Do state reps secretly record each other?
Following reports of state representatives secretly recording each other, Texas House Administration Committee Chairman Charlie Geren has encouraged lawmakers to stop.
Geren, a Fort Worth Republican whose committee oversees the rules of the House, said that there is no rule against legislators recording conversa- tions. Texas law does not require people to get per- mission before recording private conversations they are a part of.
But he went to meetings of the Republican and Demo- cratic caucuses to encourage them not to do so because it isn’t “good etiquette,” he said.
“I’ve been to both dele- gation meetings and asked them to cut it out,” Geren said. “Nobody has to cut it out. There’s no rule.”
Geren, whose comments were first reported by the Texas Tribune, said the reports of legislators making secret recordings are so far unconfirmed and declined to say who was involved in the rumors.
The potential for conversations among legislators being recorded could further strain relations between the various factions of the House, including between supporters of Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, and the tea party-backed wing of the GOP caucus that believes his agenda isn’t sufficiently conservative.
Geren is a top lieutenant of Straus, who is often criticized by hard-line conservatives for using parliamentary maneuvers and delay tactics to kill bills that are priorities of the far right.