State Representative Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) asked Governor Perry to pay back the state over $2.6 million in tax payer funded security expenses accrued during his ill-fated run for the Republican presidential nomination. She has also requested he repay the $92,376 pension he earned last year for the simple reason that he is not (sadly) yet retired.
Here is the full text of her letter:
Dear Governor Perry:
I want to be the first person to welcome you back to Texas. We have a lot of work to do for our great state, and I know you are ready to get started.
I have a few ideas as to where we should begin our work, but first I want to make a confession to you, and it's a big one. Okay, here it goes: I… am a fiscal conservative. Yes, I admit it.
As a fiscal conservative, I believe government is supposed to be a wise steward of tax dollars. I believe that if the government must spend money, it should be for essential public services, like education, infrastructure, health services for the young and elderly, and disaster relief. I believe that unnecessary government spending is not just morally wrong, it is criminal. Tax dollars do not belong to the government or elected officials; tax dollars belong to taxpayers.
One way to protect taxpayers' money is by not spending it unnecessarily. But, if someone discovers tax dollars have been spent unnecessarily, it should be reimbursed either to general revenue or directly to taxpayers. With this in mind, I suggest you reimburse Texas taxpayers for the money you spent on travel expenses leading up to your withdraw from the GOP primary race. As of mid-January, you spent approximately $2.6 million of taxpayer money.
Additionally, because I know you take pride in being a fellow fiscal conservative, please also return the $92,376 in “retirement” pension you received last year, despite the fact that you have not retired.
Please submit to the Texas Comptroller's Office a check in the amount of $2,692,376, plus any other expenses related to your out-of-state campaign activity that you charged to Texas taxpayers.
Given that $2,692,376 million amounts to about ten cents for each Texan, direct reimbursement from the Comptroller to taxpayers does not seem like a wise expenditure of taxpayers' money – stamps are expensive these days. Instead, we could put that money back into classrooms, health services, or disaster relief services. I am open to your suggestions.
As a fellow fiscal conservative, I look forward to working with you during your final term as Texas governor to identify ways to eliminate unnecessary government spending. We have a lot of work to do, so let's get started before you leave.
State Representative, District 148
Progress Texas has a petition up here to tell Perry to pay back Texas the taxpayer dollars he wasted “on on airfare, baggage fees, food and even parking during his failed 160 day Presidential campaign.”