According to a press report last week an inquiry was filed with the Texas Ethics Commission on the Republican Party of Texas’ Republican Caucus Speaker Selection Commitment Form asking whether the existence of the form was a method of “legislative bribery.” That report claimed to include the text of a letter sent by an anonymous member of the Legislature asking the question.
The RPT has filed an open records request with each member of the Texas House asking them to provide a copy of any such letter or related correspondence or materials sent or received by their office.
Chairman Dickey: “This ‘inquiry’ is clearly absurd and should be dispatched with quickly. The easiest way to do so is to know all the details, and having a complete and accurate copy of the letter is critical in that effort. In the meantime we are thankful to all the Republican members of the House who have not let this farce slow them down in showing respect to the voters who have asked them to work together to support the Republican caucus choice for our next Speaker, whoever that may be.”
Full request below.
TO THE HONORABLE REPRESENTATIVE AND THE CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS FOR THE OFFICE OF THE REPRESENTATIVE:
Pursuant to the Texas Open Records Act, I request a copy of the following document submitted by You or your office to the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) on or about November 13, 2017. The document requested is a copy of the letter, request, or communication sent by You or your office to the Texas Ethics Commission requesting an opinion as to whether the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) speaker commitment form constitutes legislative bribery.
In the event that You or your office did not submit this request to TEC, but you were provided a copy of the TEC request regarding the RPT speaker commitment form from the Requestor or Requestor’s office, I also submit this open records inquiry for a copy of the Request given to you along with any cover or transmittal email or communication.
The TEC request pertains to activities and communications in your official capacity as a state legislator, and this open records request seeks responsive emails and communications.
While Sec. 571.093 of the Government Code requires the Ethics Commission to maintain the confidentiality of the name of the person requesting an advisory opinion, that law does not authorize others, not affiliated with the Commission, to withhold presumably public information in its possession.
Finally, I request that you provide a copy of any responsive documents in electronic format delivered to me at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Republican Party of Texas