Seven of the eight commissioners present at their regular meeting agreed to postpone the decision until December so they can further examine the issue.
A groundswell of opposition has emerged in the days since the commission released an advisory opinion indicating state law does not require the disclosure of gift amounts; a suitcase full of cash could be described merely as "cash;" an envelope full of checks could be described merely as "checks."
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle called the opinion "absurd" in a letter to the commission and said "a gift of cash, check or other currency simply cannot be adequately described without giving the amount of the gift."
At least two state lawmakers, Rep. Fred Hill, R-Richardson, and Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, have vowed to file bills requiring precise reporting.
Gov. Rick Perry said this week that he would support such legislation.
Specific criticism by Texans for Public Justice and Common Cause of the original TEC draft ruling is here (PDF). Note that the TEC does have policymaking responsibilities, and that the word "value" does appear in the disputed statute. The problem here is one of fecklessness, not clarity.Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 24, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack