For years the Texas Legislature has resisted calls to publish politicians' personal financial information on the Internet. But the modern world caught up with state lawmakers today, when a fledgling watchdog group posted the disclosures online.
Texas Watchdog, a nonpartisan organization that uses public records to pull back the curtain on state government, obtained scanned copies of the financial disclosures for the major state officeholders and published them on its Web site.
Before the forms were only available on paper at the state Ethics Commission in Austin.
"If the public can't easily get at these records, they don't do voters and taxpayers much good," said Trent Seibert, editor of Texas Watchdog. "Through this site, Texas residents will be able to keep a close eye on public officials and sound the alarm if they spot a conflict of interest."