This report was published in July 2000. It should be considered outdated and is kept online for historical purposes only.

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Pioneer Profiles: George W. Bush's $100,000 Club
Name: A. R. "Tony" Sanchez, Jr.
Occupation: CEO, Sanchez-O'Brien Oil & Gas
Industry: Energy & Natural Resources
Home: Laredo, TX


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Sanchez owns an oil and gas company, is the top shareholder in the International Bank of Commerce and owned a failed S&L. His empire has given $320,150 to Bush’s campaigns, making Sanchez his No. 2 career patron. Bush appointed Sanchez to the UT Regents, where he got a seat on UT Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO). This board awarded lucrative contracts to manage parts of UT’s $13 billion endowment to firms with close ties to Bush and UTIMCO’s first chair, Tom Hicks (see Pioneer R. Steven Hicks). As a Regent, Sanchez is best known for his ethnic and architectural stands. Sanchez called for the suspension in ’97 of a UT Law School professor who said minority students cannot compete because they come from cultures of failure. When Regent Chair Don Evans (Bush’s campaign chair) recently included few Hispanics on a board to pick a new South Texas medical school president, Sanchez wrote him that, “I have always used words like bigotry and racism sparingly, but they seem regretfully appropriate now.” A campus architectural committee selected a noted European firm to design a new art museum in ’99. But Regents led by Rita Clements and Sanchez, who deigned the building to be too modern, vetoed its design. The Regents then formally assumed control of all UT building decisions, suggesting that aesthetic matters of taste are best left to big-donor, political appointees. Sanchez’s own aesthetics are well established. After he completed a stint on the Texas Parks and Wildlife commission, that agency granted him a controversial ’93 permit to drill gas wells in Falcon State Park. Of this windfall Sanchez said, “There would be no greater joy than to see a beautiful park that our children and adults can go to and learn about the oil and gas industry.” Sanchez is reportedly mulling a possible 2002 gubernatorial race—under the flailing banner of the Texas Democratic Party.

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