The Texas Legislature should never be used as an escalator to a lucrative lobbying career!

Unfortunately, under current ethics rules, Texas lawmakers can retire or lose their re-election campaign and be rewarded with a corner office and a million-dollar salary from some of Austin’s most prestigious, and notorious, lobbying firms.

Such firms are eager to boast about their unprecedented access to the Texas Legislature and their ability to influence the legislative process for their elite clients. The phenomenon of former lawmakers sliding into cushy lobbyist positions happens so often that it has been given the moniker, the Legislator-to-Lobbyist Pipeline.

The Legislator-to-Lobbyist Pipeline causes ethical controversies and poses serious questions about loyalty and conflicts of interest between Representatives and their constituents. It’s commonly known that many legislators seek Committee Chairmanships not because they want to use the position for conservative reform, but because it almost guarantees a higher paid lobbying job.

The Legislature should focus on growing the voice of the true owners of our Texas Capitol, the citizens, voters, and taxpayers, and shrinking influence of lobbyists, whom think they own it.  As your next State Representative, I’m committed to fighting for stronger ethics laws in Austin.

To strengthen ethics laws in the Texas Legislature and reduce the influence of Austin lobbyists, we must dismantle the Legislator-to-Lobbyist Pipeline.

It’s time to enact real reforms that will make a significant impact on weeding out the disease of self-service in government. If elected in November, I plan on introducing a bill that would require former lawmakers to go through a 5 year “cooling off” period before they can work for a lobbying firm.

This cooling off period will greatly reduce any lobbying firm’s ability to buy the loyalties of legislators and tempt them with job promises if they lose re-election. Let’s pass the cooling off period next session so former legislators have to find real jobs and don’t profit off the taxpayers when they leave office.

This is an outside commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to

Mayes Middleton

Mayes Middleton is the GOP nominee for State Representative in House District 23. He is also the President of Middleton Oil Company, an independent oil and gas company that operates over 65 wells in South Texas and along the Gulf Coast, and is engaged in joint exploration ventures with other oil and gas companies. In addition to his work in the oil and gas industry, Mayes also runs his ranching, cattle, and farming operations in Chambers, Liberty, Jefferson, Kimble, and Webb Counties.