Group Claims Abbott Works Less Than the Queen
Abbott's vacation time amounts to two years total, says PAC
By Mary Tuma,
10:16AM, Fri. Aug. 29, 2014
On the upcoming Labor Day holiday, it’s always encouraging to be reminded of the hard work our elected public servants put in. Long hours, under-appreciation, and tons of criticism. However, as one political advocacy group points out – don’t look to our possible next GOP governor of Texas for inspiration.
Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial contender Greg Abbott has given himself more than two years vacation (not counting weekends or holidays) during his time in office, according to an analysis by the Lone Star Project, a self-described “non-ideological” PAC. The group, which conducts research and fact-checking to "fight back against Texas Republicans," examined Abbott’s work calendar over the course of 11 years, from the day he took office, January 2003, through November 2013.
LSP found that while most Texas employees have put in more than 2,700 work days, Abbott worked 1,934 days and took 770 days off – translating to at least one out of four work days. During this time, the AG received a 50 percent pay increase.
Lone Star Project compared Abbott’s workload with the average hard-working Texan: a Texas Department of Transportation employee would get 187 days off in an 11-year period; a starting employee at the Texas Attorney General's Office would get 132 days off in that time; and a Texas teacher worked at least 46 more days over an 11-year period than Abbott.
To drive the point home, Lone Star Project juxtaposes the state leader’s productivity with that of Queen Elizabeth, who only took 539 days off work; 231 fewer than Abbott. “We don't have royalty in Texas,” they write. “Abbott owes his employers – the people of Texas – an explanation for why he takes more time off than the Queen of England.”
Abbott isn’t the only top GOP official with a controversial vacation history – the recently indicted Gov. Rick Perry came under fire in 2011 for subsidizing personal trips with taxpayer dollars. During a time when Perry’s Legislature massively cut the budget, taxpayers were billed more than $294,000 in security detail expenses for the Perry clan’s out-of-state trips (which include state business, political trips, and vacation). To date, taxpayers have spent $2.9 million for Perry’s security since 2010.