When Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry got into hot water with election officials recently, it brought attention to one of autodom's most private families: the Friedkins, owners of Gulf States Toyota.
Perry's campaign amended a report to the Federal Election Commission after the New York Times revealed last month that Perry's campaign had underpaid for the use of private planes. The amended report listed several aviation firms that were owed money, including one owned by billionaire Dan Friedkin, whom Perry named chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in August. In addition to their airplane business, Friedkin and his father, Tom Friedkin, have exclusive rights to sell Toyotas in Texas and four other states. Gulf States Toyota is one of the biggest privately held corporations in the country.
In its report, the campaign said it owed almost $230,000 in new travel-related debts, with about $45,000 owed to Friedkin Aviation.