Texas-sized campaign finance humor

The campaign manager for Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is running against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the GOP primary, fired off a sarcastic letter today to the Texas Ethics Commission asking the standards for defining an in-kind contribution.

On a blog post, the Perry campaign says it is “working with the Texas Ethics Commission to determine the appropriate reporting” of a what it calls “a video highlighting the Senator’s disastrous announcement tour last week” that it posted on its website.

The letter reads as follows:

August 26, 2009

Mr. David A. Reisman
Executive Director
Texas Ethics Commission
201 East 14th Street, 10th Floor
Austin, TX 78701

Dear Mr. Reisman:

Recently, the Kay Bailey Hutchison campaign distributed a video throughout the internet. This video amounts to a highlight reel of her disastrous announcement tour. We feel that it is beneficial to our campaign and have posted it on a website paid for by Texans for Rick Perry (www.washingtonkay.com). Because we have posted this video, paid for by Texans for Kay Bailey Hutchison, I write you for clarification of the reporting rules for in-kind contributions to our campaign and to determine if this video qualifies as an in-kind contribution that should be reported as such. I am not certain of a dollar amount for the video but would be willing to report it as “priceless.”

I write this letter in an abundance of caution as we have been unable to find a precedent for such political activity and how to list it on our ethics report.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this issue.



Rob Johnson
Campaign Manager

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.