January 31, 2012
By Peggy Fikac
AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign is history, but the tally for the security detail that accompanied him continues to mount.
A report released Thursday by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows that for September through part of November alone, travel expenditures for the detail that provides security to Perry and his wife, Anita, were $798,031.42.
Nearly all of that was for out-of-state trips, bringing his security tab for travel outside Texas to more than $1.1 million from his November 2010 re-election to this November.
Perry did a lot more out-of-state traveling in November, December and January before ending his presidential campaign last week.
The cost of his security detail on those trips will be part of a future DPS report. Democrats already have called for the GOP governor to reimburse $2.6 million, estimating that to be the security expense to taxpayers of his presidential campaign that began in August.
Perry and his staff have said it's proper for the state to pay the cost of security officers who accompany him whether he travels inside or outside Texas....
Cal Jillson, professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, said Perry certainly could influence DPS policy.
Jillson said it would be reasonable for Perry to reimburse taxpayers from his campaign funds for security costs associated with his presidential run. He also noted that Perry's mantra has included an emphasis on smaller government.
“If you are for small government and low taxes and personal responsibility, you might not want to go so far as driving your own car,” Jillson said. “But if you stand for small government, and low taxes and personal responsibility, and then you have the manicured estate and the darkened SUV with the security detail, some of these things seem to be at odds with each other.”
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