How Do You Get Texas to OK Burying Other States' Radioactive Waste? If You're Harold Simmons, You Give Rick Perry Lots of Money.

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A nuke-free Friend of Unfair Park forwards this morning this just-released add-em-up from Texans for Public Justice, which asks: Can anyone seriously believe Governor Rick Perry or his appointees on the Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission are going to do a damned thing to stop Harold Simmons from burying other states' low-level radioactive waste out in West Texas? After all, notes TPJ, the Dallas billionaire and Swift Boat captain has contributed more than $1.1 million to Perry in recent years -- $500,000 of that in 2010 alone. Hmmmm.

Originally, the West Texas dump site was supposed to be for Vermont and Texas only. But Simmons wants other states to join in the fun, which is why he's spreading the wealth: "Over the past five years," says TPJ, "political committees and executives affiliated with his two main holding companies [Contran Corp. and Valhi, Inc.] doled out $379,900 to state politicians in 21 states other than Texas, according to the Montana-based National Institute on Money in State Politics."

With a tip o' the cap to that must-read D story about Simmons, TPJ reminds: "The radioactive waste to be dumped near West Texas aquifers will be hot for tens of thousands of years. Waste Control's license extends a mere 15 years. Thereafter that gullible sap -- the Texas taxpayer -- will be left holding the bag." The disposal commission had but one public hearing on Simmons's permit -- two weeks ago in Austin -- and comments on the request to bury the radioactive waste in West Texas close December 26. Happy Christmas.

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