Every county in Texas should have a Keith Self. He’s the county judge, the chief administrator, for Collin County — and he is a leading advocate for budget transparency, fiscal responsibility and taxpayer protection.

Judge Self announced today that he is taking transparency to a new level in county politics by publishing all campaign donations on his web site.

From a press release issued today:
“I’m proud that Collin County was the first county in the entire nation to post our checkbook registry online, providing citizens with the opportunity to see first‐hand how their tax dollars are spent,” Self said. “Today, I’m extending that type of transparency to my campaign, allowing Collin County citizens convenient and full disclosure to my campaign funding.”

Self and his colleagues ruffled feathers when they began posting the county’s check register online — after many county governments statewide claimed it would be impossible, or prohibitively expensive, to do so. Collin County proved them wrong.

But now we can expect Self to be ruffling feathers closer to home. He has been under fierce attack by local government officials in the Dallas area who wanted to impose heavy new taxes and fees. Taxpayer-funded lobbyists, contractors and others standing to benefit financially from the scheme have been rumored to be out recruiting candidates to oppose Self (and area lawmakers who stood successfully with him).

Of course, they won’t mention their support (or Self’s opposition) to the wildly unpopular taxes.

Now they will be under the gun to show where their support is coming from as well.

We’ll see who takes the challenge.

Transparency is good policy. And, it would seem, good politics.

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."