Friday, October 7, 2016

From the Texas Tribune: Analysis: In Texas, Lawmakers Regulate Their Own Regulators

In 2306, while walking though Article 3 of the Texas Constitution, we looked at the language that established the Texas Ethics Commission. We looked at the factors that made it toothless.

Here's more on that subject.

The author argues that one of the reasons ethics is tough to police - not surprisingly - is that people don't pay attention.

- Click here for the article.

Texas legislators apparently think the people appointed to regulate campaign finance and officeholder ethics are “haughty.”
God bwess their widdle hearts.
Seriously, senators made it clear at a State Affairs Committee meeting this week that they are riled up at the Texas Ethics Commission — and reveled in an opportunity to jab and poke at the officials who police their industry.
It’s an interesting setup, where the people who are being regulated are also the people in control, more or less, of the regulators. The hearing was also a great exhibition of lawmakers doing one of the things they do best: Bullying unelected state officials and employees.
They said the commission spends too much time on nickel-and-dime infractions — paperwork errors and the like. They griped about a commissioner who rejected a resignation request from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Patrick wanted to appoint someone in Hugh Akin’s place and let him know; Akin let Patrick know, in a letter, that he’ll serve until his term ends 13 months from now.
This is an insiders’ fight. One reason it’s hard to write ethics laws is that most Texans don’t pay much attention to the mechanics of elections, lobbying or the everyday business of being an elected officeholder in Texas — except when there is a scandal big enough to stay in the news for a while.

For more:

- In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform.
- Conservatives Call For Reform or Abolition of the Texas Ethics Commission.
- Ethics reform fight flares anew.
The brutal death of ethics reform in Texas.
- Republican Senators Grill Texas Ethics Commission.

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