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DEBATE NIGHT FACT CHECK – Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison

RICK PERRY FACT CHECK: Six Perry Myths You Heard In Last Night’s Debate

Austin, TX – In last night’s debate, Rick Perry repeatedly ignored the facts and tried to mislead Texas voters on job creation, toll road conversion, the Texas Enterprise Fund, highway funding, and providing in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. Perry’s claims have been called “not wholly correct,” “wrong on the facts,” and “just plain false.” Check out the facts below:

FACT CHECK #1: Rick Perry’s Claim About Amended Enterprise Fund Contracts Is “False”:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Perry’s Claim That His Office Amended Enterprise Fund Contracts Just Last Week Was “False,” The “Governor’s Office Had Been Amending Contracts Over A Period Of At Least Two Years.” “Claim: During an exchange over faltering contracts with the Texas Enterprise Fund, Perry said, ‘Just last week, we amended those contracts.’ Background: In 2003, the legislature created the Texas Enterprise Fund, a pot of money under Perry’s discretion to attract new industry and job to the state. True or false? False. The Governor’s Office announced on Tuesday that Enterprise Fund contracts with 11 companies were amended. The release did not specify when the projects were amended. A report from Texans for Public Justice released the next day said that the governor’s office had been amending contracts over a period of at least two years as multiple companies were not able to meet the job targets they originally promised.”
(Aman Batheja, “Debate Fact Check: Texas Enterprise Fund,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s “PoliTex” Blog,, 1/29/10)

FACT CHECK #2: Rick Perry’s Claim About The Texas Enterprise Fund’s Job Creation Is False:

The Dallas Morning News: Rick Perry Claimed That The TEF Created 54,600 Jobs, But “More Than One-Third Of That Total Was Job Pledges That Hadn’t Materialized.” “THE CLAIM: Gov. Rick Perry said in Friday night’s GOP governor debate that the Texas Enterprise Fund had brought 54,600 jobs to Texas. THE FACTS: A report released Wednesday by Texans for Public Justice, a research and advocacy group, said that when Perry asserted in February 2009 that the program had created 54,000 jobs since it began in 2003, more than one-third of that total was job pledges that hadn’t materialized. A Perry aide said the 54,600 figure is ‘jobs committed to date.’ When asked for more detail, the aide replied: ‘Some have been realized, others are still contractually obligated to be committed.’ The aide didn’t respond to a question about how many are in each category. THE BOTTOM LINE: Perry may be counting jobs that don’t exist yet.”
(Ryan J. Rusak, “Heat Index: A Fact Check Of Perry’s Claim On Texas Enterprise Fund,” The Dallas Morning News’ “Trail Blazers” Blog,, 1/30/10)

FACT CHECK #3: Rick Perry’s Claim About His Law Providing In-State Tuition To Illegal Immigrants “Is Just Plain False”:

Lone Star Report’s William Lutz: “Perry’s Claim That The Texas Education Agency Follows Up On Whether Illegal Immigrant Recipients Of In-State Tuition Actually File For Permanent Residency Is Just Plain False.” “Second, Gov. Rick Perry’s claim that the Texas Education Agency follows up on whether illegal immigrant recipients of in-state tuition actually file for permanent residency is just plain false. The Texas Education Agency has no authority over higher education or determination of residency status for tuition purposes.”
(William Lutz, “Setting The Record Straight On In-State Tuition For Illegals,” Lone Star Report,, 1/29/10)

Austin American-Statesman: Perry “Mistakenly Said It Is Up To The Texas Education Agency To Verify That Those Students Are Working Toward Citizenship. Each University Is Supposed To Follow Up On That.” “He stood by his signature on a law allowing in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants who are on the path to citizenship, although he mistakenly said it is up to the Texas Education Agency to verify that those students are working toward citizenship. Each university is supposed to follow up on that.”
(Jason Embry and Corrie MacLaggan, “Perry Stands Ground On His Record,” Austin American-Statesman, 1/29/10)

FACT CHECK #4: Rick Perry’s Claim That Texas Is Only Receiving 70 Cents Back In Federal Gas Tax Dollars Is False:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Perry’s Claim On Gas Tax Revenue Returns Is False, While Hutchison’s Is “True.” “Claim: Perry and Hutchison sparred for the second time on live television over how much gas tax money Texas gets back from the federal government. Way back in early January, Perry said in a debate on a stage in Denton that Texas gets 70 cents back for every dollar sent to Washington. … This time around, Perry repeated his complaint that Texas isn’t getting it’s fair share of the gas tax money. Hutchison then said Texas actually got 100 percent of its gas tax money back in 2008 …True or false? True…technically. … After tonight’s debate, Hutchison’s camp pointed us to this page on the Federal Highway Administration’s web site. It shows Texas actually got 107 percent back in gas tax money in the 2008 fiscal year compared to how much the state contributed to the fund.”
(Aman Batheja, “Debate Fact Check: Gas Taxes (Yes, Again!),” Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s “PoliTex” Blog,, 1/29/10)

FACT CHECK #5: Rick Perry’s Claim That “The Legislature Prohibited The Tolling Of Existing Free Lanes” Is False:

Texas Monthly: Perry Said The Legislature Prohibited The Tolling Of Existing Free Lanes In 2005, But That “Is Not Wholly Correct. TxDOT Can Toll Existing Highways.” “Perry said that the Legislature prohibited the tolling of existing free lanes in 2005. This is not wholly correct. TxDOT can toll existing highways, including interestate highways, if the counties in which TxDOT wants to convert free lanes to toll lanes vote to allow it. I know this because Deirdre Delisi is angry with me for not clarifying this in a post I wrote several weeks ago. I trust that she will forgive me now since Perry overlooked it too.”
(Paul Burka, “If Someone Were Paying Me $30,000 A Month…,” Texas Monthly’s “Burka Blog,”, 1/30/10)

The Dallas Morning News: “Perry Is Wrong On The Facts.” “THE CLAIM: Gov. Rick Perry said in Friday night’s GOP governor debate that “’n 2005, the Texas Legislature clearly prohibited taking free lanes … and converting them to toll. … And I signed it.’ THE FACTS: There is no such prohibition in state law. … BOTTOM LINE: Perry is wrong on the facts but correct to suggest that no free lane is going to be turned into a toll-lane any time soon.”
(Ryan J. Rusak, “Heat Index: A Fact Check Of Perry’s Claim On Free Roads Becoming Toll Roads,” The Dallas Morning News’ “Trail Blazers” Blog,, 1/30/10)

FACT CHECK #6: It’s “True” That Rick Perry Is “Spending Taxpayer Money Like A Liberal”:

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Rick Perry Is “Spending Taxpayer Money Like A Liberal” For Increasing His Office’s Expenditures By 13.5%, Which Is “True.” “Claim: Medina accused the governor of spending taxpayer money like a liberal. She pointed out that expenditures from the governor’s office’s spending have increased 13.5 percent, according to the latest comptroller’s report. True or false? True. A newsletter for Dec./Jan. from the Comptroller’s office shows that the expenditures from the state’s executive branch rose 13.5 percent from the start of the fiscal year compared to the previous year.”
(Aman Batheja, “Debate Fact Check: Medina On Perry’s Spending,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s “PoliTex” Blog,, 1/29/10)

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