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 ...

Read More...

With Transparency, There's Room to Improve

State Rep. Charlie Geren, the head of the House Administration Committee, wrote a letter to his fellow House members saying that they were "under no legal obligation"to accommodate a Texas Tribune request to submit three years of tax returns.
State Rep. Charlie Geren, the head of the House Administration Committee, wrote a letter to his fellow House members saying that they were "under no legal obligation"to accommodate a Texas Tribune request to submit three years of tax returns.

Lawmakers say they want transparency and that the public should be able to see their finances. But state disclosure requirements allow officeholders and candidates to report their financial interests vaguely enough to hide their interests.

Texas Gets a D+ in Public Integrity Study

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.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, right, at a U.S. Senate candidate debate on Jan. 12, 2012.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, right, at a U.S. Senate candidate debate on Jan. 12, 2012.

Campaign Roundup: Political News for the Week of 1/18

Four of the state's top officeholders each raised more than $1 million during the second half of 2011. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running for the U.S. Senate, raised $1.5 million for his federal campaign account during the fourth quarter alone.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/30/11

Aaronson and Grissom on a freshman lawmaker who didn't mind making waves, Aguilar on E-Verify's new lease on life, Galbraith on the state's plodding progress toward solar power, Hamilton on Warren Chisum's exit, Philpott on the remapping of Lloyd Doggett's district, Ramsey on a proposed change to ethics laws for Texas pols, Ramshaw on efforts by the state to take control of Medicaid and Medicare, Root on why a Rick presidential bid shouldn't be underestimated, M. Smith on the unraveling of school finance legislation and Tan and Dehn on the highs and lows of the 82nd legislative session: The best of our best content from May 30 to June 3, 2011.

Rick Perry being interviewed by Evan Smith at Triblive in Austin
Rick Perry being interviewed by Evan Smith at Triblive in Austin

Perry Fined $1,500 by Ethics Commission

Gov. Rick Perry was fined $1,500 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to report rental income from a house in College Station, and for filing incomplete information regarding debts on the same property, in personal financial statements required by state law.

Under Law, Lobbyist Conflicts Stay Private

Lobbyists are required by law to notify their clients if they represent two or more groups with clashing agendas. They are also required to notify the Texas Ethics Commission. Scores of lobbyists have done so in recent legislative sessions. What is not required is for the public or elected representatives to be informed.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/4/10

Ramsey on whether Bill White at the top of the ballot helps Houston-area candidates, Aaronson and Stiles present a treemap of Texas political ads, Stiles and Ramsey on the latest campaign finance filings, Aguilar on the Laredo mayor's race, Hamilton on anonymous tweeters who make mischief, Ramshaw interviews a disability rights activist with a thing for iPads and bibles, Hu on the accidental release of Rick Perry's "secret" schedule, M. Smith on the bitter back-and-forth over a voter registration effort in Harris County, Philpott's micro-debate on education between two House candidates, Grissom on this week's twist in the Cameron Todd Willingham investigation and, in our latest collaboration with a big-city Texas newspaper, Stiles, Grissom and John Tedesco of the San-Antonio Express News on what kind of Texans, exactly, are applying to carry concealed handguns: The best of our best from Oct. 4 to 9, 2010.

A joint meeting between the House Elections and Judiciary committees on Aug. 26, 2010
A joint meeting between the House Elections and Judiciary committees on Aug. 26, 2010

Will SCOTUS Opinions Affect TX Judicial Elections?

Do two recent U.S. Supreme Court opinions have the far-reaching effects on Texas judicial elections that some in our legal community fear? Or do the state's current campaign finance laws adequately address the issues presented by both cases?

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of July 26, 2010

Stiles' and Torres' three-parter on the changing Texas political map, Ramsey on questions about Brian Birdwell's voting history and residency, Aguilar on the Obama administration's immigration crackdown, Reed on hospitals that won't induce early labor, Stiles on what Troy Fraser left off his financial disclosure form, the latest installment of Hu's Face-Off video debate series, Grissom on the problem-plagued Driver Responsibility Program, Galbraith on the controversy over fracking and M. Smith's interview with former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill: The best of our best from July 26 to 30, 2010.

Search Texas Officials' Financial Disclosures

Politicians, candidates and other state officers are required to disclose their personal finances, to discourage conflicts of interest and, according to the law, "strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in state government." Yet getting these documents isn’t easy, so we've put all 3,070 available online.

The Texas Ethics Commission recently released more than 3,000 personal financial statements — documents that detail state officials' financial interests and liabilities. Read, download or embed them with our new application.
The Texas Ethics Commission recently released more than 3,000 personal financial statements — documents that detail state officials' financial interests and liabilities. Read, download or embed them with our new application.

Read 3,000 Officials' Personal Financial Docs

The Texas Ethics Commission recently released more than 3,000 personal financial statements — documents that detail state officials' financial interests and liabilities. Read, download or embed them with our new application.