Wednesday, March 11, 2020

#TXLEGE: Lt. Dan Thinks You've Forgotten History

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them."
Matthew 7:20


[Note: Due to formatting issues, we can't provide a link, but this was an e-mailed press release from the Lt. Governor's office yesterday afternoon.]

Some of the least-qualified graduates of the University of Texas School of Law in recent years have high-level connections in the Legislature, which may explain how they got into the prestigious law school in the first place.

A months-long analysis of political influence on the admissions process at UT Law found there’s some truth, after all, to the old line about who you know mattering more than what you know. We found dozens of Longhorns who don’t know enough to be lawyers but know somebody important in the Legislature.

Two of those mediocre students are legislators themselves.

Some have connections to the leadership circle of House Speaker Joe Straus, others to powerful state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who’s already been caught three times trying to pull end runs around the admissions process.


At least 12 of the students have roots in Laredo, home of state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, who is known to have pulled strings on behalf of other applicants. As Laredo has just 2 percent of the state’s population, it’s highly over represented in this sample.


Of the nearly 2,700 UT Law students to take the exam since 2006, only 29 have failed it three times or more. Thirteen made our list for closer inspection, and seven of those have ties to Laredo.

Among the 13 are Carlos Manuel Zaffirini Jr., the state senator’s only son, and Jeffrey Carona, the son of Republican state Sen. John Carona. Sen. Carona has donated some $31,043 to Zaffirini’s campaign in recent years, in addition to undisclosed sums his company paid her as a “communications consultant.”


Among the Laredo-connected bar failures are two brothers whose father is a top city health official who has worked with Zaffirini on state-funded projects. Another needed six tries to pass the bar and another passed on his fifth try.

Since this last graduate’s family has donated more than $52,000 during the years to Zaffirini, we asked the senator’s office whether the senator’s law school support was mercenary or a matter of family connections.

Zaffirini spokesman Will Krueger emailed us on March 7 to say the man’s “family and the senator’s family have been friends for at least three generations — on both his mother’s side of the family and his father’s side.”
Sounds like a great candidate for the higher ed. committee.


Bonus: To fully understand how far Patrick's fallen, see here.

Bottom Line: Scandal?!?  What scandal?!?  Lt. Dan don't see no scandal.  Besides, that was sooo five years ago.

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