Agenda Texas: Carona's Bidness

May 20, 2013

The Texas House takes up a major ethics bill today. Government watchdog groups had hoped the legislation re-authorizing the Texas Ethics Commission would have strengthened disclosure and conflict of interest laws.

But the bill didn't go as far as those advocates hoped it would.

As part of a session long series, the Texas Tribune has been chronicling some of the legal, but eyebrow raising, actions lawmakers can take under current ethics laws. Perhaps the most interesting example of this is the story of Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas). The Tribune’s Jay Root has a story on the Senator in the June issue of Texas Monthly which is out today.

I asked Root what singled out Carona among any other lawmaker he could have studied.

"Sen. Carona has the largest and most active business by any member of the Legislature," Root said of Carona's massive homeowner's association management company.

"But on top of all of that, he also is the architect of Texas property code chapter 209, which deals with single-family homeowners associations. And that's pretty much the bulk of his business."

Root said Carona has done nothing illegal. But the Senator's massive company, along with the legislation he passed that many believe benefits that company, makes his stand out among other lawmakers blurring ethical lines.

The Carona profile is a collaboration between Texas Monthly and The Texas Tribune.

You can read the full story on the Texas Tribune website.