My Opponent's Ethics Problem

Valinda Bolton Fined By Texas Ethics Commission for Multiple Campaign Finance Report Violations

January 15, 2020

As an experienced trial and appellate lawyer and nonprofit CEO, I am well aware of the importance of thoroughly understanding and complying with laws.

Along these lines, there’s a matter concerning one of my opponents that I believe will be viewed by the Republicans as a weakness, and they will capitalize on it to the detriment of this election and the Democratic ticket as a whole.

In 2011, the Texas Ethics Commission fined Ms. Bolton for multiple campaign finance report violations committed in all six reports that she filed from January 2008 to July 2009.

Anyone can find the order by googling “Valinda Bolton complaints”. We obtained a signed copy of the order from the Texas Ethics Commission.

The campaign finance reports spanned two of Ms. Bolton’s campaigns for the Texas House of Representatives, District 47, a seat she lost to Republican Paul Workman in 2010.

The violations included inaccuracies in reporting contributions, inflating her contributions by a total of $85,340 more than she actually received, failure to disclose the full names of contributors, failure to disclose job titles and occupations of contributors donating $500 or more and failure to adequately disclose the purpose of expenditures of $50 or more.

Ms. Bolton paid a $2,000 fine to the Texas Ethics Commission in a signed order dated April, 14, 2011.

The Travis County Commissioners Court is responsible for managing a budget of over $1.2 billion.

The Texas Ethics Commission was created by the Texas Legislature in a 1991 amendment to the Texas Constitution. The Texas Ethics Commission website states “The mission of the Texas Ethics Commission is to promote public confidence in government.”

Everyone has an ethical responsibility to follow the laws and rules. The purpose behind them breaks down if only some choose to abide by them.

Election laws and rules should be researched, clearly understood and followed by candidates, rather than making up excuses as to why they have failed to do so. Simple.

This office involves tremendous financial responsibility. People are entrusting you with their hard earned money. It’s vital that you’re careful with how you handle it whether it’s political donations or taxpayer money.

Integrity and trustworthiness become an issue when the Texas Ethics Commission issues an order against a candidate for multiple ethics violations, especially when they involve findings of inflated political contributions, failure to disclose contributors and failure to justify use of funds.

The Texas Ethics Commission Order against Valinda Bolton would be a liability for the Democratic ticket and will be a distraction from the issues that matter to voters.

Download related documents:

Sheri Soltes, J.D.
Democratic Candidate for Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 3