Today is Inauguration Day in Texas, and like many things here and elsewhere it's being brought to you by the generosity of a variety of corporate sponsors.
Atop the list of contributors is ACS, a Dallas-based government services firm awarded a contract last year to become the state's primary Medicaid contractor; telecommunications giant AT&T; and Philip Morris, which has a former lobbyist now serving as Perry's chief of staff.
They were among nine "Gold Underwriters" that contributed $50,000 each to help pay for the inauguration, which includes a downtown parade.
Sixteen companies and individuals made $25,000 "Silver"-level contributions, including Houston-based Reliant Energy; TXU, a Dallas-based electrical provider; and the Houston-based law firms of Fulbright & Jaworski and Vinson & Elkins. Forty-one others gave $10,000 each.
I'll stipulate that people would also get crabby if the Inauguration were publicly funded - indeed, I might be one of those crabs if I thought the planners were a bit too free with the funding. Overall, though, I think that's a much lesser concern.
Companies say political contributions are part of doing business in the state, and that every inauguration, for both Democrats and Republicans, has had corporate sponsors.
"I've been around here since '85, and it's the way it's always been," said Bill Miller, a consultant whose firm lobbies for AT&T. "It's the way it'll always be."
Kathy Walt, a Perry spokeswoman, said corporate sponsors, by helping underwrite the costs, are making the inauguration more affordable.
"These companies and individuals are helping sponsor inaugural festivities so that the cost to attend can be lowered for Texans from all across the state," she said.
Audrey Rowe, spokeswoman for ACS, said the $50,000 contribution is among the firm's myriad political and philanthropic activities as corporate citizens.
"If there are a few concerns that this contribution is giving us access, that is an incorrect perception," she said.