Triple Dipping?

There are a lot of things that I love about being from Texas. The hospitality is second to none, we have a restaurant (in Waco) called “Health Camp” that, instead of quinoa and wheatgrass, serves onion rings that leave enough grease in the paper tray to make a swimming pool for an ant colony, and people like Kinky Friedman can run for governor.

But so can people like Rick Perry. And here’s where I don’t get Texans. Gov. Perry has won (according to my non-scientific count) the last 17 elections without having to participate in a single debate. He tried to ram through an order to inoculate every middle school girl in the state with an HPV vaccine made by a company that gave him a lot of money, and while the Legislature shot the order down, nobody seemed to remember when the next election came around.

Luckily, people in Iowa and New Hampshire seem to be a little smarter. Of course, if Gov. Perry had gone on Letterman or debated Bill White during the last gubernatorial election, things may have turned out differently here as well.

But did you know that Gov. Perry is billing us $800,000 (and counting) in security costs for his failed Presidential campaign? He’s collecting his normal salary, as well as retirement benefits that he had accrued. And now he wants us to pay for his security detail — according to the Dallas Morning News, it’s because he says he represents Texas wherever he goes.

Yes, he was representing us here.

And then here too. I wonder what that DPS security invoice will be from this trip to New York City?

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Gov. Perry has billed the state for 48 different out-of-state visits connected to his campaign for President.

Now, you may have heard that the draconian cuts that the Legislature put in place for many agencies will be hitting even harder in the second year of our biennial budget cycle. Was this in the budget? Will we be allowed to tap the Rainy Day Fund to make up the difference?

Or will Gov. Perry reimburse the state from his campaign contributions? Again, according to the American-Statesman and other sources, he will not.

Yes, you can get in touch with Gov. Perry to let him know how you feel about this. You can write him a letter, or, even better, you can call the Citizen Opinion Hotline at (800) 252-9600. It’s likely that you’ll have to leave a message, like I did, or when you press “2” you might get a live person. If they’re not planning the governor’s next trip to “promote Texas.”

If you can’t get the governor to call you back, at least keep this in mind when he stands for election for the 23rd time. Or the 28th. 

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