How did a career politician like Rick Perry become a millionaire?

David Frum characterizes the argument in the post below (and today’s Jolt) as, “If Rick Perry is dumb, why is he rich?” (Not exactly what I wrote, but I’ll put that aside.) He points to a Fort Worth Star Telegram’s tracking of Perry’s net worth, and the number of times the governor has made real estate deals with developers who had business with state government, and the number of times those real estate deals have paid off quite well for Perry.

The insinuation, of course, is that Rick Perry is corrupt, that those with business dealings with the state government have used the real estate deals as a backdoor way of bribes.

I’d note that for the Horseshoe Bay property, Perry bought at a relative trough in the real estate market (2001) and sold near the peak of the bubble (2007), and Texas home prices enjoyed some particularly good years in there. One of Perry’s earliest land deals ended with a modest profit ($70,000 over three years) and for another one, Perry enjoyed the good fortune of owning the land that computer magnate Michael Dell needed to connect his new home to municipal sewer lines.