District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's story was primarily about a public fall from grace. When Gov. Rick Perry stripped funding from the public integrity unit she runs, it also became a story about a sharp-elbowed state official trying to force out a local prosecutor for political gain.Full Story
The Texas Ethics Commission is responsible for administering and enforcing sections of the election code and other statutory provisions generally governing politics and ethics in the state.
Among its key duties is the collecting and maintaining of records related to political fundraising and spending, lobbying activity reports and the filing of personal financial disclosure statements by state elected officials and ...
Call it the self-preservation society. When push comes to shove, some members of the Texas Legislature are adamant that their elective offices should come with some special protections.
When it came to passing major ethics reforms that would have increased transparency for elected officials, the 83rd Legislature didn't make much headway. Lawmakers, it seems, didn't have the appetite for increased public disclosure.Full Story
Lawmakers talked a big game about improving transparency this session, but when push came to shove, they did next to nothing to advance it.
The clock is ticking for lawmakers hard at work to pass prize bills in the final days of the 83rd legislative session. Here's a look at what's still outstanding. Check back often: We'll update this story as deals are brokered or broken.
UPDATED: Facing a laundry list of record votes, lawmakers tacked on several amendments to an Ethics Commission reform bill on Monday that would strengthen the disclosure rules that govern them and their contributors.
It's easier, it seems, for lawmakers to regulate others than to regulate themselves. Ethics and transparency legislation has had a bumpy ride in the current legislative session.Full Story
Full video of Ross Ramsey's 5/16 TribLive conversation about ethics in the Texas Legislature with former Assistant Travis County District Attorney Mindy Montford, campaign finance lawyer Randall "Buck" Wood, state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, and former state Rep. Ismael "Kino" Flores, D-Palmview.Full Story
In this session's ethics battles, watchdogs say there’s more contradiction than conviction.Full Story
Lawmakers are talking seriously about a 21.5 percent pay raise for state district judges, which would increase the pensions of those same lawmakers by that same amount.Full Story
With just four weeks remaining in the legislative session, there has been little to no pressure from the top — including key committee chairs — to pass measures that would force greater transparency upon Texas’ elected officials.
State lawmakers have talked a big game this year on transparency and ethics, but with less than a month to go in the 83rd legislative session, the bills they’ve filed haven’t made much progress. Use our interactive to see where they stand.Full Story
Giving up 20 weeks of every other year to serve in the Texas Legislature is a lot easier if you don't have to worry about the paycheck you're missing at home. It is easier, in other words, if you're rich.Full Story
One Texan's transparency is another’s right to privacy, and people in politics generally find it easier to demand openness than to provide it.Full Story
Lawmakers started the legislative session talking about changes they would like to make in the state's ethics laws. Now — and it is not the first time — they're sending some of the most delicate items back for more study.Full Story
Lawmakers, like professional athletes, want to play fair and also want to win. That's why it's hard to get them to write their own rules.
Many lawmakers are quick to name the sacrifices they make to serve. But life in the Lege is not half bad. The perks associated with the job — from exotic trips to luxury gifts — can dramatically augment their lifestyles.Full Story
The general rule is that new legislators are supposed to be seen and not heard — especially, as it turns out, when the subject is legislative ethics.Full Story
Whether it’s lobbyists’ spending on legislators or lawmakers who don't disclose their spouses' interests on personal financial statements, Texas ethics laws are full of holes.Full Story
Soon after their replacements were sworn in last month, eight former House members registered as lobbyists with the Texas Ethics Commission.Full Story
The last substantial Texas ethics reforms passed during the 72nd legislative session. It wasn't easy then — and won't be easy now. But members pushing for new rules say they're optimistic that their colleagues will support making the state's business more transparent.
The new chairman and vice chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission board on the state’s disclosure rules, their efforts to prioritize certain types of ethics complaints and the reforms they anticipate in the 83rd legislative session.Full Story
From Gov. James "Pa" Ferguson's impeachment to the Sharpstown scandal, Texas has weathered mighty ethics controversies. Despite reforms, the Legislature still faces criticism over lax disclosure rules and ties with lobbyists.Full Story