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Friday, September 24, 2010

GOP Land Commissioner Candidate Matt Rush Caught Lying About Earning a Degree

Rush120 If a candidate lies about something as simple and straightforward as whether or not he or she has a particular degree, what else will that candidate lie about? What does such behavior portend for the candidate's future conduct in office, if elected? Those are pertinent questions to ask about Matt Rush, the Republican candidate for the powerful position of New Mexico land commissioner, who has been caught lying about having earned an associate degree.

According to a story in today's Albuquerque Journal, Rush provided the paper, as well as others, with what certainly appears to be deliberately inaccurate information about his educational achievements:

About that degree: Matt Rush, the Republican candidate for state land commissioner, has told the Journal and others that he has an associate's degree in agribusiness from Lubbock Christian University. It turns out that's premature, at best.

According to the school, Rush is only one required course away from a bachelor's degree, but he never actually got an associate's degree. Rush said he assumed he had the associate's degree — although he didn't have the paper to prove it — because of all the coursework he had completed.

He said an inquiry from the Journal prompted him to check with the school, and he discovered he had not been awarded the associate's degree.

"I was absolutely confident, 100 percent, that's what I had. That is inaccurate," an embarrassed Rush said Thursday.

One slight problem -- turns out Rush never checked with the school about the associate degree, despite his claim to have done so:

Lubbock Christian University Registrar Janice Stone said school officials had never determined Rush's eligibility for an associate's degree because he hadn't asked them to.

Sure sounds to me that Rush reneged on his original claim only when he was confronted by the Journal about his record. Since he never contacted the university to check on whether or not he had legitimately earned an associate degree, he had to have known already that he hadn't done so. That makes two lies about this matter, doesn't it?

Rush finally admitted the truth to KNME's Lorene Mills on September 17 during a half-hour PBS TV interview, saying that he had no degree from Lubbock Christian University.*

According to the Journal, Rush was enrolled at Lubbock Christian University during the period 1992 to 1996 and also worked there for several years. You'd think he would have remembered what he, in fact, accomplished there, and what he didn't. Apparently, it was easier for Rush to "forget" the facts than to admit he had no college degree. What else is he "forgetting"?

Honesty and Integrity?
By the way, the Journal's original profile on this race (which included the candidate-provided info on education) reports that, "Businessmen from eastern New Mexico drafted him, according to Rush, and his campaign is being fueled in part by hefty contributions from oil and gas producers."

Ironically, Rush touted his "honesty and integrity" to the Journal in that report:

The GOP candidate says continuing that budget restraint, and operating with honesty and integrity, are his major campaign themes.


Rush is running against Democrat Ray Powell in the public land commissioner race this year.

*You can see the entire interchange tonight on Report from Santa Fe at 10:30 PM on PBS Channel 5, repeated at 7:30 AM Sunday. For Las Cruces viewers it's 7:30 AM Sunday, PBS Channel 22. For the east side of New Mexico, it will air at 6:00 PM Saturday on PBS Channel 3.

September 24, 2010 at 02:27 PM in 2010 NM Land Commissioner Race, Ethics & Campaign Reform | Permalink


Lies and the lying liars that tell them, as now Senator Al Franken once put it!

Posted by: SFer | Sep 24, 2010 3:57:26 PM

Such An important office for such an under educated guy.

Posted by: qofdisks | Sep 24, 2010 5:13:22 PM

Lie is an awfully strong word for something that could easily be an honest mistake. Why would anyone in their right mind lie about something that was so easy to expose.

I think your bigotry is getting in the way of your journalism.

Posted by: truth4achange | Sep 24, 2010 7:18:10 PM

If someone can't remember whether they were awarded a degree and a diploma or not, that alone should disqualify them for an elected office. Then this guy lies again by claiming he checked with the college when he didn't. Down he goes unless voters are nuts this year.

Ray Powell's qualifications and ethics are superb. This guy is bought and paid for by oil and gas. No contest.

Posted by: Ed | Sep 24, 2010 7:50:37 PM

Yeah right this guy is going for a BA and thinks he has an associate degree? Too much.

Posted by: Sean | Sep 24, 2010 8:12:56 PM

He is a member of the Ethos Leadership Group where he says he "earned his degree in Agriculture and Business from Lubbock Christian University" implying he graduated the school with a full degree. The Group "assist organizations and individuals in their enhancement of professionalism, leadership, and fundraising."

It is interesting that Matt Rush is a paid speaker. He wants $3,000 to $4,500 to speak!

So he is motivational speaker for hire! That is what the State land Offices needs – a fluff speaker!

Posted by: Hemingway | Sep 25, 2010 11:26:05 AM

Hemingway - Amazingly dishonest on the part of Rush. I'm surprised he hasn't been found out before. I guess he has worked hard to look like an innocent guy.

Posted by: Sean | Sep 26, 2010 6:07:17 PM