THU brief 6.9.22
Welcome to a late evening brief. Sign up if this email was forwarded to you (hint: here’s the button).
The TEXAS TRIBUNE has belatedly noticed that the LIBERTY INSTITUTE AT UT AUSTIN, a proposed right-leaning think tank, is imperiled.
Welcome to the party.
Of course, this isn’t news; it was discussed here in April. Nevertheless, the Tribune piece suggests several trends explored in the spring continue.
University President Jay Hartzell appears to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand, he praises the Liberty Institute and the effort at intellectual diversity behind it. On the other hand, he acts like a hatchet-man behind the scenes.
Similarly, it remains the case that it doesn’t seem like Hartzell’s trying to “kill” the center outright. He’s trying to water it down into meaninglessness.
While the Trib’s too ideologically blinded to recognize this angle, there’s no way Hartzell engages in this course of action without the (at least tacit) approval of UT Board Chairman Kevin Eltife, who, like all regents, is appointed by the Governor.
Does Hartzell have (winking and nodding) support from Greg Abbott? Possibly.
Of course, this sets Abbott up in opposition to Dan Patrick. While there is undoubtedly an ideological component, this is an old-fashioned political turf war in many ways. Not that the Tribune, whose article fails to mention Abbott or Eltife, would notice that (completely obvious) angle.
However, to their credit, the Trib uncovered that Dallas developer Harlan Crow was participating in this effort. That’s new and (potentially) noteworthy.
One additional note: Bob Rowling, noted in a different context yesterday, is a major donor w/ the Liberty Institute. While Rowling has a reputation as an establishment R, his actions here are a form of cross-factional alignment that isn’t often seen. Not sure what to make of it, but worth monitoring.
ROUND ROCK ISD parents are petitioning the Texas Education Agency to remove the District’s scandal-plagued superintendent.
This is the latest development in a saga that’s been raging for close to a year and is likely to continue.
Typically, school districts will stonewall until they grind opponents down. That this doesn’t seem to be happening, in this case, is highly noteworthy.
KEN PAXTON wants to know if Twitter is lying about the number of fake accounts on its platform. This could get interesting.
Thanks for reading
Push Junction grows through word of mouth. Please consider sharing this post with someone who might appreciate it.