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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Gary Elkins thumbs his nose at local payday lending ordinances

Such a fine example he sets. As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Houston Republican Gary Elkins helps make laws. As a businessman, he is an owner of a chain of payday lending stores accused of breaking them. Elkins opposed payday lending regulations during the 2011 and 2013 legislative sessions, arguing members should […]

Chron overview of the AG race

Couple of interesting tidbits in here. A tea party darling with a dozen years in the state Legislature, Sen. Ken Paxton has avoided the media since admitting to a third-degree felony violation of state securities law in late April. Spokesman Anthony Holm serves as his gatekeeper – even once physically blocking a reporter from approaching […]

TPJ files suit against Abbott over Hecht ethics case

Here we go again. An Austin legal watchdog group filed suit Wednesday to force action on a $29,000 ethics fine, levied against Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht in 2008, that has languished on appeal for 5½ years. The motion from Texans for Public Justice seeks to remove Attorney General Greg Abbott from the […]

Endorsement watch: Sweep for Sam Houston

The Houston Chronicle endorses Sam Houston, completing a sweep of the big papers for the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. Democratic candidate Sam Houston is the best choice on the ballot. A graduate of Baylor Law School and candidate for Texas Supreme Court in 2008, Houston is more than just a famous name (though it […]

Empower Texans could have some tax problems

Schadenfreude alert: Empower Texans, an organization at the center of the state’s far-right conservative movement, reported no political expenses on its 2012 tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service, despite showing $350,000 in campaign expenditures to state authorities, documents show. The group, which claims to support fiscal responsibility and greater transparency in government, is best […]

Gov debate II: That’s more like it

The second Governor’s debate was a lively affair. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has mostly avoided direct confrontation with his opponent in the race for Texas governor, took a hard swing at Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis over her ethics as a lawmaker in a televised debate Tuesday night. And she let him have it […]

Paxton investigation put off till after the election

I can’t really argue with this. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office will not pursue legal action against attorney general candidate state Sen. Ken Paxton until after the election, if at all, because of an internal policy aimed at preventing politically motivated investigations in campaign season. The postponed timeline could be problematic for Paxton, a […]

Lawsuit filed to get Paxton records from State Securities Board

From the Lone Star Project on Wednesday: Today the Texas Coalition for Lawyer Accountability (TCLA) filed suit against the Texas State Securities Board to obtain documents linked to Republican attorney general candidate Ken Paxton’s admitted felony violation of state securities law. “Ken Paxton’s actions define corruption. Paxton has not only disqualified himself to serve as […]

Abbott files complaint with Ethics Commission over Davis book tour

Whatever. The campaign manager for GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott filed an ethics complaint on Thursday alleging that the book tour of Abbott’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, represents a conversion of political contributions into personal use. Wayne Hamilton’s complaint to the Texas Ethics Commission claims that Davis converted political contributions […]

Greg Enos drops another bombshell

Greg Enos, the chief catalyst in getting Judge Denise Pratt ousted from the 311th Family Court, now documents bad behavior by Pratt’s successor on that bench, Alicia Franklin. I truly like Alicia Franklin personally and I do not want to embarrass her or cause her problems. I have even come to actually like her fiance, […]

Abbott claims Davis’ book tour constitutes an illegal campaign contribution

I guess he has to do something to distract from what’s actually in Sen. Davis’ book. Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott asked the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday to rule whether opponent Wendy Davis’ book deal and tour crosses the line on illegal corporate campaign contribution because it is tied to her ongoing campaign. Davis’ […]

More about TPJ

The Chron profiles Texans for Public Justice, the group that filed the complaint that led to Rick Perry’s indictments. [Craig] McDonald’s Texans for Public Justice, which operates out of a small office west of the University of Texas-Austin campus and currently has less than $1,000 in the bank, is known as the state’s preeminent group […]

Shine a light on dark money

I totally favor this. Secret campaign donors in Texas may soon be forced out of the shadows. The Texas Ethics Commission, already fighting a conservative group in court over whether it can regulate dark money disclosure, appears poised to approve a proposal aimed at requiring some politically active nonprofits to start revealing their anonymous donors. […]

TPJ files criminal complaint against Ken Paxton

From the inbox: TPJ Calls for Formal Investigation of AG Candidate Ken Paxton – Criminal Complaint Filed With Travis County DA’s Office TPJ has filed a criminal complaint with the Travis County District Attorney against State Senator and Attorney General candidate Ken Paxton. The complaint, filed on July 18, seeks a formal investigation into allegations […]

Who watches the fox while he guards the henhouse?

The Railroad Commission needs an ethics upgrade. The race for Texas railroad commissioner has revived — at least in the short term — debate around a series of thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the state’s curiously named oil and gas agency. Calling the Railroad Commission too heavily influenced by the industry it regulates, Steve Brown, […]

Sam Houston enters the chemical disclosure fray

From the inbox: Sam Houston, Democratic Nominee for Texas Attorney General, today promised to reverse the current AG’s letter ruling on the release of the locations of dangerous chemicals, putting the safety of our families and children first. “I have reviewed the law that General Abbott cited when his office upheld the state health department’s […]

The Trib on the AG race

What do you do when you have an ethically compromised candidate on your ticket? Thank your lucky stars that you’re the majority party and hope like hell the challenger can’t get any traction. A political candidate’s troubles are supposed to be a gold mine for the opposition, but that has not been the case with […]

Steve Stockman ethics update

He still doesn’t have any, but I’m talking about the investigation into his highly questionable campaign finance activity. The House Ethics Committee extended its probe into U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman on Wednesday, releasing a report detailing allegations that he tried to cover up illegal campaign contributions from people who worked in his congressional office at […]

Steve Stockman’s ongoing FEC issues

“Steve Stockman” and “ethical issues” go together like peanut butter and jelly. For a congressman who has overseen four campaign committees in two decades, Rep. Steve Stockman is having a hard time dissolving his troubled congressional campaign. Now a lame duck, the Clear Lake Republican first tried on April 16 to terminate Friends of Congressman […]

Why isn’t Ken Paxton releasing his tax returns?

This DMN story is actually about how Sen. Ken Paxton, currently in a runoff for the GOP nomination for Attorney General after leading the field in March, has done pretty well for himself as a lawyer since his initial election to the Legislature, but I kind of got hung up on the bit about his […]

Paxton gets a slap on the wrist

That’s it??? State Sen. Ken Paxton, a Republican candidate for Texas attorney general, violated the Texas Securities Act by soliciting investment clients without being registered as required by law, according to a disciplinary order made public Friday. Under the order from the Texas State Securities Board, Paxton was “reprimanded” and fined $1,000. He is also […]

Stockman being investigated for ethics issues

Raise your hand if you’re the least bit surprised by this. The House ethics committee is inquiring into the campaign finances of Rep. Steve Stockman, the Clear Lake Republican who has been questioned repeatedly over the last year about misreported campaign contributions and deficient disclosures. A spokesman for Stockman acknowledged the inquiry Friday, and the […]

Paxton’s disclosure issues

Oopsie. State Sen. Ken Paxton, the leading Republican candidate for attorney general, has launched an internal review of his disclosures to state regulatory authorities and the Texas Ethics Commission to determine whether he violated any laws by failing to report several business and professional relationships. Paxton launched the review after The Texas Tribune obtained 2006 […]

You can’t stop Dave Wilson

You can only hope to restrain him. The battle over whether Dave Wilson is actually a Houston Community College trustee could come to a head on Thursday when the 67-year-old tries to take the seat behind the District II placard on the board’s dais. “I’m going to represent the citizens of my district,” Wilson said […]

The Marshall legacy

The Chron has a story that looks back on the long career of outgoing HISD Trustee Larry Marshall. No question, Marshall was a star as an educator, and left an indelible mark on HISD thanks to the well-regarded magnet school program that he helped create. He should be riding off into the sunset amid hosannas […]

HCC Trustee Carroll Robinson being investigated

Great. Houston Community College has hired a law firm to investigate an accusation that trustee Carroll Robinson tried to steer part of a multimillion dollar construction contract to a company owned by a close friend, according to HCC records and interviews. HCC, one of the largest community colleges in the nation, has been plagued in […]

Judge Pratt update

The most embattled Family Court judge in Harris County is still on the ballot, in case you were wondering. Embattled state District Court Judge Denise Pratt, accused of falsifying court records to cover up tardy rulings, intends to remain on the ballot to face the voters, her lawyer says. In late October, the Harris County […]

The oldest established permanent floating ethics probe in the state

The Chief Justice of our State Supreme Court, ladies and gentlemen. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, already the longest-serving member of the state’s highest civil court, has the dubious distinction of owning another record: the longest running appeal of a state ethics fine. With the case dragging into its fifth year, watchdog groups […]

Rest of Larry Marshall lawsuit dismissed

That’s that. The three-year legal drama involving HISD trustee Larry Marshall has ended after a federal judge again ruled against a construction contractor alleging it was harmed by a bribery scheme. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison agreed last week to dismiss two companies being sued along with Marshall. The decision essentially closes the case, barring […]

Federal lawsuit against HISD and Trustee Larry Marshall dismissed

Good, I guess. A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a three-year-old bribery lawsuit against the Houston school district and trustee Larry Marshall, ending the prospect of a high-profile jury trial. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled in part that the construction contractor that sued lacked standing because the company did not prove it suffered financially. […]

Lisa Falkenberg profiles Dave Wilson

I’m very glad to see some coverage of Dave Wilson that includes relevant information about who he is. Narrow-minded bigot. Homophobic hate-meister. Political mischief-maker. Given all the unkind labels Dave Wilson has incurred over the years, I wasn’t sure what kind of ghoul I’d encounter when I called Friday to talk about Wilson’s latest stunt: […]

Keller accepts a plea deal on ethics charge

She gets off pretty lightly, if you ask me. Sharon Keller, the state’s top criminal court judge, has reached a deal to substantially reduce a record $100,000 fine levied by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to fully disclose millions of dollars of real estate and income in financial statements. Under the settlement, released Friday, […]

Perry goes on a veto spree

Here’s the full list. Among the victims are the omnibus ethics bill HB217, thus giving Allen Blakemore his fondest wish; two bills aimed at reducing the number of standardized tests some students must take, one of which will make William McKenzie happy; SB15, which would have placed new limits on the power of the University […]

Why stop at one veto of an ethics bill?

Why not veto them all? Allen Blakemore has launched an effort to recruit about 30 fellow Republican political consultants and their clients to push the governor to veto the omnibus ethics bill. Blakemore, who lobbies for the Conservative Republicans of Texas and Houston conservative crusader Steven Hotze, said his concern is a requirement to disclose […]