Which is the bigger sacrilege for a Aggie Republican state representative? A) Raising money at the UT-OU game. B) Raising money at the home of a disgraced former legislator. C) Raising money with a Democrat. D) All the above.
Liberal GOP State Rep. John Raney of College Station is going for the trifecta this weekend. According to an Austin political news site, Raney, a graduate of Texas A&M who runs a college book store, is co-hosting a fundraiser with UT grad and State Rep. Oscar Longoria (D-La Joya) at the Highland Park home of former State Rep. Jim Pitts (R-Waxahachie). The event is taking place as part of the festivities surrounding the annual Red River Showdown between the Longhorns and the Sooners.
Pitts, you might recall, made national headlines for his role in attacking UT Regent Wallace Hall – a whistleblower who uncovered a scandal of waste, fraud and – perhaps most significantly – legislative clout abuse. It turns out under-qualified students (reportedly including. Pitts’ son) were getting into UT based on their relationship with powerful lawmakers, like Pitts. He retired from the Texas House in disgrace after the 2013 session.
(Unless he has moved, the event will take place at the same house where Jim Pitts – while still a Republican lawmaker – was slated to host a fundraiser for a Dallas gay pride parade VIP before the event was outed by local media.)
Raney is no conservative. At the bottom of the GOP on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, he similarly fell on the left-end of the spectrum on the Rice University rating system of Prof. Mark Jones.
But, wait, why again is an Aggie doing a fundraiser in conjunction with the Longhorns? With a Longhorn? At the home of a guy who tried to cover-up a scandal for the Longhorns? Because that’s where the Austin lobby crowd’s wallets hang out. And so John Raney will, too. Being an Austin insider trumps being an Aggie, it would seem.
An Aggie Republican having a fundraiser during a UT game with a Democrat? Sounds like the beginning of a joke. Too bad the punchline is on any Brazos County Republican who keeps voting for John Raney.