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
The Kind of Accident You Might Find in Front of Your Fifth Ward Townhome When Your Street Is Too Narrow and Your Driveway Is Too Long As a cautionary demonstration of the hazards of the kind of wacky old-roadway-meets-new-driveway construction found in front of a set of...
Update:27 min 39 sec
Swamplot
Four 2016 Hopefuls Accused of Breaking Law Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, crowded by reporters on a recent trip to New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) The Campaign Legal Center has...
Update:1 hour 24 min
Open Secrets
The Slow End of the Avenue Grill at the End of Center St. The Avenue Grill could close sometime soon, but not if somebody doesn’t hurry up and buy the place. Or maybe buy the place and keep...
Update:4 hours 27 min
Swamplot
Daily Demolition Report: Kiam No Longer Off with their heads. Commercial Structures Big Brothers Big Sisters, 1003 Washington Ave. 77002 Residences 2201 Stuart St. 77004 2202...
Update:6 hours 26 min
Swamplot
Keith Russell joins CBS 11 KTVT DFW CBS 11 KTVT DFW adds Keith Russell as sports anchor; replacing Babe Laufenberg Keith Russell Keith Russell will join CBS 11 as sports...
Update:6 hours 52 min
Mike McGuff
Redeveloping the Old Sakowitz Building Site Downtown; Memorial Park Plan Vote Planned Houston Added 96,700 Jobs in the 12-Month Period Ending February 28, Despite Oil Decline [Realty News Report] Downtown Redevelopment...
Update:7 hours 12 min
Swamplot
Modern Lepers
Update:16 hours 3 min
Houston's Clear Thinkers
After Years without Review, a Misused and Bloated Federal Drug Discount Program Finally Getting Congressional Review Guest Post by Tom Kowalski, President of the Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) The House Energy & Commerce Committee’s...
Update:19 hours 30 min
Big Jolly Politics
Texas truancy laws: an open letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder–by Deron R. Harrington Dear Attorney General Holder: I am following up on a March 18, 2015 letter that you should have received from Texas Senator Rodney Ellis...
Update:19 hours 38 min
Big Jolly Politics
On the Bayou-Side Slopes in Idylwood, a Redone Forties Cottage Awaits $265K Doubled windows dominate the front of an updated 1946 Idylwood home. Each pair indicates a front-to-back section of the floor plan...
Update:23 hours 12 min
Swamplot
Driving Beltway 8, in Order To Read Houston in the Original “To get a full sense of the place,” writes Cort McMurray, every Houstonian should travel Beltway 8′s full 83-mile...
Update:1 day 12 min
Swamplot
Fulshear Home Listing Photo of the Day: Splash Down 5006 Waterbeck St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:1 day 1 hour
Swamplot
KPRC 2 launches noon newscast KPRC 2 expands mid-day newscast from 11am to 12:30pm with only hour and a half block of news in Houston Thanks to one of my eagle-eyed...
Update:1 day 1 hour
Mike McGuff
Company Awarded First Federal Offshore Wind Farm Spends Big in D.C. (TumblingRun via Flickr) It has been nearly 15 years since a proposal to build wind turbines in federal waters was first floated by Cape...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Open Secrets
Here’s One Way To Get Extra Long Driveways for Your Fifth Ward Townhome How did these townhomes under construction on the northeast corner of Bayou and Baron streets in the Fifth Ward come by their extra-long,...
Update:1 day 2 hours
Swamplot
Houston Astros 2015 TV schedule on Root Sports ROOT SPORTS to Broadcast up to 162 Houston Astros Games during 2015 Season ROOT SPORTS to air MLB Houston Astros games ROOT SPORTS™,...
Update:1 day 5 hours
Mike McGuff
Univision Houston launches Texas regional morning newscast Noticias Texas Primera Edición “Noticias Texas Primera Edición” Premieres on Univision Monday, April 6 Univision Local Media announced the launch of a regional...
Update:1 day 5 hours
Mike McGuff
How and Where Mattress Firm Is Conquering Houston, One Sleepy Strip Center Storefront at a Time “Now we know why we seem to have hit peak mattress along Westheimer,” declares Christopher Andrews, after producing and...
Update:1 day 5 hours
Swamplot
‘I’m Not a Candidate': How Presidential Hopefuls Get Around Finance Rules Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – not yet a declared candidate for president in 2016 – speaks to the New Hampshire Republican Party....
Update:1 day 6 hours
Open Secrets
Daily Demolition Report: The Taco Bell Tolls for Thee Swamplot’s Daily Demolition Report lists buildings that received City of Houston demolition permits the previous weekday. A pretty big...
Update:1 day 6 hours
Swamplot
Micro-Trigeneration in Spring Branch; Hidejiro Matsu in Ashford Village Mission Cos. Acquires Energy Corridor Office Buildings Ashford Place II and III; Won’t Redevelop for a Few Years [Houston...
Update:1 day 7 hours
Swamplot
DA called 'unstable,' prison guard raises, clearance rates, and other stories No time this morning to adumbrate the issues in individual posts, but Grits readers may be interested in these items:Just three months into...
Update:1 day 8 hours
Grits for Breakfast
DPS border surge made rest of state measurably less safe When the Department of Public Safety shifted its deployments to the border as part of "Operation Strong Safety," it measurably reduced DPS...
Update:1 day 10 hours
Grits for Breakfast
The Power of Ten Mindful Minutes
Update:1 day 15 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Senate hearing on Office of Immigration and Refugees Affairs cancelled A March 30, 2015 hearing on a Senate bill designating the Texas Secretary of State office as the Refugee Coordinator for the Office of...
Update:1 day 20 hours
Big Jolly Politics
No need to pick a side when everybody's wrong Grits finds it ironic that David Dow, a Houston appellate lawyer specializing in death penalty work, is claiming the Court of Criminal...
Update:1 day 22 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Ted Cruz's DrudgeReport ad Ted Cruz's ad on Drudge right now: And the call to action second...
Update:2 days 19 hours
Rick Perry vs The World
The Playlist: Cruise Control Last Sunday night, a little after 11 p.m. Central, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced he’s running for president — on Twitter. That...
Update:2 days 21 hours
Texas Tribune
Should the AG or special prosecutors litigate police misconduct instead of local DAs? On Thursday, your correspondent testified before the House Select Committee on Emerging Texas Law Enforcement Issues on behalf of the Texas...
Update:3 days 23 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Third Ward Freeway-Side Townhomes Losing Their 288 Billboard Downtown and freeway views from and to the View at Manor Park townhomes along Chartres St. just south of Tuam in the Third Ward just got...
Update:4 days 11 min
Swamplot
Site Work Underway for Proposed Mixed Use Center Between BP and Terry Hershey Park Here are pics of some of the clearing work PM Realty Group has been orchestrating along the south side of I-10 between Eldridge and Hwy....
Update:4 days 2 hours
Swamplot
Reid Linchpin of Democratic Big Dollar Fundraising Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced his retirement in 2016 today. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Senate Minority...
Update:4 days 3 hours
Open Secrets
Daily Demolition Report: Waring Blender No pictures, but you know how it’s all going to go down.       Residences 43 Hibury Ct. 77024 (Sandalwood...
Update:4 days 5 hours
Swamplot
Rent Growth Slowing; A Walkable Weekend for Lower Westheimer Former Sign Magnate Al Ross Developing 6-Story Monroe at Bayou Park Midrise on Rochow Between W. Dallas and W. Clay [Houston...
Update:4 days 7 hours
Swamplot
Bill to criminalize filming police pulled down before hearing State Rep. Jason Villaba's controversial bill criminalizing filming police officers within 25 feet - and forcing concealed handgun...
Update:4 days 8 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Ban on Daydreaming would save more lives than texting-while-driving ban, just as enforceable Eric Nicholson at the Dallas Observer's Unfair Park blog rehearsed the arguments against the ban on texting-while-driving passed in the...
Update:4 days 9 hours
Grits for Breakfast
Singapore’s Economic Success
Update:4 days 15 hours
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Inside Intelligence: About Those Cruz Effects... We started off this week’s survey of politics and government insiders with questions...
Update:4 days 16 hours
Texas Tribune
Bellaire Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Bear, Alone 108 Cherrywood St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:4 days 22 hours
Swamplot
Comment of the Day: What You’ve Earned “How do you have the time to use all the various leisure areas of a house like this? You gotta be working a lot to afford it so when...
Update:5 days 41 min
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 2 years 8 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 2 years 8 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 2 years 8 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 2 years 8 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 8 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 8 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 2 years 8 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 2 years 8 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 8 months
Go ahead, chalk it up http://t.co/YMWpC5wM #satx #chalkitup
Caller.com | 2 years 8 months
Scanner: Bathroom on fire in 600 block of Virginia, CC fire dept. on the way
Ballotpedia | 2 years 8 months
Does your state offer early voting? Do you qualify? Find out! #election2012 http://t.co/eodxBYVD
Dallas Morning News | 2 years 8 months
Why a Dallas-area cycling coach believed Lance Armstrong was drug-free (video) http://t.co/gURdYkj1
Caller.com | 2 years 8 months
Dozens of illegal waste dumpers sentenced in Jim Wells Co.; others on the run: http://t.co/NgerCdsQ
Karen Townsend | 2 years 8 months
Consistently impressed w/raullabrador when I listen to him in Congressional hearings. #Libya
Cory Crow | 2 years 8 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 8 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 8 months
Mining Houston Garbage for Recycling and Compost Gold http://t.co/HMMBArMX
swamplot | 2 years 8 months
Daily Demolition Report: Tulane Highway http://t.co/JXmkSx11
KFDA NewsChannel10 | 2 years 8 months
Obama and Romney: Where they stand on the issues http://t.co/y3VrPfkM
Williamson County | 2 years 8 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
© 2015 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement