Those following Presidential politics are familiar with Rick Perry’s apparent pay-to-play subsidy dealings in Texas. Two new investigative pieces demolish his job creation claims.
The New Republic’s Alec MacGillis visited the sites of two subsidized companies and discovered Perry’s job creation figures to be extremely misleading. The state of Texas claimed that the Texas Energy Center created 600 jobs as a result of aid from the Texas Enterprise Fund some years back, but MacGillis discovered the only remnant of the company to be a small vacant office space inside a local economic development agency. Governor Rick Perry claimed that another facility, the Texas A&M Institute for Genomic Medicine, which received $50 million in subsidies from the Emerging Technologies Fund, would produce 5,000 jobs. MacGillis toured the subsidized facility and discovered that it employs just 10 employees total.
The Wall Street Journal’s Mark Maremont took a deeper look into how Texas subsidy contracts allowed for such rampant misrepresentation of job creation numbers. He found that the initial economic impact analysis on the Institute for Genomic Medicine subsidy was conducted by Perryman Group, the former employer of Governor Perry’s wife. She left the job in 2001 after Perry succeeded George W. Bush as Governor of Texas. The Perryman Group’s study estimated that the project would create 31,000 jobs and add $2.7 billion to the Texas economy. Maremont discovered that the 2005 grant agreement allows the company to count in its job creation figures any “positions with employers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.”