Rick Perry just loves spending taxpayer dollars:
Gov. Rick Perry was near the height of his popularity when he barnstormed California in September to raise money for his presidential bid and to participate in his first nationally televised debate.
His state-provided security guards were flying pretty high, too, spending more than $32,000 in taxpayer money for travel and lodging in San Francisco, $4,400 to dine near the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum in Simi Valley, and another $6,400 for plane tickets to San Diego, records show.
In the ensuing weeks, Perry would see his political fortunes plummet, falling to as low as 6 percent in public opinion polls from a high of 32 percent. But the bills for his omnipresent security detail continue, costing taxpayers as much as $400,000 a month.
So the people of Texas are paying out $400,000 a month for something that isn't even really Texas business. What about all that cash Perry has had on hand? It seems like campaign money should be used for things like security, not money from Texas.
But Texans are apparently used to this:
Perry is not the only Texas governor to run up big bills — and receive criticism — for security provided on out-of-state trips. When former Gov. George W. Bush ran for president in 2000, the state spent at least $400,000 a month in the first quarter of that year — more than four times the amount spent in all of 1999, the public safety department revealed at the time.
All told, taxpayers were on the hook for $3.9 million in security costs for Bush and his family from January 1999 to March 2000, when the Secret Service took over the job, the public safety department said.