The Dallas Morning News today follows a strong investigation into millions of taxpayer dollars going to the companies of political donors to Gov. Rick Perry through the Emerging Technology Fund with an intriguing look at one of those donors, a risk-taker who has twice filed for bankruptcy.
Companies started or run by Austin business developer David G. Nance have received $6.5 million from the Emerging Technology Fund, according to the News story. Nance has also donated $80,000 to Perry's campaign since 2000.
Nance is among a group of large donors to Perry whose companies have gotten more than $16 million from the Technology Fund, the newspaper reported Sunday. Since its creation by the legislature in 2005, Texas has given $173 million in taxpayer money to 120 companies, or roughly 7.5 percent of the 1,600 applications for funding. Another $161 million has been given to Texas universities to fund research.
State law requires the governor, the lieutenant governor and the House speaker approve all applications. The governor, however, makes the recommendations, and his staff administers the program. Perry, who pushed for the creation of the technology fund and whose selections are the stuff of Perry press releases, has said politics do not play a role in which companies get funded.
Perry, who told the Morning News he was unaware that Nance had filed for bankruptcy in the past, has appointed him three times to state technology commissions. "I think he is a very, very bright innovator," Perry said.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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