Politics & Government

August 30, 2014

Texas governor turns a mug shot into a moneymaker

State Rep. Lon Burnam gets roasted — and dumped on — for a Democratic cause.

Some people take really good photos.

But not everyone would take their mug shot and turn it into a political fundraiser.

But Gov. Rick Perry did.

The photo taken of him at the Austin Police Department, where he went in to be booked on felony charges, first went viral on social media, being displayed on websites worldwide.

Now it’s on a T-shirt.

Perry’s RickPAC, a political committee, is selling T-shirts with the governor’s mug shot on the front — and the mug shot of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg on the back.

Perry was indicted on charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, tied to funded for Lehmberg’s office.

He tweeted out an offer to supporters, suggesting they “check out our new T-shirt.” He noted that they are $25 and being sold online and only “for a limited time.”

Hot and cold

State Rep. Lon Burnam was warmed up — and then cooled down — during a roast in Austin last week to benefit the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which works to help elect Democrats in Texas.

Burnam, D-Fort Worth, may have lost his re-election bid earlier this year to fellow Fort Worth Democrat Ramon Romero, who will take office in January, but he didn’t lose his sense of humor.

“I was roasted thoroughly,” Burnam said. “Then I was cooled off because I did the ALS ice bucket challenge after that. Two people dumped big buckets on me.”

He said he couldn’t share many of the jokes told about him at the Scholz Garten in Austin, because they weren’t “family friendly,” but he did say there were some interesting comments about his driving and dancing skills.

Regarding driving: “My wife won’t ride with me,” he said. “I have a propensity to be easily distracted while driving … and that began before cellphones.”

On dancing: “Apparently my dancing is so notorious that the women literally run to the bathroom to avoid dancing with me.”

Burnam said the evening was a success, drawing about 100 attendees and raising about $20,000 for the committee.


State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, will receive TexProtects’ 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award later this year.

The group, which works to reduce and prevent child abuse, plans to present the award to Nelson on Oct. 14 during its 10th anniversary celebration at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

“Senator Nelson has been a leading child champion and advocate for children who has helped improve Child Protective Services and expand prevention programs,” said Madeline McClure, executive director and founder of TexProtects.

Actress Ashley Judd will be the keynote speaker at the event.

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