Texas GOP Loses Grassroots Leader Daniel McCool

HOUSTON, Texas—Just last Saturday, Daniel McCool was elected by the delegates of the Senate District 11 to be their representative on the Republican Party of Texas State Republican Executive Committee (SREC). Less than one week later, his family, friends, loved ones and fellow Republicans are gathering in prayer to remember a man who was taken from us much too quickly. Daniel died Friday evening of a sudden heart attack shortly after coming home from his shift working traffic control in his job as a Harris County Deputy Sheriff.

This reporter spoke with Dan last weekend in Fort Worth at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention and Gala. He was very excited about his election to serve his fellow Republicans on the SREC. He looked happy and healthy and ready to begin the fight to elect Republicans in this fall’s general election. The photo above was taken of Daniel and his love, Leonila Olivares at the Party’s Gala. Now he is gone but he will not be forgotten by those he loved and those he worked with.

I met Daniel when he was running for State Senator in the 2012 Republican Primary. He was running a hard fought campaign against then State Representative Larry Taylor. Daniel lost that election, but did not slow down for a moment in continuing his work for the Republican Party he loved. When the word came out that Democrats were planning a campaign to turn Texas blue, Daniel responded with his own campaign, “Fight like a Texan”. He went to work and formed several new grassroots clubs in southeast Harris County and deeply engaged in the fight to defend Texas in the shadow of the San Jacinto Monument where he lived, worked and helped spread the Republican message.

Almost one year ago, the San Jacinto Republican Women’s Club honored Daniel for his work and achievements in southeast Harris County on behalf of Republican candidates. Over the past couple of years, it is hard to remember a Republican event in Harris County that Dan was not present for and actively working the room.

Today, his Facebook page is filling with comments from those who knew, loved and worked with him. Sandi Paulus, a graphic artist who builds websites and campaign literature for Republicans said, “His big, ol’ Texas heart just stopped. Daniel, I miss you. I thought I loved America. I thought I loved Texas. You inspired me to do more, to fight even harder for them.”

Carole Alexander commented, “You were a light in the Republican Party. You always had time to help in any way you could.”

Rex Teter served as the SREC member for the neighboring SD 6 until he was term limited out last weekend. “I first met Daniel McCool when his son Jacob started attending the school where I was teaching” Teter said. “Jacob was in kindergarten and attended my music class.  I saw Daniel with the “right brand” of stickers on his car, and we began our friendship and shared our love of conservative, Republican politics and governing.  I found out years later that I had heard of Daniel from a friend who had become involved in the community watch program….it just took a while for me to realize it was the same person.

“Daniel was always full of energy and made the best of any situation,” Teter continued. “My life has been blessed because of Daniel and his children Jacob and Abigail, and he will be missed by Leonila, his children, his family and his extended Republican family.”

Elected officials are also reaching out to express their thoughts on Dan’s passing. Last summer Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was invited to attend a 4th of July parade. The decision to attend this particular event in SD 11 was made late and it was discovered there wasn’t a float available for the Lt. Governor to ride on. In a matter of hours Dan designed and built a beautiful float and Dewhurst and his supporters road through the parade and met the people along the way.

Governor Dewhurst learned of Dan’s death while he was traveling in Europe. He reached out to Breitbart Texas and said, “I am shocked and deeply saddened at the recent passing of Daniel McCool. Daniel was truly committed to giving back to his community as a veteran deputy of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department, treasurer of the Texas Crime Prevention Association, and though his engagement in civic and political affairs. My heart and prayers go out to his family and those who loved him.”

Texas State Senator Larry Taylor, who defeated Daniel in the 2012 Republican Primary, expressed shock at the sudden death of this tireless worker. “I am shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of my friend Daniel,” Taylor said sadly. “He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends and by our Party. Daniel was truly a servant of the people who gave his all.”

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia responded to a request for comment, saying, “We at the HCSO family are truly saddened by the sudden loss of Dep. Dan McCool. He was a 24 year veteran of the HCSO.”

“We are grateful for his service to our agency and the citizens of Harris County,” Garcia said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Dep. McCool’s family, friends and colleagues.”

Steve Munisteri, Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas said, “I was saddened to learn today of the passing of SREC member Dan McCool. I had the privilege of speaking multiple times to the Republican club which Dan was a member of. He was a dedicated and hard working Republican who will be sorely missed by the party.”

“I was looking forward to working with Dan who was just elected last Friday to the State Republican Executive Committee,” Munisteri continued. “On behalf of the Republican Party of Texas I wish to extend our heartfelt condolences to Dan’s family, loved ones, and friends. He will be missed.”

Outgoing Harris County GOP Chairman, Jared Woodfil, worked closely with Daniel for many years. “Daniel was a true grassroots warrior,” Woodfil expressed. “His leadership resulted in numerous Republican being elected. He understood that you grow a party, not by compromising on what you believe, but instead, by taking your values and beliefs to those communities that had not traditionally voted Republican.”

“He didn’t just walk the talk,” Woodfil said, “he walked and walked, creating Republican clubs in areas where none had existed. He will be deeply missed, but his hard work will have a lasting impact.”

Incoming Harris County GOP Chair Paul Simpson, who officially takes office on Monday, also expressed his thoughts on Daniel. “Daniel — a good man, a loyal friend, and a true patriot,” Simpson said. “I’m gonna miss you. We all will. Fare well with The Lord, Daniel. My prayers are with your family.”

Simpson went on to say, “The Republican Party lost a valiant leader when Daniel McCool passed on.”

Big Jolly Politics blogger, David Jennings called Daniel “the activist’s activist” in a tribute on his website. “Some days you want to crawl back in bed and pretend that the news you heard upon wakening was just part of a nightmare,” Jennings said. “Today is one of those days for me when I woke up to the news that my friend Daniel McCool, Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy and Republican political activist.”

“When he ran for the Texas Senate in 2012,” Jennings continued, “he self-funded  the bulk of his campaign because he wanted to be truly independent and refused to take money from the insurance lobby or the trial lawyers. He was so proud of his election last week to be the SREC committeeman for SD11 because the party activists that elected him recognized his years of volunteer work for the cause of conservative Republicans.”

Houston conservative radio talk-show host Michael Berry paid tribute to Daniel during his show this morning. “Daniel was a guy who was always doing something,” Berry began, “organizing events, organizing a voter drive, helping a candidate to win an election, helping to raise money for something, or taking an extra job. He was the guy that if you needed people to go to the capitol to protest a bad law he would make twenty calls to see who he could get to join him, but he was going to drive. He would go pick up anybody that needed to be picked up. He was never too proud to do whatever needed to be done to get it done.”

You can hear Michael Berry’s entire statement by visiting his radio archive.

I spoke this morning with a deeply shocked and saddened Leonila Olivares whom Daniel was planning on asking to be his wife later this month. She was with him when he returned home from work last night, not feeling well. He collapsed in her living room chair and she called 911. The ambulance was only just down the street and the hospital was walking distance. Despite the efforts of the paramedics and doctors, Daniel could not be saved and we have lost a friend and fellow Republican.

Leonila echoed what many have said about Daniel. “He had a servant’s heart,” she said. Leonila said Daniel taught her much, but most of all, he taught her to fight for what she believed in.

“Daniel recently bought ‘Vote Red’ license plates for his car,” she said. “He so much wanted to be in the fight to keep Texas red. We must now do that for him.”

Daniel McCool – friend, patriot, Texan, father, Republican… Rest in Peace

Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter: @BobPriceBBTX.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Good Leaders, Bad Company Men: NBA Teams Axing Winning Coaches over Bad Front Office Relations

Are relationships more important than wins and profit in the upper levels of the NBA?

More than their knack for bolstering their teams in the standings, NBA coaches and executives are being fired for their relationship skills—or lack thereof.

After a successful 2013 campaign in which he took the Memphis Grizzlies to the Western Conference Finals, coach Lionel Hollins lost his job. The Grizzlies had never been to a conference finals.

Following the Grizzlies 2014 campaign in which new coach Dave Joerger took a hobbled squad to the playoffs, giving the Thunder hell for seven games before falling in the first round, the team strangely allowed Joerger to interview with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Then, unexpectedly, CEO Jason Levien, the man who ousted Hollins and was willing to let Joerger walk away, received his pink slip.

In a response to a question on Twitter, Grizzlies owner Robert Pera said, “I will open up the checkbook and do whatever it takes to bring us closer to a championship organization.” But after twice shaking up his organization in only one calendar year after his team stood on the brink on a NBA Finals appearance, fans question whether throwing money at the problem will necessarily solve it.

This season, after three years on the job, the Golden State Warriors replaced Coach Mark Jackson with commentator Steve Kerr, a former guard with the Bulls and five other NBA teams, who boasts no NBA coaching experience. In 2014, Jackson led the Warriors to their most successful season in two decades and their second trip to the playoffs under him. At Kerr’s introductory press conference, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said, “When you strip it all away, what matters most is winning.” He claimed “the coach is the highest importance.”

One avenue for a GM to avoid personality conflicts with the coach is to hire himself as the coach. Most recently, Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders opted to name himself coach. After the retirement of Rick Adelman in April, Saunders was unable to lure Dave Joerger or a high profile college coach to Minnesota. Alas, Saunders hired himself as coach–he had previously coached the franchise to its greatest successes–while maintaining his front office responsibilities.

Stan Van Gundy assumed both roles for the Detroit Pistons this offseason after the team offered him $35 million over five years. It has been reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers pursued Kentucky Coach John Calipari for a similar role in a 10-year deal worth $80 million. Calipari instead signed a lucrative contract extension to remain in Lexington.

The coveted set-up gives Saunders and Van Gundy the authority to make basketball and personnel decisions. Each answers to ownership. Ultimately, it removes the shackles of having to implement a coaching philosophy with players chosen by someone else. It puts leader of the bench and the front office in complete charge of the franchise’s, and his own, destiny.

Surely Hollins and Jackson wouldn’t have been in the bad graces of upper management had each enjoyed a similar arrangement, which probably explains why coaches seek to wear the GM hat and GMs look to call the shots from the bench, too. The relationships of Hollins and Jackson with upper management caused them to become expendable even as their number of wins trended upward. 

Both the Grizzlies and Warriors declined to comment when asked if relationship consistency between the coach, on the one hand, and management and ownership, on the other, is more important than winning percentage.

“Owners and GMs have a vision of what they want their team to be,” says Dr. Tim Ryan, coordinator of Sports and Leisure Management at the University of Memphis, “Even if their team is winning, they will make a change because they believe that their vision is what’s right for their team.”

From 2012 to 2013, the Lionel Hollins-led Grizzlies improved from 41-25 to 56-26 (2012 was a lockout-shortened season). As the wins increased, so too did attendance and ticket prices. The same is true for Jackson. In 2012, Mark Jackson’s first season as the Golden State Warriors coach, the franchise asked an average of $34.13 for a ticket. At the time of his firing, the average Warriors ticket cost $44.27. And winning made both teams a hot ticket.

Surely, the rise and fall of attendance and ticket revenue can’t be entirely attributed to a coach coming or going. Yet, the coach plays as a large piece of a team’s overall success, which directly correlates to ticket sales and fan participation. If wins equal money and the NBA is a business, it stands that NBA GMs and owners should not be willing to allow personal differences to impede the business of basketball and the economics of winning. 

“They say that ticket sales are important,” Dr. Ryan explains. “But their actions don’t always back it up.”




Source: Breitbart Feed

Raul Labrador: ‘I Am Going to Win’ the Majority Leader Race

On Friday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) guaranteed he would win any pending contest for the House Majority Leader spot as an outgoing-Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has to vacate the House Majority Leader position, which looks to be coming down between House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Labrador.

Labrador gave his biography and touched on a number of topics, including immigration, the economy, Second Amendment rights and Benghazi.

Transcript as follows (courtesy of the Hugh Hewitt radio show):

HEWITT: Big change in the race to succeed Eric Cantor as Majority Leader. Congressman Raul Labrador of Idaho has thrown his hat into the ring to square off against Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California. I’m pleased to welcome Raul Labrador back to the Hugh Hewitt Show. Congressman, good to talk to you, thanks for joining me.

LABRADOR: It’s great to be on your show, Hugh.

HEWITT: Are you going to win?

LABRADOR: I am going to win. You know, I’m already getting a lot of calls from people who are telling me that they’re switching their vote, that they’re excited about having a choice in this race, and that they want a different direction for the conference. They want more conservative leadership in the House.

HEWITT: Can we get a little bio for people? You’ve been on before, and I’ve written about you over at Hughhewitt.com, and I urge people to go and read that, but tell people a little bit about the Raul Labrador story.

LABRADOR: Absolutely. You know, I was actually born and raised in Puerto Rico. I was born to a single mom. She was a wonderful woman, and she taught me to believe in myself, to work hard, play by the rules. She wanted me to get a good education, and she just told me that the best thing I could do is just study hard. So I went to school in Puerto Rico until the age of 13. I moved to the mainland at the age of 13, and I went to high school in Las Vegas. And I moved to Las Vegas in 1981. And you know who the president was in 1981. I hope your audience all know.

HEWITT: President Reagan, you bet.

LABRADOR: Absolutely. And my mom was an amazing woman. She had been a Democrat her whole life. She was a JFK Democrat. And when she moved to Las Vegas, she decided that she was going to register as a Republican, and I was a little bit surprised. And I asked her why, and she just said that the Jimmy Carter years had been terrible for America, and that she wanted, she just loved what Reagan was doing as president at the time, and that her first vote for president there in Las Vegas, she wanted it to be for Ronald Reagan when she registered to vote. So that’s how I…

HEWITT: So after that? 

LABRADOR: After that, what?

HEWITT: You went to BYU, I believe, right?

LABRADOR: I went to BYU, went to college in Utah, and then I met and married a beautiful woman from Boise, Idaho, and that’s how I ended up in Idaho. 

HEWITT: Now I see a picture, and I’ve put it up at Hughhewitt.com. You have five beautiful children and a wonderful wife, and you were a lawyer before going to Congress. And here’s what I wrote. Imagine House GOP Majority Leader Raul Labrador appearing on Telemundo and Univision daily, or answering mainstream media’s gotcha immigration questions in Spanish on Meet the Press or Face the Nation or This Week. So answer both in English and Spanish this question for me, Congressman Labrador. Are the Republicans anti-Latino?

LABRADOR: The Republicans are not anti-Latinos. You know, I tell the story all the time that the Tea Party is the one that has actually brought out the Latinos. Look at Idaho. I actually ran against a person in my primary who was born and raised in Idaho who happened to be Caucasian, and they elected the guy who was from Puerto Rico with an accent. So you know, so there can’t be any better story than that. You see the same story in Texas with Ted Cruz, you see the same story in Florida with Marco Rubio. We’re for the American people. We want people to succeed. We want people to thrive. We want people to do better. 

HEWITT: And how does that sound in…

LABRADOR: And what we don’t do…go ahead.

HEWITT: How does that sound in Spanish?

LABRADOR: Bueno. [Lengthy answer in Spanish]

HEWITT: That’s exactly what I would have said.

LABRADOR: Exactly.

HEWITT: Now my next question is what is your position on bringing an immigration bill to the floor this session? Should it wait until 2015?

LABRADOR: I think it should wait until 2015. I have actually been really clear that it would be a mistake for us to actually negotiate with the Democrats right now. The only thing that we should be doing is encouraging the President, and actually demanding from the President, that he seal the border. You see this incredible rush to the border by all these children that are coming from South and Central America, and I think this is the direct result of the policies of this President. And we need to make sure that the President actually is serious about enforcing the law, because right now, he has a welcome sign out there saying that anybody who wants to come to the United States, they can stay here, because we’re going to grant them amnesty. I think that is the wrong message, and I think he needs to start enforcing the law, and I think the American people are fair people. Once he starts enforcing the law, we can start changing the immigration system, because it is a broken system, and you and I have talked about this before. It’s a broken system, and we have to fix it. But we have to do it the right way. There should be no bill going to the floor this year, and there should be no bill going to conference. I have rejected any kind of conference with the Senate. The only bill that could or might go to the floor is the bill that we drafted as Republicans, and we tell the Democrats this is the only bill, and it’s not going anywhere. If you want to conference it…

HEWITT: I also told people that you were a Mormon missionary in Chile. And I assume that you worked the toughest slums of Chile as well as some of the middle class neighborhoods, so you’re no stranger to poverty. And should the Republican Party be afraid of issues having to deal with the 1% rhetoric they ran into two years ago?

LABRADOR: You know, I think that the Republican Party needs to start talking to the middle class a little bit better. We need to start talking to the poor people. You know, I always get a little bit frustrated with Republicans, because we always talk about job creators, and really who we should be talking to is their employees. I think we, there’s people that are suffering in the United States right now. There’s a lot of people, the middle class, you have people that are poor that want a better life, and we need to show them how to get that better life. And that better life is not through government dependency, but it’s through personal accountability. And it’s through actually making sure that these people work hard and play by the rules. That’s what we… 

HEWITT: There’s a question out there that Kevin McCarthy knows the rules of the House, and you know, he’s got all the chairmen on his side. Do you think you could run the House? And do you think you could work well with a Whip McCarthy if you beat him? Do you think you’d be able to turn around and work with Kevin?

LABRADOR: Absolutely. I called both the Speaker and Kevin McCarthy this morning to tell them that I was running. I told them that obviously, I’m in it to win, and I’m going to win this race, and I want to work with them. This is, you know, I have a good relationship with them. I have been a critic of leadership, and I think we need to go in a new direction. That’s why I think we have a good, strong opportunity, because 90% of the members of the House feel like they’re not relevant. They think that it’s all a top-down approach in the House of Representatives, and that they’re not really relevant, because what they want to do, the bills that they want to pass, and the things that they want to do, are not even being heard in the committees. And that’s what I want to do.

HEWITT: I think your election as leader would energize into the fall. I think we’d win the Senate for sure, I think we would pick up seats in the House. Would you be active out there raising money? Could you raise money? Could you raise awareness for candidates who are running for seats currently held by Democrats in both bodies?

LABRADOR: Absolutely. I think we need to have a better message that reaches out to all the different communities. I think my voice and having a new face for the Republican Party will energize America. Having people like myself who are talking about conservative principles is actually a good thing for the Republican Party. 

HEWITT: Any chairman step up and say I’m a Labrador guy 

LABRADOR: I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think I’m going to win this through the regular way of having the chairmen support me. I think it’s by having just the regular people in the House, the rank and file members of the Republican conference. I think they’re the ones who are asking and hungering for change.

HEWITT: Now I think people can help you if they call their Congressmen and urge that, and I also think reporters need to ask every Republican Congressman out there bluntly, are you a Labrador or are you a McCarthy vote? I’ve been trying to get Kevin McCarthy to come on all day. He hasn’t been on the show in two years. If you win, will you be available to the grassroots via the platforms, not just this show, but every show and television and Twitter and the blogosphere to talk to them?

LABRADOR: Absolutely. That’s the only way you can win elections is by talking to just the individuals. If you’re only talking to businesses and your donors, it’s impossible for you to actually win major elections.

HEWITT: All right, now let me ask some issues so people can be certain where you are ideologically. Where do you stand on the Second Amendment?

LABRADOR: I’m 100 percent behind the Second Amendment. I believe it’s not just a hunting right. It’s a right for everyone to carry their weapons.

HEWITT: And are you a defender of unborn children?

LABRADOR: Absolutely.

HEWITT: How about religious liberty?

LABRADOR: You know, I actually have a religious liberty bill in the House that I have drafted, and that has been co-sponsored by Heritage Action, and it’s getting a lot of steam.

HEWITT: Do you support the investigation, the Special Committee, into Benghazi?

LABRADOR: Absolutely. I support it, and I’m a good friend with Trey Gowdy. He and I sit next to each other on the Judiciary Committee, and I think he’s going to do a fantastic job.

HEWITT: The IRS and Fast & Furious investigations were blocked. As majority leader, will you attempt to reinvigorate them and get to the bottom of them?

LABRADOR: You know, we have to do that. We do need to figure out, we have been doing something wrong in our communications. Somehow, we have not been able to get the American people to understand the importance of these issues, and I think that’s one of the things that I want to do.

HEWITT: And Defense spending, does it need to rise? And what about this mess in Iraq?

LABRADOR: You know, Defense spending, I actually think that we need to be careful with Defense spending. You look at how much money we’re spending at the Pentagon, I actually think there are things that we could do in the Pentagon that we can cut. And you talk to the generals, and they will admit that there are things that we can do in the Pentagon. Iraq? What you have is a failure of leadership. You have absolutely no plan and no strategy from this President, and look at it. This is the result that we have, the latest failure of leadership.

HEWITT: 30 seconds, how do people help you, Raul Labrador?

LABRADOR: They start calling all their Congressman and letting them know that they support having new leadership in the House of Representative.

HEWITT: Good luck, Raul Labrador. We’ll keep following this over the weekend. Do not give even a second’s notice to those who say it can’t be done. It can be done.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor



Source: Breitbart Feed

Border Patrol Agents Threatened with Criminal Charges for Speaking to Reporters

HOUSTON, Texas—A surge of thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has left federal resources and facilities overwhelmed. Most of the new migrants are children from Central America. In the aftermath of Breitbart Texas releasing photos showing minors warehoused in crowded U.S. cells, Border Patrol agents in Texas have been instructed not to speak to media outlets.

The Associated Press (AP) obtained an email from Eligio “Lee” Pena, an assistant patrol agent, that ordered more than 3,000 agents to not speak to reporters about the “humanitarian crisis.” The email allegedly said that reporters are likely to press for details and “may try to disguise themselves” in the process.” 

Pena’s email went on to warn agents that they could be disciplined or even charged with a crime if they speak to media, according to the AP

Since the news of the spike in foreign minors, Border Patrol contacts–many of whom used to speak on the record regularly–have not returned numerous phone calls or emails from Breitbart Texas. 

The silence comes in the face of the apprehension of 47,000 foreign children traveling alone to the U.S. since October.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson implied at a press conference on Thursday that many of the children will not be deported. “The law requires that we act in the best interest in the child,” he said. “When we turn over a child to HHS, HHS acts in the best interest of the child which very often means reuniting that child with the parent in the United States. That’s what the law requires.”

It is unclear, then, how immigration laws will be enforced moving forward.

Many are concerned that by providing the migrants with shelter, transportation, meals, education, and even legal counsel, other children may be encouraged to make the dangerous trek north from Central America. Since agents on the ground are not able to give insight into the situation, the actual severity of the situation may be unknown. 

This is not the first time Border Patrol agents have been ordered to remain silent on an issue. In May, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) ordered agents not to speak to reporters regarding the 36,000 convicted criminal illegal immigrants that were released onto U.S. soil.

“We were given specific instructions not to comment on that report,” said Greg Palmore, a Texas-based ICE spokesman, during a phone interview with Breitbart Texas. He was referring to the  report by the Center for Immigration Studies that outlined the criminals’ release. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate




Source: Breitbart Feed

Richard Sander: Standing up to Deceit in University Admissions

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reportedly once said, “One man who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny.”

Although admissions policy at American universities is not quite tyranny, it is surrounded by much deceit. In standing up to the deceit, one man has been more important and courageous than all others  And if the deceit is ever brought down, that man will deserve most of the credit. His name is Richard Sander.

Born in Washington, D.C., Sander spent most of his childhood in small towns in northwest Indiana. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1978 from Harvard, he–like Barack Obama–began work as a community organizer in South Side Chicago. 

Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

In 1983, he entered graduate school at Northwestern University, receiving his law degree in 1988 and a PhD in economics in 1990.  In 1989, he joined the faculty at UCLA’s school of law.   

After arriving at UCLA, he soon he noticed–and was very pleased by–the racial diversity of its law school.  As he wrote in his book, Mismatch:

During my years in graduate school, Chicago and its communities had passed through some dramatic events (some of them memorably recounted in Barack Obama’s memoir, Dreams from My Father), but the university and my overwhelmingly white classmates seemed largely sealed off from the city. UCLA Law School felt very different. Nearly half of the student body, along with many of the faculty, were non-white; student organizational life was vibrant, and many students spent their precious free time engaged with pro bono organizations in Los Angeles neighborhoods. Classroom discussions reflected the diversity of the students, though not in a particularly self-conscious way.  Cross-racial interaction was ubiquitous and cross-racial friendships were common. After the racial tensions of Chicago and the sequestration of Northwestern, UCLA seemed too good to be true. Of course, in a sense, it was. Like a hundred fictional travelers to new worlds that seemed at first to be utopias, I was gradually to discover that the law school had some disturbing hidden secrets.

One discovery was that race was closely linked to law school performance. Almost all classes other than seminars used anonymous grading, but after grades were turned in, professors could get a “matching sheet” that linked exam numbers to names. After my very first semester I was struck that my Hispanic, black, and American Indian students were mostly getting Cs in a class in which the median grade was a B-. The pattern repeated the next semester–including even students who had impressed me in class. Puzzled, I asked a senior colleague about the pattern. Oh yes, she replied, shaking her head. The minority students come in with weaker preparation. It was a tough problem.

Partly because of his training in economics and statistics, Sander was soon asked to be a technical adviser to the law school admissions committee. After analyzing its data, he learned that there indeed was a stark difference between the preparation levels of different racial groups. For instance, the law school had created an index that combined information about an applicant’s LSAT score, his undergraduate grades, and the difficulty of his college. Whites were essentially guaranteed acceptance if they had a score of 820 or higher on the index and guaranteed rejection if they had a score of 760 or lower. For African Americans and American Indians, however, the corresponding numbers were 620 and 550. Thus, for a 140-point range (620 to 760), a student would certainly be admitted if he were black yet certainly be rejected if he were white.

Although the gap in preparation was generally unknown to the students, the gap in classroom performance, as Sander discovered, was well known. As he notes:

Once, when a student told me about his courseload, I observed that he was in a lot of tough classes graded on mandatory curves. That was true, he responded, but a couple of them were “safeties.” I asked him what that meant. A little embarrassed, he said that was a term for a class that had enough black and Hispanic students to absorb the low grades on the curve. His remark was breathtakingly cynical–and an oversimplification too. (The correlation between race and grades was by no means perfect.) But it was hard to blame him, and I gradually learned that many students thought in those terms.

Sander began to believe that his discoveries were manifestations of a concept that economist Thomas Sowell has dubbed the “mismatch” effect. According to the effect, if students are less prepared for a particular level of instruction–which occurs almost by design with affirmative action–then, not only do they make worse grades than their peers, they actually learn less than they would have if they had attended a less challenging school.  

Eventually, Sander gained access to a large data set constructed by the Law School Admissions Council. After analyzing the data, he wrote his findings in an article, “A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools,” which he published in the Stanford Law Review. Later, he published additional findings in his book, Mismatch.

His findings were stunning. For instance, 53% of black students in his data set never passed the bar exam and thus failed to become lawyers. By contrast, only 17% of the white students failed to become lawyers. Thus, the black-white gap, 36%, is quite large.  

Sander estimated, however, that if law schools would eliminate racial preferences–thus eliminating the mismatch effect–then the black-white gap would fall to about 13%. That is, about two thirds of the gap would disappear.

Sanders’ findings hit a nerve. As he would soon witness, proponents of racial preferences would launch a feverish attack against his findings and him personally.  

One instance occurred at the Stanford Law Review. After its editors decided to publish his article, word began to spread among law professors, and some wrote the Review, urging its editors to withdraw their decision to publish Sander’s article. Eventually, after the administration of the Stanford Law School intervened, the editors agreed to a compromise. They would publish Sander’s article, but hold a competition in which researchers would be invited to submit critiques of Sander’s work. However, if a scholar submitted an essay that mostly supported Sander’s work, it would be disqualified from the competition.  

At several law schools, Sander was invited to present his results. However, unlike the usual speech or seminar, Sander’s presentation would always be followed by another speaker, who would explain why Sander was wrong. 

The general idea,” wrote Sander, “seemed to be that [my results] were too explosive or too dangerous to be presented without some filtering, some sanitizing process.” For instance, for an event at Harvard, Sander spent the day traveling from Los Angeles to Boston. However, once he arrived, he learned that the person scheduled to critique his work would not be able to attend. Sander suggested that her time could be filled with a longer question-and-answer session. However, the event organizer smiled apologetically and explained that the entire event would have to be canceled.

At times, the critiques were outright lies. As Sander notes:

One law school in New York held a well-publicized event that drew an audience of some two hundred faculty and students. After I spoke about “Systemic Analysis,” the school’s admissions director rose and said that none of my findings applied to this law school. At this law school, he said, students of all races earned the same grades and had the same rate of success on the bar. I, of course, had no way to respond to these claims; my data came from databases that did not identify individual schools. But at dinner afterward another administrator leaned over with a confidential smile and said, “I hope [the admissions director] didn’t nettle you too much. He just made all that stuff up to placate our students.”




Source: Breitbart Feed