in Houston, Texas
Because of Texas legislature, names of finalists for Angelo State president kept secret
Thursday, Sep 27, 2012, 01:51PM CST
By Steve Miller
capitol

The public can be prevented from knowing the candidates for president of Angelo State University because of a law passed by legislators in 1993 and updated last session.

A story in the San Angelo-Standard Times reports that there are four finalists in the search, but the university will not reveal them due to the law, stemming from a bill that was authored by then-state Sen. Bill Haley and updated by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini.

 

Zaffirini defended the secrecy, telling the newspaper that "by keeping the names confidential, and avoiding releasing information that could put a presidential candidate's current job at jeopardy, we get a better selection of candidates.”

 

In December 2010, on the eve of last session, Zaffirini received a $1,000 contribution from lobbyist Ben Barnes of the Ben Barnes Group, which that year was among the stable of lobbyists for the Texas Tech University System, which oversees Angelo State. Barnes also contributed to Zaffirini in 2006 and 2011.

 

Haley and Zaffirini were on the state Senate Education Committee together in 1993.

 

The names of candidates for public jobs are generally considered public record, although government agencies often violate the law and keep them private, as the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association has done.

 

***

Contact Steve Miller at 832-303-9420 or stevemiller@texaswatchdog.org.


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