Tomorrow the Texas Ethics Commission will convene to choose a new leader, as well as, deal with two important issues that surfaced last year, but was shelved until this year. In choosing their new leader, the commission must decide who among them, are as un-ethical as they are.
First up is the practice of receiving pay from non-profit organizations while being on the payroll of such agency. Vice Chairman Jim Clancy, the likely new chairman had this to say about the practice, ‘preachers, for example — who must pass the offering plate to pay themselves a salary — would be hard-pressed to serve their flock and serve in the Legislature under such an interpretation.‘
It‘s evident, Clancy knows nothing about the church and the pastor‘s salary. Preachers are paid from the tenth, AKA, tithes, and the passing of the plate, typically goes to the general fund of the church.
In any case, campaign contributions have always come with strings attached. There’s much more behind the contributions, then just a tax write off. Generally speaking, contributions lead to legislation on behalf of the contributor. Legislation that might not arrive on the same page as the rest of the state and as such, this practice is counter productive in equal and fair representation.
An example of the detriments of this practice was the 'sanctuary cities' bill, introduced during the 2011 session and mutilated by the Texas’ business community’s campaign contributions. In short, the Texas business sector is quite comfortable with sanctuary cities because it affords them an ample supply of low-skilled and illegal workers.
The second item up for consideration of ending is the rewards points generated from the use of campaign funds credit cards. Now this one may appear to be kind of elementary in it’s argument, but when you consider the false records this practice would create, one would consider this to be important, but only to keep the theory of Texas lawmakers accountability, as well as transparency in check.
Currently, it is prohibited by the Texas Election Code to use those rewards for personal use, but according to Clancy again, it’s a common world wide practice and on that note, one can conclude, in Texas, nothing as far as ethics and transparency will change.