FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2014
AUSTIN, TX — Young Conservatives of Texas (YCT) today called on Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to apologize for tuition “deregulation” and to join the bipartisan coalition dedicated to its repeal.
“We’re stunned that David Dewhurst would come to campus and try to fool college students into thinking he’s on their side,” said YCT Chairman Jeff Morris. “That would be like President Obama going to a small business convention and telling them his tax increases are good for business. The record doesn’t back up the rhetoric.”
In 2003, Dewhurst helped pass the so-called “tuition deregulation” bill, which led to record-setting tuition increases at the University of Texas. In 2009, 25 of 31 Senators co-sponsored a bill freezing tuition. Dewhurst would not even refer the bill to committee until well over halfway though the session, and then he sent it to a committee chaired by a liberal Democrat (Sen. Judith Zaffirini). The delay proved fatal to the bill, and by 2012 tuition rates in Texas were up 55 percent.
“The contrast between Dewhurst and YCT’s endorsed candidate—Dan Patrick—couldn’t be clearer,” Morris added. “From day one, Sen. Patrick made it clear he’s against tuition ‘deregulation,’ and he’s voted accordingly.”
“Dewhurst seems to be the only candidate for Lt. Gov. who does not believe that conservative Republicans should set higher education policy in the Texas Senate,” said YCT Executive Director Jenna White. “Under David Dewhurst, higher education policy in Texas has been handed over to the unelected university administrators and big-government Democrats, to the extreme detriment of students.”
Dewhurst is the only candidate in the race—Republican or Democrat—to support tuition deregulation. (Republican Todd Staples and Democrat Leticia Van de Putte both voted against tuition deregulation in 2003.) “As Lt. Gov., Dan Patrick won’t set up committees to attack Rick Perry and conservative higher education reform, like Dewhurst did,” White added. “In fact, no other candidate would be as willing as Dewhurst to continue the failed experiment of tuition ‘deregulation.’”
“David Dewhurst should apologize to the working families and debt-saddled young people of Texas for giving college administrators like Larry Faulkner and Bill Powers a blank check,” concluded Morris. “He should start acting like a conservative—in accordance with his campaign rhetoric— rather than imitating Republicans-In-Name-Only like Tommy Merritt and Dan Branch.”
YCT also expressed surprise that the College Republicans would embrace Dewhurst. “Perhaps the College Republicans did not do sufficient research before inviting Dewhurst to campus,” said Allison Ngo, Chairman of the YCT Chapter at the University of Texas. “The College Republicans should avoid embracing the Dewhurst agenda. Doing so positions the CRs to the left of the University Democrats on higher education issues.”
Young Conservatives of Texas is a non-partisan organization that has promoted conservatism at universities across the Lone Star State for over three decades. The State’s most active political youth organization, YCT is composed of hundreds of members and alumni who participate in the full spectrum of politics. YCT issues the most respected ratings of the Texas legislature and is the only conservative group to have done so without interruption over the past 20 legislative sessions. For more information about YCT, please visit www.yct.org.