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.


A Giant Void

Master of the Senate.

The Man Who Isn't There

In word and deed, the George W. Bush now residing in the White House bears little resemblance to the Texas governor I gladly sent to Washington. That’s why I’m so ambivalent about reelecting him.

Troubled Waters

Water, water, everywhere.

To My Ears

Texas music matters—even to me.

Corps Values

What place does tradition have at Texas A&M these days? One by one, the old ways are disappearing from the venerable campus, and many Aggies are up in arms. But embracing change may be the only way to save the school they love.

An F for Effort

Or maybe the grade should be “incomplete.” The special legislative session on school finance proved that Rick Perry and Republican lawmakers care a lot more about reducing property taxes than about improving public schools. Anybody surprised?

Gas Pains

We need an energy policy. Now.

War Stories

The Vietnam non-issue.

Up and Away

My favorite not-so-small town.


The politics of the high-school dropout rate.

Rescuing Rick

Advice for the governor’s chief of staff.

Why Bush Won

Or, if you prefer, why he didn’t lose.

The Games Begin

What 2005 has to do with 2006.


What it is and isn’t. Who has it and who doesn’t. Our 2005 list.


Twenty-three other people with more clout than they know what to do with. (Well, they know exactly what to do with it.)