In last night’s Rio Grande Valley debate, Wendy Davis directly challenged Greg Abbott to drop his legal fight to push $5 billion in funding cuts to Texas schools – cuts that a State District Court has already ruled against, saying that they’re unconstitutional and deny Texas kids an adequate education.
Rather than simply disagreeing with Davis – or explaining why he supports those deep cuts – Greg Abbott coldly decided to lie. He claimed that a law passed in 2011 was forcing him to keep up his attack, forcing him to continue dragging 600 Texas school districts and millions of Texas kids through court.
What Greg Abbott said is flat out false.
The legislation Abbott referred to DOES NOT force him to appeal the District Court’s decision. Greg Abbott has always had the option of telling the Legislature it had to follow the court’s orders and bring our school finance system up to date and ensure adequate funding of public schools. Instead, Abbott chose to appeal the court decision and force our school districts to fight their own state government in order to give Texas kids a chance at a good education.
The Lone Star Project provided legal analysis months ago establishing that Greg Abbott can drop his appeal of the school finance ruling at any time. Or, he could settle the lawsuit. He has settled many other cases as Attorney General.
Looking Texans in the eye and lying
Apart from party affiliation or any specific policy position, Texans expect to elect a Governor they can trust. On Friday, Greg Abbott failed this basic test. He lost his nerve and instead of explaining his education policy differences with Wendy Davis, Greg Abbott cynically and callously lied.
Greg Abbott has exposed a damning character flaw surrendering any reservoir of trust or benefit of the doubt.