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Davis Waited Two Years To Disclose Relationship With Lobbyist

Wendy Davis Campaign
State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, confers with a campaign volunteer.

Documents requested by KERA show Texas Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth waited two years to comply with a law requiring her to disclose business relationships with lobbyists. Davis’ campaign spokesman, Anthony Spangler, responded in an email, “As soon as she learned of the requirement she amended the report.”

The Texas Ethics Commission says state lawmakers must identify any lobby relationships in personal financial statements they file annually with the state.

Davis, a Democrat who's in the midst of a tough re-election fight, formed a law practice with Brian Newby, a registered lobbyist and a former chief of staff to Gov. Rick Perry, in March 2010.

But when Davis filled out the sworn statement more than a year later, in May 2011, she failed to reveal the relationship.  Texas Ethics Commission documents requested by KERA show Davis checked the box, “not applicable.”

Davis filed a corrected financial statement in April  of this year, before the primary. That was more than two years after she went into business with Newby.   

Republican Mark Shelton, who's challenging Davis in Tuesday's election, has tried to make the relationship with the lobbyist an issue. He's also questioned Davis’ work for public entities that lobby the legislature.

Davis has said she’s complied with state laws 100 percent.

Wendy Davis Disclosure Correction

PDF: Wendy Davis' Original 2010 Disclosure Form

PDF: Mark Shelton's 2010 Disclosure Form

PDF: Wendy Davis' 2011 Disclosure Form

PDF: Mark Shelton's 2011 Disclosure Form

Former KERA staffer Shelley Kofler was news director, managing editor and senior reporter. She is an award-winning reporter and television producer who previously served as the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.