Thanks for Amy Smith's coverage of Travis County Judge Sam Biscoe’s unfortunate appointment of professional lobbyist Bruce Todd to fill the unexpired term of County Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt as she resigns to run for county judge [“Then There's This: The Return of Bruce Todd
,” News, June 7]. That Todd will not accept his commissioner pay in favor of continuing his professional lobbying while serving as commissioner only compounds the problem.
Has there ever been a commissioner, city council member, or other elected official who continued to work as a paid lobbyist while serving in elected office? An office that is a full-time job? I’ve never heard of such of thing. It’s worse, given that Todd’s wife also heads up a governmental affairs firm, in which Todd is listed as part of the team.
Former County Judge Bill Aleshire disserves his good work on behalf of open government by defending the Todd appointment, arguing that Todd will gain extra scrutiny because he is a lobbyist. Such scrutiny is impossible when there’s no legal duty to disclose Todd’s clients or his wife’s clients, and how much they are being paid. Aleshire supports the appointment because he expects Todd to join Commissioner Daugherty in pushing construction of Sh 45 SW over the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.