Governor's Business Council

What does the Governor's Business Council have to do with UT?

An Ann Richards creation, the council serves as a nexus for the good ol' boys and gals of Texas politico-business. Many of the Regents and their friends proudly serve as members of this board and, according to their Mission Statement, are active in

  • "providing advice, research and counsel in the development and implementation laws, regulations and programs to improve the business climate in Texas.
  • providing advice and counsel with respect to the elimination and modification of statutory, regulatory and structural impediments to economic development in Texas."

The Regents, although ostensibly public servants, use their political leverage to further their own personal business agendas, dismantling regulations that were created for the public good. Via the Governor's Business Council, the Regents can expand the scope of their business fiefdoms by dealing directly with the state government and public policy. In addition, the Council provides a direct forum - unavailable to average Texans - for Regental pet projects. Regent Charles Miller used the Council as his lobbying base to push for the Charter School Resource Center and the Charter School Financial Foundation, a way of redirecting public funds to unaccountable, unregulated, private charter schools.

The connections between UT and the Governor's Business Council do not end here. Currently, Bill Wise, Chairman and CEO of El Paso Corporation serves as Vice Chairman of the Council. UTIMCO and several regents have substantial investments in Wise's company, which presently has 11 lawsuits filed against it, ranging from personal injury suits filed by families of the 12 El Paso Corp employees killed in a pipeline explosion to suits by the federal government for manipulating the price of natural gas sold into the California marketplace to class actions suits filed by Native Americans to state suits filed for violations of the Clean Water Act.

Erle Nye, Chairman and CEO of TXU Corporation, also serves as a Vice Chairman of the GBC, and Charles E. McMahen, Vice Chairman of Compass Bank, serves as Chairman. UTIMCO now has substantial investments in each corporation.

Regents who sit on Governor's Business Council:

A.W. "Dub" Riter - Executive Committee

Charles Miller - Board of Directors

Woodley "Woody" Hunt - Member

Rita Clements - Member