Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. He also writes a weekly column on politics for The American Spectator. He was formerly a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register in California and a reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C. His work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. He is a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.

Supreme Court asked to look at UT’s backdoor admissions program

By   /  March 24, 2015  /  Commentary, Texas  /  No Comments

AP file photo

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
The University of Texas practices two forms of discrimination in admissions.
Its practice of racial discrimination has gone before the U.S. Supreme Court, which huffed and puffed two years ago in the well-known case of Abigail Fisher v. University of Texas, but didn’t quite blow it down.
The university also discriminates against everyone […]

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Reported debt doubles at two Texas pension funds

By   /  March 20, 2015  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

Shutterstock Image

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
Government pension funds are infamous for misrepresenting the depths of their troubles, but two Texas pension funds have been among the worst, according to a new study.
New accounting rules are starting to bring some of these troubles to light.
Governing magazine reviewed 80 state and local pension systems across the country to […]

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Bill to limit UT oversight clears committee

By   /  March 18, 2015  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

Sen. Kel Seliger's bill to curtail regents cleared committee Wednesday. (Courtesy of the Texas Legislature)

The state Senate Committee on Higher Education unanimously approved Wednesday a bill meant to curtail the authority of university regents, after the bill’s author, Sen. Kel Seliger, agreed to a series of amendments offered by Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock.

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‘Libels’ by ‘malicious writers’ trouble Texas senator

By   /  March 11, 2015  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

AP file photo

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
Texas state Sen. Judith Zaffirini worries a bill protecting journalists who work with whistleblowers from libel charges could be abused by “evil,” “malicious” journalists “not worthy of the title… who are biased and unfair and perhaps have an axe to grind.”
Considering that Watchdog.org ranked Zaffirini first on its nationwide list of […]

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Texas governor’s wife was on UT nominee’s payroll

By   /  March 6, 2015  /  News, Texas  /  No Comments

AP file photo

Part 42 of 43 in the series Trouble in Texas

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
It’s not uncommon for Texas governors to reward high-dollar campaign supporters with a nomination to serve as regent on the board of a public university.
But Gov. Greg Abbott’s nomination of Steve Hicks to serve as a regent is unusual in one respect.
Hicks […]

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Hicks won’t stop UT’s backdoor admits

By   /  February 27, 2015  /  News, Politics & Elections, Texas  /  No Comments

University of Texas President Bill Powers waves goodbye after answering questions regarding a months-long investigation of admissions practices at the university on Feb. 12.

Part 41 of 43 in the series Trouble in Texas

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org
AUSTIN – A few Republican state senators demonstrated Thursday that they aren’t willing to ignore the admissions scandal at the University of Texas, even if Gov. Greg Abbott is.
The Senate Nominations Committee heard testimony Thursday from Abbott’s three nominees to join the UT […]

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