At a time when state budget reductions were used to help offset a multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall, taxpayers were billed in excess of $294,000 in security detail expenses for out-of-state trips by Gov. Rick Perry or his wife, according to records released by the Department of Public Safety.
Destinations included the Bahamas in January for a family vacation and trips to Amsterdam, Madrid and New York by Anita Perry alone – visits that Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said were for economic development.
Perry traveled to locales including New York, Washington, California and Las Vegas for events such as promotion of his anti-Washington book, Fed Up!, speeches, duties related to his then-chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association and meetings with business leaders or potential supporters for his presidential bid.
His campaign – not the state – pays for many of the governor’s direct travel expenses, but the cost of the security detail is paid by the state. Castle said the policy on the security detail is from the DPS, not the governor’s office.
But Perry has previously said the state should pay those costs because he’s “promoting Texas no matter where I go.”
Small government, like taxes, is for the little people.