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.


Davis Hints at Future Plans

Wendy Davis announces she has a “big announcement” set for October 3.

The White Republican Ticket

Will the Republicans will pay a price for fielding a ticket that has no star power other than Abbott?

Smitherman’s “Independent Texas”

Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman’s claim that Texas could be an independent nation is not a hard one to rebut.

The Retirement of Rob Orr

The Burleson state representative’s depature from the legislature means that another mainstream Republican has effectively been driven out of the pink dome after being targeted by a tea party candidate. 

Greg Abbott: “Freedom Is Worth Fighting For”

His latest campaign video invokes tea party language.

Money and the Lieutenant Governor’s Race

Before everyone declares Dewhurst to be dead, just keep in mind that while his rivals may be starved for money, Dewhurst is not.

The Missouri Gun Bill

The Missouri Legislature is on the cusp of passing a law that nullifies all federal firearms regulations in the state. A similar bill died in the Texas Senate this session. 

The Dew’s Latest

The lieutenant governor was quoted as saying, “It’s my hope, friends, that about a year from now that people are saying, ‘Why were we talking about Wendy Davis?” What he should be worried about is whether people will be saying, about a year from now, “Why were we talking about David Dewhurst?”

A Brewing Speaker’s Race?

Is John Smithee, the Republican state rep from Amarillo, running for speaker?

After Wendy, What?

It’s looking increasingly likely that Wendy Davis will run for governor in 2014. But still, the paucity of credible candidates for other statewide offices is a real problem for Democrats.

A Challenge to Donna Campbell

Mike Novak, a former Bexar County commissioner, plans to challenge State Senator Donna Campbell in the Republican primary.

Advice for Rick Perry

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin has some advice for Governor Rick Perry, should he choose to enter the presidential race in 2016. 

Gohmert v. Cornyn

The uncivil war inside the Texas Republican party may be about to break wide open. Elements of the Tea Party are encouraging Tyler congressman Louie Gohmert to challenge U.S. senator John Cornyn in the Republican primary.