Jon Cassidy - Watchdog.org
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Jon Cassidy is the Houston-based reporter for Watchdog.org. He used to report for The Orange County Register and The Hill, and his work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The American Spectator, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. You can reach Jon at [email protected]

Momentum swings to pro-park side of Dallas council

By   /  August 30, 2016  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

Courtesy image

Dallas City Council members who want to make a big public park the centerpiece of any Fair Park privatization plan seized political momentum Monday afternoon during a council briefing.

It’s clear now that Mayor Mike Rawlings doesn’t have the votes to ram through a version of the plan that would commit the city of Dallas to $600 million-plus in repairs, salaries, and fees, while leaving the actual park contingent on the success of some future fundraising drive.

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Fast-growth school group lies about school costs

By   /  August 18, 2016  /  Education, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Alvin ISD

The Fast Growth School Coalition is lying about Watchdog’s reporting on the most expensive junior high construction project in state history, and misrepresenting the testimony of a prominent conservative activist.

The coalition, which exists to justify massive school bonds, sent out a press release Thursday morning claiming that a state Senate committee had been given bad information about the cost of a junior high in the Alvin Independent School District, south of Houston. It hadn’t.

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‘Bonds equal taxes’ message opposed by schools

By   /  August 16, 2016  /  Budget and Spending, Education, News, Texas  /  No Comments

Manvel High School is the newer of the district's two high schools, although a third is on the way.

Watchdog’s poster boy for out-of-control school district spending showed up at the Capitol Monday to argue against a proposal requiring more disclosure of the full costs of school bonds.

Reformers say that Texas’ runaway local borrowing suggests that voters aren’t fully informed about bond costs, and that one answer would be including the full cost of a bond on the ballot, along with the size of the tax increase required to repay it with interest.

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Zaffirinis get 444 prime acres nobody bequeathed them

By   /  August 11, 2016  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

Development on the old Alexander ranch in Laredo will proceed now that Judith Zaffirini and associates have wrested it from its heirs.

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini and her associates have agreed to pay roughly $38 million to settle a lawsuit in which they were accused of seizing control of a massive real estate inheritance for their own enrichment. The Laredo Democrat still has a chance to get richer. She and her crew will walk away owning 444 acres […]

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University of Houston #AllLivesMatter crackdown tramples Constitution

By   /  August 9, 2016  /  Commentary, Education, Texas  /  No Comments

Plutarch says that Sulla died from an infestation of worms, implying divine retribution. UH student body president Shane A. Smith may yet escape that fate.

Last month, as Dallas police officers were being gunned down by an assassin, student body vice president Rohini Sethi posted a message to Facebook: “Forget #BlackLivesMatter; more like #AllLivesMatter.”

This set campus blacktivists atwitter, and the student senate responded by passing a bill 13-2 to grant student body president Shane Smith “temporary power” to punish Sethi.

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$610 million no-bid contract for Fair Park approved

By   /  August 5, 2016  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

Watchdog.org

A $610-million no-bid contract for a project without a budget, or even a clear purpose, was approved by the Dallas Park and Recreation Board on a 9-5 vote Thursday.

The agreement to privatize Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas, now heads to the Dallas City Council.

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