Perry's Presidential Campaign Costs Now Nearly Twice As Much as Bush's

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rick Perry's failed presidential campaign cost Texas taxpayers at least $3.6 million, according to the Associated Press. As Governor Perry continues to slowly disclose more and more information about the costs of his campaign - including nearly $2 million in overtime payments - we find that the real total of Perry's presidential campaign is inching closer and closer to our January estimates. Additionally, an analysis by MSNBC shows that Perry's failed presidential campaign was now almost twice as costly to Texas taxpayers as then-Governor George W. Bush's successful presidential campaign. (And yes, that may be the only time we ever use the words "George W. Bush" and "success" in the same sentence.)

First, a look at Perry's numbers. As the months go by, Texas taxpayers begin to learn more and more about the true cost of Perry's presidential travel costs. Not including the security-related overtime payments - we'll get to that in a minute - here's a look at how what Perry finally reports has slowly moved closer to what we estimated in January:

RICK PERRY’S SECURITY-RELATED TRAVEL COSTS GROW EACH MONTH, COMING CLOSER TO PROGRESS TEXAS' ORIGINAL ESTIMATES
Date What Perry Reported What Progress Texas Estimated
1/19/12

$397,714.37 (Source)

$2,666,666.67 (Source)
2/23/12

$500,000 (Source)

Same.
3/30/12 $1,800,000 (Source) Same.
Note: These figures do not include the $1.8 million in DPS overtime pay.

Rick Perry's numbers keep getting bigger, while ours stay the same. The Texas Tribune's Jay Root says the numbers may still go higher:

The amount is likely to grow as more bills come in and get processed.

Of course, originally we had no idea that DPS overtime pay was not included in the totals. Now, according to the Associated Press, we can see that DPS overtime pay has jumped from $1.1 million to $1.8 million. And none of these estimates or figures include the fact that it cost the state of Texas $32,466 to pay for the salary of the acting governor while Perry was out of state.

Add it all up, and Perry's presidential campaign has almost cost Texas taxpayers twice as much as it cost us when then-Governor George W. Bush ran for President in 2000. From MSNBC, "Perry's campaign cost Texas taxpayers twice as much per day as Bush's in 2000":

Perry's bill works out to an average of $22,500 a day for his out-of-state political activities during the 160 days he was in the presidential race.

Before the Secret Service took over Bush's security at the end of March 2000, the Texas Department of Public Safety spent $3.9 on Bush's out-of-state security, state records show.

When you run that through the Commerce Department's cost of living inflation adjustment formula, Bush's bill was about $5.25 million in today's money. But that was spread over 455 days from Jan. 1, 1999, to March 31, 2000 — an average of only $11,428 a day.

We pledge to continue doing our best to unpack Perry's budgeting tricks and determine the true cost of Perry's failed 160-day presidential campaign. Until then, join the more than 8,000 Texans across the state who have called on Governor Perry to payback Texas taxpayers. The Beaumont Enterprise sumarized the idea perfectly in today's editorial:

He pulled in $19.9 million and even got permission from the Federal Election Commission to use $675,000 in leftover funds to set up his own super-political action committee (as if American politics needs more super PACs).Perry should have used that leftover cash to repay some of his security costs.This is not about what Perry has to do. It's about what he could do to show some respect for the taxpayers who did so much for him, whether they wanted to or not.

We agree. Do you?

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