Gov. Pawlenty said this morning that the $100,000 check he delivered to the Alabama GOP on Friday night was from Texas homebuilder Bob Perry.
If you think the name sounds familiar, it should. Perry is a big-time GOP donor who contributes to the Republican Governors Association and several conservative 527 groups (including the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth organization in 2004). He also gave $500,000 to A Stronger America Minnesota, an independent 527 that worked to get Pawlenty reelected in 2006.
Pawlenty says he met with Perry a few weeks ago and mentioned that he was speaking to the Alabama Republican Party. He said Perry, who gave to the Alabama GOP in the past, asked him to deliver the check to the group:
“I understand they (Alabama GOP) asked him for the contribution. I was there on behalf of the RGA in my capacity as vice-chair of the RGA and he said ‘Look, they asked me to give this contribution would you deliver it to them?’ I said sure.”
Pawlenty said he met with Perry a few weeks ago when he was raising money in Houston and Dallas on behalf of the RGA and his federal political action committee. At the time, the spokesman for Pawlenty’s PAC would only say that Pawlenty was raising money in Texas but wouldn’t provide additional details.
Pawlenty’s meeting with Perry also signifies that he’s meeting with some wealthy GOP donors as he considers whether to run for president in 2012. As I wrote in a 2006 profile about Perry, one campaign finance watchdog called Perry “an 800 pound gorilla.”
At that time I also noted on the blog how many groups he contributed in the 2006 election cycle.