University of Alabama finally releases names of ticket recipients

December 24, 2010
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PR Person of the Year - Deborah Lane of the University of Alabama. No person this year has kept important information away from the Alabama public for a longer period of time with weaker excuses.

On October 5, 2010 the president of the University of Alabama Dr. Robert Witt looked at my request and must have laughed.

My request was rather simple: I wanted the University to release the names of those public officials who would be receiving free Iron Bowl tickets and a parking pass for the then-upcoming Auburn/Alabama football game.  I thought Dr. Witt might have to wait until the November election to determine who should be added and subtracted from the list, but as it turned out the University was always going to give the tickets to those in office on January 1,2010!  That meant he knew who was on the list when I made my request.

He should have written me back on October 5 and said, “I’ll get this information out immediately.”  Isn’t that what a university president should do?  Isn’t a university about enlightening people and serving the people who help maintain the university?  There weren’t any state secrets involved with this information.

instead Dr. Witt wrote me back that he would send my request to the Office of Counsel.  You gotta be kiddin’ me.

He took this step in hopes the lawyers would find a way to keep the public in the dark.  Dr. Witt’s view of leadership obviously doesn’t place a great importance on transparency. Witt thought if he could delay me.  He thought I would go away.

After a month and no word from the University, I called the head lawyer at the Office of Counsel.  He sounded sincerely confused when I explained my request.  He knew nothing about it. Did Witt really send it like he said?  Or did the Office of Counsel put it at the bottom of the “Not Urgent” pile?  He asked me to send my request again this time to him.  A few days later on Nov. 8, I get an email from Deborah Lane.  She is a PR person at the University.  She said my request was forwarded to her and that, “Work on the list of officials and their seating locations will begin in the near future.”

Ms. Lane is a very, very deliberate public relations person.  She finally gathered and formatted this easily obtainable information and emailed it to me on DECEMBER 23, 2010. This was the last day of work for most University employees.  It was also a dead zone for releasing information that might be of an embarrassing nature.  Who cared about this information right before Christmas Eve?  It needed to be out before the November election.  I begged Ms. Lane to get it out before the November 26 Iron Bowl.  She was asleep at the wheel.  She wasn’t about to embarrass the University or the political figures accepting the tickets.  It’s a shame when public relations people like Ms. Lane think that manipulation of the public is the centerpiece of their job. Ms. Lane and her boss Dr. Witt both lost their way on this matter because they failed to respect the Alabama public.

Anyway, the manner in the University handled this whole matter was a disgrace.

Here is the list that took 3 months to prepare:

Alabama v Auburn complimentary tickets given to Government Officials
First Last Sec Row Seats Note
Gerald Allen SS-13 34 /11*12
Richard Allen U4-QQ 20 /21*22
Dave Avant U4-QQ 18 /5*6
Alan Baker SS-13 33/ 1*2
Locy Baker SS-13 33 /3*4
Charles Ball SS-12 31/ 13*14
Mike Ball SS-13 33 /5*6
George Bandy SS-13 33/ 7*8
Lowell Barron SS-12 34/ 9*10
Jim Barton SS-13 33 /9*10
Jerry Bassett U4-QQ 18/ 7*8
Billy Beasley SS-13 33/ 11*12
Scott Beason SS-12 34 /11*12
Roger Bedford SS-12 34 /13*14
Elaine Beech SS-13 32 /1*2
Kim Benefield SS-12 34/ 15*16
Jim Bennett U4-QQ 20/ 23*24
Robert Bentley SS-13 32 /3*4 Declined/returned
Joyce Bigbee U4-QQ 18 /9*10 Declined/returned
Charles Bishop SS-12 34 /17*18
Marcel Black SS-13 32/ 5*6
A. C. Blalock U4-QQ 20 /25*26
Alan Boothe SS-13 32 /7*8
Joseph Borg U4-QQ 18 /11*12
Barbara Boyd SS-13 32 /9*10
DuWayne Bridges SS-13 32 /11*12
Ben Brooks SS-12 34 /19*20 Declined/returned
K. L. Brown SS-13 31 /1*2
Nancy Buckner U4-QQ 19 /1*2 Declined/returned
Ralph Buffkin SS-12 31 /15*16
James Buskey SS-13 31 /3*4
Tom Butler Declined prior to mailout
Greg Canfield SS-13 31 /5*6 Declined/returned
Ed Castile U4-QQ 18 /13*14
Beth Chapman U4-QQ 20 /15*16
Steve Clouse SS-13 31/ 7*8
Sue Bell Cobb U4-QQ 18 /1*2
Jeff Coleman SS-12 31 /17*18
Linda Coleman SS-12 34/ 21*22
Merika Coleman SS-13 31 /9*10
Spencer Collier SS-13 31 /11*12
Irene Collins U4-QQ 19/ 3*4
Mike Curtis SS-13 30/ 6*7
Randy Davis SS-13 30 /8*9
Thomas Davis SS-12 31 /19*20
Paul DeMarco SS-13 30 /10*11
Bobby Denton SS-12 34 /23*24
Larry Dixon SS-12 33/ 1*2
Philip Dotts SS-12 31 /21*22 Paid
Owen Drake SS-13 29/ 6*7
Bill Dukes SS-13 29 /8*9
Priscilla Dunn SS-12 33 /3*4
Lewis Easterly U4-QQ 18 /15*16
Chris England SS-13 29 /10*11 Declined/returned
Hank Erwin SS-12 33 /5*6
Robert Esdale U4-QQ 18 /3*4
Art Faulkner U4-QQ 19 /25*26 Declined/returned
Joe Faust SS-13 28 /6*7
James Fields SS-13 28 /8*9
Vivian Figures SS-12 33 /7*8
Chad Fincher SS-13 28 /10*11
Emory Folmar U4-QQ 19 /5*6
Craig Ford SS-13 27 /4*5
Steve French SS-12 33 /9*10
Blaine Galliher SS-13 27 /6*7 Declined/returned
Victor Gaston SS-13 27 /8*9
Mac Gipson SS-13 27/ 10*11
Frank Gitschier U4-QQ 18 /17*18 Declined/returned
Rusty Glover SS-12 33/ 11*12 Paid
James Gordon SS-13 26 /4*5
Betty Carol Graham SS-13 26 /6*7
Ronald Grantland SS-13 26/ 8*9
Norris Green U4-QQ 18 /19*20
Todd Greeson SS-13 26 /10*11
David Grimes SS-13 25 /1*2
Ken Guin SS-13 25 /3*4
Laura Hall SS-13 25 /5*6
Seth Hammett SS-13 25/ 7*8
Micky Hammon SS-13 25 /9*10
Alan Hanson U4-QQ 20/ 11*12
Alan Harper SS-13 24 /1*2 Declined/returned
Pat Harris U4-QQ 18 /21*22
John Harrison U4-QQ 19/ 7*8
Mike Hill SS-13 24 /3*4
Earl Hilliard SS-13 24/ 5*6
Randy Hinshaw SS-13 24/ 7*8
Jimmy Holley SS-12 33 /13*14
Alvin Holmes SS-13 24 /9*10 Given to war vet
John Houston U4-QQ 19 /9*10
Ralph Howard SS-13 23 /1*2
Mike Hubbard SS-13 23/ 3*4
Larry Hughes SS-12 31 /23*24
Steve Hurst SS-13 23/ 5*6
Doni Ingram U4-QQ 19/ 11*12
Tammy Irons SS-13 23 /7*8
Jamie Ison SS-13 23 /9*10
Thomas Jackson SS-13 22/ 1*2
Ron Johnson SS-13 22 /3*4
Marc Keahey SS-12 33/ 15*16
Yvonne Kennedy SS-13 22 /5*6
John Knight SS-13 22 /7*8
Don Ladner U4-QQ 18/ 23*24
Richard Laird SS-13 22 /9*10
Alva Lambert U4-QQ 18/ 25*26
Barnett Lawley U4-QQ 19/ 13*14 Declined/returned
McDowell Lee U4-QQ 17 /1*2
Jody Letson SS-13 21 /1*2
Richard Lindsey SS-13 21 /3*4
Andrew Linn U4-QQ 20 /1*2
Ted Little SS-12 33/ 17*18
Zeb Little SS-12 33/ 19*20
Jay Love SS-13 21 /5*6
Del Marsh SS-12 33 /21*22 Declined/returned
Jimmy Martin SS-13 21/ 7*8
Barry Mask SS-13 21/ 9*10
Lawrence McAdory SS-13 20 /4*5
A. J. McCampbell SS-13 20/ 6*7
Thad McClammy SS-13 20/ 8*9
Jim McClendon SS-13 19 /1*2
Mary Sue McClurkin SS-13 19 /3*4
Mac McCutcheon SS-13 19/ 5*6 Paid
Frank McDaniel SS-13 18/ 1*2
Joe McInnes U4-QQ 19 /17*18
Jeff McLaughlin SS-13 18 /3*4
Steve McMillan SS-13 18/ 5*6 Paid
Larry Means SS-12 33/ 23*24 Declined/returned
Mike Millican SS-13 18 /7*8
Joseph Mitchell Declined prior to mailout
Maury Mitchell U4-QQ 17 //3*4
Wendell Mitchell SS-12 32/ 1*2
Hinton Mitchem SS-12 32/ 3*4
Mary Moore SS-13 17/ 1*2
Pat Moore SS-13 17 /3*4
Johnny Mack Morrow SS-13 17/ 5*6
Charles Newton SS-13 17 /7*8
Demetrius Newton SS-13 16/ 1*2
Jeremy Oden SS-13 16 /3*4
Arthur Orr SS-12 32 /5*6
Jack Page SS-13 16 /5*6
Greg Pappas U4-QQ 17 /5*6
Arthur Payne SS-13 16 /7*8
Myron Penn SS-12 32 /7*8
Trip Pittman SS-12 32 /9*10 Declined/returned
Phil Poole SS-12 32/ 11*12
William Powell U4-QQ 20/ 3*4
Jim Preuitt SS-12 32 /13*14
Glen Pringle U4-QQ 17 /7*8
Sydney Raine U4-QQ 20 /5*6
Marc Reynolds U4-QQ 17 /25*26
Jim Ridling U4-QQ 19/ 19*20
John Robinson SS-13 15 /1*2
Oliver Robinson SS-13 15/ 3*4
John Rogers SS-13 15 /5*6
Quinton Ross SS-12 32 /15*16
Yusuf Salaam SS-13 15 /7*8
Howard Sanderford SS-12 35 /1*2
Hank Sanders SS-12 32 /17*18
Paul Sanford SS-12 32/ 19*20
Rod Scott SS-12 35 /3*4
Lee Sentell U4-QQ 19 /21*22
Samantha Shaw U4-QQ 20 /17*18
Stephen Shaw U4-QQ 20/ 7*8 Declined/returned
Tommy Sherer SS-12 35/ 5*6
Harry Shiver SS-12 35/ 7*8
Bobby Singleton SS-12 32 /21*22
Brenda Smith U4-QQ 17/ 9*10
Harri Anne Smith SS-12 32 /23*24
Missy Smith U4-QQ 20/ 9*10
Rodger Smitherman SS-12 31 /9*10
Ron Sparks U4-QQ 20/ 19*20
Alan Spencer U4-QQ 20 /31*14
Terry Spicer SS-12 35 /9*10 Declined/returned
Carol Steckel U4-QQ 17 /11*12 Declined/returned
Tom Surtees U4-QQ 19 /23*24 Declined/returned
Butch Taylor SS-12 35 /11*12
William Thigpen SS-12 35 /13*14
Elwyn Thomas SS-12 35 /15*16
James Thomas SS-12 35 /17*18
Patricia Todd SS-12 35 /19*20
Allen Treadaway SS-12 35 /21*22
Cynthia Underwood U4-QQ 17 /13*14
Lesley Vance SS-12 35 /23*24
Jabo Waggoner SS-12 31 /11*12
Cam Ward SS-12 35/ 25*26 Declined/returned
Pebblin Warren SS-12 35 /27*28
Henry White SS-12 34/ 1*2
Jack Williams SS-12 34 /3*4
Phil Williams Declined prior to mailout
Donald Williamson U4-QQ 17 /15*16
Randy Wood SS-12 34/ 5*6
Jeff Woodard U4-QQ 17 /17*18 Declined/returned
Greg Wren SS-12 34 /7*8
Joyce Wright U4-QQ 17/ 19*20
Att’y General’s Office U3-L 24 /15*16*17*18
Governor’s Office U3-L 20 /21*22*23*24
U3-L 23 /15*16*17*18*19*20*21*22*23*24
U3-L 24/ 19*20*21*22*23*24
Lt. Governor’s Office U3-L 25 /11*12*13*14*15*16
Speaker’s Office U3-L 25/ 21*22*23*24

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