Ethics

With the availability of smart phones paired with the ease of recording, we have seen secret and embarrassing recordings of many come to light.

Public officials both nationally and locally have been put on the defensive over comments they thought were private, and the nation has reeled from phone video recordings of police brutality. It seems you can't go anywhere without the possibility of being recorded.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

On the campaign trail, now Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised to make ethics' reform a reality in the state, a departure from his predecessor Rick Perry who vetoed some of the strongest transparency legislation in 2013's legislative session.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

1 million TV ads filling the nation's airwaves and record outside PAC spending are putting 2014's midterm elections on pace to possibly become the most expensive midterm cycle in U.S. history, beating 2010's $4 billion mark. 

With a unanimous vote, members of the Texas Ethics Commission approved new regulations that require that “Dark Money” groups reveal all political contributions. 

The new regulation requires all politically active nonprofits that have donated more than 25 percent of their annual budgets to campaigns, disclose their list of anonymous donors. The chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, Jim Clancy, says he is troubled by the battle over whether our government would be run in secret.

Ryan E. Poppe

Wendy Davis' Republican gubernatorial opponent Greg Abbott has gone from asking for a general inquiry regarding Davis' book sales and promotional activity to launching a formal complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Abbott campaign filed the formal complaint during the first stop of Davis’ book signing tour in Austin.

In a statement, the Abbott campaign’s Matt Hirsch writes:

"Sen. Davis' book promotion has gone from ethically questionable to outright unlawful,"  

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