About Ethics

The fur is flying in a couple of ethics investigations.

Unfortunately it looks like the good guys stepped in poo.

As I pointed out, when Representatives Svarzbein, Tolbert, Limon, and Niland, met with the Mayor and some of the people who are trying to save the Duranguito neighborhood, it was the definition of a walking quorum.

Even when you’re trying to do the right thing, you have to follow the rules.

But it seems like it would be hard to ever get anything done unless there was some discussion before the Representatives stepped onto the dais.

You’ve seen the meetings. Some of our representatives are dumber than a bag of doorknobs. Can you imagine explaining the issues to them in front of their constituents? You might as well try to teach a dog calculus.

Look at the endless discussions that address the less-than-hot button issues, like contract awards, or extensions. Our representatives worry those issues to death, because no one told them how they’re supposed to vote.

So how does anything ever get done? I mean, without walking quorums.

Through cutouts. Intermediaries. Lobbyists. Consiglieres. Bag men.

Don’t you think there was prior discussion when the Council voted 7-0 to put the arena in Duranguito? Someone had prepped the Council. Someone had advised them. Someone had lined up their ducks, and put the vote in order.

And I’m sure that someone followed the letter of the law. Through the use of cutouts.

That these four Representatives (apparently) violated the Texas Open Meetings Act by implementing a walking quorum doesn’t mean that they’re less ethical than the others. It just means that they’re less sophisticated at circumventing the intention of the law.


  1. Good points. But — there’s always a but huh? Somehow Council manages to decide other issues without illegal quorums. Example: A couple of years ago, Max Grossman talked with most Council rep individually, one at a time, when he and others were trying to get Council to approve the historic survey of downtown buildings that would have been funded in part by the Texas Historical Commission. By the time the item appeared on the agenda, reps were familiar with the issue and had time to think about it. That’s totally legal and the way most lobbyists accomplish things. But meeting with 4 reps and the mayor, making sure one of them is outside the door at all times, is illegal no matter how you look at it.

    1. It wasn’t illegal for Mr. Grossman and the other people to meet with the Representatives and the Mayor. It’s illegal for the Representatives to meet in more than a quorum and decide how they’re going to vote. The Open Meetings Act applies to boards and commissions. Not the private citizens who might interact with them.

  2. I don’t care what Max Grossman does. I care what my representative does and whether issues are decided outside of a scheduled, public Council meeting.

  3. The representatives broke the law. Democrats always rationalize breaking the law as being somehow for the greater good. The greater good is best served by open and honest government. Only special interests are served when they get dishonest politicians to engage in secret deals. Supposedly you are against this type of politician, yet you label these as “the good guys”.

    1. Surely you’re not naive enough to think that this is the only instance of backroom deals in politics. Do you think that Democrats are the only ones that serve special interests? That’s laughable.

      Maybe the name you chose says it all.

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