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The Source: Will Statehouse See Ethics Reform?

Ryan Poppe | Texas Public Radio

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.

Perry vetoed a host of bills that would have—among other things—made "dark money" groups donors public, financial reporting requirements for candidates stronger, mandated disclosure of relatives with government contracts, and clarify who made a campaign ad.

A few weeks into a new statehouse and we haven't seen a rush of ethics bills. Ethics reform advocates are watching and waiting on the legislature and the governor to see what happens.

How likely are we to see reforms and what will they look like?


  • Cal Jillson, professor political science at Southern Methodist University and author of the book "Lone Star Tarnished"
  • Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, a nonprofit that tracks money in politics
  • Tom 'Smitty' Smith, Texas director for Public Citizen, a consumer interest group
  • Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, Republican of Southlake who has been a voice on reform in the Texas House
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive