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article imageNews for taxpayers, Rick Perry’s security expenses on rise

By Lynn Herrmann     Dec 6, 2011 in Politics
Austin - Despite low poll numbers, Texas Governor Rick Perry can add a rising number to his credentials, the amount of money taxpayers are hit with in providing security for ongoing out-of-state trips in his quest to become president.
New figures for September alone show the law enforcement detail providing security for Perry and his wife, Anita, had expenses of $397,714 for 30 out-of-state trips, according to numbers released Monday by the Texas Department of Public Safety, MySA reports.
Although Perry’s travel costs are generally funded by his campaign, taxpayers are handed the security detail expenses.
Perry’s numerous blunders in the ongoing GOP presidential debates might be a cause of concern for some taxpayers, but rising costs associated with his security as he seeks control of the White House are another issue.
“I suspect it’ll be a matter of how people feel about Perry whether or not this bothers them,” said Paul Brace, political science professor at Rice University, according to MySA.
Among Perry’s trips in September were debates in California and Florida; fundraisers in California and New York; and visits to Iowa, Michigan and South Carolina.
Perry’s meteoric rise to the front of the GOP pack in August after announcing his candidacy has only been equaled by his nosedive in the polls, primarily due to weak and embarrassing debate performances.
“There are taxpayers who are going to be concerned that this wasn’t an appropriate expenditure in general, but given the, I think, generally lackluster performance of Governor Perry in the presidential race, even those who are supporting him might think it was a pretty bad investment,” Brace added.
The DPS expense summary was provided in response to a public information request and went through Sept. 28, but more recent expense information on the security detail was not released due to a new law going into effect that date allowing the agency to release quarterly expense summaries.
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