In last week’s chaotic news cycle, you might have missed the proclamation from Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, expanding the purview of the House Transparency Committee to include proposing articles of impeachment against executive appointees—i.e., officials appointed by Gov. Rick Perry.
The newly empowered Transparency Committee quickly set its sights on the UT System Board of Regents, with a particular focus on Regent Wallace Hall, whose recent down-to-the-post-it-notes open records request to the office of President William Powers Jr. drew widespread criticism.
Though official numbers are unavailable, recent open records requests made by or on behalf of Regent Hall have cost University officials quite a lot of time: According to UT spokesperson Gary Susswein, the University has had to hire a temporary employee for three weeks to take care of administrative duties in the president’s office while other staff members gather the documents Hall requested.
In a statement to the Texas Tribune, Perry spokesperson Lucy Nashed wrote that the Texas House’s authorization of investigations into the Board of Regents would send a “chilling message” to gubernatorial appointees. Quite frankly, a “chilling” — of tempers, egos and the frivolous actions they lead to — is exactly what this situation needs. It is the hope of this editorial board that the Transparency Committee moves to dismiss, and not indulge, any more attempts at creating higher-education drama as they pursue