DMN covers ethics kerfuffle in Dem primary

A few days ago, I wondered whether Gammage's ethics attack on Bell would get any coverage. To date, I've only seen an article in the Dallas:

"You can't have it both ways, you can't say you support strong ethics requirements and then not follow the requirements yourself," said Mr. Gammage, a former Texas Supreme Court justice.

A spokesman said Mr. Bell, a former Houston congressman, is sorry he missed the Feb. 13 deadline for filing a personal financial statement with the Texas Ethics Commission.

"This is an oversight, and it's been corrected," said Bell campaign spokesman Jason Stanford. He said staff members forgot about the deadline, though he said Mr. Bell wasn't blaming others.

"Obviously, it was his own responsibility," Mr. Stanford said. "He's apologized."

The statement filed Friday showed a smattering of retirement investments and debts for Mr. Bell, a lawyer, and his wife, Alison, and no unusual transactions.

Mr. Stanford said that as a Houston City Council member, Mr. Bell wrote strong ethics laws. He dismissed Mr. Gammage's criticism as "the death rattle of a flailing and desperate campaign."

On Wednesday, the Gammage campaign seized on Mr. Bell's missing the deadline in a statement that mocked an ethics speech Mr. Bell gave in Austin last fall. "There is an unofficial 'don't mess with ethics' policy around here," Mr. Bell said then.

The Gammage statement chortled: "Why hasn't Mr. 'Don't Mess with Texas Ethics' filed his personal financial statement? ... Just what does he have to hide?"

Posted by Evan @ 02/27/06 07:56 PM


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