When it comes to defending the higher-ed status quo, few have done it better than State Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo). So, she’s throwing a “Statewide Salute”… to herself.

In an e-mail her campaign staff sent this week, Sen. Zaffirini is promoting a “Statewide Salute to Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini.”

The reason for this august occasion?

It is an “important event recognizing Senator Zaffirini’s leadership during the legislative session, particularly regarding The University of Texas, Higher Education in general, and countless other issues.”

Helpfully, the e-mail wraps up with the promise that “More information including the location will be sent on Monday, June 20, after the legislative moratorium on fundraising by state officials.”

So, apparently, it is a fundraiser. One can reasonably expect it will be paid for by donations from higher education lobbyists. Perhaps most notably from those who have benefitted from her opposition to higher education reforms.

Remember, Senate Bill 5 — introduced by Sen. Zaffirini — was a disaster (from a transparency perspective) until it was fixed in the House by State Rep. Dan Branch (R-Highland Park).

You might also recall that she took issue with the governor of Texas asking around about higher education productivity. She exhibited a rather nasty streak of elitism. She said that because Gov. Perry “doesn’t have a graduate degree, and he graduated a long time ago with a major in something like agriculture” that he shouldn’t be involved in higher ed. (She has a PhD in communications from UT.) Wonder what she thinks of all those voters who didn’t attend college…?

Sen. Zaffirini was also behind a (de-railed) scheme that would have allowed universities to compete in the telecommunications marketplace. Why? Why not.

And then there was the time this session where Sen. Zaffirini said she was opposed to plans that would cut tuition

Yep, that’s the kind of leadership that deserves a statewide salute…

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."