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Lone Star Project Report

Perry & Texas GOP leaders on state payroll for 114 years

Texas Republican leaders have set the standard for entrenched professional politicians

Statement by Matt Angle, Lone Star Project Director:

“Rick Perry and the Texas Republican leadership have become an entrenched political class. They have made Texas taxpayers their long-term benefactor.”

UPDATED: The number of years Jerry Patterson has been in office is 16, not 18. This brings the total to 114 years, which is still more than any other state.

Rants against “government employees” and “career politicians” have been a staple of Republican campaign rhetoric for years. Even though he is paid more by taxpayers than any other governor in the country, no one rails harder against government spending and government employees than Rick Perry.

However, despite attempts to portray themselves as anti-government outsiders, Rick Perry and Texas Republicans are setting the standard for entrenched, out-of-touch, government dependent, professional politicians.

Texas Republicans make up an entrenched political class of state payroll lifers

It might surprise some observers – and Tea Party activists – to know that not only has Rick Perry been on the Texas payroll for over 28 years, the other five top GOP state office-holders have been drawing a state paycheck for between 14 and 18 years and counting.

The six top Texas Republican state office-holders have been on the state payroll a combined 114 years – longer than the top state office-holders in any other state. In just the past five years, Texans have paid them more than $3.6 million - enough to pay at least fifteen Texas teachers over the same period of time.

Rick Perry is 63 years old and has spent more than half his adult life on the state payroll. He, along with the five entrenched Republican incumbents, make up an out-of-touch political class supported by Texas taxpayers. Here’s the breakdown:

State officeholder Years on Texas Payroll
Governor Rick Perry 28 years, 4 months
Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson 16 years, 4 months
Attorney General Greg Abbott 18 years, 4 months
Comptroller Susan Combs 18 years, 4 months
Ag Commissioner Todd Staples 18 years, 4 months
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst 14 years, 4 months
TOTAL 114 years