Under Law, Lobbyist Conflicts Stay Private

When Texas lawmakers begin grappling with the state’s massive budget shortfall next month, they will not be working alone: Cities, counties and other public entities — and, of course, corporations and special-interest groups — will send hundreds of lobbyists to the Capitol to preserve and defend their interests.

With such a diverse group of interests and so much at stake, conflict is inevitable, which is why lobbyists are required by law to notify their clients if they represent two or more groups with clashing agendas. Lobbyists are also required to notify the Texas Ethics Commission about any possible conflicts. Scores ...

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