That contract has come under fire for lack of transparency, violating the state's "revolving door" statute on state officials immediately going to work for related private businesses, and more.
But, then, he "went there" (emphasis added in quote):
"In view of the State Auditor’s Office report criticizing Texas’ $462 million contract with the British firm Pearson as too vague, it should be more evident to everyone that the entire contract needs to be eliminated.Good thing it's "fish and chips" instead of "fish and British fries," eh?
“My policy as governor would be to work with the Texas Education Agency to find a more sensible and less costly way of testing our public school students’ levels of achievement. There are better ways of ensuring accountability in public education while also maintaining high standards.
“I have previously called for completely ending the contract with this British-owned company. It is increasingly obvious that now is the time to end this contract.”
The contract is wrong because it's wrong, period. No xenophobic references needed. And, Deepwater Horizon aside, what does Pauken think of BP, the former British Petroleum? Or Royal Dutch Shell?
Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News reports the revolving door has been shut again.
Meanwhile, where was Comptroller Susan Combs during all this? It's arguable that she was AWOL from monitoring that her agency has a right to do. Yes, the state auditor is the first line of defense, but, if that office wasn't going to intervene, the comptroller's office could have, IMO.
Finally, this is why Greg Abbott thinks he can do a general-election focused panderfest during the primary. Pauken makes him look sane, and offers little real competition.
The man has no electoral politics brains whatsoever.
If he did, instead of Brit-bashing, he'd be rhetorically asking how the revolving door issues flew by Abbott's office without an adversarial AG's opinion.
Instead, it's the same xenophobia we saw over the Trans-Texas Corridor. It too was wrong. But Cintra being a Spanish company, as wingnuts repeatedly mouthed, had nothing to do with it being wrong.