Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, and Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, stepped up their calls for greater oversight of the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund one day after a Perry aide who oversees the entities struggled to provide hard evidence that the funds were generating jobs as intended and providing an ample return on the state's multimillion-dollar investment.
Welcome to Rick Perry's Texas.
Apparently the Governor has headed to California in order to lure businesses there to move to Texas. I imagine Rick Perry will fail to mention this is a low-wage right to work state that has severely slashed social programs for the elderly and poor. Whatever one does, one should definitely not bring Granny to Texas if she depends upon medicaid. Come to think of it, one had better leave the kids with Granny b/c the schools in Rick Perry's Texas rank second to last nationwide. Worse, the Texas Taliban is working around the clock to replace science curricula with religion.
If a guy's company is moving him here he should know that his wife would be better off in California given Rick Perry and the Texas Taliban's war on woman's rights.
Perry, meanwhile, turned his attention to California, announcing he was jetting off Sunday for three days to try to lure businesses to the Lone Star State.
"If Gov. Perry really cared about investing in Texas and creating high-wage jobs here, he'd fight to restore public education funding," said Davis, a member of the Senate Committee on Economic Development. "Instead, our governor is taking a junket to California - really, I think, for political drama rather than for any economic impact."
Indeed, the Governor is more about political drama, sound bytes and grandstanding than he is with substance or schools.
Davis said she plans to ask the state auditor to investigate the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund, both of which are operated out of the governor's office. She also is calling for the two programs to undergo sunset review, which is a thorough probe by lawmakers that other state agencies must undergo regularly.
Deuell, who chairs the Senate Committee on Economic Development, said the two funds must be vetted by the state auditor, the comptroller or a sunset committee.
"The governor gets accused of capitol cronyism and I think that's overstated," he said. "But, nonetheless, we need to make sure the system's done fairly and that the awards are based upon merit.
Earth to Senator Deuell, the Governor is accused of crony capitalism because he is a crony capitalist. His record proves it.
That and the Governor's spokesman could not provide answers to the Senator's questions about the number of jobs created.
While the enterprise fund is forecast to create 66,000 jobs, when Davis pressed Demerson on how many new jobs actually exist because of the program, he could not answer. Davis also questioned whether $2 million in returns on $184 million in taxpayer funds in the Emerging Technology Fund was sufficient.
At several points in the hearing when asked probing questions, Demerson said he did not have the answers and promised to reply later in writing.
Demerson can't answer the questions because if he does, his goose might be cooked.
But he did confess to a couple of sins.
Under questioning from Deuell, Demerson acknowledged that as many as 12 companies funded by the Emerging Technology Fund were under review or subject to litigation. He said many of the companies receiving enterprise fund money have not created the number of jobs originally promised and as a result his office has revised those contracts to set lower targets.
"Our goal is to really work with the companies. We want a win-win situation, but there are state dollars and an obligation there," he said. "We're not drawing a line in the sand and saying one or the other, we want to work through that and if there is a win situation that protects the taxpayer dollars, we're going to do it that way."
Dude, when you are messing with state dollars and the people's money, you do draw that line in the sand.
Welcome to Rick Perry's crony capitalist Texas. Even Sarah Palin would agree.
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