The other mansion
Wed April 21, 2010 6:52 pm

Bill White is criticizing Rick Perry for allowing the taxpayers to pick up the tab for the home where is family is living while the Governor's Mansion is under repair. Here's what White had to say on the subject:

Dear -----

Did you know that Rick Perry is charging taxpayers $9,000 a month for an extravagant rental mansion?

By the end of his term, he will have drained over $360,000 from us for the rental mansion he's living in while the historic Governor's Mansion undergoes renovations.

When Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, was faced with a similar situation, he lived in a donated triple-wide mobile home on the grounds of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion to save taxpayers money.

Taxpayers should not be paying for a $1.85 million mansion with a heated pool, a cabana, and a full outdoor kitchen. Rick Perry should be setting an example.

Please help move Rick Perry out of his rental mansion by making a contribution of $5 or more to the Rick Perry Relocation Fund, also known as Bill White for Texas.

The state faces a staggering budget shortfall, with serious consequences for students, teachers, and Texas families.

Everyone is tightening their belts. Why won't Rick Perry?

Please make a contribution of $5 or more to boot Rick Perry out of his rental mansion and help elect a leader who cares more about our state's future than himself.

* * * *

Two questions come to mind:
(1) Is White's criticism fair?
(2) Will it win votes?

My answer to the first question is "no." If the Governor's Mansion is uninhabitable, where is the governor and his family supposed to live? A cottage? A duplex? Renting a nice house is completely appropriate. Never mind that Huckabee lived in a donated triple-wide. That's Arkansas. This is Texas. "Staggering budget shortfall" or not, the governor of Texas should occupy a dwelling where he can host visitors and special events and affairs of state.

My answer to the second question is "probably not." I just can't see this becoming an issue with the average voter. Democrats have a certain view of Perry -- that he likes being a bigshot and being around bigshots, and there is some truth to it. But Perry doesn't go around putting on airs, and I just can't see this getting to be an issue unless White can make it out to be part of a larger pattern.

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