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Bill White Ethics Plan Summary

Bill White Ethics Plan Summary

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Published by: billwhitefortexas on Aug 11, 2010
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08/11/2010

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SUMMARY: BILL WHITE ETHICS REFORM PROPOSALS
“AS GOVERNOR, I WILL TERMINATE THE PRACTICE OF USING STATE OFFICES
AS A SELF-SERVING, PARTISAN POLITICAL MACHINE.”
--
Bill White
1. APPOINTMENTS TO BE BASED ON EXPERIENCE AND ABILITY TO
CONTRIBUTE TO TEXAS, NOT POLITICS OR POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS.
WHITE PLAN:Appointments will be based on experience and ability, not politics or

political contributions. Appointees and spouses will be limited to contributing $10,000
per election cycle after the appointment. Appointees will be barred from soliciting
contributions from those they regulate.

PERRY PRACTICE: Perry uses partisan litmus tests for appointments, and
appointees serve as part of a campaign machine. Examples include 42 Perry
appointees who have each given him at least $100,000 for a total exceeding
$9.7 million. Appointees who supported Senator Hutchison in the primary were
pushed to resign. Perry appointees solicit money from those they regulate.
The chairman of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission solicited Perry
campaign funds from hundreds of bar and restaurant owners he was
responsible for regulating.

2. THE REVOLVING DOOR FOR LOBBYISTS TO BE SLAMMED SHUT.
WHITE PLAN: Slam shut the revolving door between public service and big-time

lobbying. Senior staff of the Governor’s Office and state agencies will be held to a two-
year rule. When hired, they’ll be prohibited from working on issues related to former
employment for two years. When departing, they will be prohibited from lobbying the
Governor’s Office or their state agency for two years. The same employees and their
spouses will be prohibited from soliciting political contributions

PERRY PRACTICE: Perry allows lobbyists to work as state staff on the very
same issues they were paid to lobby on. For example, five of seven Perry
chiefs of staff have been lobbyists, together making millions and working, with
other staff, against the interests of Texans on projects like the Trans-Texas
Corridor and the massive executive order to vaccinate middle school girls.

3. SENIOR STAFF TO FILE PUBLIC FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, BE BARRED
FROM FUNDRAISING.
WHITE PLAN: To promote transparency, senior staff in the Governor’s Office will be
required to file yearly personal financial statements with the Texas Ethics Commission
and will be barred from fundraising.

PERRY PRACTICE: Senior staff in Perry’s office do not file personal financial
statements although some have financial ties that may influence their
decision-making. For example, spouses of Perry’s chief of staff are permitted
to raise big money for Perry’s political campaign from people who want things
from state government.

4. CONTRIBUTIONS FROM BIDDERS ON STATE CONTRACTS TO BE LIMITED
WHITE PLAN: Bidders on state contracts will be prohibited from contributing to

statewide campaigns while their bid is being considered and for 30 days after a contract is awarded for those who win. Contributions will not be a factor in contracting decisions; contractors will not be pressured to make contributions.

PERRY PRACTICE: Gov. Perry accepts large contributions before and right after
state contracts have been awarded. One contractor awarded $8 billion in
contracts during Perry’s tenure contributed a total of $395,000 to Perry, with
many contributions within a few weeks before or after contract awards.

5. MYSTERY FUNDING FOR GOVERNOR’S PET FUNDS TO END.
WHITE PLAN: The source of all funds controlled by or benefiting the Governor will be
reported to the public on a quarterly basis, reducing potential for inappropriate
influence, personal enrichment or enhancing personal lifestyle.

PERRY PRACTICE: Gov. Perry uses millions contributed to “non-profit” groups
like TexasOne to finance his pet projects and lavish personal lifestyle, but
Perry refuses to make the sources of funding readily accessible to the public
and the press.

6. NO MORE SHREDDING -- SUNLIGHT FOR PUBLIC RECORDS.
WHITE PLAN: Access to public records is essential in a democracy. Records will be

preserved for a reasonable period of time, and the Governor’s Office will be responsive
to public information requests. Relevant information, such as compliance for state
grants, will be put online.

PERRY PRACTICE: Perry’s office destroys e-mails after seven days. It took five
months to obtain Texas Enterprise Fund documents even though Perry’s
Attorney General had ordered them released. Perry has shown little respect
for the public’s right to know and repeatedly seeks protection from disclosure.

7. GOVERNOR TO MAKE FULL AND TIMELIER DISCLOSURE OF DEBTS AND
GIFTS.
WHITE PLAN: Debts or gifts to the Governor will be disclosed every six months, and
penalties for failure to do so will be increased.
PERRY PRACTICE: Perry has violated the law by not reporting hundreds of
thousands of dollars of debt and gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars.
8. “BLIND” TRUST CHARADE TO END.
WHITE PLAN – The Governor will disclose information about all assets.

PERRY PRACTICE – Perry does not disclose even what he knows is in his so-
called “blind” trust, using it as an instrument to hide from the public and
avoid discussion of conflicts of interest.

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