No, you didn't read that headline wrong. You also probably won't read that headline in any of the news articles about "Tea Party Tax Day" but that doesn't make it any less true. And you have to wonder -- if more people knew about Rick Perry's extravagant lifestyle, do you really think they'd still think of him as such a grassroots kind of guy?
Since 2007, Rick Perry has had a lease agreement with Mercedes-Benz financial. The loan for his vehicle is the $10,000 to $24,999 range. Here are links to the records for the leases in 2007 and 2008:
(My thanks to the Houston Chronicle's Texas Politics blog for providing the original links to those documents).
What's interesting is that Rick Perry never mentions what kind of car he drives. In an interview he did for the Texas Motor Speedway website -- in anticipation for this Sunday's race, where Perry has sponsored a $225,000 vehicle and blatantly stolen the "Moving Texas Forward" slogan from both the TDP and Bill White -- Perry talks fondly of how he loves driving fast cars, yet never mentions that he drives a Benz. (Source: "Governor Rick Perry Shares His Favorite Cars").
Meanwhile, in addition to the Benz he drives, Perry lives in a $1.85 million mansion. From the AP news story, as reported by CBS-11 in Dallas, "State To Pay $9,900/Month For Perry's Rent House":
Gov. Rick Perry and wife, Anita, will move out of the 150-year-old Governor's Mansion next month and into a three-story, limestone home with five bedrooms, a heated pool and an outdoor cabana.
The state will pony up $9,900-a-month in rent for at least a year while the Governor's Mansion undergoes renovations starting next month. The 6,386 square foot home in a posh west Austin neighborhood has been listed on the market for more than a year, with the most recent asking price $1.85 million.
Which Rick Perry will Texas' Tea Partiers know about, come November? Will it be the good ole boy from Paint Creek who loves NASCAR and feels their pain? Or the wealthy, out-of-touch Governor whose history of crony capitalism has led to Texas doubling its state debt and more unemployed Texans than any other time in history.
Time will tell...