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.


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.

Billion Dollar Band-Aids

The Legislature is locked into a mind-set in which it is impossible even to consider a long-term solution for addressing our transportation needs.

Farewell to the 83rd Legislature

The third and final special session of the 83rd Legislature is over, and the result is an opportunity for voters to approve $1.2 billion in additional funding for roads in November 2014. 

Is Combs Running?

Do not count Susan Combs out of the comptroller’s race.

How to Fix the Transportation Crisis (But You Won't Like It)

Oregon is considering a “vehicle miles traveled” tax. Should Texas?

A $12 Million Gift for Chevron

If ever there was a clear-cut case for getting rid of the Texas Enterprise Fund, it is Rick Perry’s decision to give Chevron, one of the world’s richest corporations, a $12 million TEF grant.

The Good Soldier

George Bush strives for a higher command.

The Wheels Come off Transportation Funding

Joe Straus’ statement on the failure of the House to agree on a solution to the state’s transportation needs is worth posting, because it lays bare the failure of the state’s leaders to address the real problem.