Perry Campaign Security Cost Texas Taxpayers $800K

Home state paid for food and lodging for bodyguards
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2012 2:48 PM CST
Perry Campaign Security Cost Texas Taxpayers $800K
Presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich, Thursday,Jan. 19, 2012, during a news conference in North Charleston, SC.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Gov. Rick Perry's ill-fated presidential run cost the taxpayers of Texas nearly $800,000, spent on travel fees for the security detail that followed Perry around on his campaign from September through November, a state report reveals. Perry took 48 trips across state lines, mostly to primary battlegrounds Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. One trip in September from South Carolina to Iowa and back racked up $45,122 in charges, including $10,834 for hotels and $7,526 for food, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

Democratic Texas State Rep. Jessica Farrar has called on Perry to repay Texas for his security costs. "Unnecessary government spending is not just morally wrong, it is criminal," Farrar wrote in a letter to the governor. Perry's office declined, noting in a statement, "Gov. Perry is governor no matter where he goes, and the Department of Public Safety has a policy of providing security for governors and their families everywhere they travel, as they have back several administrations." The steep bill probably won't help Perry's plummeting approval rating in his home state. (More Rick Perry stories.)

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