For almost four years, Perry has resided in a lavish rental home tucked into the hills overlooking the capital city of Austin, a house that has been publicly financed to the tune of over $700,000 thus far. At a time when the language of belt-tightening drives grass-roots GOP politics like little else, Perry would likely face scrutiny over whether his personal lifestyle choices befit a candidate who has made vast spending cuts a cornerstone of his platform.
As Texas faced a projected budget shortfall last year, the Associated Press reported that state taxpayers had been billed for almost $600,000 to pay rent, utilities and upkeep on the five-bedroom mansion outside the state capital, which Perry had moved into in the fall of 2007 while renovations were being done on the governor’s mansion.
That expense is over four years, and the state would be paying Perry’s expenses anyway, since he is, you know, the governor. Additionally, the Democrats tried desperately to make this house issue stick to Perry last year. They even bought a mobile home, had their candidate declare he would live in one if Texas elected him governor, and parked the double wide downtown across from the governor’s mansion. It was also actually on the premises of the state AFL-CIO headquarters, so in their stupidity, the Democrats ended up amplifying just how in bed they are with Big Labor. That’s not a good move in right-to-work Texas. And it didn’t help them at all: Perry trounced the Democrat, and that party suffered an epic defeat statewide.
What the media is unlikely to talk about is when the governor’s mansion actually burned. It burned the weekend of June 8, 2008. Guess who was in town that weekend? The Texas Democrats had their state party convention in Austin that weekend, not far from the mansion itself. It didn’t take long to suspect arson in the mansion fire, and the only persons of interest ever named in connection with the fire are lefty anarchist types. You know, the kind who cause trouble and destroy property at WTO gatherings. No one has been charged with the arson, but it’s not hard at all to see the outlines of what probably happened. The Democrats spent their convention hating on Perry, and some fringier leftists took the hate as a cue to take direction action on their own. It’s a bonus that these lefties hate on Texas just as much as they hate on the governor.
So go ahead, media, bring up the mansion story. Just make sure you bring up all of it.