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.


Where Does Wendy Davis Go From Here?

As Act II of the Wendy Davis show returns to the Capitol, the Democratic state senator has become an instant national star thanks to her filibuster against the Republicans’ abortion legislation last week. What happens next?

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick?

The candidacy of Dan Patrick for lieutenant governor could be a seminal moment in Texas politics.

What the Filibuster Means

The obvious question about whether the Democrats have a candidate in Davis who has the potential to break the party’s long losing streak in statewide races is hard to answer.

The Supremes, Round One: Fisher v. University of Texas

The U.S. Supreme Court made the right ruling yesterday in Fisher v. University of Texas by remanding the case to a lower federal court.

The Abortion Debate in the House

The abortion debate in the House yesterday strengthened my longstanding conviction that this issue has done more harm to American politics than any other. It’s where our politics began to jump the rails because it is a fight that cannot be resolved.

One More Post About Perry’s Future

Perry told Bloomberg News that he would announce his decision about whether he would seek a full fourth term as governor by July 1. Why is he holding off on his reelect announcement?

UT/TT Poll on Perry, Cruz, and Abbott

The latest approval numbers aren’t terribly surprising. 

Immigration, Border Security, and the Rio Grande Valley

The battle over securing the border has shifted from Arizona to Texas, according to the New York Times.

Grading the Perry Vetoes

Perry’s vetoes did very little damage to the record of the Eighty-third Legislature.

Discussing Our Best/Worst Legislator List on Trib Live

Brian D. Sweany, Erica Grieder, Sonia Smith and I joined Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune to talk about our picks for the 2013 Ten Best/Ten Worst Legislators list.

The Best and Worst Legislators 2013

The legislators that shaped the Eighty-third Legislative session, for good and bad.