Wonder if he'd like to take it back now. It was during Perry's run for re-election to Texas Governor in 2006 where he had a three way race against the Democrat Chris Bell, a former congressman, and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Republican turned-independent.
At the time, Romney was the chairman of the Republican Governor's Association. Towards the end of the contest, Perry received a total of $1 million from RGA, a last minute donation approved by Mr. Romney.
Last year, a Texas court ruled the aid violated a Texas rule because among other things, RGA didn't disclose the underlying source of a portion of the funds. An appeals court could rule soon on a judge's order that the RGA pay a $2 million fine to his Democrat opponent from the race, namely, Chris Bell.
What is ironic about all this is that Perry didn't seem to need the donation. Bell was not seen as having much chance at winning. RGA really hadn't wanted to make the donation as Texas in recent years has been a Republican stronghold. The RGA much preferred to employ its limited resources where they were more needed.
When the Perry campaign had first asked for the funds, "they laughed," recalled longtime Perry advisor dave Carney in a 2009 deposition. Why then did Perry ask for the funds? As Carney goes on to explain it was actually not meant to hurt Bell-who he knew was unlikely to prevail-but Carole Strayhorn, the Republican turned independent who was seen as possibly being a threat. The logic was that by targeting Bell with some visceral, partisan ads this would actually unify Democrats around him, taking away those who were apathetic about him. So it was in order to attack Bell to actually garner him stronger support thereby knocking out Strayhorn who was seen as the greater threat.