A boring story

The truth is often boring. Rumors and innuendo are much more interesting. So, I feel compelled to note the boring demise of a potentially fun story.

Earlier this year, a blogger broke the story that Rick Perry’s campaign had spent $78.26 for a business meeting at “La Te Da” in Key West, Florida. What makes the story potentially so much fun is that “La Te Da” was labeled as a “well-known destination for gay travelers with a popular cabaret that features drag show acts.”  Now, you have to admit that it is pretty funny to picture Perry’s campaign staff sitting down to discuss the advancement of social conservatism while a man dressed as Cher performs on stage.

However, the Austin American Statesman debunked the story by revealing that “Cabaret La Te Da” is part of a hotel complex (The Hotel at La Te Da) with a variety of venues and that Anita Perry was lunching in the much more typical restaurant frequented by tourists and local families.

So, the truth here is no damn fun. The real story is not the kind of story that gets repeated over and over on blogs and talk radio until the misperception is so deeply embedded that the truth is drowned out. Maybe some people will learn a lesson about relying on angry, opinion-driven media.

Probably not.

We now return you to your regular programing.


2 Responses

  1. So its legal for the campaign to pay for the the wife to eat lunch and to call it a ‘business lunch”. The IRS and Election Commission go for this?

    • Texas campaign law permits campaigns to pay “ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with activities as a candidate.” The law specifically allows paying travel expenses of a candidate’s spouse. I’m not a campaign finance lawyer, but such expenditures seem credible (and common). Anita Perry was probably dining with someone who could help the campaign one way or another. Businesses have been been taking liberties the definition of “business” meals for years. I’m sure campaigns enjoy the same flexibility.
      Running for office meals schmoozing lots of people and other incidental expenses. Maybe Perry could pay this out of their own pockets. Asking a working class candidate to cover these costs themselves would make running for office prohibitively expensive.

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