Tag Archives: Texas Ethics Commission

Influencers now required to disclose paid political content

Good. Could be stricter, and Lord knows our overall campaign finance system is a mess, but this was a slam dunk. Texas’ top campaign finance watchdog voted Tuesday to require social media figures to disclose when they are paid for … Continue reading

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Influencer disclosures

I approve of this. Texas’ top campaign finance watchdog gave initial approval last week to a proposal that would require social media users to disclose if they are being paid to share or create political advertisements. The Texas Ethics Commission’s … Continue reading

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Eric Dick is an old hand at violating campaign laws

He’s the industry standard around here. Attorney and Harris County Department of Education Trustee Eric Dick faces $40,000 in fines for campaign finance violations after the Texas Ethics Commission recently tacked on another $10,000 penalty. The TEC ruled late last … Continue reading

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Once again with the non-filers

Same story in July as in January. A dozen candidates running for elected positions at Houston City Hall failed to file required campaign finance reports in July, continuing a sloppy reporting period for the slate of candidates hoping to lead … Continue reading

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The non-filers

I of course have some thoughts about this. Nearly a quarter of candidates running for Houston City Hall positions still have not reported how much money they raised and spent for their campaigns last year, missing the January deadline by six months. About … Continue reading

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This is why you don’t put a crook in charge of enforcing the law

Y’all, Ken Paxton. For the past two and a half years, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has declined to sue hundreds of candidates and elected officials who altogether owe more than $700,000 to the state in unpaid fines for campaign … Continue reading

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Ken Paxton finds a new thing to lie about

This counts as personal growth for him. The state police made him do it. That’s the excuse Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton gives on his Texas ethics disclosures in place of revealing, as required by law, the addresses of properties … Continue reading

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Rules that can’t be enforced are just suggestions

This is ridiculous. Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman’s dual roles as a member of the Houston region’s transportation planning board and consultant at an engineering company will not receive further scrutiny by the local board after staff concluded the panel … Continue reading

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Paxton files corrected finance report

I feel duty-bound to note this. Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is in a hotly contested primary, has filed a corrected campaign finance report after he did not disclose a large portion of his donors from the last six months … Continue reading

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We’ll probably never know who Ken Paxton’s big campaign donors are

He has no interest in telling us, and there’s basically no mechanism to make him. Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced a hefty $2.8 million campaign haul, showing the competition he can still raise big bucks while under FBI scrutiny. … Continue reading

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Let the sun shine in

Make ’em disclose. Empower Texans, the deep-pocketed conservative advocacy group, is well-known for its heavy hand in steering the Texas GOP further to the right and for its shadowy setup that hides its funding sources from the public. But a … Continue reading

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Dick and Wolfe turn on each other

Pass the popcorn. A trustee on the Harris County Department of Education board who lent money to a fellow trustee’s campaign for justice of the peace has lodged a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission accusing him of failing to … Continue reading

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Still grappling with how to handle sexual harassment claims

I like the idea of putting the authority to investigate harassment claims in the Legislature into an independent body. Calls for independence between sexual misconduct investigations and those in power have grown in recent months, and experts and several lawmakers … Continue reading

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More on the Paxton bribery investigation

It’s good to have rich friends. Attorney General Ken Paxton says the man who shelled out the most money to help him combat securities fraud charges is a “family friend,” but a review of campaign finance records show his main … Continue reading

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Paxton being investigated for bribery

Sounds sexy, but don’t get too excited just yet. Attorney General Ken Paxton is being investigated under bribery and corrupt-influence laws for accepting a six-figure gift from a CEO whose company was under investigation by the state for fraud, the district attorney leading the probe confirmed Thursday. … Continue reading

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Someone really doesn’t like the Paxton case judge

It’s dirty tricks time. An anonymous campaign-like piece of mail has begun appearing in Texas attacking the judge overseeing Attorney General Ken Paxton’s criminal securities fraud trial, discrediting the Tarrant County jurist who has said he plans to stay with … Continue reading

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This week in Ken Paxton Dishonesty

What else has he been lying about? Ken Paxton told federal investigators a tech CEO gave him $100,000 worth of stock five years ago, but he never disclosed the shares as either a gift or income, an issue ethics experts … Continue reading

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Oh, Borris

Not good. State Rep. Borris Miles, a Houston Democrat, repeatedly failed to disclose his business interests in three companies as state law requires. The lawmaker did not report on state ethics forms for several years that he had an ownership … Continue reading

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The Rodeo had an extra clown this year

OK, it was a rodeo in Mississippi, but I wasn’t going to ruin a good headline. The point is, that clown’s name was Sid Miller. Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller used a combination of taxpayer money and campaign funds to … Continue reading

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Abbott lies about vote fraud

Ross Ramsay calls him out for it, much more politely than I would have. The governor of Texas thinks that fraud in the electoral system that put him and others in office is “rampant.” He can’t back that up. Greg … Continue reading

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How is Ken Paxton paying for his defense?

Nobody really knows. Well, nobody who isn’t Ken Paxton, anyway. How Paxton is paying for his criminal defense — a legal tab estimated to easily exceed a million dollars — is one of the ongoing puzzles in the case against … Continue reading

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Once again, I spoke too soon about the Ethics Commission and Ken Paxton

I’ll be damned. The Texas Ethics Commission declined to pass an opinion that would have said it was okay for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept out-of-state gifts from donors to help pay the legal costs for his indictment. … Continue reading

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Paxton can get some help with his legal bills

With some conditions attached, for whatever that’s worth. Indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton could tap out-of-state supporters to pay his legal defense team but must ensure those funds have not been funneled from any Texas donors, according to a draft … Continue reading

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Ethics Commission backs off on letting others pay Paxton’s legal bills

Sorry, Kenny. State regulators punted Monday on guidance that would clear the way for recently-indicted Attorney General Ken Paxton to accept money as a gift from out-of-state donors to finance his legal defense of felony securities fraud charges. After a … Continue reading

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Paxton can get others to pay his legal bills

It’s Christmas in November for our felonious Attorney General. Texas’ ethics regulator has carved a path for Attorney General Ken Paxton to tap out-of-state donors to pay his legal tab to defend against felony fraud charges. The Texas Ethics Commission, … Continue reading

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Reynolds receives jail sentence in barratry case

He got the max for the misdemeanor charge on which he was convicted. State Rep. Ron Reynolds could spend up to a year in jail after he was sentenced Monday to the maximum penalty following his conviction on charges arising … Continue reading

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Rep. Ron Reynolds convicted of misdemeanor barratry charge

The word “tawdry” applies to this. State Rep. Ron Reynolds was convicted Friday of illegally soliciting clients in an “ambulance chasing for profit” scheme, a verdict that carries the threat of jail time and deals a blow to his political … Continue reading

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Who can pay for Ken Paxton’s defense?

Paxton himself would like to know, though he doesn’t want you to know that he wants to know. In mid-July, a law firm representing an unnamed state official asked the Texas Ethics Commission whether it would be legal under state … Continue reading

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Paxton recuses himself from lots of regular AG activity

Other people in the AG’s office are doing parts of Ken Paxton’s job because right now he can’t. The AG’s office has followed agency policy, state rules and laws to screen Paxton from participating in matters where he may have … Continue reading

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Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity … Continue reading

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How will we miss Ken Paxton if he doesn’t go away?

Despite his arrest and indictment, Ken paxton might stick around for awhile. Using Texas history as a measure, Ken Paxton’s indictment on securities fraud charges may mean he will have to navigate rough political waters if he stays in office … Continue reading

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Paxton’s partner in alleged crime

Meet Fritz Mowery, the man who helped get AG Ken Paxton into trouble. Fritz Mowery was on a mission. Last April, he tried to convince investment clients to sign backdated forms saying they knew Ken Paxton had received money for … Continue reading

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Campaign finance reports may be a bit more interesting this cycle

And by “interesting”, I mean in the Chinese curse sense. From the city’s campaign finance reports page: In April 2015, the Texas Ethics Commission released a new Electronic Filing Application. The changes made have to do with the separation of … Continue reading

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Paxton involved in another scam

When it rains, it pours. The name of Attorney General Ken Paxton, facing potential indictment by special prosecutors in Collin County for first-degree felony securities fraud, has surfaced in a federal probe of a company in which he is an … Continue reading

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