in Houston, Texas
Young gun makes big bucks in the Rick Perry re-election campaign; more than a quarter-mil already to 28-year-old staffer
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009, 01:57PM CST
By Steve Miller
Moving to a new house? Like a sweet stipend to ease the financial blow?

Too bad, unless you are working for Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign.

Records show that his finance director, Krystle Kirchmeyer Alvarado, who was formally named to her position in July, received a payment of $88,698.95 in January, not long after she and her husband, Christian, bought a place in San Antonio for $334,860.

Alvarado, a 28-year-old University of Texas grad, made a tidy $114,856 through June 30. Her peer at the Kay Bailey Hutchison gubernatorial campaign, Caroline Snell, made $29,197 in the same period.

Through June, Hutchison reported raising around $12 million to Perry's $9 million.

Read of her news on a MySpace post, where Alvarado reported:
Christian and I are enjoying life and having fun together! Christian is in his 3rd (and final!) year at UT Law and I'm still working in politics and loving every minute of it! Christian accepted an offer with a law firm in San come this summer we are making a move! After 8 years in Austin I am sad to go but I'll still be working here 3 days a week. I'm looking forward to living in a new city and decorating our new house! If anyone has any advice about being a homeowner - I'd love to hear it!

Since the start of last year, Alvarado has banked $259,598.

Such payment, while a bit foreign to us regular folk in the private sector, is apparently more common in the high stakes world of politics, and especially in a gubernatorial race that promises to be among the most expensive next year.

"She's probably getting a commission on what she raises," said K.B. Forbes, a Las Vegas-based political consultant who ran communications on the presidential campaigns of Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan. "Fundraising is always the sweetest part of politics."

And as far as her counterpart's comparatively meager pay?

"[Alvarado] probably negotiated a better deal," Forbes said.

A Perry campaign spokesman noted that Alvarado has been involved on the finance side for some time; she was deputy finance director for Perry's 2002 and 2006 campaigns.

"Some of the money she receives is based on a percentage of money raised," Mark Miner, the spokesman, said.

Top that with the fact that state contributions are unlimited, and the sky is the limit in terms of money earned, although most campaigns will put in a cap on earnings.

"You never know what kind of agreements there are with fundraisers," said Morris Wilkes, of the Wilkes Co. political consultancy in Lubbock, Texas. "These are often a percentage of whatever over a certain amount."

The Hutchison campaign declined to comment.

Ray Uner
Saturday, 01/23/2010 - 08:22PM

krystle's earning are preposterously high, and reflect concepts I disagree with. It's highly improbable for a 28 year old to actually generate that kind of value...the cause for the high salary is that Perry is gifting her with high salary--perhaps she is gifting large percentages of it back into his campaign.

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