Accusations of Political Payback Rise in Senate Ethics Debate -- Updated

Senate Bill 19 was described by sponsor Van Taylor during a floor debate today as “generational” ethics reform, but when an amendment was offered to bar employment and co-investing between legislators, Senator John Whitmire erupted with accusations that Taylor and Don Huffines were trying to turn the legislation into unethical political payback.

THE BEST: John Whitmire

The lofty title Dean of the Texas State Senate is bestowed each session on the senator with the longest tenure and carries with it the unspoken responsibility of protecting the chamber’s dignity and traditions. As with English kings, however, the line of succession does not always produce someone suited to the job. Carlos Traun, the previous occupant of the post, was the George III of deans, and when the mantle fell upon John Whitmire this year, the first thing that came to naysayers’ minds was his nickname: Boogie.

Houston mayor's race: Whitmire slams Parker for going negative

I have never pretended to be knowledgeable about the Houston mayor’s race, other than to pass along information that I have received from local sources, but I don’t get why Annise Parker has decided to go negative against runoff opponent Gene Locke. Her line is “Come Clean Gene” regarding his purported conflicts of interest with city business as a lawyer at Andrew Kurth, and she wants him to release his tax returns. Locke has already said that he would leave the firm if he is elected mayor.

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