S.A. Express News: Lobbyists' money talks

Last year, the Governor called legislators into special session to deal with school finance. Instead, we wound up with telecom deregulation. Wonder how that happened?

The San Antonio Express-New just posted an excellent article the power of monied lobying interests here in Texas. The saddest thing: while lobbyist influence is coming under the microscope in Washington, it's biddness as usual here in Texas.

The potential for abuse is enormous, and the state agency in charge of monitoring lobbyists has received 1,500 sworn complaints since its founding in 1992. However, the Texas Ethics Commission has never conducted a complete audit or subpoenaed a single document, or subpoenaed and met with a witness in person.

Since 1992, the commission has initiated only one sworn complaint, has conducted one formal hearing and has not forwarded a single case to a law enforcement agency for criminal prosecution, the commission acknowledged.

Jack Abramoff may have made Washington lobbying a bad word, but that hasn't put a dent in the lobby's influence in Texas.

The full article is here.

Update: There are people trying to do something about it.