Rick Perry is questioning the legitimacy of the student government election at his alma mater

Rick Perry.
(Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry isn't letting being in charge of the nation's nuclear weapons programs stand in the way of getting involved in a college's student government election.

Before he was the governor of Texas and a failed Dancing With the Stars contestant, Perry was a student at Texas A&M, where he was twice elected as yell leader. On Wednesday, he used his alumnus status to write an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle about the university's recent student body president election, which left him "deeply troubled." As Perry explains it, when he first read that junior Bobby Brooks was elected, he viewed it as a "testament to the Aggie character" that students elected an openly gay peer. That all changed when he discovered Brooks actually came in second, but was named president after the winner by 750 votes, Robert McIntosh, was disqualified on charges of voter intimidation and not providing a receipt for glow sticks used in a campaign video. This move "at best made a mockery of due process and transparency," Perry wrote. "At worst, the SGA allowed an election to be stolen outright."

As Perry tells it, McIntosh was cleared of the voter intimidation charges, but the Judicial Court upheld the glow sticks ruling, and Brooks is still the winner. This is too much of a coincidence for Perry to handle. "Now, Brooks' presidency is being treated as a victory for 'diversity,'" he wrote. "It is difficult to escape the perception that this quest for 'diversity' is the real reason the election outcome was overturned." Aggies need to ask themselves "how would they act and feel if the victim was different?" Perry continued. "What if McIntosh had been a minority student instead of a white male? What if Brooks had been the candidate disqualified? … We all know that the administration, the SGA, and student body would not have permitted such a thing to happen." He finally called on the election commissioner and chief justice to explain why they disqualified McIntosh over what he says are "anonymous complaints and flimsy technicalities."

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What Perry forget to mention in his impassioned plea is that McIntosh's mother, Alison McIntosh, is a longtime Republican fundraiser, the Chronicle reports. Empower Texans, a conservative political organization, said her business, The McIntosh Company Inc., raised money for several presidential campaigns, including those of Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and John McCain. Perry, probably now very interested in getting back to work, has not commented on this connection.

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.