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

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, 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
KTRK: On Big Screens for Billionaires, Comptroller Susan Combs Silent
Related Blogs and Media
New Replacement Oak Planted in Front of Kirby Dr. Wendy’s Is Taller Than the One Its Owner Chopped Down The sixth and last of the replacement street trees was planted in the public right-of-way surrounding the Wendy’s drive-thru at 5003...
Update:1 hour 18 min
Judge Debra Ibarra Mayfield appointed to 165th District Court Wow, time flies when you are having fun! It’s been a while since I posted but I had to come out of hiding for this announcement from...
Update:2 hours 23 min
Big Jolly Politics
Houston radio DJ burglarized, Dallas TV talent changes and wwwaaayyyy more MORE VIDEO - Anchorman F-Bomb News Blooper - The Story of AFVN Radio and TV - WFAA Star Wars Day promos - Ummmmm....I think you meant to...
Update:2 hours 41 min
Mike McGuff
Daily Demolition Report: Camay Clean Spend time trying to remove your mistakes one by one — or get rid of all of them with one dramatic action. Commercial...
Update:3 hours 18 min
‘South Carolina Lowcountry’ South of Conroe; Previewing the Houston Chronicle’s New Digs; Inside Those Shot-Trot Kit Homes Songy HighRoads’ 325-Room Hyatt Regency Hotel Houston Galleria at Sage and W. Alabama Has Topped Out [HBJ; previously on...
Update:4 hours 47 min
Oliver on Standardized Testing
Update:12 hours 41 min
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Sanders Plays Small Ball on Fundraising, Still Racks Up Big Totals Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,announcing his run for the presidency. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) Nobody will be asking Sen. Bernie Sanders...
Update:21 hours 2 min
Open Secrets
F-35 Contractors, Under Fire, Spent Record Amounts in 2014 (Samuel King Jr. via Flickr) Scathing reports have once again spotlighted the massive cost and delays surrounding the F-35 Joint Strike...
Update:21 hours 40 min
Open Secrets
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Parent Trap 903 English St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:22 hours 32 min
Comment of the Day: The Art of Obtaining City Permits “When Havel Ruck Projects was commissioned to create ‘Fifth Ward Jam,’ it was under the premise that it was temporary...
Update:23 hours 32 min
Kayla Ayres joins KPRC 2 Kayla Ayres returns to Houston at KPRC 2 from KRQE NEWS 13/KASA FOX 2 in Albuquerque Kayla Ayres Kayla Ayres has popped up on Houston...
Update:23 hours 58 min
Mike McGuff
How To Get in on Double the Mattress Store Fun in Sienna Plantation If you thought it was kinda adorable how those 2 same-owner mattress stores are snuggling up right next to each other at the corner of...
Update:1 day 32 min
WFAA 8's new anchor profiles - VIDEO Do Pete and Dale really get along? The WFAA 8 creative team has unleashed a bevy of new anchor and reporter video profiles for our viewing...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Mike McGuff
Why Superblock Construction Is Moving Superslow Other apartment developers have been rushing to complete their latest construction projects. But not Camden Property Trust. Not only has...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Daily Demolition Report: The San Miguel Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. Sure,...
Update:1 day 3 hours
The Biggest Sports Weekend (EVER!) that was. If you're a fan of sports, then waking up on Monday might feel like somewhat of a downer after Saturday. There's obviously a LOT to cover...
Update:1 day 4 hours
Cory Crow
Why Houston’s Housing Market Hasn’t Crashed Yet; White Oak Bayou Greenway Bridge Now Open for Business Fort Bend County Leads the Way in Diversifying Houston Area, Finds Kinder Institute Survey [Houston Chronicle; full report] Slow Dough...
Update:1 day 4 hours
The Issues of Genomic Sequencing
Update:1 day 13 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Indigent defense, civil commitment and the Texas surveillance state No time to delve into these issues in-depth, but fyi:The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a new white paper out on pretrial proceedings...
Update:1 day 17 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Finally ... the conservative case against pandering to police unions Interesting to see a meme I've heard from several Texas conservatives this year repeated in the pages of the New York Times. See Ross...
Update:2 days 2 hours
Grits for Breakfast
When will KPRC mornings be watched in space? NASA astronaut Scott Kelly loves Houston morning TV Friday morning, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly tweeted a photo from the International...
Update:2 days 2 hours
Mike McGuff
The Playlist: Conspiracy Theory Some folks in a small town in Central Texas had a strong reaction to a large-scale military exercise on U.S. soil called “Jade Helm...
Update:2 days 19 hours
Texas Tribune
Raise-the-Age Shenanigans WTF?Texas' much-ballyhooed raise-the-age legislation - HB 1205 by Dutton increasing the age of adult criminal culpability in Texas from 17...
Update:2 days 22 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Lazy media prefers omission over disclosure regarding Fort Bend ISD truancy program In December 2014 the Fort Bend Star published a story with claims from Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert and State Representative Ron...
Update:2 days 23 hours
Big Jolly Politics
A non-comprehensive survey of good crimjust bills still moving It's May of an odd numbered year which means wheat and chaff are separating when it comes to criminal-justice reform legislation from...
Update:3 days 1 hour
Grits for Breakfast
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: All the Veuve 5000 Longmont Dr. Unit 10 [HAR] … Read...
Update:3 days 21 hours
Major Financial Players Lobby Around Obama’s Investment Rules ( via Flickr) In the months since President Obama announced his support for new retirement investment rules that would...
Update:3 days 22 hours
Open Secrets
This Cartoon-Faced $1.15 Million Bi-Level Contemporary by Buffalo Bayou off Gessner Splits Its Highs and Lows Steps stick out like a tongue from the pop-eyed façade of a recently renovated 1969 Woodstone home. But is it saying “ah” or...
Update:3 days 23 hours
Wacky TxDOT I-45 Redo Renderings Now Available in Mind-Boggling Video Format If you were dazzled by the wide swaths of concrete laneage and complicated color-coded spaghetti interchange entanglements in the TxDOT...
Update:4 days 2 hours
Daily Demolition Report: Lost Boy Goodbye to a Telephone Rd. institution. And other great moments in local departure:       Commercial...
Update:4 days 3 hours
Gerland’s Trades Hands; Stella Link Sellers Bros. Stops Selling; Leaving the Astrodome Time Capsule Be Houston Ranks Third Among U.S. Metro Areas for Construction Jobs Added Over Past Year [Houston Public Media] Downtown Boosters Boost...
Update:4 days 4 hours
'Let's sign up on and for things' Last week at the Texas capitol, Grits witnessed a scene so funny I've retold it a dozen times since then and may as well share it with you,...
Update:4 days 5 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Attia on Fat and Cholesterol Myths
Update:4 days 13 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Inside Intelligence: About Those Special Session Rumblings... For this week’s nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked...
Update:4 days 14 hours
Texas Tribune
Fly High Little Bunny Preparing for Safe Landing in This Little House in the Heights Runaway Shepherd St. jeweler Fly High Little Bunny has marked up the former Occasions Fine Gifts shop at the corner of Rutland and 19th...
Update:4 days 20 hours
Legislative odds and ends Here are a few odds and ends from the Texas Legislature to occupy readers' attention while your correspondent is focused elsewhere:The...
Update:4 days 22 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Half Bath Half 2145 Kipling St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:4 days 23 hours
Kirby Dr. Wendy’s Replacement Trees Are Kind of a Big Deal A row of 5 already-growed-up oak trees took up their new home along the North Blvd. flank of the Wendy’s drive-thru at 5003 Kirby...
Update:5 days 17 min
By the Freeway in Hedwig Village: A New Starbucks Service Station To Fill Your Tank Crews working on the site of the former Village Mobil on the inbound I-10 feeder road at 8819 Katy Fwy. have now covered up part of the...
Update:5 days 2 hours
Daily Demolition Report: Left Center A Hollywood ending on Montrose Blvd., and other meal finishes: Commercial Structures Hollywood Vietnamese and Chinese Restaurant, 2409...
Update:5 days 4 hours
Karen Townsend | 2 years 9 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" -
Peter Corbett ✈ | 2 years 9 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy
KERA Public Media | 2 years 9 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour.
PBS MediaShift | 2 years 9 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 2 years 9 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services"
TxDOT | 2 years 9 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact
keyetv | 2 years 9 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested.
Karen Townsend | 2 years 9 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 9 months
Go ahead, chalk it up #satx #chalkitup | 2 years 9 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 2 years 9 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012
Dallas Morning News | 2 years 9 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) | 2 years 9 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run:
Karen Townsend | 2 years 9 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 2 years 9 months
Diigo: United raises fares by up to $10 per round trip - Business -
News 4 WOAI | 2 years 9 months
If you see news in or around San Antonio 'SEND IT' to @NEWS4WOAI here: OR email us at: NEWSDESK@WOAITV.COM
swamplot | 2 years 9 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold
swamplot | 2 years 9 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 2 years 9 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues
Williamson County | 2 years 9 months
Mental Health Awareness Week FREE Webinar:"Understanding Depression-How to Help You or a Loved One" Thurs,Oct 11@1pm-
© 2015 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement