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DEBATE NIGHT FACT CHECK – Governor Rick Perry


Sen. Hutchison says Texas receives a 100 percent return on transportation funds (based on 2008 data)
FACT: Texas is LAST in rate of return for every dollar we send to Washington D.C. in gas taxes, and we have been since the interstate program began in the 1950′s.
SOURCE: TxDOT Hearing, January 27,2010
http://www.txdot.gov/about_us/commission/meetings.htm
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs05/htm/fe221.htm

Washington continuously shortchanges Texas taxpayers.
When Sen. Hutchison says Texas receives 92 cents from Washington in transportation funding, she is referring to formula funding. When discretionary funds are counted, Texas gets back 70 cents per dollar for highways.
Source: “The Unreliability of Federal Financing” February 2006, page 3 – ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/library/report.

The state receives only a 70 percent return for highway programs.
For each dollar Texans pay in federal motor fuels taxes, the state has returned to it only 70 cents for highway programs and 8 cents for transit programs.
(SOURCE: Texas House Research Organization report 81-5, 2/23/09, available at http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/focus/HighwayFund81-5….)

We have been successful in our fight to end diversions; last session we ended more than $300 million in diversions. Next session, we are going to end them all.
SOURCE: Senate Bill 1, 81st Legislative session http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?Le…, and Governor’s Budget 2010-2011 http://governor.state.tx.us/files/press-office/Governor…

In the past 10 years, Texas has built more roadway miles than any other state.
SOURCE: Federal Highway Administration “Policy Information” http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation

Sen. Hutchison says she has voted against sanctuary cities at every opportunity.
FACT: Sen. Hutchison has voted to allow sanctuary cities and opposed the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws.

In 2007, Sen. Tom Coburn proposed border security and anti-sanctuary city legislation that Sen. Hutchison voted against.

Here is how a press release from Sen. Coburn described this legislation the day it was considered by the Senate:

“The Coburn amendment No. 1311 to S. 1348, the Senate immigration bill, would require the enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws and congressional approval before amnesty can be granted. The Coburn amendment will restore confidence in the process by delaying legal status for illegal immigrants until Congress has certified that all of the security and enforcement triggers have been met. This also requires enforcement of existing border security and immigration laws before amnesty can be granted to illegal immigrants. These provisions of existing law include: control over maritime borders, full fencing required by law, integrated alien databases, US-VISIT program, biometric ID system, and ending ‘sanctuary city’ policies.”

SOURCES: Roll Call Vote #202, 6/7/07; “Senate Rejects Dr. Coburn’s Amendment To Secure Nation’s Borders,” Sen. Coburn press release, 6/7/097, http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=La…

Sen. Hutchison says Texas will have deficit because of stimulus funds
FACT: Gov. Perry refused federal funds with strings attached and urged state agencies to use dollars for one-time expenditures only. At the same time, he protected Texas’ $8 billion Rainy Day fund and cut taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses.

In 2003, Gov. Perry worked with the Legislature to balance the state budget without raising taxes, even in the face of a $10 billion deficit. By prioritizing and cutting spending, Texas will continue to prosper.

Sen. Hutchison claims she has a strong pro-life record.
FACT: Sen. Hutchison tonight admitted that she would not support the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, but continues to claim she has a strong pro-life record.

* She believes Roe v. Wade was correctly decided and should not be overturned. She said this in the first 2010 Texas Gubernatorial debate and voted to affirm the decision in 2003.
* She did not vote for the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 1993.
* She has accepted campaign contributions from and served on the board of the Wish List, a group that supports pro-choice Republicans.
* She said in 1993 that she was “very comfortable” that Roe v. Wade was “working very well” and that she supported a woman having the right to have an abortion at 22 weeks.

In 2003, Sen. Hutchison voted to affirm that Roe v. Wade had been correctly decided by the Supreme Court, and she did not vote for the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003
SOURCES: Roll Call vote #48, 3/12/03, http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r… Roll Call vote #402, 10/21/03, http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/r…

Clarifying Texas Job Numbers
Texas gained nearly 50,000 jobs over the last three months, while the nation lost 208,000. Texas is leading the nation out of the recession
SOURCE: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/press/2010/012210epress…

Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states.
SOURCE: http://www.twc.state.tx.us/news/press/2010/012510press….

Sen. Hutchison says Texas has a 30 percent dropout rate
FACT: The number Sen. Hutchison uses is completely misleading, for example, it includes students who do not graduate on time, but who stay in school working hard for their high school degree.
SOURCE: pg 76, http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/research/pdfs/dropcomp_20…

According to the NGA Graduation Rate Compact, in Texas in 2008:

* 79.1% of students graduated on time
* 8.9% of students stayed to complete their last year of school
* 1.5% of students received their GED
* 10.5% of students dropped out

The National Governor’s Association has cited many of Texas’ dropout prevention programs as best practices, including the Dropout Recovery Pilot Program, Reach Out to Dropouts and the Texas High School Project, and we are working to do even more.
SOURCE: http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0910ACHIEVINGGRADUATION.PD...

Sen. Hutchison claims she is a fiscal conservative
FACT: Sen. Hutchison is not a fiscal conservative.

* Sen. Hutchison has voted for 95 percent of federal spending bills during her 17 years in the Senate while the annual federal budget has increased by more than $2 trillion since her arrival in Washington.
* Sen. Hutchison has voted 9 times to raise the federal debt ceiling as the federal debt has nearly tripled.
* Sen. Hutchison has been labeled the “Queen of Earmarks” for requesting over $10 billion in earmarks.
* Sen. Hutchison is a finalist for Citizens Against Government Waste’s 2009 “Porker of the Year” for “exemplifying the tiresome hypocrisy of some members of Congress who claim the badge of fiscal conservatism while continuing to abscond with billions of dollars in pork.”

SOURCES: Analysis of Sen. Hutchison’s voting record from thomas.loc.gov; Historical table 1.1 of President’s budget, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf; “U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison ‘has voted nine separate times to raise the national debt ceiling,’” Austin American-Statesman Politifact Blog, 1/27/10, http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2010/jan/27/… Historical table 7.3 of President’s Budget, http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf “Texas senator is queen of earmarks,” San Antonio Express-News, 10/9/09; “CAGW Announces 2009 Porker of the Year Nominees,” Citizens Against Government Waste, 1/11/10, http://www.cagw.org/newsroom/releases/2010/cagw-announc…

Sen. Hutchison says she wants ethics reform in Texas
FACT: Senator Hutchison has no credibility on ethics.

On March 18, 1993, the Hutchison for Senate campaign issued a press release with the title: “Kay Bailey Hutchison unveils 28-point Congressional, lobbying, and campaign finance reform package.”
(Release available at http://washingtonkay.com/files/28pointplan.pdf)

Among Sen. Hutchison’s numerous broken promises to Texans, she never introduced her 28-point plan, and during her 17 years in Washington, she has violated many of her own promises of reform. The Austin American-Statesman described these violations in an Aug. 10, 2008, article titled, “D.C. disconnect: Hutchison’s talk and actions don’t always match up.”

Here is the beginning of that article: “When she first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1993, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas said senators should serve only two terms. She’s now serving her third. She said lobbyists for foreign countries should not give money to candidates, but she has, on occasion, taken their donations. And she said there shouldn’t be a revolving door between government and lobbying jobs, but three years ago she hired a chief of staff who was a lobbyist the previous year. Soon after he left Hutchison’s payroll in 2007, his lobbying career resumed. Hutchison laid out an aggressive agenda for reform during her first Senate race, but 15 years later, her record on enacting those reforms is mixed. In some cases, she has contributed to practices she once said should end.” (SOURCE: “D.C. disconnect: Hutchison’s talk and actions don’t always match up,” Austin American-Statesman, 8/10/08)

Here are a few highlights of Sen. Hutchison’s career of ethical lapses:
In March 1993, as a candidate for the Senate, she unveiled a 28-point plan to reform Congress that she never introduced. She also violated many of the plan’s components during her 17 years in Washington.
SOURCES: “Kay Bailey Hutchison unveils 28-point Congressional, lobbying, and campaign finance reform package,” Hutchison for Senate, 3/18/93; “D.C. disconnect: Hutchison’s talk and actions don’t always match up,” Austin American-Statesman, 8/10/08

In Aug. 2009, a government watchdog group asked, “Did Kay Bailey Hutchison cross an ethical line by supporting a rail line that is a payday for her husband?”
SOURCE: “Did Kay Bailey Hutchison cross an ethical line by supporting a rail line that is a payday for her husband?” Texas Watchdog, 8/20/09, http://www.texaswatchdog.org/2009/08/did-kay-bailey-hut…

In Dec. 2009, the Houston Chronicle reported Sen. Hutchison may have broken state law by billing taxpayers over $11,000 to travel to political fundraisers that raised her campaign more than $310,000.
SOURCE: “Hutchison travel costs this year in a gray zone,” Houston Chronicle, 12/11/09, http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/chronicle/6764509.h…

Sen. Hutchison criticized the effectiveness of the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF)
FACT: The TEF is a win-win for Texas taxpayers. Companies that do not meet their job creation goals must pay the state back for jobs not created.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, more than 50,000 jobs have been created through the Texas Enterprise Fund, with a capital investment of more than $14 billion. The TEF has contractual safeguards that allow the state to recoup TEF funds if a company fails to meet it job creation targets. The Texas Enterprise Fund is the largest “deal-closing fund” of its kind in the nation and it attracts businesses and jobs to Texas.
SOURCE: Governor’s Office public release document as of Oct. 31, 2009: http://governor.state.tx.us/files/ecodev/TEF_Listing.pd…

State law requires a unanimous decision by the Governor, Speaker and Lieutenant Governor to spend any TEF or ETF money.
SOURCE: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSe…

Hanger, a recent TEF recipient said of the fund: “After a comprehensive evaluation of potential locations, Texas’s strong supportive business environment and skilled workforce as well as the Texas Enterprise Fund were key factors in our decision to relocate our corporate headquarters to Austin. These factors provided the confidence to invest and to build our long-term presence in the state. Our new headquarters location will help us execute our growth strategies and improve our operational efficiency,” Tom Kirk, President and CEO of Hanger Orthopedic Group said. “We look forward to becoming part of the technical and biomedical communities in Texas.”

Sen. Hutchison claims to have quadrupled agents along the Texas border
FACT: Both WFAA-TV in Dallas and the Austin American-Statesman have discredited Sen. Hutchison’s claim that she has quadrupled the number of border patrol agents. 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 supported them.”

SOURCES: “Reality Check: Hutchison border security ad deviates from facts,” WFAA-TV, 1/25/10, http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/Hutchison-border-secu… “Hutchison says she quadrupled Border Patrol agents,” Austin American Statesman PolitiFact Texas, 1/12/10, http://www.politifact.com/texas/statements/2010/jan/12/…

Sen. Hutchison said she would make sure state and local law enforcement can implement 287(g)
FACT: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 287(g) program, which Sen. Hutchison supports, would have Texas authorities fulfill the responsibilities of the federal government and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Texas authorities are trained and equipped to prevent and investigate criminal activity, not participate in administrative duties and fill out paperwork.

Texas law enforcement agencies have worked with the U.S. Border Patrol for years to support the deportation of illegal immigrants. Since March 2006, Texas authorities have referred more than 42,000 suspected undocumented immigrants to the Border Patrol. In 2005, Gov. Perry announced a comprehensive border security plan for Texas and awarded $6 million in grants to support Operation Linebacker, an initiative developed by the 16-member Texas Border Sheriff’s Association to deter illegal immigration and prevent border-related crime. This initiative has since grown into several operations, and during the past two legislative sessions Gov. Perry has signed legislation passed by the Texas legislature to appropriate more than $200 million to border security efforts, filling the gap left by Washington.

SOURCES: Texas Department of Public Safety; “Gov. Perry Awards $6 Million to Border Counties for Border Security,” Office of the Governor press release, 11/6/05; HB 1, 80th session, http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?Le… SB 1, 81st session, http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?Le… “Securing Our Border,” Texans for Kay website

Mrs. Medina criticized Gov. Perry for not preventing the issue of driver licenses to illegal immigrants.
FACT:Gov. Perry has helped secure the integrity of Texas driver licenses.

Illegal aliens are not eligible for driver licenses. For citizens, a Texas driver license expires every six years. For legal residents, it expires when their Visa expires. This is common sense. Why should you be allowed the privilege to drive in Texas, if you are no longer allowed to be in the country?
SOURCE: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/11697/

Sen. Hutchison claims TxDOT is requiring local communities to toll in order to get state funding.
FACT: There are no administrative codes or state statute to require tolling in order to get state funding. From 2000-2009 of all the roads built, only 472 lane miles were toll roads and 5,426 lane miles were non-tolled roads.

SOURCE: TxDOT’s Transportation Planning and Programming Division roadway system database. Eminent Domain

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