- The Washington Times - Monday, January 14, 2002

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) When most Texas governors leave office, they send their documents to the state archives or the state's largest universities, where the public is free to view them.
But President Bush, who served as governor from 1995 to 2000, chose to house his records at Texas A&M; University in the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, named for his father. The site is administered by the National Archives and Records Commission, and it is not subject to the state's open-records law.
The Texas Public Information Act requires that most documents be produced within 10 days of a request, but the presidential library is not equipped to do that since it also is handling presidential material, said Edward Seidenberg, deputy director of the state library and archives commission.
The presidential library will attempt to be responsive but cannot guarantee it will meet the state requirement, said Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives and Records Commission.
"The turnaround time is just too tight," Miss Cooper said.
For now, the national archive will try to fill requests within 90 days, said the president's attorney, Terri Lacy.
The situation frustrates Tom Smith, Texas director of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen.
"These papers belong to the people of the state of Texas, not to George W. Bush," Mr. Smith said. "He can't hide them or give them away, and putting them in his daddy's library doesn't change that one bit."
Miss Lacy said she did not know why Mr. Bush chose his father's presidential library for his records, but she insisted he is "absolutely not" trying to hide them. "It is not his goal in any fashion to attempt to do something like that," she said.

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