AUSTIN - A new $6 million campaign to support Republican Gov. Rick Perry's school finance plan - which could include television and radio ads with his image and voice - drew fire Wednesday from political opponents who said it skirts state law banning corporate donations to candidates.
Independent candidate for governor Carole Keeton Strayhorn and Democratic nominee Chris Bell criticized the school plan ad campaign as the Legislature gears up for a special session on school finance starting Monday.
Both suggested Perry could gain politically in his re-election bid this year from the media campaign, funded by private donations that don't have to be revealed.
Bell said the ad campaign raises ethical questions by accepting donations from companies that may be affected by Perry's plan, which would cut property taxes and create a broad-based business tax to help pay for public schools.
Strayhorn said Perry should "shut it down" or disclose the names of contributors.