Bill White: For Enterprise Fund Before He Was Against It

May 11, 2010

Supported Same Job Creation Model as TEF for Houston

While Bill White criticizes the effective job creation efforts made possible by the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), which has created more than 50,000 jobs for Texans and generated more than $14 billion in capital investment, he fails to mention his past praise and efforts to emulate the same job creation model in Houston.

In 2004, Bill White held a press conference where he accepted several recommendations from his self-appointed Economic Development Task Force, one that included creating a city enterprise fund modeled after the TEF.

According the Houston Chronicle, “The mayor said he would follow the task force report's recommendation of developing a multimillion-dollar enterprise fund to help biotechnology firms pay for their research with the aim of creating new jobs. Lee Hogan, chairman of the task force, said Houston receives about $1 billion a year in federal grants for biotechnology research, mostly at the Texas Medical Center. But he said the city has done a poor job of translating this research into spinoff companies and new jobs. Hogan said the enterprise fund would be modeled after a $250 million state enterprise fund, developed by Gov. Rick Perry, which runs out of money in October 2005.” (SOURCE: “Reliance on tax breaks faulted – Report says city should use other methods to draw business,” Houston Chronicle, 9/30/2004)

“Liberal hypocrite Bill White emerged today, as he criticized the very job creation model his task force recommended and he accepted,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “His attacks today on Texas’ job creation efforts are evidence that he either has no understanding of how the Texas Enterprise Fund works or that he would rather ignore Texas’ successful efforts to create jobs – maybe both. While Bill White criticizes programs that have allowed Texas to continue creating jobs in the midst of the struggling national economy, he fails to mention his own poor leadership that has left Houston's budget in shambles or his shady business dealings that allowed him to make millions while in public office. Bill White should take a break from his baseless attacks and come clean with Texans by releasing his tax returns.”

The report including Bill White’s task force recommendations may be viewed here: http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/taskforce.pdf . Page 110 of the report lists a recommended $2 million - $4 million “City Enterprise Fund.” To view Bill White’s press release announcing the task force's recommendations, visit http://www.houstontx.gov/mayor/press/20040929.html .

The TEF has been an essential asset to making Texas home to more Fortune 1000 companies than any other state, and establishing the robust business climate that is attracting entrepreneurs and businesses from across the nation to create the jobs Texans need to thrive.

Gov. Perry has worked closely with the legislature to ensure proper accountability measures are in place to protect taxpayer dollars and Texas employers. Before a company can receive funds, all TEF grants must be approved by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House. Proper oversight of the fund is ensured by the Legislature while the Governor’s Office regularly provides testimony and briefings to the public and posts monthly updates on its website (http://governor.state.tx.us/ecodev/financial_resources/... ), which include the amount of clawbacks and reimbursements from companies that fail to meet job creation goals.

Bill White’s comments on strings-attached unemployment stimulus funds reflect his failure to understand the priorities of business owners across the state, many who backed the governor’s rejection of UI stimulus funds, including the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business. Texas businesses realize that those federal dollars would have increased taxes on employers in the long term, hindering their ability to create more jobs.
Gov. Perry's commitment to upholding limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations and a fair legal system have made Texas one of the most business-friendly states in the nation. His principled leadership is what has allowed Texas to create more jobs than any other state in the last six months, and more private sector jobs than any other state in the last 10 years.

Raconteur Media Company in Austin, TX designed, develops and maintains RickPerry.org for Texans for Rick Perry.