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. Government watchdogs say the loopholes make it difficult for the public to know who might be doing favors for whom under the Capitol dome.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 ...
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
The Texas Ethics Commission's board has approved an advisory opinion that stops short of recommending against lawmakers soliciting contributions for nonprofit organizations they are employed by.
The Texas Ethics Commission’s board convenes Thursday to choose new leadership for 2013. But before that happens, its commissioners will review an ethics opinion they did not agree on two months ago.Full Story
Politicians love transparency right now — or love to talk about it. But some of their efforts at providing it aren't clear, and some that are clear aren't timely. Some public records just aren't readily available to the public.Full Story
Lobbyists are competitive creatures, and don't like it when somebody gets an advantage — like political consultants who lobby during the political off-season. But they haven't found a way to regulate the practice.Full Story
Ethics reformers are looking to overhaul the personal financial statements state lawmakers must file. The form doesn’t ask for much detail, hasn’t been updated in years and has led to confusion and varying interpretations about what must be revealed.Full Story
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in politics and government, we asked about state ethics laws — about lawmakers' disclosure of personal finances, of client lists, and about what laws the insiders would change if they could.Full Story
It's been a long time since the Legislature took a good, hard look at its ethics laws and its own practices. With the Texas Ethics Commission up for review, a restive electorate and a herd of new lawmakers, they have a golden opportunity.Full Story
The Texas Ethics Commission stands poised for change during the 83rd legislative session. But any efforts to reform it will face a challenge, because the lawmakers the commission was set up to regulate are the ones setting the rules.Full Story
Twenty journalists have spent nine months researching the personal financial interests of members of the 83rd Legislature. Eyebrows — and hackles — may be raised, but this kind of transparency is good for Texas.Full Story
The Texas Ethics Commission backed off Thursday from a proposal to take some investigative authority away from the Travis County district attorney’s office, but the agency approved two recommendations aimed at enhancing criminal investigations of state elected officials.Full Story
Lawmakers say they want transparency and that the public should be able to see their finances. But state requirements allow officeholders to report their financial interests vaguely enough to hide conflicts.Full Story
A runoff for the state district court in Marshall, just east of Longview near the Louisiana border, has two Republicans slinging lawsuits and ethics complaints over provisions of the Judicial Campaign Fairness Act.Full Story
Texas has scored a 68 out of 100, placing 27th in a national state integrity study. The state got high marks for auditing and for monitoring pension funds, but not as high for accountability of the governor and legislators.Full Story
The political action committee of Dallas billionaire waste magnate Harold Simmons is asking 18 lawmakers to return about $65,000 in contributions after admitting that an oversight led to illegal campaign contributions.Full Story
Rep. Joe Driver and Travis County prosecutors come to terms on his legislative expense accounts.Full Story
The 15 largest donors to Texas politicians and PACs gave a total of $4.7 million in the first six months of 2011, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of Texas Ethics Commission filings. The biggest beneficiary of their largesse: the Texans for Lawsuit Reform Political Action Committee.Full Story