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.
Texas’s ethics laws allow lawmakers to accept items worth $50 or less from non-lobbyists without disclosure. Texas law requires gifts valued over $250 to be reported to the ethics committee, and Politico noted that all of the 90 items exceeded that amount, totaling at least $22,500.
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.”