Many questions have been raised about Governor Rick Perry due to his recent, secret trip to Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem is one the world’s oldest cities and it is said by many that Governor Rick Perry is one of its new defenders. Some serious questions have come up as to Governor Rick Perry’s trip and the actual reason for it.
Governor Rick Perry was presented with the “Defender of Jerusalem” award given by Guma Aguiar. Guma Aguiar is a very wealthy Jewish business owner was recently arrested in Florida for drug charges. Mr. Aguiar, owns a company that made billions of dollars in the Texas natural gas industry.
To receive this award, Governor Rick Perry and his wife flew first class to Israel with the tickets exceeding 5,000 each. Also included in the luxurious trip were his Department of Public Safety Officers. Before Governor Rick Perry’s trip, he has asked everyone in state government to cut back on their travel expenses as well as asking all state agencies to “curtail their taxpayer funded travel”.
According to documents from the state, the taxpayer’s bill exceeded $70,000.00 just to have the DPS officers on the trip with him. Currently, Governor Rick Perry has refused all formal interviews and believes that going to Israel is a wise investment for the state of Texas.
Records show that the airfare cost for Governor Rick Perry and his wife were paid for by Irwin Katsof; a financier for energy companies around the globe. Also, Mr. Aguiar, recently arrested in Florida on drug charges, presented Governor Rick Perry with the “Defender of Jerusalem” award. With political leaders like Governor Rick Perry, there is too much of a potential for a conflict of interest due to private sponsers like Aguiar and Katsof hosting the trips.
The governor met with the President of Israel, the Prime Minister as well as Israeli troops. But we must not forget the fact that still remains that Governor Rick Perry himself had asked the state government and state employess to “curtail all travel expenditure.”
This trip in general raises question and major concerns the potential for a secret junket. For example, you pay for a vacation and in return you may get contracts or government deals that can bring in millions of dollars for each party. This type of trip can be a lucrative way to do business. In May, a Texas appellate court ruled that all DPS expense reports for Perry were to be presented out in the public eye but in response to this ruling, legislature passed a bill which permitted DPS to hide all expense reports of Governor Rick Perry’s detailed trip from the public eye. Without transparency and such overt act by the public officials, the only relational conclusion is that our public officials are using their post to pad their own and their friend’s pockets.