Report Shows Legislators Fail to Detail Campaign Credit Card Expense

By  | 

HOUSTON (AP) - Texas legislators have used credit cards to charge more than $1 million in political expenses since 2005. But a new analysis shows they've failed to disclose which vendors they bought from.

A Houston Chronicle review of ethics commission records between January 2005, and June 30th found dozens of legislators failing to comply with the disclosure law.

The Chronicle found Senator Carlos Uresti, of San Antonio, had $88,000 in payments. They were detailed only with phrases such as "campaign expenses" or "charges for swearing-in ceremony."

Uresti said his reporting shortcomings arose from a fast-paced political year.

A report of a political expenditure by credit card must identify the vendor who receives payment from the card company.

But most credit card charges are still reported merely as payments to American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa, among others.

In the past year, the Texas Ethics Commission has fined only three legislators for failing to properly disclose credit card expenses charged to their campaigns.