Local Spotlight: Mapping Texas

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Texas Watchdog is a great organization working toward state level transparency in Texas, they just released a map with all Texas lawmakers on it with  links to all kinds of great information about them.  It is a great visual and an example of how information digging doesn’t have to be reserved for spreadsheets.

Where do Texas’ lawmakers make their money? Who are they in business with? Texas Watchdog has the details (Looking for a specific lawmaker’s 2009 ethics form? Click here to skip down to a list of legislators: Senators / House members)

Texas Watchdog presents its 2009 map of Texas’ 181 lawmakers, including their state ethics forms and useful links that will allow the public to research each lawmaker’s campaign contributions, the bills they pushed in the last legislative session and contact information so the average citizen can let their voice be heard. The map is intended to be an update of our 2008 map. The legislators’ 2008 ethics forms are integrated into this new map, but if you want to see how this map is an improvement over last year’s, we encourage you to look at the old map.

Texas legislators and many other state officials are required by law to fill out annual forms, formally titled “personal financial statements,” to the state Ethics Commission detailing their sources of income. Required categories include for whom they work, what stocks and bonds they own, and their business interests. State officials are supposed to file by April, but they are allowed to seek a one-time extension of the deadline until June. Readers will note that a few lawmakers have more than one ethics form for 2009.  That’s because they turned in their form and later turned in a corrected version. We’ve tried to present all the versions of the 2009 forms here.

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  • Nisha,

    Thank you so much for writing about us!

    We welcome ideas and comments from readers about anything we can do to improve the map. I’m jennifer@texaswatchdog.org.

    Take care,

    Jennifer Peebles
    Texas Watchdog