Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Looking for a good research topic? Here's a good methodology for finding political influence in state-funded laws schools from Watchdog.com:
Normally, almost nobody who gets into UT Law fails the bar. Watchdog.org found 90 students who had failed it twice or more. That should be reason enough for university officials to double-check their grades and Law School Admission Test — or LSAT — scores to see which students actually earned admission, and who benefited from a political favor.
We found additional reasons to scrutinize 24 names on that list:
At least 15 of the students are politically connected, either through office, personal relationships, or campaign donations to officeholders who have figured in the fight over UT’s leadership.
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.
A half-dozen of the students have connections to state Rep. Joe Straus, his close allies, or a lobby shop that rose to prominence with Straus’s ascendance to speaker in 2009.