Not only did the Empower Texans PAC help elect conservative Ralph Sheffield and defeat Martha “the Taxer” Tyroch, but we turned the spotlight on unchecked spending that allowed Tyroch to frivolously waste taxpayer dollars on fancy hotel suites, gifts and booze. Now, thanks to our work (and her excess), the Temple City Council is looking to change their policies. This welcome news for taxpayers in Bell County… And should be replicated around the state.

The Temple Daily Telegram is reporting that at a city council meeting, they discussed significant changes to the way council members can access city funds. In the past, they were allowed to “police” themselves. That resulted in Tyroch spending thousands and thousands on herself and her friends (apparently her inner cop was at the chocolate shop.)

According to the newspaper:

During the District 55 state representative runoff Texans for Fiscal Responsibility denounced Tyroch for “lavish spending” while serving on the council…

Temple Mayor Bill Jones III confirmed after the workshop that the policy is being looked at in part because of Ms. Tyroch’s experiences during her runoff, which she lost to Ralph Sheffield.”

If the city council approves the changes, two council members would have to sign off on any expense made by a city councilmember.

So Tyroch’s political legacy not only includes an overwhelming defeat by the people she used as her political ATM, her outrageousness has led to significant city reforms.

This should be lesson to us all: Scratching the surface of government spending can reveal a lot.

The Tyroch case is perhaps one big reason why city officials have opposed real-time posting of city expenses — it reveals their excesses. It’s time for taxpayers to demand this reform. Every state expense is available online at

Every city, county and school district should begin reporting every expense, as well.

Until then, expense documents are open records. A fun exercise might be to file open records requests for every expense reimbursement requested by your local elected officials, and the receipts of the government credit cards that they control.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."


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