More on the governor’s race today
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PERRY The Perry campaign issued a release attacking the veracity of Hutchison’s ad on securing the border. The Perry release follows: Latest False Hutchison Ad Perfect “Match” For Dishonest Senator Media Already Labeling Ad A “Distortion” That “Clouds Some Of Her Record” And “Deviates From Facts” Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison continues to disregard the truth in her latest television ad which media are already labeling a “distortion” that “clouds some of her record” and “deviates from facts.” In her latest ad, “Matches,” Sen. Hutchison continues to take credit for actions media have confirmed she did not do and dismisses efforts already underway in Texas. In the ad, Sen. Hutchison also says she is proud of her own broken record of failing to secure our border, which includes supporting sanctuary cities and opposing the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws. “The only thing Senator Hutchison has been consistent on has been the use of false and misleading ads to deflect from her lackluster campaign,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “Her latest ad is yet another attempt to hide the fact that after 17 years in Washington, Senator Hutchison has provided zero leadership on border issues.” Below are claims made by Sen. Hutchison in her latest ad: CLAIM: Sen. Hutchison: “I have quadrupled the number of border patrol agents.” FACTS: Both WFAA-TV in Dallas and the Austin American-Statesman have discredited this statement, which Sen. Hutchison also made in previous false ads. WFAA-TV said, “It’s a distortion for her to say she did it,” and the Austin American Statesman said, “Hutchison has advocated increasing border agents, but she didn’t personally quadruple anything. In many cases, the increases were pushed by President Bush and she was one of many who! support ed them.” (SOURCES: “Reality Check: Hutchison border security ad deviates from facts,” WFAA-TV, 1/25/10; “Hutchison says she quadrupled Border Patrol agents,” Austin American Statesman PolitiFact Texas, 1/12/10) CLAIM: Announcer: “Kay’s plan would require state agencies verify legal status before hiring …” FACTS: Current law requires the state of Texas, as well as all employers in Texas, to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment. This includes citizens and noncitizens. In 2007, Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation (HB 1196) to require business that apply for a grant or other financial benefit, such as a tax abatement, from a public agency (state agency or local taxing jurisdiction) or economic development corporation to submit a statement certifying that the business does not knowingly employ undocumented workers. WFAA-TV also said, “Illegal immigrants come mostly from private sector jobs, and Hutchison’s plan doesn’t crack down on them. The likely reason? Business groups have opposed such restrictions in the legislature.” [remainder of release omitted due to length] This exchange was followed by another one. Perry gave a speech in Abilene which the Perry campaign characterized as “highlighting the importance of strengthening our state’s education, maintaining a focus on job creation efforts, and upholding principles of fiscal responsibility as the keys to continuing Texas’ success.” The Hutchison campaign returned fire. First, Perry’s remarks, edited to reflect the most salient paragraphs. “Entrepreneurs know they can succeed in Texas on their own merits, without being taxed, regulated and frivolously sued out of existence,” said Gov. Perry. “They also know that our workforce is getting stronger by the day because we have improved the quality of public education by emphasizing accountability, teacher incentive pay and mastery of the basic subjects.” Gov. Perry also focused on fiscal responsibility by reiterating the need for Texas to amend its constitution with two key provisions: requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve tax increases and limiting spending growth to the combined growth rates of Texas’ population and inflation. Both amendments will ensure the continued fiscal discipline that allowed Texas to balance its budget in 2009 while setting aside billions for its Rainy Day fund and cutting taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses. “The story of hardworking innovators coming together to attract the best and brightest is played out again and again all across Texas as people take advantage of the job-friendly climate we’ve created and risk their capital in pursuit of a vision,” said Gov. Perry. “The fact is, even though no one is immune to the effects of the economic downturn, Texas is better off than just about every other state, thanks to years of disciplined conservative leadership at every level.” This was the Hutchison campaign’s rebuttal: “Rick Perry’s election-year rhetoric doesn’t match his record of increasing spending, raising taxes, expanding government and using billions in stimulus funds to balance the budget. If Texans in Abilene were expecting to hear Rick Perry’s vision for the next four years, they were disappointed. Kay Bailey Hutchison is the only candidate who has actually outlined a plan for meeting today’s challenges and building a stronger Texas.” – Joe Pounder, Hutchison spokesman FACT: Under Rick Perry, There Has Been A Massive Increase In Texas Government, Taxes, Fees, Spending And Debt: SIZE OF GOVERNMENT: Under Perry, “Jobs In Government Have Grown Every Year In Texas.” (Mitchell Schnurman, “Politicians Like To Slam Government, But It’s Been Texas’ Big Job Creator For The Past Year,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/20/10) Between 2000 And 2007, Texas State Government Grew Over 10 Percent, Adding Over 30,000 Government Jobs Under Rick Perry. (U.S. Census Bureau Website, www.census.gov, Accessed 7/29/09; U.S. Census Bureau Website, www.census.gov, Accessed 7/29/09) And In The Past Year, The Texas State Government Grew By 30,100 Workers. “In contrast, Texas’ state government added 30,100 jobs, and local governments added 57,700 …” (Mitchell Schnurman, “Politicians Like To Slam Government, But It’s Been Texas’ Big Job Creator For The Past Year,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 1/20/10) TAXES: According To Americans For Tax Reform, Taxes In Texas Increased Over $1.59 Billion Between Fiscal Years 2003 And 2009 Under Perry. (Americans for Tax Reform Website, www.fiscalaccountability.org, Accessed 8/12/09) The State Tax Burden Increased More Under Rick Perry Than Any Other Governor In Past 30 Years. According to Tax Foundation data, state tax burden increased more under Rick Perry than any other Governor since 1978. Between 2000 and 2008, taxes paid to Texas (per capita) rose $577.80. The second highest increase, $307.90, occurred under George W. Bush. (“Texas’ State and Local Tax Burden: 1977-2008,” Tax Foundation, www.taxfoundation.org, 8/7/08, Accessed 8/14/09) FEES: Under Rick Perry, Fees Have Gone Up 70%, From $4.2 Billion In FY 2000 To $7.2 Billion In FY 2009. In FY 2009, Texas collected $7,198,061,506 in licenses, fees, permits, fines and penalties. In FY 2000, Texas collected $4,244,900,046 in licenses, fees, permits, fines and penalties. (Texas Comptroller’s Website, www.window.state.tx.us, Accessed 12/15/09) DEBT: According To The Texas Bond Review Board, Total Outstanding Debt In Texas Has Increased 137% During Perry’s Tenure As Governor. In FY 2000, bonded debt in Texas was $13.2 billion. In FY 2008, bonded debt in Texas was $31.3 billion, an increase of 137.1%. (Texas Bond Review Board, “Debt Affordability Study,” www.brb.state.tx.us, 2/09, p.4) SPENDING: Under Perry, The State Budget Has Increased 86%. In the 2000-01 biennium, spending in the Texas state budget was $98.12 Billion. In the 2010-11 biennium, spending in the Texas state budget was $182.19 billion, an increase of 85.6 percent. (Texas State Legislature, www.lbb.state.tx.us, 5/23/99; Texas State Legislature, www.lbb.state.tx.us, 9/2/09) In FY 2009, The Governor’s Office Alone Spent $12,561,753.25, A 31% Increase From The $9,594,788.64 Spent In FY 2001. (Texas State Comptroller Website, “Where The Money Goes,” www.window.state.tx.us, Accessed 11/16/09) FACT: Rick Perry Used One-Time Stimulus Funds From Washington To Balance The Budget: Instead Of Cutting Spending, Rick Perry Balanced The Budget Through $12.1 Billion In Federal Stimulus Funds. “A multi-billion dollar budget hole had long ago threatened to make this an especially bitter session. But budget negotiations turned out to be fairly cordial once the state’s coffers received a $12.1 billion boost, courtesy of the federal stimulus package.” [source omitted] * * * * Whew! I’m beginning to wonder whether these daily reports on the governor’s race are a good idea after all. They are very long. I’m not sure that junkies care, much less ordinary people. Hutchison appears to be preparing an attack on Perry’s fiscal policies. Increases in state spending, fees, debt, and tax burden provide a lot of ammunition. To these she might add a challenge of Perry’s claim to have vetoed almost $3 billion in state spending. (Most of the cuts involved appropriations that were contingent upon the passage of bills, most of which failed to become law and thus were automatic vetoes.) No one is going to be shocked that both candidates have stretched the truth in this campaign. So much for today’s developments. See you tomorrow, same time, same place.