After the 2024 Primary,

Will Our Legislators Try to

Hide Their Actions from You?

By Brett Rogers | Feb. 28, 2024 

What government – any level of government – does in secret, it does without the consent of the governed.

If ours is truly a government of “We the People,” then transparency is prerequisite. Transparency holds those who commit bad actions accountable. Publication of the actions of government officials provides essential transparency.  Transparency  safeguards citizens, thereby undergirding enduring liberty.

In this past year, Grassroots America We the People created something unique – a legislative transparency tool that connected dots, and summarized for understanding, the network of actions of the actors from within our Texas legislature. The website highlighted the good and the bad, and made all of this available for free to the people of Texas. We call this website Grassroots Priorities (

What we learned is that an overwhelming amount of information available at Texas Legislature Online (TLO) makes it easier for our government to act in secret. For example, very few people knew what a “Statement of Vote” was prior to the development of Grassroots Priorities. Now, during the 2024 Primary Election cycle, this legislative addendum to record votes on the floor of the House is a central topic in some races.

By making such information transparent to the public, it’s almost certain that legislators will curb future use of a “Statement of Vote,” which allows a legislator to state in the House journal that his/her vote “yes” really should have been a vote “no” – or vice versa. 

The people also learned that this action by a legislator changed nothing. A vote miscast is forever an error. What’s cast is cast.

Our legislators should be careful about their votes. It’s a major part of what they are hired at the ballot box to do on our behalf. And whether miscast or not, they should be judged on their actual voting record.  Why? Because their actions have long-term consequences for the people of Texas and future generations. 

Many other aspects of the legislature’s activity were exposed, and our legislators were then called to answer for their actions. This is good and necessary – and most importantly – it must continue. And if anything is to change, it must be made easier to obtain this public data, not more difficult. 

Having taken “heat” from their constituents, legislators might be tempted to make the transparency we achieved harder to achieve in the future. Political actions taken in darkness endanger every Texan. 

Grassroots America – We the People believes the 2024 Texas Republican Party Platform should include a plank that calls for this public legislative data (bills, actions, testimonies, committee actions, journal activities, record votes in both chambers, fiscal notes, etc.) to simply be available as files for download for any citizen to obtain. Anything less must be unacceptable.

We’ve heard from many other states that they would love a tool such as we now have in Texas. The citizens of those states should push for such data to be available for summary and analysis.

And yes, the same should be true at the federal level.

Any legislator who wants to curb our access to the records of our government should be reprimanded and hopefully removed in a robust primary.

We’ve made every effort to ensure that the massive amount of information we made available through Grassroots Priorities was accurate and lined up with the information found with the public record at Texas Legislature Online (TLO). Much of what we produced, links or points directly back to the TLO itself, so that people would not have to just take our word for it.  Grassroots America WANTS the people to see the facts and reach conclusions for themselves.  Why? Because this builds a strong, independent, informed citizenry – the essential ingredient for enduring liberty!

We strongly believe that if data is made available to the public, then those who summarize and analyze the data should also be held accountable – just as any news organization. This is why we have an FAQ section on our Grassroots Priorities website, which explains any changes we make on the website. If any corrections need to be made, we’ll always post those.

Truth. We are all better off when we have the truth made known to us. No one can make good decisions without good and accurate information.

From those elected to “govern,” we must insist upon a renewed respect for and commitment to this First Founding Principle of Liberty – Consent of the Governed.  

In order to give or withhold informed consent, We the People must have access to the data needed to fully review both the planned and completed actions of those elected to act on our behalf – because only that can be called “good” government.    

                                                                                                        BR 2024