Tag Archives: Sen. Dan Patrick

Patrick tells only part of in-state tuition story

State Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston has launched his first TV ad touting his candidacy for Texas lieutenant governor.

Wouldn’t you know it, he distorts a critical issue in this still-developing campaign. He said he is the “only candidate to oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.”


Good for him.

Except to say in-state tuition applies to all “illegal immigrants” ignores a key provision that’s been supported by the likes of former Gov. George W. Bush, current Gov. Rick Perry and other reasonable Republicans. The provision applies to those immigrants who came to Texas as children, those who were brought here by their parents, those who have grown up as Texans.

Back in late 2011, when Perry was running for the GOP presidential nomination, he got in trouble with the far right of his party when he spoke out in favor of granting in-state tuition to those immigrants. He stood firm against the criticism, to his great credit.

I see nothing wrong with granting those Texans who came here as children and who qualify academically for entrance into our many fine public colleges and universities the same tuition rates as granted to other Texans.

They have grown up as Texans and Americans. Give them the education they deserve at a price they can afford.

Lt. gov. debate takes load road

State Sen. Dan Patrick got under Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s skin the other day at a debate that featured the four leading candidates for Dewhurst’s job as head of the Texas Senate.

Patrick, R-Houston, chastised Dewhurst for appointing too many Democrats to Senate committee chairmanships. Dewhurst’s response? He said he’s been reducing the bipartisan leadership ratio since becoming lieutenant governor and besides, he said, the Democrats who chair committees lead panels that aren’t “critical.”


That drew a sharp response from one of those inconsequential committee chairs, Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installation.

She wrote Dewhurst a blistering note criticizing the demeaning tone of his response to Patrick’s barb.

I guess my own view is that Patrick is wrong to lambaste the bipartisanship that still exists to some — but a shrinking — degree in the Senate. I’ve long thought of the Texas Senate as a place where Democrats and Republicans could work together and could share leadership roles on key committees.

Isn’t a panel that deals with veterans and military installations ostensibly a non-partisan group? Doesn’t it deal with issues that should wipe away partisan differences?

For the lieutenant governor, though, to try to outflank the loudmouth Patrick is equally shameful. I would have much preferred Dewhurst defending the bipartisanship that is demonstrated by handing out committee chairmanships to senators from the other party.

But no. He tacked far to the right to appeal to that right-wing GOP fringe that likely is going to determine who gets nominated next spring.

Very disappointing, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst.