Food & Wine Magazine, TDP, Rep. Jim Dunnam Respond to Rick Perry's Rental Mansion Extravagance

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I wrote earlier about how Rick Perry's $10,000 a month rental mansion comes with a $700 clothes rack. The AP story has become one of the most passed around stories today, making news across the state. A simple search for “Rick Perry” on Twitter brings up dozens and dozens of people linking to the story and informing their friends about what Perry has done.

Many have issued their own statements. First and foremost — from Food & Wine Magazine! The AP story by Jay Root detailed that Perry has used taxpayer dollars for a $70 two-year subscription to Food & Wine Magazine. The Magazine responded, via Twitter, to Perry's subscription:

That link then takes you to a list of ten recipes on their website, which Perry has access to for free.

Beyond the fun of Food & Wine Magazine, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie released the following statement:

“When times are tough, most Texas families cancel their HBO and eat more meals at home – but Rick Perry continues to bill Texas taxpayers over $10,000 a month for his rental mansion.  While Texas is facing a budget shortfall of anywhere from $15 to $18 billion, it is irresponsible for Rick Perry to force Texans to pay for his extravagant lifestyle. No Governor who spends $1,000 in taxpayer money for Neiman Marcus window coverings can call himself a conservative.”

State Representative Jim Dunnam responded as well, pleding to pre-file legislation to limit the rent Texas taxpayers have to pay for the Governor:

“Texas will face an $18 billion budget deficit next session,” said Dunnam. “As working families across Texas tighten their belts, I believe that the Governor should limit his wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars.”

Dunnam’s bill would cap the amount that a Texas Governor is permitted to spend on rent, utilities and upkeep to 200% of the average rent for a reasonably-sized apartment in downtown Austin, excluding all security costs. The definition of “reasonably-sized” and “downtown”, as well as the exact dollar amount, would be determined by the State Preservation Board.

“The Governor would still have access to double the dollars that the average renter pays to live downtown,” said Dunnam. “But at least taxpayers won’t be charged over $10,000 a month to house their Governor.”

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About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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