Dallas Morning News' Wayne Slater:
Mayor Leonard Scarcella of Stafford, a Houston suburb, says he knows who's to blame for a $2.6 million hole in his budget – politically well-connected firms that sign up corporations with promises of lowering their taxes.
"This is the new ambulance chasing," Mr. Scarcella said.
Stafford is among several local entities that were told this year to repay sales tax revenue because of a $130 million refund that a Dallas-based consulting firm won for Texas Instruments Inc.
TI was represented in its appeal to the state comptroller's office by Ryan & Co., which pocketed about $50 million as its share for successfully appealing the case.
Executives from Ryan & Co. are the biggest campaign contributor to Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, who is running for governor as an independent. So the dust-up over the Texas Instruments refund underscores the connection between campaign politics and the real-world effects of public policy.
Sure sounds like Wayne Slater thinks there's some there there. [Is that groans I hear? Admit it, you love that there phrasing.]
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