The Iowa Democratic Party organized a conference call with reporters today to blast Texas Governor Rick Perry for telling “tall tales” as he campaigns for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Sue Dvorsky said as the first-in-the-nation Caucus state, Iowa Democrats need to tell the “other side of the story” when it comes to Perry’s record.

“This is not just a Republican process to vet these candidates,” Dvorsky said. “It is our responsibility to ask these tough questions.”

Dvorsky had Mark Strama, a Democrat who serves in the Texas state legislature, join her for today’s telephone news conference. Strama said Perry has overseen “race to the bottom” policies in Texas.

“We have some of the most polluted air in Texas of anywhere in the country,” Strama said. “We have one of the highest drop-out rates, one of the highest rates of adult illiteracy and one of the highest rates of children without health insurance and citizens without health insurance.”

Strawma also disputed Perry’s claim that his policies have led to an economic boom in Texas.

“We had all of the same policies that Rick Perry and George W. Bush have advocated in Texas back in the 1980s, but when oil went to $12 a barrel, the whole economy here collapsed and during the time when Perry likes to point out that Texas created more jobs than the rest of the country combined, oil was at $146 a barrel,” Strama said. “And that’s the real story of what’s going on here in Texas.” 

Strama worked on former Texas Governor Ann Richards’ successful campaign in 1990 and he helped manage the national “Rock the Vote” campaign for the 1996 election. Strama was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2004.

Governor Perry is due to speak in Jefferson, Iowa, this evening.