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Conflicts of Interest

Advocates call for Reforms of Appointment Process and Conflict of Interest Standards

Texas conflict of interest and disclosure standards are too weak to protect Texans. The recent questions about the apparent failures to Gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez and PUC chairman Max Yzaguirre to disclose key information to the nominations committee is just the tip of an iceberg that could be very costly to Texans. The current flap shows at least six flaws in the law:

  1. It allows companies to contribute to the Governor and have their current or former employees appointed
  2. The appointment process is flawed - too little information is available to the nominations committee, the forms don’t adequately disclose conflicts or the extent of an appointees holdings, too little investigation is done of possible conflicts- and too much deference is given by the Senate to the Governor
  3. The standards for conflicts doesn’t preclude commissioners or elected officials from voting to benefit companies that may own stock in , that have worked for or serves on the board of,
  4. The states’ standard for conflict is flawed. We need to have a clear standard that says you can’t be appointed, vote or take an action if affects a company that is was your former employer or affects stock that comprises 10% of your holdings, affects 10% of your income, or would change the value your holdings by 10% or more.
  5. The law is unclear when a board member or an elected official should refrain from voting. When should they refrain if they have a financial interest?
  6. The process for removing an appointee or a commissioner is flawed, too. The Attorney General has to take action- but no time lines are set and the standards for acting are unclear.

    » texas | CleanPolitic | Ethics | Conf Intsrt

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