The Watchdog: Open government in Texas is getting more open thanks to new state laws

Don’t fall off your chair when you hear this, but the Texas Legislature has enacted major changes in how Texans can monitor their local, county and state governments. These changes are for the better for both officials and the public. Texas is the first state in the nation to create a new way to monitor […]

A Texas Department of Insurance Cover-up

Until September 2011, the Texas Department of Insurance publicly released the names of insurance companies and agents who violated state rules. Then the practice stopped. After an expose appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Watchdog columnist Dave Lieber, the policy was reversed and open government returned. Now State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, cites this episode as one of the reasons she wants Gov. Rick Perry to remove Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kirtzman from office.

A Texas appraisal district breaks open meetings law

Watchdog Nation EXCLUSIVE: The appraisal district for one of America’s fasted growing communities admits it unknowingly broke the law for a year requiring open meeting notifications.

Fort Worth City Hall lawyer loses job over open records failure

A City Hall lawyer who failed to adequately fulfill an open records request by Watchdog Nation founder Dave Lieber gets “separated” from his job four days apologizing.

Texas Opens Meetings Law challenge could go to U.S. Supreme Court

Texas government officials are challenging the state’s open meetings law, saying they feel repressed in their free speech. They could go to jail, they fret. But nobody ever has. It’s topsy-turvy. It’s one more attack on open government. It’s Texas.

Public officials’ use of social media sparks debate

Watchdog Nation founder Dave Lieber attended the 2010 State Bar of Texas annual convention in Fort Worth and reports on how some public officials are using social media tools to avoid the open meetings law. It stinks!

In Texas, I’m worried about open government

In Texas, I’m worried about open government. Here’s why: It took a 96-year-old woman to blow the whistle on backroom politics when she resigned as the oldest elected official in the state. But former Newark City Councilwoman Lucille Drain’s comments about secret dealings that violate the state open meetings law comes at a time when a cabal of government officials are throwing their weight behind a lawsuit and maybe even a new law that would remove criminal penalties from violators of the “People’s Act.”