Date: March 28, 2013
Time: 5:30 pm  to  7:30 pm

“The Legacy of the Dirty Thirty” will explore a pivotal period in Texas politics when a group of lawmakers, the Dirty Thirty, challenged the influence of special interests in the Legislature and the power of the House leadership. The group’s call for an investigation of then-Speaker of the House Gus Mutscher and other state officials named in a federal bribery-conspiracy case, which sparked a movement for more transparency in the activities of the Legislature and inspired Frances “Sissy” Farenthold’s run for governor in 1972.  More than 40 years later, the experiences of the Dirty Thirty still offer a lesson in the challenges of creating and sustaining political reform.

The panelists will be Dirty Thirty members Sissy Farenthold and Tom Bass; their legal strategist Terry O’Rourke; and Ronnie Dugger, founding editor of the Texas Observer.  State Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna of Houston will moderate.

The event is sponsored by the Texas Observer, and the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. RSVP to

Location: Eidman Courtroom, UT School of Law, 727 East Dean Keeton, Austin, 78705