The Austin Chronicle

Prayer Rally Rick

By Michael King, August 12, 2011, News

We gotta hand it to Gov. Goodhair – not only has Rick Perry figured out how to get national press coverage without actually, you know, campaigning for president, he's also managed to stick it to actual candidates/rivals Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann without ever having to mention their names. But while he presided over all that nationally televised "prayer rally" sanctimony Satur­day at Houston's Reliant Stadium in the company of an announced 30,000 true believers, a much larger local gathering was going on at Houston's George R. Brown Con­ven­tion Center, where 100,000 Houstonians were celebrating Perry's "Texas economic miracle" by queuing up for "free backpacks, school supplies, uniforms, haircut vouchers, immunizations and fresh produce," the Houston Chronicle reported. (There would have been more attendees, but many of the folks who began lining up before dawn had to be turned away by 10am.) The giveaway was sponsored by local corporations and the Houston Food Bank, and several people told the newspaper that they would otherwise have to do without. Speaking of charitable works, the Houston Chronicle's Gary Scharrer reported in June that of the $2.68 million Perry earned from 2000 to 2009, he donated $14,243 to churches or religious charities – about 0.5%. (The national average is 1.2%.) The Governor's Office declined to comment on the governor's apparent combination of hypocrisy and parsimony, but our favorite line came from Perry spokesman Mark Miner: "He never talks about his faith." Except before a hand-recruited audience, on national television.

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