Latest Fact-checks on Matt Mackowiak Matt Mackowiak stated on July 1, 2016 in a commentary in the Austin American-Statesman: "In 2009, his first year as mayor," Julián Castro "received a seven-figure referral fee" that smells like a dirty financial gift "from notorious personal injury lawyer Mikal Watts, a major Obama donor." Matt Mackowiak stated on September 8, 2014 in an opinion column: In Texas public schools, "we spend an average of $12,000 per pupil per year." Matt Mackowiak stated on April 1, 2013 in an opinion colulmn.: Says the president of the University of Texas has raised four-year student graduation rates to 75 percent. Matt Mackowiak stated on December 1, 2011 in an opinion column.: Says Barack Obama promised to halve the deficit in his first term.