Nice job of reporting by Texas Observers and published by the Alpine Daily Planet:
Lifestyles of the corrupt and elected
By David Mann & Abby Rapoport, Texas Observer
Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott used campaign funds to pay off cell phone bills, which averaged $600 a month. State Sen. Craig Estes, a Republican from Wichita Falls, rented a $3,000-a-month condo in a swank downtown Austin high-rise. Sen. Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, dropped almost $600 to decorate his office with stuffed animal heads. Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, took her husband to Hawaii. Her Senate colleagues John Whitmire, D-Houston, and Mario Gallegos Jr., D-Houston, traveled to the Aloha State too. Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, used campaign money to pay for a $1,200 stay at the oceanside El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa in Puerto Rico. (Shapiro’s office noted that she was attending the Council of State Governments conference, which was held at the resort.)
And Rick Perry does love to travel on some Big Gas Mafia money. Since 2005, he spent more than $442,000 on travel. A great deal of his travel is paid for by the Big Gas Mafia for visits to the Big Gas Mafia.
ON OCT. 5, 2009, Gov. Perry and three aides boarded a private jet in Austin and flew to Biloxi, Mississippi. The jet belonged to Toby Neugebauer, an oil and gas investor. (As required by law, Perry’s campaign would report the $6,250 plane flight from Neugebauer as an “in-kind” campaign contribution.) Neugebauer and his wife have long supported Perry, donating more than $110,000 to him, according to Texans for Public Justice. Neugebauer may have been supporting Perry because he liked his ideological bent. But he also has a financial interest in backing the governor.
Neugebauer is a managing partner at Quantum Energy Partners, a Houston private equity firm that has invested millions in energy production in Texas. The firm invested heavily in the controversial natural gas drilling in North Texas’ Barnett Shale formation. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality—the state’s regulatory agency, whose leaders Perry appoints—regulates drilling in the Barnett shale.