|Bobby Brooks, smart, cute and gay. The W.H. Please…|
Rick Perry is a little old fashioned. He thought things were still being run at Texas A&M like on his time. Back then it was how much money and power the family posses not how much intellect the student possesses to attend and then be elected to represent the student body.
The political drama over the election of Texas A&M University’s first openly gay student body president continues.
In a letter signed Friday, Bobby Brooks invited Rick Perry to a meeting after the energy secretary challenged the 21-year-old’s victory in the election for student body president.
Perry, who is also an Aggie, wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle last week that called Brooks' election into question. He accused Brooks’ supporters of "dirty campaign tricks" to disqualify his rival Robert McIntosh, who was denied the presidency over a charge that he omitted donated glow sticks used in a promotional video from a campaign finance report.
McIntosh had also been accused of voter intimidation in anonymous complaints, Perry wrote, but a student court tossed those charges.
The former governor of Texas and U.S. presidential candidate wrote in the op-ed that McIntosh had unfairly lost the election to Brooks due to “this quest for 'diversity.' "
Brooks, who is scheduled to take office April 21, didn’t address Perry's allegations in a letter published online in student newspaper The Battalion and in the website of LGBT advocacy group GLAAD, but he thanked Perry for his interest in the university "we both love so much."
"It was heartening to see that you described yourself as 'proud' that the student body at your Alma Mater will be led for the first time in our history by a member of the LGBTQ student community," Brooks wrote. "I am indeed proud to be an openly gay student, and I share your pride that my fellow students see my sexual orientation as a simple matter of fact — not something that compromises my qualifications."
In his letter, Brooks told Perry that they share the view that all students should be honored and respected.
"I would like to invite you to come to Texas and meet with my team and me as we take office later this month to discuss how we can work together to achieve our common vision," Brooks wrote. "We have many students on this campus from all walks of life, whose perspectives I would care to share with you."
Brooks also offered to travel to Washington instead to meet with Perry and "speak about the important issues you raised in your op-ed."
It's unclear if Perry has read the letter and whether he will accept the invitation. Emails and a phone call seeking comment weren't immediately returned Sunday.
Brooks also didn’t respond to a request for comment.
GLAAD has a petition on its website asking people to insist that Perry meet with Brooks. More than 2,800 signatures have been recorded so far.
Some people inside and outside the university questioned why Perry would wade into college politics. A Texas A&M spokeswoman disagreed with Perry’s assessment that "political correctness" had cost McIntosh the election.
"I'm surprised that he's weighing in. I'm surprised he would have the time to do that," Texas A&M communications officer Amy B. Smith told The Dallas Morning News last week.
McIntosh is the son of Dallas-based Republican fundraiser Alison McIntosh. The Texas A&M student said through his attorney that he might have lost the election because he is a “heterosexual, white Christian male" and that he's considering a lawsuit.
At least one member of the Texas A&M board of regents plans to look into the election, The Texas Tribune reported. Regent Tony Buzbee told the news outlet that while board members typically don't get involved in student elections, "I would be concerned if the process resulted in an unjust result."
Perry appointed Buzbee to the board of regents in 2013