Tribpedia: Texas Ethics Commission

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 ...

Republican activist Michael Quinn Sullivan visits at the State Republican Convention trade show on June 6, 2014.
Republican activist Michael Quinn Sullivan visits at the State Republican Convention trade show on June 6, 2014.

Judge Reaffirms Dismissal of Ruling Against Activist

A new judge Wednesday reaffirmed the dismissal of a ruling by the Texas Ethics Commission against conservative powerbroker Michael Quinn Sullivan. Last year, the commission fined Sullivan for failing to register as a lobbyist in 2010 and 2011. 

State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth; Gov. Greg Abbott; and state Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano.

High Hopes for Ethics Reform, but It's Early

Gov. Greg Abbott's full-throated embrace of ethics reform, a rarity under the Capitol dome, is breathing new life into the issue of years of failed efforts. But changing the status quo remains very much a work in progress, and some ideas Abbott proposed as a candidate are likely to change once they get thrown into the legislative meat grinder.

Greg Abbott is shown visiting the Senate chamber on Jan. 13, 2015.
Greg Abbott is shown visiting the Senate chamber on Jan. 13, 2015.

Abbott Expected to Renew Push for Ethics Reform

Advocates for ethics reform say Gov. Greg Abbott has a rare chance to help spearhead improved lawmaker disclosures and reduce conflicts of interest in Texas. Abbott, who proposed ethics reform during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, is expected to address the issue Tuesday in his State of the State address.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, debates changes that would affect the so-called "two-thirds rule" in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.
Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, debates changes that would affect the so-called "two-thirds rule" in the Texas Senate on Jan. 21, 2015.

Watson Wants More Disclosure of Wining and Dining

Sen. Kirk Watson has filed three bills that would close a gaping loophole in state ethics law that allows lobbyists — often under pressure from legislators — to avoid naming names when they fill out their mandatory spending and entertainment reports. 

Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.
Rep. Giovanni Capriglione R-Soutlake waits to testify during a March 14th House Homeland Security & Public Safety committee hearing.

Ethics Bill Would Shed Light on Contracts

State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, a leading advocate of ethics reform in the notoriously unrestrained Texas Legislature, filed legislation Tuesday designed to shed more light on lawmakers who make money off of government contracts.

 

Analysis: Legislators' Expenses and Schmoozing, Linked

The session stipends for legislators are set to rise, and because of a loophole in Texas law, that would mean lobbyists could spend more on legislators without saying whom they are wining and dining. Lobbyists must still report expenses. But they don't have to name the legislators they entertained — unless they exceed a threshold.

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.