A Republican operative who helped get Green Party candidates on the Texas ballot was also being paid by Gov. Rick Perry's campaign, according to a report in Wednesday's editions of The Dallas Morning News.
Campaign finance reports show the Perry campaign paid Stuart Moss for mileage while he was doing political research in November. That's the same time he helped the Green Party field candidates.
Perry spokesman Mark Miner maintains that the governor's campaign was not involved in the Green Party petition drive.
Democrats, who say liberal Green Party candidates could siphon votes away from Perry's Democratic challenger, Bill White, have sued the Green Party to identify the source of $532,000 that bankrolled the petition drive that made it possible for the third party to get candidates on the November ballot.
Miner said Moss' work was related to the GOP primary in March, not the Green Party.
"It was for research," Miner said. "Our campaign had had nothing to do and continues to have nothing to do with the Green Party efforts."
Although several Perry allies have ties to the petitions putting the Green Party on the November ballot, Moss is the first Perry campaign worker connected with the effort.
Moss was reimbursed $204 for mileage for a trip to Houston, according to campaign finance reports. His employer then, former Perry speechwriter Eric Bearse, said Moss was doing the research on his own time as a political volunteer.
According to court testimony, Moss and former Perry chief of staff Mike Toomey initially recruited a University of Texas student in late 2009 to collect signatures.
E-mail evidence shows that in November, Moss was actively involved in the Green Party petition effort. The same day he was being reimbursed by the Perry campaign for mileage, Moss forwarded information about campaign finance laws to assist in the Green Party drive.
The Moss and Toomey effort failed, replaced by a successful petition drive spearheaded by an out-of-state GOP consultant and funded through a nonprofit firm that won't disclose its donors.