Like Sen. Ellis, Ray Hutchison's work on bond transactions raises tricky questions

Like a front porch light luring flies on a summer night, municipal bond transactions have a way of attracting politically connected people. Attorney Ray Hutchison, the husband of Republican U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, helped write the bonds for Dallas' Trinity River project. Sure enough, Texas' senior senator helped allocate $13 million in earmarks for the project.

Recently, the Dallas Morning News reported that aides to Gov. Rick Perry, who's fending off a likely primary challenge from Hutchison, filled out a public records request to Dallas officials. In it, they asked for "copies of all letters, faxes, e-mails, phone messages, notes from phone calls or meetings, or any other documents in which Kay Bailey Hutchison's name appears with the words bond; bonds; funds; funding or project."

That's not a bad start. But the governor's office may soon discover that when it comes to municipal bond transactions, some of the most curious transactions don't leave a paper trail. Just ask Sen. Rodney Ellis.