"Taxpayers have spent, at a minimum, $592,000 for rent, utilities, repairs, furnishings and supplies since Rick Perry moved in."
The Vile Plutocrat
With the state facing a budget shortfall of at least $11 billion, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has spent almost $600,000 in public money during the past two years to live in a sprawling rental mansion in the hills above the capital, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
[Associated Press] Governor Perry's rental home costs more than $10,000 a month in rent, utilities and upkeep to house himself and his wife in a five-bedroom, seven-bath mansion that has pecan-wood floors, a gourmet kitchen and three dining rooms. Perry has also spent $130,000 in campaign donations to throw parties, buy food and drink, and pay for cable TV and a host of other services since he moved in, the records show.
The public spending on Perry's rental comes as the state grapples with a budget shortfall forecast to reach at least $11 billion over the next two years. Perry has asked state agencies to cut their budgets by 5 percent and the Republican House speaker has begun to consider furloughs and shortened workweeks for state employees.
Ethics watchdogs, meanwhile, say Perry's campaign may have violated state disclosure laws because of the vague way he's reported what his staff calls "incidental" spending at the mansion.
Perry's incidental state-paid expenses:
- 6,386-square-foot rental sits on more than three acres and was advertised in 2007 for sale at $1.85 million
- $18,000 for "consumables" such as household supplies and cleaning products
- $1,001.46 in window coverings from upscale retailer Neiman Marcus
- a $1,000 "emergency repair" of the governor's filtered ice machine
- $700 clothes rack
- $70 for a two year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine
- $56,000 stipend for food and beverages
- Maintenance on the heated pool has cost taxpayers at least $8,400
- the tab for grounds and lawn maintenance has topped $44,000
- His spokeswoman made a pint of mentioning that he has ONLY one housekeeper, one full-time chef (although a second chef works part time), a mansion administrator (who left and was not replaced), and a steward.
The Grand Total
Taxpayers have spent, at a minimum, $592,000 for rent, utilities, repairs, furnishings and supplies since Perry moved in.
Perry dismissed criticism of his spending with a laugh when asked by the AP about the costs of living in the exclusive Barton Creek Estates neighborhood in West Austin: "If that's the best cut anybody's got of leadership in the state of Texas, then bring it on."
Since Perry took office in 2001, spending from his tax-payer financed "Mansion Fund" has topped $800,000. That should make all the state employees he fired feel real good about doing their part to help save the state coffers in this time of recession.
We already know the answer to this question, but "are there any honest politicians?"
James Richard "Rick" Perry
(born March 4, 1950) Is the 47th and incumbent Governor of Texas, having held the office since 2000. He is a member of the Republican Party.
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