For Dean of Senate, Public and Private Blur

Bidness as Usual

This is one in a series of occasional stories about ethics and transparency in the part-time Texas Legislature.

Exactly 40 years ago this month, a young college dropout named John Whitmire pointed a 1972 Cutlass toward Austin and set out to realize his dream — to serve in elective office, just like his daddy had years before.

Getting sworn in as a state representative would have been a big deal for a 23-year-old social worker even in an ordinary year. But the 1973 session was no ordinary gathering of the Texas Legislature.

The civil rights era had spilled out of ...

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