in Houston, Texas
Only Texans could file ethics complaints under Rep. Ken Legler's plan; Legler among lawmakers accused of double-billing by Calif. activist
Friday, Feb 11, 2011, 11:43AM CST
By Mark Lisheron
Texas state flag

Rep. Ken Legler has set out to redefine the venerable, fast-moving and conclusive method of dispute settlement, Rock, Paper, Scissors. Legler's version is called Ethics Complaint, Bill and guess which one tops which.


Last summer Legler, a Pasadena Republican, was one of 34 Houston and San Antonio-area lawmakers accused by Dave Palmer, a Folsom, Calif., blogger, of illegally keeping hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money by billing both the state and their campaign accounts for the same travel and lodging expenses. At the time Palmer said he filed a complaint outlining his charges with the Texas Ethics Commission.


Although there is no record of an open complaint under Legler's name, according to Tim Sorrels, deputy general counsel for the Ethics Commission, and there is no record of disposition of an order pertaining to Palmer's complaint, Legler has filed a bill that would prohibit anyone not living in or owning property in Texas from filing an ethics complaint.


According to a San Antonio Express-News blogHouse Bill 1036 compels the Ethics Commission to dismiss complaints when, at any point, it is determined that the person filing it is not from the Lone Star State.


Take that, paper and scissors. You, too, rock.


At the time, Palmer said he had calculated that Legler and the 33 lawmakers in question had each claimed at least $23,520 in state expense per diems, a system he likened to outright fraud.


But Palmer has since stopped pursuing the matter, he confirmed via e-mail today.


After Texas Watchdog contacted him through his his website, The Committee to Expose Dishonest and Incompetent Judges, Attorneys and Public Officials, Palmer e-mailed this response:

Sometime last year I filed 20-30 sworn complaints with the Commission, all of which they sent back since they claimed I didn't cross a particular "t" or dot a particular "i." That cost me nearly $300, since it cost $10 per notary here in California. I can ill afford to pay these sums because I'm living on a fixed income as a disabled veteran.
 
Because of these costs and because this inept Commission will not proceed to investigate any matter on its own, I've basically decided to forgo paying $10 to file an ethics complaint that really doesn't mean much of anything.
Palmer did, however, issue something he calls a Dumbo Award to Legler. "Apparently, if it was up to Kenny Baby, out-of-state watchdogs such as me would be subjected to 'disembowelment in the public square' for exposing public corruption in the Lone Star State," the website says. "And lastly, when the State of Texas is facing a $25 billion budget deficit, you’d like to think that this enormous problem would garner more attention from Kenny’s attempt to trample on the First Amendment."
 
Editor's Note: This post was updated Feb. 11 to include comments from activist Dave Palmer and to reflect that he lives in Folsom.

 

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or mark@texaswatchdog.org.


Keep up with all the latest news from Texas Watchdog. Fan our page on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Scribd, and fan us on YouTube. Join our network on de.licio.us, and put our RSS feed in your newsreader. We're also on MySpaceDiggFriendFeedNewsVine and tumblr.


Photo of Texas state flag by flickr user paul.derry, used via a Creative Commons license.

  • 1
Video
KTRK: On Big Screens for Billionaires, Comptroller Susan Combs Silent
Related Blogs and Media
Galveston Democrat Susan Criss not proud of her party One of the hottest state representative races in Texas is in Galveston County’s District 23. Republican Wayne Faircloth and Democrat...
Update:38 min 15 sec
Big Jolly Politics
4-wk sprint: With One Day Left This should be pretty close to what expectations are for the opening bell numbers that roll out Tuesday after 7pm. On the plus side, Steve...
Update:55 min 22 sec
Greg's Opinion
Straw Into Gold: Candidates Trading Leadership PAC Dollars for Campaign Cash This story is cross-posted at TIME.com With just a few days remaining in the first quarter of 2014, Mary Landrieu did something generous:...
Update:1 hour 9 min
Open Secrets
OCTOBER 31 / With four days to go, the GOP is . . . . . . still up 52-48 in the fight for control of the United States Senate, according to Real Clear Politics's screen for "Senate No Toss...
Update:1 hour 11 min
Unca Darrell
Daily Demolition Report: Funeral Home Memorial Clearing out the Addicks Dam subdivision — and other coming disappearances: Commercial Structures Barkley Memorial Funeral Home,...
Update:1 hour 47 min
Swamplot
Last minute oppo dumps in Harris DA race, y otras historias Here are several items which haven't made it into independent posts this week but which merit readers' attention:Blog vs. blog in Harris DA...
Update:2 hours 42 min
Grits for Breakfast
JCI Grill Still Keeping Heights Restaurant Under Hot Dog Surveillance; TXDOT Kills Plans for 290 Elevated Carpool and Toll Lanes Simon Premium Outlets Eying 192-Acre Texas Instrument Site on Southwest Fwy. for New Outlet Mall Called Legacy [Culturemap] Toll Brothers...
Update:2 hours 46 min
Swamplot
T-Squared: Trib, Times Will End Partnership This was supposed to be a proud and grateful acknowledgement of the anniversary of our...
Update:5 hours 17 min
Texas Tribune
Thinking Aristotle
Update:11 hours 57 sec
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Strange HPD stunt: Red-light cameras make appearance in flawed “study” HPD went to City Hall this week with a strange message: Accidents are way up at intersections that used to have red-light cameras, but this...
Update:13 hours 46 min
blogHOUSTON
Greg Abbott votes, talks about the Valley and abortion Attorney General Abbott and his daughter, Audrey AUSTIN – Attorney General Greg Abbott waited in a long line to vote at a Randall’s...
Update:17 hours 25 min
San Antonio Express-News
Inside Intelligence: About Those Legislative Races... For this final survey of political and governmental insiders before the general election, we...
Update:17 hours 43 min
Texas Tribune
Arlington bond package includes $160 million to fix the worst streets, sidewalks Arlington officials hope voters will approve $160 million bond issue to rebuild bumpy streets, buckled sidewalks and congested...
Update:18 hours 15 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Texas Room 424 W. 32nd St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:18 hours 31 min
Swamplot
Texans want conservatism We have nothing but evidence that Texans simply don’t want liberalism or moderate liberalism. Any attempt to blame the failure of...
Update:19 hours 6 min
AgendaWise
Political costumes, masks not welcome at the polls On the last day of early voting, officials warn voters to be careful what they wear. Bonds for Arlington...
Update:19 hours 52 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Here’s the Freshest Satellite Photo of Downtown Houston You’ll See All Day Sure, these days with Google Maps and other available sources, we’re all pretty accustomed to seeing recent satellite images of our...
Update:20 hours 1 min
Swamplot
Vote! Yes, more and more money is pouring into the 2014 midterm elections. And yes, secretive organizations are flooding the airwaves with...
Update:20 hours 18 min
Open Secrets
Millennials lean toward GOP, survey finds Millennial voters are more of a swing vote this time around, and likely young voters actually prefer a Congress controlled by the...
Update:20 hours 43 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Harris DA delayed notice to hundreds of drug defendants 'convicted in error,' some of them for many years Apparently the plea mills that constitute the Harris County criminal court system have become so efficient they can secure convictions even...
Update:21 hours 23 min
Grits for Breakfast
Harris DA delayed notice to hundreds of drug defendants 'convicted in error,' some of them for years Apparently the plea mills that constitute the Harris County criminal court system have become so efficient they can secure convictions even...
Update:21 hours 58 min
Grits for Breakfast
New Family Farm Now Reclaiming East End Industrial Site Near Ship Channel Two brothers who have opened a new agricultural venture in Houston’s East End are billing it as Houston’s “first private...
Update:22 hours 1 min
Swamplot
Hillary Clinton endorses Wendy Davis, stars in robo-call Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis on Thursday announced an endorsement from former Secretary of State Hillary...
Update:22 hours 25 min
San Antonio Express-News
Abbott Web ad again seeks to energize supporters AUSTIN — A new Web ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott features supporters sharing that they’ve already voted and...
Update:22 hours 28 min
San Antonio Express-News
Harris County’s tough on crime DA Devon Anderson Appointed Interim Harris County DA Devon Anderson has tried to convince voters that she is “tough on crime” while labeling her...
Update:23 hours 55 min
Big Jolly Politics
Astroworld memories 1968-2005 Today in 2005, Astroworld stopped having fun From June 1, 1968 to October 30, 2005 Astroworld thrilled Houstonians and out of towners...
Update:1 day 30 min
Mike McGuff
City Reportedly Planning Legal Action Against Kirby Dr. Wendy’s Late-Night Tree Whackers The City of Houston intends to proceed with legal action in connection with the overnight disappearance of half a dozen oak trees from the...
Update:1 day 31 min
Swamplot
Davis radio ad: Guess ‘who Abbott doesn’t want to vote’ Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis has a radio ad on the air this month that says Republican rival Greg Abbott has tried to...
Update:1 day 59 min
San Antonio Express-News
Daily Demolition Report: Make Thornton Wilder We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses. Commercial Structures 8315 Long Point Rd. 77055 (new construction by...
Update:1 day 1 hour
Swamplot
Union: 'Right on Crime' backers are 'bottom-feeders,' 'vultures' The less you have to sell, the harder you sell it!The less you have to say, the louder you yell it!The dumber the act, the bigger the...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Grits for Breakfast
OCTOBER 30 / It's the relevance, stupid MAYOR PARKER has pulled down her nasty subpoenas of pastors she deems guilty of thought crimes, but not before the abusive legal papers had...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Unca Darrell
A Lower Price To Keep Golf at Gus Wortham; Lyft Says Lift Fingerprinting Requirement or It’s Outta Here Sale of Downtown’s 1000 Main Has Attracted a Dozen Bids; Could Become Houston’s Biggest Deal Ever [Realty News...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Swamplot
Dazed and confused: Parker Administration backtracks on religious subpoenas Houston’s increasingly beleaguered mayor, Annise Parker, backtracked Wednesday on her administration’s efforts to intimidate...
Update:1 day 12 hours
blogHOUSTON
Stumping with Cornyn, Abbott eschews front-runner’s confidence Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, campaign together Wednesday at a Tex-Mex restaurant in...
Update:1 day 16 hours
San Antonio Express-News
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Flap Happy 2020 Sunset Blvd. [HAR] … Read...
Update:1 day 17 hours
Swamplot
The 8-Story Apartment Building Kicking El Tiempo 1308 Cantina Off Montrose Blvd. Won’t Touch U-Plumb-It or Gibbs Boats If future residents of the new 8-story apartment building that’s being planned to go up in place of the El Tiempo 1308 Cantina and...
Update:1 day 18 hours
Swamplot
Ad Spending Tops $1 Billion; Dark Money Groups Buy Significant Share Overall ad spending has broken $1 billion in federal elections and state governors’ races, with the total number of ads exceeding 2.2...
Update:1 day 18 hours
Open Secrets
Dallas prosecutors withheld exculpatory evidence in 1999 murder trials Two more Dallas men have been released based on habeas corpus writs after prosecutors withheld critical, exculpatory evidence at their...
Update:1 day 20 hours
Grits for Breakfast
It’s the quickest way to vote — but don’t forget the propositions Party officials encourage Texans to cast a straight ticket vote and help candidates up and down the ballot. But election officials caution:...
Update:1 day 20 hours
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A Fifties Bachelor Pad Returns to the Woodshire Stage with a Bow at $550K If portions of this open-plan Woodshire mod look a bit like a stage set (top), that was likely the idea. The 1957 custom designed pad, by...
Update:1 day 21 hours
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 2 years 2 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 2 years 2 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 2 years 2 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 2 years 2 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 2 years 2 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 2 years 2 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
San Antonio Current | 2 years 2 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 2 years 2 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 2 years 2 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 2 years 2 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 2 years 2 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 2 years 2 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business - http://t.co/kWY8gwPV http://t.co/bw25JP5R
News 4 WOAI | 2 years 2 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: http://t.co/uMqbMXQv OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 2 years 2 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 2 years 2 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 2 years 2 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 2 years 2 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-https://t.co/YUWi19WY
© 2014 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement