Powers critics donate to 2 Hall committee members

Bill Powers speaks after announcing he will resign as UT president. (Paul Shelton/KXAN)
Texas president Bill Powers during a news conference Jan. 6, 2014, in Austin. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (AP) — Critics of University of Texas President Bill Powers have made donations to the campaigns of two members of a legislative committee that is investigating an anti-Powers UT System regent, according to campaign finance reports.

Powers critic Jeff Sandefer and Empower Texans PAC, a political action committee run by Powers critic Michael Quinn Sullivan, made the donations to state Reps. Charles Perry and Dan Flynn, according to the reports reviewed by San Antonio Express-News. The two Republicans are members of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Operations. Flynn is co-chairman of the eight-member committee.

The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday in Austin and is about to take up a report that accuses UT System regent Wallace Hall of possible criminal misconduct in his campaign to depose Powers.

The records also show that Perry, R-Lubbock, received substantial support from Sullivan’s nonprofit, Empower Texans, which is not required by federal law to reveal its donors.

Empower Texans PAC and Sandefer also gave almost $5,000 to Flynn in 2012. The East Texas Republican got $5,000 from a fund supporting Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, whom Sullivan has tried to depose and who created the committee that is investigating Hall. Hall and Sandefer, together, have given $300,000 to Accountability First PAC, which targeted Straus supporters in this year’s Republican primaries.

Neither Sandefer nor Sullivan has a working listed phone number, and neither could be reached for comment. Perry did not return a message left at his home Tuesday evening. There was no answer at a number listed for Flynn.

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