WSJ Highlights TxLege Cover-Up

It appears the attempt by the leadership of the Texas Legislature to cover-up financial malfeasance and clout-abuse in higher-ed isn’t going to go unnoticed in the national media.

The venerable Wall Street Journal editorial board this morning has this piece:
Political Revenge in Texas: Lawmakers target a UT regent who asked uncomfortable questions.”

From the WSJ article:

[The] special committee of the state house will begin debating whether to recommend impeaching Mr. Hall as a UT regent for such grave misdeeds as asking the university to produce too many documents. Mr. Hall’s real offense has been to expose a cozy and possibly corrupt relationship between politicians and the university.

That targeting, of course, has been handled by Speaker Joe Straus’ falsely named “transparency” committee co-chaired by Dan Flynn and Carol Alvarado. The committee has operated like a witch hunt, denying UT Regent Wallace Hall the ability to defend himself while impeaching his character.

Recent revelations that the committee’s “report” (created by an outside counsel chummy with the corrupt university administration) contained out-right lies should be enough to cause lawmakers to impeach not Wallace Hall but the members of the committee!

As Tony McDonald wrote several days agoo, Dan Flynn is trying to weasel out of his responsibility for the cover-up only after his committee’s work product was shown to be a fraud.

This national scandal falls right in three particular laps:

  • Lt. Governor David Dewhurst — who last year attacked the UT regents seeking to uncover corruption and financial malfeasance
  • State Rep. Dan Branch — the former AFL-CIO lobbyist now seeking the office of Attorney General has been chairing the House Committee on Higher Education, but has refused to hold a single hearing into the corruption plaguing Texas universities;
  • House Speaker Joe Straus — he and his team orchestrated the legislative attacks on the whistle-blowing regent, including creating the anti-transparency Flynn Committee with the clear attempt to destroy Hall rather than expose lawmakers abusing their offices.

Voters are taking care of Dewhurst and Branch, neither will serve in a position of public trust come January 2015 but both should be subject to investigations in their roles covering up the scandal.

The left-leaning Straus, on the other hand, has a large number of “Republican” sycophants who like the goodies he and his cronies hand-out (like tickets to football games, government contracts, campaign cash, and the like). The corruption now apparent in the Straus leadership team should be enough for him to be removed from the speakership in January. The House members supporting him should rightly fall under suspicion by their voters.

Joe Straus and Dan Flynn tried to bully Wallace Hall into silence and cover up the corrupt nexus of the legislature and higher-ed. As more and more national light is shown on their duplicity, the legislative imperative should be to clean House. If legislators won’t do it themselves, the voters will have to do it. Fast.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael is president and CEO of Empower Texans, and its premier project, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capital Hill staffer, think tank vice president and an Eagle Scout, Sullivan is married with three children. He divides his time between the Metroplex, the rest of Texas, and Austin.

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