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defects. If the AG seemed to favor the House version, the membership of the conference committee was designed for deadlock. Nugent chaired the group. Daniel appointed libs Buddy Temple and Larry Bales, Dirty 30-Republican Bill Blythe and El Paso moderate-conservative Jim Kaster from the House side. Hobby chose Herring and Doc Blanchard as his hard-liners, Bill Meier as his moderately-hard-liner, Oscar Mauzy as his token liberal and Tati Santiesteban as a swing vote. It took some doing just to get the conference committee convened. One meeting was scheduled for Thursday, May 17. Mauzy was the only senator who attended. The other four stayed away at Hobby’s request: he wanted to confer with them before they began their work. Another session was set for that evening, and the same four stayed away after meeting with Hobby at dinner time. ON FRIDAY, the 18th, the House conferees sat in on a Senate Jurisprudence Committee meeting attended by Herring, Meier and Mauzy. Afterwards, the three senators met with the House and proposed that the compromise bill include the terms of SB 883 as coverage for appointed officials. SB 883, authored by Babe Schwartz, was a minimum-disclosure measure designed especially for lesser state officials. It would require them only to file reports on their employment by, or substantial interest in, business entities which are regulated by or do business with the state. Temple asked the question which was to continue to tie the conference committee in knots for 10 days: why should appointed officials file less detailed statements than are required of elected officers? And Herring gave the answer that would not change throughout the negotiations: “A lot of qualified people in this state are not going to subject themselves to this kind of harassment, to come up here and be kicked around and fussed at, to take an unpaid job.” He specifically mentioned “people who have made a certain success of their lives” as prospective public servants who would object to strict filing requirements. With that point clearly in dispute, the conferees moved on to identify the other major conflict, the question of whether to create an ethics commission. Mauzy said the Senate was unanimously opposed to the idea. For the next week, the committee remained stuck on those two points. There were agreements reached on most of the smaller questions. All but one of the prohibited acts, it was pointed out, fell under the penal code; they were removed \(leaving in the prohibition of a legislator’s representing another before a state conduct, with minor changes, were included. A misdemeanor penalty for “Eh? What say_?” failure to file was included. The financial statement required by the strict disclosure provision, it was agreed, would include “categories of amount” for monetary values \(income, profit or loss from stock held. Retainers were included as income required to be disclosed, though the senators insisted on language exempting retainers if the recipient performed services “commensurate to or in excess of the amount of the retainer,” virtually insuring that no retainers will be reported. But such small agreements did not seem to change the nature of the stand-off. Senators continued to stay away from meetings \(there was Mike McKinnon’s wedding, a luncheon for Sen. A. M. Aikin, meetings of other conference committees as well as standing Senate committees and periodically take the front mike in the House to make a sarcastic “progress report.” At one point he asked the sergeant-at-arms to provide cots for the meeting room so that House conferees could be ready at all times. ON SATURDAY the 26th, two days before sine die, the conferees got down to serious discussion. Nugent threw out a draft which excluded the ethics commission and included dual requirements for filing, with as many persons covered under stricter provisions as could be crowded in by four separate definitions \(elected officers, “salaried appointed officer,” “appointed officer of a major state agency” and “executive head temporized, pleading unfamiliarity with the new version. “Maybe I’m just a wee bit suspicious that this is just a delaying tactic to kill the bill,” Nugent said. “That’s an irresponsible statement,” Herring replied. “I’m not going to vote on something I haven’t read. I just happen to start out from the proposition that people are decent and honest. You start out from the opposite proposition.” “I know what my position is,” Nugent retorted. “I don’t need a senator to tell me what I think. I’m just as capable of stating my position as you are.” “I wouldn’t want to take a vote on it,” Herring countered. “I would. I’d win, because, as usual, there are more House members than senators here,” said Nugent. That set Doc Blanchard off. “That’s all I’ve heard for a week,” the Lubbock senator complained. “All this about us not showing up just isn’t true.” And when Nugent interrupted, saying he had been trying all that time to get a bill out, Blanchard cut him off, asking, “What kind of bill do you want? A good bill, or one with a lot of trash in it?” Nugent delivered a qualified apology that afternoon, when the conferees gathered in the governor’s office. Briscoe urged them to confer some more. They did, on the following day. The senators put off final negotiations one more time by preparing their own draft of the bill, which turned out not to be all that different from the House draft. The differences that did exist were straightened out in about an hour. Then Blythe brought up the question of including UT and Texas A&M regents under the detailed filing requirement. Herring said no: “I want East Texas State University and Sam Houston State included if we’re going to have UT in there.” The House conferees voted 3-1 put the regents in. The senators voted 3-1 to keep them out. Nugent went on to other questions. Before there was another vote on the regents’ status, Nugent insisted on having everyone’s commitment to the bill. That put the question directly to Bales and Temple would they risk the bill for the sake of covering the regents? Given that choice, both voted to leave Frank Erwin with the other unimportant appointees. WHAT NINE of the conferees \(all disclosure bill. The fairly complete filings will be required of four groups of officials: elected officers \(legislators, statewide executive-branch types, judges and justices from the district level up and members of appointees to fill vacancies in, and candidates for, those offices; salaried appointed officers \(as opposed to those paid executive heads of agencies \(including chancellors and presidents of colleges and appointed officers of major state agencies, which means folks who “exercise substantial power and discretion” in policy-making and money=spending \(members of 28 boards and commissions, including the Texas Industrial Commission, the Air Control Board, the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Board of Corrections, the Highway Commission, the Board of Insurance, the Parks and Wildlife June 15, 1973 5