Paul Burka

The dean of the Capitol press corps, senior executive editor Paul Burka joined the staff of Texas Monthly one year after the magazine’s founding, in 1973. For nearly forty years he has led the magazine’s political coverage and spearheaded its storied roundup of the Best and Worst Legislators each biennium. A lifelong Texan, he was born in Galveston, graduated from Rice University with a B.A. in history, and received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.

Burka is a member of the State Bar of Texas and spent five years as an attorney with the Texas Legislature, where he served as counsel to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Burka won a National Magazine Award for reporting excellence in 1985 and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters and teaches at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a frequent guest discussing politics on national news programs on MSNBC, Fox, NBC, and CNN.

Stories

The Ten Best and (Groan) The Ten Worst Legislators

We just rate them. You voted for them.

The Bloody Billion

Oh, how our legislators are moaning and groaning as they try to cut the state budget. But we’ve slashed, chopped, trimmed, pared, and whittles our way through it—and save $1 billion. It wasn’t that hard. Really.

Why They Won

The inside skinny on the elections.

Texas Primer: The Permanent University Fund

In 1883 the University of Texas got stuck with two million acres of West Texas scrubland. Then it hit oil, and the money started rolling in.

Great Moments In Republican History

How Texas became a two=party state in spite of the GOP.

The Man in the Black Hat, Part Two

With the help of a friendly banker and some friendlier politicians, Clinton Manges conquered might Mobil Oil and saved his empire. But not for long—it’s in jeopardy again.

The Man in the Black Hat

Clinton Manges built his empire on brushland and oil wells, political contributions and lawsuits. His influence extends to the state capitol and oil company boardrooms. To get where he is, he studied under three masters of South Texas.

Come On, Walter—Smile!

Austin’s Roy Spence parlayed his success in Mark White’s campaign into a job selling Walter Mondale to the American people.

Grande Dame of the Gulf

She may be past her prime, but Galveston still clings to her aristocratic heritage and her precarious place on the sand.

Grande Dame of the Gulf

She may be past her prime, but Galveston still clings to her aristocratic heritage and her precarious place on the sand.

The Ten Best and The Ten Worst Legislators

We just rate them. You voted for them.

Mark White’s Coming-Out Party

The new governor’s first hundred days were great theater, but now come taxes.

Mark White’s Coming-Out Party

The new governor’s first hundred days were great theater, but now come taxes.

Texas Primer: The Farm-to-Market Road

The last best way to see the real Texas.

Texas Primer: The Farm-to-Market Road

The last best way to see the real Texas.

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