Corporations Foot Most of Inaugural Bill

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AUSTIN (AP) - Energy provider TXU and a Houston construction firm with a state contract to help build toll roads across Texas are among the companies paying most of the tab for Governor Rick Perry's inaugural celebration this week.

Corporations will underwrite $1.4 million of the $2 million dollar event on Tuesday.

Perry and Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst will be sworn in.

The inauguration kickoffs a daylong party featuring a parade, barbecue and a glittery black-tie ball.

Companies say the political contributions are part of doing business in the state. But critics argue that the donations help corporations and their executive get access and special treatment.

A spokeswoman for Perry says private donors help save tax dollars and make the inaugural more affordable.