Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has spent decade-plus in public office — and the requisite public records and disclosures that come along with those years — have given the media and voters plenty to inspect about the contender for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination.
The latest intriguing tidbit: records of all the gifts Perry received while in office, including 22 pairs of cowboy boots, free medical tests for himself and his wife, nine hunting trips and many concert and sports tickets. The Texas Ethics Commission has records of 90 gifts Perry accepted.
Perry’s campaign also benefited from his gift givers’ deep pockets: gifters often became backers, with at least $6.4 million donated to Perry’s gubernatorial campaigns by gifters and their families, according to Texans for Public Justice.
At least 10 people who gave Perry gifts have been appointed to state positions while Perry has been in office.
Famed bootmaker Rocky Carroll has gifted Perry at least 10 pairs of boots — which start selling at $500 per pair to the public — since Perry became agriculture commissioner in 1991. In 2008, he gave Perry a pair styled with the logo of the Republican Governor’s Association, which Perry chaired until recently.
“I said ‘I’ve already started your boots with the presidential seal on them,’” Carroll told Politico of a conversation he recently had with Perry, and his prediction for the election’s outcome. “So he can wear them and break them in.”
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.