Wonkette Chastises Perry for Charitable Giving, But …

I’m not sure I understand. Here’s the deal: Wonkette.com picked up an article in the Houston Chronicle about Rick Perry’s apparently lackluster charitable giving to churches and religious organizations. I get the angle – if you’re going to hold prayer breakfasts and really identify as a Christian, it would be good if your charitable giving year-to-year at least matched the national average for his tax bracket.

But the math. The math is what is making me scratch my head. Now, granted, I became a journalist because math and I are not BFFs. But here’s my issue – the figure they used for 2008  is, by their own admission, not counting a raise that the legislature awarded Perry and he decided to give to charity. Now, I admit I am not a huge fan of Rick Perry. But I don’t understand why you wouldn’t include a bump in his charitable giving, even if it wasn’t there the year before, and it was reduced in the next year.

The other head scratcher? Perry’s camp turned down an interview about his tithing. “He never talks about his faith,” Perry spokesman Mark Miner said.

Oh really?


  • Richard Noble


    Maybe that’s because $5000 of the total from that year went to the governor’s mansion restoration project and another $10,000 went to a charity that pays his wife $65,000 a year. There really isn’t any way around how pathetic this looks. Any way you want to shine up 2008 you still can’t get around the fact that he gave a whopping total of $90 to his church in 2007. By the way, that is a year in which he earned over $1 million in take home pay.

  • JonnyDallas

    “— the figure they used for 2008 is, by their own admission, not counting a raise that the legislature awarded Perry and he decided to give to charity.”

    Cause it was never his in the first place, it was yours and mine. Look, if you’re gonna take a raise we give you and give it away to a charity, then just don’t accept the raise and leave it there for…oh I don’t know…schools, highways, parks, job training, special needs folks, health care, pay raises for people who work for the state, filling state jobs that need filling, promoting tourism, border security, prison guards, reducing fees for things like license plates and drivers licenses, taking some burden off the citizens of Texas…I could keep going. How about keeping some pools open in Dallas for the folks that need them to ‘beat the heat’ (see what I did there?) and stay sane during the hottest months?

    Where did the money go? I don’t know, but I bet you my annual car registration fees it went to a group not eligible for state money, but that Perry wanted to support. So he finagled (sp?) himself a raise and then, very big of him, gave it to ‘charity’.

    Please please please let some scandal rock this guy. Oh please. Oh please. Oh please. If the evangelicals get behind him and he wins the nomination…oh dear God.

  • RAB

    Of course, Perry’s charitable giving dwarfs Joe Biden’s, which in the comparable years averaged $369. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-12-biden-financial_N.htm

  • Richard Noble

    RAB I’m a Democrat and I agree, Joe Biden is a tool. But then Joe Biden doesn’t go around calling for national prayer meetings for the governors and pretending he’s holier than thou. Believe it or not Joe Biden made much less Rick Perry did during those years. Perry is a gifted flim flam artist who could squeeze a dollar out of a donut. Joe Biden doesn’t advocate cutting social services and then recommend that churches and charities pick up the slack. Joe Biden is a schmuck, Governor Perry is a hypocrite and a snake oil salesman. I think that’s worse.

  • B. L. Powell

    Apparently giving to charity isn’t important until you decide to run for president: “The Obamas’ returns are striking on a number of levels. They show that the couple made very few charitable contributions, sometimes less than 1 percent of taxable income, until Mr. Obama began his run for the White House.” Maybe Perry will turn that around.

  • I find this hard to believe. Parsley is Perry’s bud. And Parsley is all about you giving your money to him and then God will give you all of it back and more, lots more.

    The way Perry is profiting these days one would almost have to believe he’s giving a ton to Parsley….


  • Richard Noble

    @ B.L. The contributions actually began to increase when he entered the senate and income from book sales began to rise. I don’t think anyone would be talking about Perry’s level of giving if he weren’t running on a platform of being holier than Mother Theresa. If you are going to campaign on being the next great saint you better give like one.

  • B. L. Powell

    @Richard: I may have missed Perry’s grand epistle, but I’ve not quite yet heard him roll out his holy water-fueled revival tour. Call it what you want, but this event in Houston is essentially a political rally with a little Jesus loving mixed in. Sure there will be a little evangelism. See Matthew 28:19-20. It’s what Christians (good ones) do.

    The central point to remember is this: Perry is a politician, not a clergyman. He’s not Mike Huckabee, who is a pastor who happened to be elected governor. I don’t believe it works the other way around, mostly because most thinking people see politicians for what they are.

    Pandering to the religious right is a smart move for Perry. And his detractors in the “Christian” community are mostly left-leaning folks who are upset that he’s co-opting a major constituency (their congregations, which they consider captive) who they’d much prefer vote for Obama.

    Perry holding this rally is unremarkable really. We’ll see what comes of it, if anything. I don’t know the man, but I suspect, like most career politicians, skeletons will emerge. It’s hard to be in politics and not get dragged into something shady.

  • B. L. Powell

    It’s helpful to understand who is behind the Houston religious community’s opposition to Perry’s rally.

  • Richard Noble

    @B.L. if you missed Perry’s self appointment as a collector of the wandering flock you haven’t been listening to him for the last decade.In the link you posted I do note a number of Unitarians listed. This is of course an anathema to any clear thinking Texan. Anyone who would attend such a religious gathering must be of dubious nature. I am curious about the Lutheran, Methodist and ( Gasp) Baptist clergy listed as signatories. Must be some backsliders. If as you say they are the evildoers behind the Satan inspired “Bring your gay teen to church” campaign I would have to admit they seem slightly seedy. The scandalous practice of inviting gay teens to church is quite shocking indeed. I’m sure all good Christians would find this gathering to be dubious in nature and a sure fire trek down the path to sin and debauchery.( except of course those who read the book of Matthew, I find 5:43-48 to be inspiring as well as the book of Mark 12:28-31)

  • kris

    Leftists worried about charity and/or hypocrisy is like Castro worried about the poor

    its all for looks but means nada

  • kris

    “worried” about bringing gay teens to a religious event for fear that its a setup to “convert” them

    but you dont care about young minds being taken to public schools to be corrupted by anti american leftwing politics

    you leftists are sicko

  • Richard Noble
  • kris

    Rich N

    you lose

    I win
    thank you

  • kris

    Lets see who really is the doppelganger

    The Left who keeps blacks on welfare and in housing projects and demands they remain victims

    or the Right that says hey work for what you want

    Now which one of those would YOU TEACH YOUR CHILDREN?



    its a statistical FACT that those who say they are conservative give more $$ to charity and have shelters to house the poor


    Leftists who shakedown companies and dont even give back to their own communities

  • Bethany Anderson

    Which side is better at teaching punctuation and grammar?

    Also, kris, I’m gonna have to ask you to provide sources for your statistical facts. Everyone else is posting sources, so c’mon…

  • kris

    OK BAnderson:


    attend church every week. Liberals are said to care more about helping the poor; so did people in San Francisco give more?

    It turns out that this idea that liberals give more…is a myth. Of the top 25 states where people give an above average percent of their income, 24 were red states in the last presidential election.

    Arthur Brooks, the author of “Who Really Cares,” says that “when you look at the data, it turns out the conservatives give about 30 percent more.” He adds, “And incidentally, conservative-headed families make slightly less money.”


  • kris

    As far as punctuation and speaking

    well, we all know what the Left thinks about all those “Dead white guys” and their proper speak

    The fact that there are more teachers who ID themselves as Left leaning and the poor scores and speaking ability that we witness IS NOTHING TO BE PROUD OF IF YOU ARE ON THE LEFT

  • Bethany Anderson

    Thank you very much, Kris.

    Also, I’m pretty sure pretty much everyone likes to understand what they’re reading on the first pass-through. We could put it to a vote, though, if you like.

  • kris

    It wouldnt matter to the dogmatics in the crowd

    ( hey ,could be the name of a rock band 🙂

  • Richard Noble

    @ Kris,

    Quoting a John Stossell program as proof of your thesis that liberals are a bunch of pikers is not exactly building your “house upon the rock” if you know what I mean. Quoting a John Stossell program about a book written by Aurthur Brooks is even more problematic. Aurthur Brooks is the man who once predicted hard core conservatism would take over the country by 2020 because conservatives are better baby makers http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008831 . If you actually read his book instead of watching a tv show about a book you will quickly see that his statistical analysis is incredibly flawed. I would like to apologize for using the word doppelganger since it seems to have thrown you. I’m proud to be an educator Kris but I do feel badly for my brethren who worked with you at school. If I were a lawyer I would offer to represent you as it seems there is a strong indication of educational malpractice that has taken place. Then again maybe its a case of services offered that just didn’t take. You know what they say about leading a horse to water?

  • kris

    Rich N

    Your batting 0 for everything

    John Stossell??

    your ad hominem attacks are typical for those that are defeated in the intellect department


    Oh, and I’ll take fries with that 🙂

  • Richard Noble


    I know this is difficult for you so (to paraphrase an old aggie joke) I will type slowly as I know you don’t read well. The link you posted is to a summary of a 20/20 program hosted by none other than John Stossell. Look at the byline, its the names at the top of the article in case the term byline confuses you. Do you read these things before you post them or are you just copying and pasting links with pretty pictures?

  • B. L. Powell

    Man… That this thread degraded into a bunch of crazy capital letters and snide retorts is disappointing. I swear I didn’t start it.

    Anyway, @Richard: Yes, loving your neighbor is indeed a Christian calling. And to that end, I believe we are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. Yes, I believe homosexuality is a sin. (If you’d like to debate that, I’m happy to do so in another forum. I have a unique perspective on the subject.) 

    As a journalist, I think it’s wrong that reporters have not done their homework on the Houston Clergy Council, a group with a legitimate “religious-sounding” name, but which is in fact a group of socially and politically left-leaning folks who use religion as a convenient cover for achieving a political end: to shut Perry up. Sure these “clergy” may be folks who are professionally affiliated with churches. But those churches have a stated political goal in mind. And, in my opinion, they uphold a perverse interpretation of Christianity in which moral and theological relativism are preferred over a complete understanding of the Bible. (Picking out the parts of Christianity you don’t like because they might offend someone leaves you with little more than parables and proverbs, and a story about some guy who died a horrible death. Christianity is so much more than that.)

    So, since the “Houston Clergy Council” issued a letter condemning Perry for overstepping his bounds as a politician, arguing that he should leave religious talk to religious leaders, I am compelled to likewise demand that they abandon their political campaigns and lobbying efforts on behalf of the gay community and leave political matters to politicians.

    Surely the double standard is obvious.