Teenagers for Rick Perry!

The school-aged children of Rick Perry donors and appointees donate thousands to his presidential campaign

Published October 26, 2011 6:55PM (EDT)

Rick Perry   (AP/Richard Shiro)
Rick Perry (AP/Richard Shiro)

The Huffington Post, obviously trying to smear American hero Rick Perry, tries to insinuate that there's something untoward about the fact that his campaign keeps recording huge donations from the live-at-home children of his rich donors.

There are still these federal laws limiting how much individuals can donate to political campaigns (which is why God and the Supreme Court invented 501(c)(4)s), and while minors aren't forbidden from sending their hard-earned allowances to candidates who promise to fill school libraries with R-rated movies, the minors themselves are supposed to be the ones donating:

Under current law, three conditions that must be met for a minor to donate to a political campaign: that the donation was made knowingly and voluntarily; that the funds donated must belong to the minor in question; and that the parents may not reimburse the child for the donation. A Perry spokesman declined to say whether there is an age that the campaign considers too young to knowingly and voluntarily donate.

Those rules are, of course, widely ignored by everyone, because they're effectively impossible to enforce, and so kids become just another way rich people can donate more than is legal to their favorite candidates.

Not that that's what's going on with these donations to Perry! I am sure the middle school-aged daughter of Texas Railroad Commission Commissioner Barry Smitherman genuinely supports Governor Perry (she probably calls him "Uncle Rick" and everything) and the $2,500 she sent his campaign is surely money she received from the Tooth Fairy and then prudently invested. Same for her high school junior brother. And for the children of Perry appointee Dan Friedkin and the children of oil executive and Perry appointee Steve Layton.

The thing these liberal smear artists simply don't get is that children love Rick Perry. He is basically the Texas Santa Claus. Except the kids send Rick Perry presents, instead of the other way around.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at apareene@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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