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.


State of Play

You may think you know how the Obama-McCain battle
in Texas is going to turn out. You may even be right. But
the more important outcome is down-ballot, where two
dozen or so races—and the future of politics and
policy here—will be affected by what happens at
the top of the ticket.

The Final Bell

An East Austin high school shuts its doors.

Leave It To Weaver

Who better to diagnose John McCain’s woes than the man who used to be his Karl Rove?

Inflexible Fliers

Both parties have wrapped themselves in the mantle of change this year. Only one appears capable of making it happen.

My Frail Island

The damage done by Hurricane Ike to Galveston, my beloved hometown, is in many ways worse than you’ve read about. And I’m not only talking about the physical devastation.

Two-Party Animal

Why November 4 was a good day for everyone.

The Idiot’s Guide to the Speaker’s Race

How it works, what it means, and why Tom Craddick may not end up holding the gavel this time around.

Straus of Representatives

The likely Speaker of the House promises no retaliation, an end to the acrimony, and tells his fellow Republicans to “wake up!”

The Thrilla in Vanilla

The looming clash between Republican gubernatorial candidates Rick Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison may not be as fearsome as the storied Ali-Frazier bout, but it’s the heavyweight showdown every Texas political junkie has been waiting for.

Regular Joe

How a nobody became the somebody nearly everybody wanted to replace Speaker Tom Craddick.

Manic Suppression

Why voter ID is bad for democracy.

Elephant Dung

Political grandstanding, no leadership—is this a dismal legislative session or what?

The Secret of My Secession

Rick Perry, Mirabeau B. Lamar, and the two visions of Texas.