Day 44 of Rick Perry Refusing to Debate: Why Has Part-Time Perry Only Worked Two Hours in 15 Weeks?

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On April 26, 2010, Rick Perry first said he'd refuse to debate until Bill White released his tax returns:

“If he releases his tax returns, we'll be happy to talk about debate dates,” said Miner.

Now that Bill White has released his tax returns, Rick Perry must agree to debate. And there are many questions he will have to answer — questions we will be highlighting every day until the Texas press corps finally asks them and Rick Perry finally answers them.

Part-Time Perry needs to answer questions about how he plans to address the state budget shortfall. So far, Perry has offered little more than shrugging it off and claiming he'll do the same thing in 2011 as he did in 2003. At least two things are immediately wrong with that: first of all, the deficit is nearly twice-as-large this time. Secondly, the last time we slashed our budget like that our state services were simply obliterated.

But finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the startling revelation that Rick Perry has only logged two hours of “office time” in fifteen weeks. Bill White's campaign has challenged Perry to answer for this. From their press release:

  • “Why won't Rick Perry debate?”
  • Why won't he answer questions and face Texans without a script?”
  • How has career politician Rick Perry confronted this impending budget crisis?

An analysis of 15 weeks of his state schedule reveals that Part-Time Perry had only two hours of “office time” scheduled, and more than half of Perry's time was spent at press conferences, photo ops, lunches and dinner parties.

During these 15 weeks, Rick Perry also enjoyed 10 long weekends, which gave him plenty of time to enjoy the food prepared by his one and half chefs in his $10,000 per month rental mansion.

“Perry thinks he is doesn't need to answer to Texans and can just relax in his rental mansion all the way through November,” said Bacon. “Perry doesn't think he needs to work on our budget crisis, he admitted he was waiting until 2011 to address it, and he even made the outrageous claim that the $18 billion shortfall was grabbed from the air. Perry needs to stop playing political games, stop denying the budget crisis and start working for Texans.”

Previously on BOR:


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.


  1. yawn
    Your boy Bill partially released his tax returns. I guess we'll have to wait another 93 days for the rest of them, eh?

    • Double Yawn
      So, this is it? Personally, I'd like to see the guest list for every guest to the governor's mansion (before 2007 and going back to 2000) and the list of everyone who visited the Governor in his private mansion/cabana since 2007. That would be very interesting. It should be a complete list with no redactions. A list of the sleepovers would be interesting, too, don't you think??

      Even the First Lady's Women's Conference is sponsored by BP and Halliburton (on November 10, 2010). In light of recent news about these two companies, it's very disturbing that our First Lady and Governor are highlighting these controversial companies and taking their money on behalf of an event for women. I guess you'll be there since you are a Republican Texas Gal who loves her Republicans??  

      • Oh, please….
        Let's see every Democrat divest of their holdings in BP and Halliburton. Wonder if the Johnson daughters have. Or the Brown daughters have.  One of whom is real big in donating to Democratic women. And to Emily's List.  

        Let's have full disclosure from everyone. Let's start with Maconda Brown O'Connor whose personal fortune was based on all that Halliburton money. And may still be.  Let's have all the women who took Halliburton money from her return it all. Every dime.

        And then let's move on to Bill White. And Isaam Fares. Which Rick Perry no doubt will.

        The problem with your focus on BP and Halliburton is you perceive it working against Democrats. If you saw it working for Democrats, well, you'd be singing the praises of both.  Some did at one time. When LBJ was in the White House. Making Halliburton rich off of Vietnam. And making the Johnson and Brown daughters very, very rich.  

    • Just so you know
      Feel free to continue making all the comments you want, I'm excited for the traffic your views will bring to the site.

      But you have a long, long, long way to go before you supplant hamiltonfan, sdhook, and others as far as “foolish Republican trolling.” You need to make a lot, lot, lot more comments, and they have to get meaner. Name-calling, cussing me out, etc.

      Just letting you know the bar is high, so get going!

      • ???
        You're advocating for the other side's viewpoints to consist of namecalling and cussing? I'm afraid I won't oblige that. I'll be much more annoying – I'll actaully criticize you for your viewpoints.

        I'll be waiting for the rest of the tax returns, let me know when you feel like discussing why White won't release them.  

        • Why should he?
          Rick Perry's campaign team asked for Bill White's tax returns during his six year's as Mayor. He did that. Now they're moving the goal posts.

          I look forward to you explaining why Rick Perry gets to decide he shouldn't debate Bill White.

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