Texas Gov. Rick Perry used his office phone to reach out to top donors and state officials he had helped in the months leading to his announcement he would run for the Republican nomination for president, according to phone records and daily public schedules, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
Under Texas ethics rules, candidates for office are not allowed to use their state phones for campaign purposes. Perry’s campaign staff said all of the conversations were for official business. “Gov. Perry only conducts state business on his state-office phone,” Perry spokesman Allison Castle told AP. She also said that his top aides have access to his phone line.
Among the people called were Dallas businessman and University of North Texas Regent Brint Ryan, who supports a pro-Perry super PAC; former American International Group chief Hank Greenberg; and Lonnie Pilgrim, the poultry magnate who is a Perry campaign donor. Also called were Andy Card, President George W. Bush’s former chief of staff; and Frederick McClure, a former Texas A&M University regent who worked on Bush’s transition committee, according to AP.