The Houston Ethics Commission has ruled against mayoral candidate Chris Bell’s complaint that City Hall was letting Rep. Sylvester Turner start the race with a $900,000 head start in fundraising.
Bell argues that Turner’s legislative account should not be able to transfer more than $10,000 to his mayoral account, the most that any third-party group can donate to a candidate. The Parker administration and Turner have said he should be allowed to transfer each individual donation that falls under the maximum caps set out by the city’s fundraising laws. He opened his mayoral account late last month and starts with about $900,000, according to his campaign.
Bell was hoping that the Ethics Commission would side with him and determine that Turner is violating city fundraising laws.
“They have no jurisdiction because there was no impropriety,” said Janice Evans, a Parker spokeswoman.
See here for the background. Filing that federal lawsuit he’s been talking about would be Bell’s next step, if he chooses to pursue this further. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think I’d put any money on his chances if Bell were to follow that route.