One of them is former Texas Tech regent Mark Griffin. By his own account, after Griffin endorsed Hutchison, the Lubbock businessman received a wake-up call from Perry's former chief of staff, Brian Newby, who told him that the governor “expects loyalty out of his appointees.” Griffin says he asked Newby if Perry wanted him to resign, and the answer was yes. “I felt like staying on would put the institution at risk,” Griffin told the Associated Press, “and I'm not willing to put the university at risk.”

Written by: Jessica Behnham

By constitutional design, the governor of Texas is a weak executive compared to those of other states. Other than the power of the veto, the most potent weapon in the governor's political arsenal is the power to appoint members of commissions and boards, including the prestigious regents of state universities.

The governor frequently picks associates and supporters who contribute heavily to his campaign coffers. The spectacle of the state's highest profile volunteer public service positions bartered for political gain is ethically unsavory, but legal.

Rick Perry is already the longest- serving governor in Texas history. In his drive to extend that tenure to three and a half terms, he's taking gubernatorial power to new levels and punishing some of his own appointees — those who have declared their support for his primary rival, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Some of them did so before it became clear Perry would stand for re-election, and they're now paying the price for that decision.

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