Tribpedia: Texas Ethics Commission

Tribpedia

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 ...

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Explore 8-Day Campaign Finance Reports

The 8-day reports — the final look at candidate campaign finance totals before Election Day — are in. We have compiled data for all statewide, State Board of Education, Texas Senate and Texas House candidates who filed electronically with the Texas Ethics Commission. Explore the numbers by contest or by candidate. You can see the top-line totals for contributions, expenditures, loans and cash on hand for each campaign.

2014 Primary Cost Per Vote for Texas Candidates

In competitive races, a candidate will ideally get the best bang for his or her buck, spending just enough to secure the victory. We've calculated how much each Texas candidate for state office spent (or did not spend) for each vote he or she received in the March 4 primary. Use our interactive to explore the numbers.

Campaign Finance Database Updated With Pre-Primary Data

The Tribune's campaign finance database has been updated to include the latest contribution and expenditure information. The figures come from candidates' and political committees' January semiannual reports and reports filed 30 days before the election. Use this tool to look up candidates' cash totals and to see who is funding them.

Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.
Gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks at a NE Tarrant Tea Party meeting at Concordia Lutheran Church in Bedford.

Abbott Proposes Far-Reaching Ethics Reform

Ethics watchdogs are applauding gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott for proposing what would amount to a sea change in Texas ethics laws. The attorney general has introduced a policy proposal that would institute new criminal penalties for self-dealing and put more sunlight into disclosure and campaign finance laws.

Campaign Finance Analyzer — Water Texas PAC

Well over half of the money raised so far by a political action committee promoting a water funding initiative in Texas came from heavy contractors, Dow Chemical Co. and Energy Future Holdings/Luminant, according to a report filed this week with the Texas Ethics Commission. Use our analyzer to take a closer look at the Water Texas PAC.

Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer — All Called

We’ve updated our campaign finance analyzer to cover all of the contributions to statewide officeholders and candidates during the three special legislative sessions this summer. The contributions, which came in from May 27 to Aug. 25, are broken down by biggest donors, donor location, donation size and the dates the money came in. 

Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer — 2nd Called

We've updated our campaign finance analyzer for July contributions to statewide candidates and officeholders during the second special legislative session this summer. The donations are shown by size, location, donor and even by daily totals from June 26 to July 30. 

Video: Biggest Ethics Reforms Died on Governor's Desk

A few minor ethics measures passed in the 83rd legislative session. But the real story is what didn’t happen — the legislation that might have changed the information available to voters who’ll be making decisions about candidates. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

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Biggest Ethics Reforms Died on Governor's Desk

A few minor ethics measures passed in the 83rd legislative session. But the real story is what didn’t happen — the legislation that might have changed the information available to voters who’ll be making decisions about candidates. This story is part of our 31 Days, 31 Ways series, a monthlong look at how the bills and budget passed by the 83rd Legislature will affect Texans' lives starting Sept. 1. 

Interactive: Campaign Finance Analyzer

Campaign finance reports reveal, in detail, the individual transactions of political committees. They aren't made for analysis, though, so we've pulled together a quick way to find the biggest donors to declared and potential statewide candidates, the most generous ZIP codes (and states), the distribution of large and small donations, and how much money came in for each date in a reporting period.

Candidates Race to Prove Themselves in Finance Primary

Candidates are racing to raise money before an end-of-the-month deadline, the better to prove the financial strength of their campaigns for 2014 in reports that come out July 15. During this two-week sprint, they’ll find out who starts the campaign season with an advantage and who does not. 

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down after her April 2013 drunken driving arrest, and Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the public integrity unit, which is housed in the Travis County DA's office.

A Simple Story, Complicated by Politics

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.

Some Lawmakers Looking Out for No. 1

Texas Weekly

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. For example, some lawmakers caused a major stir this session when they tried to change state law to allow themselves and other elected officials to carry concealed weapons in places where private citizens could not.

 

Video: Session of Transparency Fell Short

When it came to passing major ethics reforms that would have increased transparency for elected officials, the 83rd Legislature didn't make much headway. Neither lawmakers nor the governor — who vetoed a bill that would’ve required outside groups to report their donors — seemed to have the appetite for increased public disclosure. 

Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.
Crowds of visitors, lobbyists, and lawmakers turned out to the Texas capitol for the opening day of the 83rd legislative session, Jan. 8, 2013.

Liveblog: What's Left for the 83rd Legislature

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.