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RICK PERRY US NEWS GOPDEBATE 12 ABA.JPGIt's hardly unusual for a politician at a private fundraiser to give the media the slip, but Rick Perry, it would seem, has it down to a form of art.

As the Texas governor finished mingling with donors inside The Park Ultra Lounge in Sacramento today, his aides waited out back and told reporters he was coming. As the luncheon ended, they pulled a GMC Yukon SUV in front of the back entrance and opened the vehicle's back door.

And then they split.

By the time a handful of Occupy Sacramento protesters made it around front, his aides said Perry was gone.

Perry, once a front-runner among the Republican presidential hopefuls, has fallen badly in the polls. He's now preferred by only 3 percent of California Republicans, for instance, according to the most recent Field Poll.

The Sacramento luncheon's hosts included Republican Sen. Tom Berryhill of Oakdale and Assemblymen Dan Logue of Linda and Jim Nielsen of Gerber.

Lunch was listed at $500 per couple, and a photograph with Perry cost $1,000, according to an invitation.

An Occupy protester outside said to a couple on their way in, "You can have your picture taken with me for a dime."

PHOTO CREDIT: Texas Gov. Rick Perry is seen before the start of the Republican presidential debate at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, November 22, 2011. (Olivier Douliery/ Abaca Press/ MCT)



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