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 ...

Abbott Expected to Renew Push for Ethics Reform

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

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. 

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.