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
KPRC ND Deborah Collura leaves for WCNC Charlotte Deborah Collura leaves KPRC and Post-Newsweek news gigs for general manager role at WCNC Charlotte Deborah Collura From the old...
Update:4 months 2 days
Mike McGuff
Perry and Dewhurst: signs of the times Rick Perry went all out against Ted Cruz for David Dewhurst in 2012 when Dewhurst was seeking higher office. A mere two years later, Perry...
Update:4 months 2 days
Rick Perry vs The World
Signs Herald Kirby Dr. Funeral Bars’ Impending Doom Renderings and reports of a giant mixed-use development that would swallow up the entire block on the west side of Kirby Dr. between...
Update:4 months 2 days
Swamplot
Potential civil liability for failing to comply with Prison Rape Elimination Act Check out written testimony to the Texas House County Affairs Committee from Texas Criminal Justice Coalition policy attorney Elizabeth...
Update:4 months 2 days
Grits for Breakfast
Daily Demolition Report: Altoona Switch Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. Dig deep into...
Update:4 months 2 days
Swamplot
The Rice Hotel’s New Owners; Making Munger St. Sparkle Post Properties Sells Historic Rice Hotel Building to Trammell Crow-Related Entity; Greystar Will Manage Apartments [Prime Property] FMC...
Update:4 months 2 days
Swamplot
Sex offender registration shouldn't include 'kidnapping' in child custody disputes At the Austin Statesman, Chuck Lindell reports ("Texan with no sex crime history protests 'sex offender' label," May 3) that two members of...
Update:4 months 2 days
Grits for Breakfast
T-Squared: Our Spring Membership Drive Today is the first day of our spring membership drive. It may seem indistinguishable from...
Update:4 months 2 days
Texas Tribune
Fort Bend ISD Board Trustee Albright Questioned In Campaign Sign Theft Yvonne Larsen A Fort Bend Independent School District Board Trustee was questioned by City of Meadows Place police early Saturday morning...
Update:4 months 2 days
Big Jolly Politics
Mark McCaig: Sid Miller’s Lies Caught on Tape Throughout his campaign for Agriculture Commissioner, former State Representative turned lobbyist Sid Miller has not constrained himself to...
Update:4 months 2 days
Big Jolly Politics
Hayek and Buckley on Redistribution of Wealth
Update:4 months 2 days
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Few guards face charges in cell-phone contraband cases The Texas Tribune's Edgar Walters today revisited the question of why Texas prison guards are rarely charged in cell-phone contraband...
Update:4 months 3 days
Grits for Breakfast
The Rockets Question that has yet to be asked (by the media anyway) After Damien Lillard pierced the heart of Houston sports fans the excuse making by the media began."It wasn't McHale's fault" they tell us...
Update:4 months 3 days
Cory Crow
California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby. (Likely to face tougher in Preakness) Before the race started, my betting strategy for the Kentucky Derby was toast.Last week, on Twitter, I picked California Chrome as the...
Update:4 months 3 days
Cory Crow
Flying with the Thunderbirds Blair Bunting Flies with the Thunderbirds from Jaron Schneider on...
Update:4 months 3 days
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Texas has a craving for hot-sauce company Leaders will head to California to try to persuade the maker of Sriracha hot sauce to move to...
Update:4 months 3 days
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
KIII celebrates 50th anniversary with special 'Domingo Live!' KIII-TV Corpus Christi, TX announces special 50th anniversary telecast for Domingo Live! KIII-TV announced that it will broadcast a...
Update:4 months 4 days
Mike McGuff
John Cornyn: It’s time to let adopted children come home from Congo Texas politicians receive out-of-state...
Update:4 months 4 days
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Dewhurst, Patrick square off Wednesday in lieutenant governor debate Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will meet at WFAA in Dallas Wednesday morning for a 45-minute live, online...
Update:4 months 4 days
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Playlist: Down to the River to Pray It was confirmed this week that Gov. Rick Perry was recently baptized in the...
Update:4 months 4 days
Texas Tribune
Virginia, Utah, require warrants for phone location data, Tennessee bill awaiting gov's signature More states have approved legislation requiring law enforcement to obtain warrants to track cell-phone location data, measure that passed...
Update:4 months 4 days
Grits for Breakfast
Live debate: Dewhurst-Patrick Watch WFAA's live stream of the May 7 debate between candidates for lieutenant...
Update:4 months 4 days
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Kimmel at Legends Barbershop re Donald Sterling
Update:4 months 4 days
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Live: Dewhurst, Patrick face off in Houston debate Heading into a hotly contested GOP primary on May 27, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is battling for his political life against State Sen. Dan...
Update:4 months 4 days
San Antonio Express-News
Conservatives Finally Take the Lead in 2014 Outside Spending Through the first half of the 2014 cycle, liberal groups reported having done more outside spending than conservative ones. It was only a...
Update:4 months 4 days
Open Secrets
Comment of the Day: The Folks Thumping Your Property “As someone who used to work on seismic crews for years before moving into designing these subsurface programs, I can tell you all...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Maybe We Should Round Up the Usual Suspects What’s happened to the bar building by the Cottage Grove railroad tracks at 5519 Allen St. at the corner of T.C. Jester since lesbian...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Hot Races 2014: In N.C., Outside Groups Work to Oust Wayward GOP Incumbent The Republican primary race to unseat Walter Jones pits a neoconservative against an anti-establishment libertarian, but this time the...
Update:4 months 5 days
Open Secrets
The Hillary Gender Divide? Will Hillary Clinton, the most powerful woman in U.S. politics, run up against the same donor gender divide that holds true generally if...
Update:4 months 5 days
Open Secrets
Bellaire Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Sitting Room 4503 Park Ct. [HAR] … Read...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
MAY 2 / Alexander Solzhenitzyn, meet James Madison NEAR THE END of his legendary 1978 commencement address to Harvard's June graduating class, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, probably without...
Update:4 months 5 days
Unca Darrell
'Waiving the criminal justice system' There's an interesting looking paper on SSRN from a UT-Austin law prof, a  public defender and a law student with the same title as...
Update:4 months 5 days
Grits for Breakfast
Scoring an Outscaped Cochran’s Crossing Home Near Golf On a cul-de-sac’s wedge lot in The Woodlands neighborhood of Cochran’s Crossing, an updated 1987 home with an outdoor oasis...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Chemical, Pharmaceutical Industries See Huge Lobbying Increases Overall spending on lobbying may have fallen again in the first quarter of 2014, but not everyone decided to pull back. In fact, some...
Update:4 months 5 days
Open Secrets
Texas lawmakers mull more 'dark money' disclosure A top Texas House committee on Thursday re-examined a possible crackdown on anonymous donations from "dark money" political groups, defying...
Update:4 months 5 days
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Ashby Highrise Will Go Up ‘Without Delay,’ Developers Say A spokesperson for Buckhead Investment Partners, the developers behind the building slated for 1717 Bissonnet St. in Boulevard Oaks known...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Stephen Dean exits WRTV 6 Indianapolis Stephen Dean, formerly of KPRC 2, checks in with a hint of Houston nostalgia Stephen Dean Former KPRC 2 investigative reporter Stephen...
Update:4 months 5 days
Mike McGuff
Construction Starts Next Week on Main St. MATCH Arts Complex in Midtown Having matched the $20 million it decided it needed before beginning building its full-block Main St. arts complex, the organizers behind...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Committee to evaluate implementation of cite-and-summons statute The Texas House County Affairs Committee on Monday will consider a couple of criminal-justice related interim charges that may interest...
Update:4 months 5 days
Grits for Breakfast
Daily Demolition Report: Grand Slam Watch us scramble these eggs — or make them into pancakes: Commercial Structures Apartments, 1204 Bartlett St. 77006 (Bartlett...
Update:4 months 5 days
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 weeks
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 2 years 2 weeks
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 2 years 2 weeks
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 2 years 2 weeks
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 weeks
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 weeks
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 2 years 2 weeks
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 weeks
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 weeks
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 2 years 2 weeks
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 2 years 2 weeks
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 2 years 2 weeks
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 2 years 2 weeks
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 2 years 2 weeks
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 2 years 2 weeks
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 weeks
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 weeks
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 2 years 2 weeks
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 2 years 2 weeks
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 2 years 2 weeks
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