Visualization: The Lobbyist Revolving Door

Since relinquishing their seats in January, 11 former House members and one former state senator have registered as lobbyists with the Texas Ethics Commission. Several of the former elected officials are now lobbying for clients on issues they worked closely on in the Legislature. Some legislators find the practice unsavory, and have filed bills this session that would require their colleagues to take a cooling-off period before registering as lobbyists.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, filed House Bill 905, which would require lawmakers to wait two years before performing activity that would require them to register with the Ethics Commission. Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, filed Senate Bill 99, which would require former lawmakers to wait two full legislative sessions.

Our visualization identifies these 12 recent lawmakers and their clients, based on filings from the Ethics Commission.

Florence Shapiro

Texas Senate
1993-2013

Shapiro chaired the Senate Education Committee from 2003 to 2012 and was a pivotal player in public education bills passed by the Legislature over the last decade. Texans for Education Reform is a newly formed advocacy group interested in expanding charter schools and virtual learning in the state. It also promotes teacher quality initiatives.

Clients:

Texans for Education Reform, Austin
$50,000 to $99,999

Warren Chisum

Texas House
1989-2013

Chisum served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which writes the budget, in 2007.

Clients:

Apache Corp, Houston
Less than $10,000
BP, Austin
Less than $10,000
Dan Hinkle, Sugar Land
Less than $10,000
Multi-state for Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Alexandria, VA
Less than $10,000
Texas Academy Family Physicians, Austin
Less than $10,000
Texas Propane Gas Association, Austin
Less than $10,000

Rob Eissler

Texas House
2003-2013

Eissler was widely viewed as an education expert in the House and chaired the House Public Education Committee during the 2007, 2009 and 2011 sessions. He filed legislation last session eliminating some of the state's more strenuous testing requirements that was widely viewed as aimed at the state's testing contractor — and Eissler's now-client — Pearson.

Clients:

Barbers Hill Independent School District, Mont Belvieu
$50,000 to $99,999
Consolidated Communications Holdings, Inc, Conroe
$50,000 to $99,999
Education Resource Group, The Woodlands
$25,000 to $49,999
Harris County Department of Education, Houston
$25,000 to $49,999
Pearson Inc., Carmel
$50,000 to $99,999
Petroleum Wholesale L. P., The Woodlands
Less than $10,000

Mike "Tuffy" Hamilton

Texas House
2003-2013

In 2011, Hamilton chaired the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee, which regulates the agency that oversees alcohol permitting.

Clients:

Texas Restaurant Association, Austin
$50,000 to $99,999
Beer Alliance of Texas, Austin
Less than $10,000

Rick Hardcastle

Texas House
1999-2013

Hardcastle chaired the Agriculture and Livestock Committee in 2011 and the Energy Resources Committee in 2007.

Clients:

Texas Electric Co-Ops, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999

Chuck Hopson

Texas House
2001-2013

Hopson, a pharmacist, chaired the General Investigating and Ethics Committee during the 2009 and 2011 sessions.

Clients:

Texas Pharmacy Business Council, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999
University of Houston Political Action Committee, Houston
$25,000 to $49,999
Texans for Education Reform, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999

Charlie Howard

Texas House
1995-2013

Howard served on the House Energy Resources Committee and the Agriculture and Livestock Committee in 2011.

Clients:

City of Stafford, Stafford
$25,000 to $49,999

Jim Jackson

Texas House
2005-2013

Jackson chaired the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee during the 2011 session.

Clients:

Kofile Preservation, Dallas
$50,000 to $99,999
Texas Conference of Urban Counties, Austin
$10,000 to $24,999

Sid Miller

Texas House
2001-2013

Miller chaired the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and served on the Business and Industry Committee during the 2011 session.

Clients:

KLD Energy Technologies Inc., Austin
$10,000 to $24,999
Richard Beck, Austin
Less than $10,000
Mike Ellis, Austin
Less than $10,000
Impact Texas Communications, LLP, Austin
$50,000 to $99,999
Roosevelt Petry, Port Arthur
$10,000 to $24,999
Snap Trends Inc., Austin
$50,000 to $99,999
Sun Partners Capitol, Greenville, SC
$25,000 to $49,999
Texas Nursery and Landscape Association, Austin
Less than $10,000

Aaron Peña

Texas House
2003-2013

Peña chaired the Technology Committee during the 2011 session and chaired the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in 2007.

Clients:

Peña registered as a lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission in an "abundance of caution," but he is not required to disclose his current clients because none of them have hired him to lobby the Legislature.

Burt Solomons

Texas House
1995-2013

Solomons chaired the Redistricting Committee in 2011, the State Affairs Committee in 2009 and the Financial Institutions Committee during the 2003, 2005 and 2007 sessions.

Clients:

Atmos Cities Steering Committee, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999
Capitol 405 Group, LLC, Austin
Less than $10,000
CenturyLink, Raleigh, NC
$50,000 to $99,999
City of Ft. Worth, Fort Worth
$10,000 to $24,999
CyrusOne, LLC, Austin
$10,000 to $24,999
Oncor Cities Steering Committee, Austin
$10,000 to $24,999
Texas Association of Community Colleges, Austin
$10,000 to $24,999
Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999
Texas Technology Consortium, Elgin
$10,000 to $24,999

Vicki Truitt

Texas House
1999-2013

Truitt chaired the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee during the 2007, 2009 and 2011 sessions. The committee regulates payday lenders like ACE Cash Express, her new client. During the 2011 session, Truitt was vocal in her criticism of the payday lending industry and helped pass payday reform legislation.

Clients:

ACE Cash Express, Irving
$25,000 to $49,999
Texas Council of Community Centers, Inc., Austin
$25,000 to $49,999
Texas Hospital Association, Austin
$25,000 to $49,999
Texas Retired Teachers Association, Austin
$50,000 to $99,999

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