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Congressman Castro Urges Examination Of Texas Enterprise Fund

In the wake a state audit of the Texas Enterprise Fund that shows little to no oversight in the first two years of the program, a San Antonio congressman is calling on state and federal officials to review the audit for any possible violations of the law.  

San Antonio Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro says that federal and state authorities should start an investigation. He wants them to look into whether any criminal violations occurred when Governor Rick Perry gave away over $222-million dollars during the first years of the program. The money went to companies that never applied for the grant.

Castro said, “Anyone that gives away hundreds of millions of dollars--no questions asked--where there was never even a formal application or review process, and there was no legal commitments done to create jobs... [it] seems like something’s wrong there.”

And there may be more to the story. A government watchdog group in Austin has also been studying the Texas Enterprise Fund and says some of the companies involved made large donations to the top three state leaders overseeing the fund.

Andrew Wheat, the Research Director for Texans for Public Justice, said “You see that Governor Perry has picked up $2-million dollars from contributors who have been beneficiaries of Enterprise Fund grants, David Dewhurst $1.3-million and Joe Strauss over $200-thousand from these grantees."

Wheat says other research they’ve conducted shows two-thirds of the companies that did have contractual agreements with the state were either not able to meet their quota for creating jobs or had this requirement amended by officials from the Governor’s Office.