Sunday, July 24, 2016

Analysis: The Long and Winding Road to the Texas Ethics Commission

A look at the convoluted appointment process for the Texas agency responsible for overseeing campaign finance, the regulation of lobbyists, and a number of other items.

- Click here for the article.
The Texas Ethics Commission is a dog that doesn’t bite.
It’s designed that way. 
It’s the regulatory agency in charge of politicians and legislators. You think those folks want to give it real teeth?
That said, it’s also a strange place when it comes to appointing commissioners.
Most executive branch agencies in Texas are overseen by elected officials or appointed boards and executives. The elected leaders are your own fault, assuming you’re a voter. The appointments are mostly made by the governor, with a handful assigned to the lieutenant governor or the speaker of the House.
The eight-member ethics panel, however, is unique.
The governor appoints four members, and the lite guv and the speaker appoint two each. But wait, there’s more. Each of them chooses from lists of potential appointees provided by legislators in the House and the Senate. Not done with the rules yet: Those lists are split by party.
In practice, that means the political caucuses in the House and Senate have the first cull when it comes to who serves on the state commission that regulates the political activities of candidates, officeholders and lobbyists.

The story links to anther which looks at the current backlog of appointees to executive agencies.

More than 300 Gubernatorial Appointees Have Expired Terms.

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