Worst of 2017: State Rep. Charlie Geren

“The Belligerent”

The chairman of the House Administration Committee, State Rep. Charlie Geren (R–Fort Worth) has a tight grip on the chamber and uses his influence to kill conservative reforms carried by other representatives. This session, Geren took two charges himself: banning sanctuary cities and reforming ethics for state officials.

In both cases, Geren watered down and diluted the measures to the point that they had to be repaired by conservatives on the House floor. A ban on sanctuary cities ultimately passed after it was strengthened through an amendment authored by State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler). However, Geren obstructed and gutted some of the most sorely needed portions of ethics reform. Relatively easy-to-pass bills limiting pensions for public officials who commit crimes while in office and preventing lawmakers from stockpiling campaign funds to later use them to launch lobby practices were sent to the governor.

Those are good improvements. But Geren killed the most important ethics reforms, such as closing the revolving door to the lobby, and shining a brighter light on lobbyist wining and dining. For belligerently opposing the people on their most important reforms, citizens have selected Geren as one of their worst legislators.

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