Texans for Public Justice

Texans for Public Justice is a non-partisan, non-profit policy and research organization which tracks the influence of money and corporate power in Texas politics. Texans for Public Justice is a vocal advocate for citizen rights, open government and corporate accountability in Texas.

Judicial System in State of Crisis, Reformers Say
Feb 11, 2009 - On the occasion of Wallace Jefferson’s State of the Judiciary Address a number of reform organizations called upon the Chief Justice to confront the fundamental issue facing the Texas judiciary; the perception that justice is for sale to big campaign donors. Read the media release.

Update: TPJ Comments on Chief Justice Jefferson's Call for Reform
Texans for Public Justice praised Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's call for fundamental overhaul of Texas' judicial selection system in today's State of the Judiciary Address.

"Chief Justice Jefferson's acknowledgement that the Texas judicial election system is 'broken' is the first step in restoring faith in Texas courts. We call on the Governor, Lt. Governor and the legislature to take swift action on the Chief Justice's call for merit selection of judges. As the Chief Justice said, "it's time for Texas to set a higher standard," said Craig McDonald, Director of Texans for Public Justice.

TTC: Politicians Get Burned Paving Texas Backwards, From the Top Down
Jan 7, 2009 - Yesterday the Texas Department of Transportation declared Governor Rick Perry's controversial vision for the $175 billion Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) officially dead. For six years, Perry and his political allies have pushed the TTC plan to privatize more than 4,000 miles of state roads. While the governor's grand dream has vanished as a political target, some of the toll roads will live on. The path to these roads was paved with $3.4 million in campaign contributions and up to $6 million in lobby expenditures. While the rush to toll roads creates windfalls for some contractors, the benefits for Texas motorists and taxpayers are unclear.
Read the latest "Watch Your Assets" report

TPJ Urges U.S. Supreme Court to End Payola Justice
Jan 7, 2009 - TPJ has joined an unprecedented array of former state Supreme Court justices, business leaders and reform groups in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm one of the most basic legal rights: the right to a fair hearing before a neutral judge.
Read the full news release

Watch Your Assets: Race to Subsidize Movie Industry Sucks in Miscast Texas Taxpayers
Dec 10, 2008 - Texas taxpayers are being conscripted into an epic battle to see which state treasury will give movie producers the fattest subsidies. Film lobbyists now are preparing to press state lawmakers to triple Texas' current subsidies in an effort to compete with states that pay up to 40 percent of a film's budget. In addition to subsidizing the big screen, few Texas taxpayers realize that they underwrite television programs and even pick up the tab for TV commercials promoting Fortune 500 companies!
Read the "Watch Your Assets" report

Imminent Domain: Will Austin Voters End Retail Subsidies?
Oct 22, 2008 - In two weeks, Austin voters will decide the nation's first ballot initiative to ban retail subsidies. Proposition 2 rides a backlash against the more than $50 million in taxpayer subsidies that the city awarded to the Domain "lifestyle" mall in 2003.
Read the latest "Watch Your Assets" report

Business Group Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges from 2002 Election
Oct 21, 2008 - The Texas Association of Business pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance law, six years after helping elect a slate of Republican lawmakers to the Texas Legislature and will pay a $10,000 fine. Craig McDonald called the fine, "a small price to pay for stealing an election that profoundly reconfigured Texas politics--and even that of the nation as a whole."
Read the news story

TPJ Files Complaint Against Justice Waldrop in TRMPAC Case
Oct 14, 2008 - Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct today alleging that Third Court of Appeals Justice Alan Waldrop should not have written an opinion in the criminal case against Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) because his impartiality is questionable.
Read the news article

Watch Your Assets: 'Governor Handout' Trashes the Bailout
Oct 13, 2008 - Texas Governor Rick Perry has sown confusion with recent contradictory statements about the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. His populist aversion to "using taxpayer dollars to bail out corporate America" is surprising--given the hundreds of millions of tax dollars that his administration has doled out to private businesses that include subprime mortgage giants.
Read the report

Report Tracks "Courtroom Contributions" to Supreme Court Candidates
Oct 7, 2008 - A new study finds that the six current, major-party candidates for the Texas Supreme Court took two-thirds of the $2.3 million that they raised from January 2007 through June 2008 from lawyers and litigants who have had business before that court since 2005.
Read the media release and full report

TPJ Calls for Investigation of TRMPAC Judge
Sep 17, 2008 - Texans for Public Justice filed a pair of formal complaints with Travis County Attorney and the Texas Ethics Commission today alleging that Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice W. Kenneth Law repeatedly violated the Texas Election Code in the course of his current reelection campaign. Judge Law recently participated in a divisive ruling in the criminal case against Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC). The controversial ruling stated that “checks” were not subject to Texas’ money laundering laws.
Read the full media release
Access the criminal complaint filed with the Travis County Attorney.
Access the civil complaint filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.