As the Texas Senate was debating an ethics reform package this week, one state senator inadvertently channeled the late Richard Nixon by protesting that “we’re not all a bunch of crooks.”

If you have to proclaim it…

State Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) accused the author — State Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) — of pushing reforms that made it seem everyone in office was guilty. (Taylor’s commonsense legislation is well-described in an article by Cary Cheshire.)

I was struck by the vehemence with which Whitmire argued against the reforms… before voting for them.

Mr. Whitmire is absolutely right: our legislature isn’t full of crooks, but if we’re going to keep it that way, we need to stay ahead of the criminal problems plaguing other states.

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 two books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."