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 ...

Analysis: "Smitty," a Texas Lobbyist for the Small Fry, Retiring After 31 Years

Tom "Smitty" Smith is retiring from his longtime role as head of Public Citizen Texas, a nonprofit, left-leaning consumer rights advocacy group.
Tom "Smitty" Smith is retiring from his longtime role as head of Public Citizen Texas, a nonprofit, left-leaning consumer rights advocacy group.

Tom “Smitty” Smith, a colorful lobbyist and liberal activist who turned Public Citizen Texas into a strong voice on environmental, utility, consumer and ethics issues, is hanging up his spurs after 31 years. “The thing that I learned time after time, story after story, is that people standing up does make a difference,” he says.

The Texas Ethics Commission is considering rules that would require political consultants to report their spending in the same way that candidates are required to do.
The Texas Ethics Commission is considering rules that would require political consultants to report their spending in the same way that candidates are required to do.

Analysis: Hiding Texas Campaign Spending Details, Legally

The state is trying to regulate what some have called the “campaign in a box,” when a candidate reports writing one big check to a consultant, who then handles all of the campaign spending off the books.

Governor Greg Abbott announced an expansion of the Governor’s Commission for Women at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, TX on Wednesday, March 30th.
Governor Greg Abbott announced an expansion of the Governor’s Commission for Women at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin, TX on Wednesday, March 30th.

More than 300 Gubernatorial Appointees Have Expired Terms

Gov. Greg Abbott has made hundreds of appointments since he took office in January 2015, but is still working his way out of a backlog to replace people whose terms expired as long as five years ago.

Nifty or Shifty: A Campaign Finance Quiz

Politicians like to think of the money in their campaign accounts as their own. It's not, but sometimes, it seems that way. Below are five actual cases where the Texas Ethics Commission has rendered its official position. Take the test: Given these situations, what do you think they can get away with? 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

Analysis: Is Attorney General Ken Paxton Feeling Lucky?

It’s possible to imagine a way for the attorney general to raise money for a legal defense fund, but it’s perilous without a favorable advisory opinion from ethics regulators. And they decided this week not to approve such an opinion.

Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to reporters at the Security Operations Center at the Department of Public Safety on May 12, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks to reporters at the Security Operations Center at the Department of Public Safety on May 12, 2015.

Analysis: Taking Stock of the Ethics Session

The governor asked lawmakers to put ethics reform at center stage this year. They filed bills. They even voted in favor of some strong restrictions on lobbyists' and officeholders' official behavior. But most of it never got to Greg Abbott's desk.

Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

When the gavel comes down on the legislative session on Monday, lawmakers will have failed to pass into law about two dozen different proposals aimed at curbing conflicts of interest and shining light into the dark corners of the Capitol.

State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.
State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.

Ethics Reform: A Guide to What's Still Alive

Now that the massive overhaul contained in Senate Bill 19 has gone on life support, a few targeted efforts to shine the light on conflicts of interest and enhance transparency remain. Here's a guide to what's moving and what's not.

State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.
State Sen. Wendy Davis speaking to the press after a Travis County Democratic campaign rally on Oct. 22, 2014.

Wendy Davis Fined $5,000 for Ethics Violation

The Texas Ethics Commission has fined former state Sen. Wendy Davis $5,000 after finding "credible evidence" she failed to disclose her relationship with two lobbyists on financial disclosure forms filed during her 2012 re-election campaign.