This week, Texas took a tremendous step back in our march toward shedding light on government and demanding accountability. A Select Committee on Transparency in state Agency Operations is a committee appointed by Texas House Speaker Joe Straus. Transparency did not appear to be their goal. The Committee voted 7-1 to move to impeach a sitting member of the University of Texas Board of Regents. The action lead AFP-Texas to issue an open letter to legislators expressing our concerns, calling the action disappointing and problematic.
The vote came as no surprise. The sabers had been rattling for weeks.
What was Regent Wallace’s crime? He asked too many questions. The Wall Street Journal came out with an editorial titled “Political Revenge in Texas: Lawmakers target a UT regent who asked uncomfortable questions” provided readers with perhaps the most complete explanation of the battle. Some lawmakers want to quiet a critic who has found examples of legislators using their influence to get their kids and donors kids admitted to UT absent the credentials to get in on their own. That appears patently unfair as many students work hard to make the grade but are bumped by kids with connections.
Watchdog Wire came out with an impressive piece of journalism this week: Dozens of UT Law’s least qualified students are politically connected.