October 22, 2021 — In September, The Lincoln Project produced an ad critical of Governor Greg Abbott‘s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PAC purchased airtime through ESPN on the Longhorn Network during a UT-Austin football game. Moments before kickoff, the University informed The Lincoln Project that they would not run the commercial — claiming an undisclosed policy against running political advertisements.

In October, the very next month, the University granted access to Darryl K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium to extremist media outlet Breitbart for an exclusive interview with the Texas governor — an interview during which the Governor spread misinformation about vaccines and attacked public health officials for prescribing mandates.

“As his approval continues to sink, Greg Abbott has become more and more extreme in his use of state power to achieve his political goals,” said Reed Galen, co-founder of the Lincoln Project. “We aren’t surprised he would deny free speech to his opponents. We’re also not surprised that Abbott, a former Supreme Court justice and Texas Attorney General, would so flagrantly violate state law by using the Longhorns’ hallowed ground for his venal and cynical political purposes.”

The Lincoln Project has filed a Freedom of Information request with the University of Texas at Austin and Greg Abbott’s official office to determine if any communications were made between the school and those within the Governor’s office in regards to blocking the ad critical of the Governor. Additionally, The Lincoln Project will be filing a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission against Abbott for misuse of official time and resources in furtherance of his re-election campaign.



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