Thursday, April 28, 2005

Ethics Exodus

The pressure is ratcheting up over ethics legislation to clean up the worst excesses of the 2002 campaign. House Bill 1348 is lodged in the House Elections Committee. Despite having, at one point, 93 sponsors, including 30 Republicans (that would be 17 more than it needs to pass), it isn't moving fast enough to have a chance of becoming a law this session.
This afternoon, it's rumored that Rep. Jim Dunnam (D-Waco) plans to ask to be recognized by Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) for a motion under House rules that would force the committee to vote on the bill. Craddick is officially agnostic on the measure but insiders say the Speaker is 100 percent against because of its potential to dry up money that helps to keep him power.
Interestingly enough, as the issue comes to a head, four of the Republican sponsors on the bill, Warren Chisum (R-Pampa), Joe Driver (R-Garland), Dan Flynn (R-Van), and Charlie Howard (R-Sugar Land) have dropped their names as coauthors.