Longhorn fans, if you still plan on attending this year’s Red River Shootout in Dallas this Saturday (I wouldn’t recommend it), you might see your Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House at the game.
Well, that depends on how tinted the windows are on the luxury boxes. If Speaker Joe Straus and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst do decide to attend, they’ll likely watch from the air-conditioned suite of UT President Bill Powers.
Speaker Straus and Lt. Governor Dewhurst are no strangers to the Cotton Bowl’s more prestigious seating arrangement when Texas and Oklahoma meet up for their annual rivalry game every October. Documents we obtained from the University of Texas via an Open Records Request reveal Speaker Straus attended the game back in 2009 as guest of the UT System Chancellor. He was also invited to President Bill Power’s box in 2011 and 2012.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst has also been a loyal OU-game attendee with President Powers since at least 2010. According to the seating chart for the President’s Suite in 2011, Mr. Dewhurst sat immediately to the right of President Powers. Interestingly enough, House Higher Ed Chairman Dan Branch was also in attendance – sitting directly on the other side of Powers.
Wonder what kind of ivory tower-friendly policies they’ll be pitched while enjoying some Grey Goose poured by bartenders in well-pressed shirts and food from the super nacho-bar? (Oh, you don’t have a personal bartender serve you drinks when you attend football games?)
Just like their athletic budget, there seems to be no bottom to the pit of money UT has to spend on lobbying legislators – including the two leaders of the state’s legislative chambers.