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 ...

Texas House approves online posting of politicians' personal financial statements

State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, shows his support of minimum wage bills being considered in the House Business and Industry Committee during a press conference March 20, 2017. 
<p>State Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, shows his support of minimum wage bills being considered in the House Business and Industry Committee during a press conference March 20, 2017.&nbsp;</p>

Politicians haven't exactly been eager to let the public see the details of their financial holdings. But the Texas House preliminarily approved the requirement that the personal financial statements of state politicians and bureaucrats be posted online. 

State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.
State Sens. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, listen to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.

Analysis: In Texas, Lawmakers Regulate Their Own Regulators

The Texas Ethics Commission regulates legislators. Legislators control the commission's laws and budget. It's a complicated relationship.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, listens to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.
State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, listens to testimony at a Senate Committee on State Affairs hearing reviewing current ethics laws governing public officials and employees on Oct, 5, 2016.

Texas Senator Calls State Ethics Commission "Arrogant" and "Haughty"

“If you are untouchable, we’ve got a problem,” Sen. Brian Birdwell told the chairman of the commission, which is charged with making sure public officials and campaigns obey state ethics and elections laws.

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.

Analysis: "Smitty," a Texas Lobbyist for the Small Fry, Hanging It Up

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 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.

Governor Perry delivers a final speech to a joint session of the Texas legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.
Governor Perry delivers a final speech to a joint session of the Texas legislature on Jan. 15, 2015.

Texas Gets a D- Grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation

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Texas ranked 38th out of 50 in the latest State Integrity Investigation, an assessment of government accountability and transparency. That suggests that the state may be heading in the wrong direction when it comes to ethics.

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.