

conservativemilenial'20

As a current student, I have to entirely agree with you good sir.
I am very, very, very disappointed at TAMU right now, especially since this is my freshman year....

manzielculture

Old Army is dead because the world keeps turning. Heraclitus taught us that you can never step into the same river twice. Things are always moving forward. Texas A&M didn't allow women or people of color back in Old Army. Old Army is dead, for sure, and I say good riddance to the closed-minded individuals that continually set social progress back with rhetoric like this.

Totally not a space lizzard

Actually gen z is slated to be one of the most conservative in decades. So instead of a river its more like a pendulum.

manzielculture

The river is in reference to social change. Social change moves forward. If social change moved backward (or the pendulum, as you're referencing), we'd have much bigger problems on our hands.

Totally not a space lizzard

I can see where Rick Perry is coming from. Another article says the disqualified candidate got cleared for voter intimidation, but got disqualified over, you guessed it, glowsticks. What if someone had them had them laying around and gave them to him? I have a huge bag of past date emergency style ones. I can think of so many legitimate ways he could have gotten them without having a receipt.

I also don't think for a moment the sme would happen if the positions were reversed. Gotta teach those politicians early right?[wink]
Anyways kudos to the editor of this article, its fact based and unbiased.

oldag12

1. The outgoing Student Body President is Hannah Wimberly.
2. Hannah's twin sister is Claire Wimberly.
3. Claire was the campaign manager for Bobby Brook's campaign.
4. Hannah appoints the entire Judicial Court. (The Judicial Court nominees must be approved by 2/3rds of the Student Senate - but this is typically a rubber stamp.)
5. Bobby's campaign makes a concerted effort to find rules violations in other campaigns. The goal is to report these election infractions to the Election Commissioner (also appointed by Hannah Wimberly) in hopes that other candidates will be disqualified.
6. Election Commissioner rules favored candidate (Robert McIntosh) ineligible due to hyper-technicality expense infraction and "voter intimidation." Note - not one "intimidated voter" actually files a written complaint to the Election Commissioner. These reports were generated by Bobby's campaign staff and reported anonymously.
7. McIntosh wins by margin of 763 votes (18% more votes than Bobby).
8. Judicial Court upholds Election Commissioner decision to disqualify for McIntosh's failure to report free, disposable, glow sticks used by supporters for 11 seconds in a YouTube campaign video.

Totally not a space lizzard

I would be asking a lot of questions if I were Mcintosh:

"There are legitamite reasons why I wouldn't have receipts for glowsticks, was this considered at any point?"

"Is it in the rules that relatives of those "in power" can be campaign managers?"

"Does Mr. Brooks have all of his finances in order?"

"Why was voter intimidation only called after the election was over?"
I myself would like an answer.

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