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Golden Nugz for 4-29-09

Sweet, a law named after Tubby Smith.

MInnesota state legislators are debating a so-called Tubby Smith Act. From the rag that still thinks it's print version is the key to surviving in a dying industry.

Inspired by a college newspaper's efforts to publicize the Gophers basketball coach's side deals on things such as shoe contracts and summer camps, government agencies and public unions are pushing for changes in public information laws that would keep everything from police officers' off-duty moonlighting to U researchers' contracts with drug companies out of public view.

Public employee unions and other groups, particularly the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation, are lobbying for the change. Opponents, who have offered a competing proposal that would keep the information open, say the public has a right to know about potential conflicts of interest among workers in often sensitive positions of public trust.

I think I absolutely agree with the view of the opponents. Not because I think Tubby Simth or any other coach has a potential conflict of interest with shoe contracts, but I worry about a slippery slope with other public officials in more tenuous positions.