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.
An attempt, however futile, to figure out what the comptroller is up to.
A few lawmakers in both parties distinguished themselves during one of the worst sessions anyone can remember. As for the rest? Well, in the words of Jon Stewart, that famous observer of Texas politics: not so much.
They’re obvious to everyone except, apparently, the people we elected to fix Texas. They include some easy solutions and at least one that will probably get me a lot of hate mail (but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong).
The Gulf carried mendacity in every molecule. Its beauty, its tranquillity, was all a lie. It had created Galveston, carved out its deepwater port, tempted us with the promise of greatness, and then betrayed us.