A Pump to Perry’s Presidential Potential?

While Texas lawmakers are trying to reduce the amount of scrutiny on the charges due to taxpayers, far and away, there’s a chance Gov. Rick Perry might be entering the presidential campaign. A couple of days ago, the Senate adopted a compromise which would provide the public with information on exactly what the money is being put into, which, according to an article in The Texas Tribune would “put off any detailed disclosure of security costs for Perry that are paid for by the state past the 2012 election.”

Perry’s Price Tag

Perry’s political goals are not going to be coming cheap. His political travel will be paid for by private donors and security by the Texas Department for Public Safety, which might have otherwise been delegated for gasoline tax and vehicle registration. This isn’t cheap. A report in the Houston & Texas News noted that close to $1m was spent just on Perry’s security over 23 foreign trips in the last seven years. Clearly this can at times be extremely over-the-top and this was even more pronounced before data such as this became public knowledge and was revealed by the government. Indeed, just looking at what happened in 2005 is cause for concern: it seems that when Perry was in the Bahamas, his law-abiding faithful taxpaying citizens footed the bill for the rental of his scuba gear and golf cart! Indeed, looking back at what George W. Bush spent as a former Texas Gov. in his run for president, it seems this is quite common with a huge increase in state security expenditure that in 1999, “shot past $1.8m,” marking a more than “six-fold increase from the previous year.”

Political Prices

But now that things are out in the open, the expenditure can’t possibly be quite as extreme, or at least not on such inappropriate events. Still, with his upcoming campaign, Perry is not going to come cheap. Indeed, according to the Tribune article, once he starts going to the early nominating states like Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. There is a general consensus that it’s not been good that the public has been kept in the dark about these political expenses, especially the extreme ones. Indeed, according to Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas director Keith Elkins, while of course it’s good we at least know now, since these “are public records,” there has been some disappointment “that the Legislature did not follow their previous ruling and provide this information to the public as they have in the past.”

Dan Kazan

Dan Kazan has had years of experience writing for some of the largest newspapers and magazines in the USA. He was one of the first pioneers in bringing the news online and has focused most of his recent energies into making Left Justified the high quality online news and opinion site which it is.Dan can be reached at dankazan(at)leftjustified.com.

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