Private interests fund inaugurations in Florida, Michigan, Texas
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.washingtonindependent.com/MahurinElephant_Thumb.jpgTexas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst aren’t the only state leaders in the U.S. to have private donors and corporate interests pick up the tab for their inauguration ceremony.
The Dallas Morning News‘ Wayne Slater reports that “Oil executives, beer distributors, lobbyists and big-dollar campaign donors — many with interests before the state — are providing the nearly $2 million for the swearing-in. In exchange, they are offered various levels of access” to Perry and Dewhurst.
Similarly, moneyed interests and groups are footing the bills for gubernatorial pomp in Florida and Michigan, as has been reported in the Texas Independent’s sister publications the Florida Independent and Michigan Messenger.
While Perry and Dewhurst are longtime incumbents, voters in Florida and Michigan elected new leaders Gov. Rick Scott and Gov. Rick Snyder, respectively.
In addition to Perry, Dewhurst, Scott and Snyder all being Republicans (and three of the four being named ‘Rick’), another common denominator is AT&T, which gave $100,000 for the Texas inauguration and $25,000 in Florida. AT&T also donated an undisclosed amount in Michigan, where Snyder’s office released a list of donors but not donation amounts.
Tobacco company Altria donated $25,000 apiece for the ceremonies in Texas and Florida. Donations for the Florida inauguration totaled more than $2.8 million, according to the most recent contribution report.
As Slater notes in the Morning News, new California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, attended an inaugural party sponsored by a public employees union.