Mon July 28, 2014 10:31 am By Paul Burka

Governor Perry's decision to fund the opening of a new Charles Schwab office in El Paso (and another in Austin) is a classic example of what is wrong with the governor's economic development funds. Charles Schwab is a national firm that needs no subsidy from the state to succeed. The issue with these grants ought to be whether the firm getting state funds needs the money to be successful. In the case of Schwab, the answer is clearly no.

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Tue July 22, 2014 2:55 pm By Paul Burka

I refer, of course, to Michael Quinn Sullivan of Empower Texans, an organization that is known for rating legislators according to their voting records and seeking to support or defeat those whose conservative bona fides are suspect. As a result, Sullivan is one of the most feared figures in the Capitol. (For background, read Nate Blakeslee's profile from the January 2013 issue here.) He is currently engaged in a long-running dispute with the Texas Ethics Commission, which has fined Sullivan a total of $10,000 for failing to register as a lobbyist, a trade he insists he does not practice.

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Mon July 21, 2014 2:20 pm By Paul Burka

It is one thing to institute a DPS "surge" on the border; it is quite another to send the National Guard there, a thousand strong, as Perry intends to do.

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Mon July 21, 2014 9:31 am By Paul Burka

I am disappointed that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of allowing Texans to display a Confederate emblem on their license plates. Are we on the way to becoming Alabama? (I fear that the answer is yes.) Why not just have a bumper sticker that proclaims, "Redneck and proud of it."

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Wed July 16, 2014 4:20 pm By Paul Burka

In the July issue of the magazine, several writers—myself included—assessed the legacy of Governor Perry. One of the stories reviewed eight critical areas Texas Monthly believes the governor is responsible for, and we gave him a letter grade for each. Some readers thought we were too harsh, and some thought we were too kind. We have also heard from many prominent and respected members of state agencies, including Richard Hyde, the executive director of TCEQ. Our writers gave the governor a D+ for the environment, which Hyde strongly disagrees with. We appreciate his response, and I have posted it in full below:

Dear Texas Monthly,

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) takes issue with a number of inaccuracies in a story entitled, “The Perry Report Card,” in the July Texas Monthly issue, specifically those in “The Environment” segment.

To support the conclusions made in your assessment of Texas’ environmental record under the tenure of Governor Perry, Texas Monthly relied more on conjecture than statistical analysis, which proves Texas has made important and significant progress protecting air and water quality.  To provide appropriate context for your readers, who after reading your report card may be under the false impression that Texas is somehow substandard and that the reduction of TCEQ’s budget resulted in a reduction of environmental protection, I offer the following examples of our progress:

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