Rep. Harvey Hilderbran Does Not Want Pesky Prosecutors Sniffing Around His Paperwork
The folks at City Hall aren't the only ones trying to slip looser ethics rules into places they don't belong.
A bill that cruised through the state House this week would force lawmakers to disclose more information about how money moves between their campaign accounts and their personal ones, shedding light on ways politicians profit off the big piles of money lobbyists send them, the Associated Press reports. The bill would also force those lobbyists to disclose the contracts they have with politicians.
Sounds like good stuff, right? Stuff the bill's author, Fort Worth Republican Charlie Geren, should be proud to tell his kids about? Of course it is. Unless it slips through without first losing an amendment filed yesterday by fellow Republican Harvey Hilderbran of Kerrville.
Hilderbran's amendment would hogtie prosecutors who go after Austin's ethics violators. It would keep prosecutors from charging lawmakers whose violations are spelled out on forms provided by the Texas Ethics Commission. The scoundrels shall also be immune from prosecution if in breaking the law they "relied on a written advisory opinion" from the commission.
In other words: Yes, I may fuck up from time to time, but isn't it the Ethics Commission's job to stop me? I mean, they have "ethics" right there in their title. Can't you just arrest them? I have a golf date.
Geren, bless his ethical little heart, is talking about stripping the amendment from the bill. Feast your eyes before he (hopefully) does: