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.



Rick Perry is the first Aggie governor in history. But as the current crisis shows, he’s been nothing but trouble for Texas A&M.

Lowe and Behold

An open letter to the lucky new chair of the most dysfunctional agency in Texas, the State Board of Education.

No Man’s Island

A year has passed since Hurricane Ike slammed into Galveston, but my hometown is still reeling from a storm without end.

Don Yarborough’s Texas

It was an era when segregation and civil rights were still issues and liberals had a base from which to run. That Texas is gone.

Seeing Red

One year after President Obama’s election, what does the world look like in the county that voted against him more overwhelmingly than any other?

Cap and Tirade

Especially in Texas, the fight over carbon restrictions might make health care reform look like, well, a tea party.

The Terminator

Rick Perry’s record nine years in the Governor’s Mansion have made the office more powerful than ever before. That’s why we need term limits.

Right Place, Right Time

A year ago Rick Perry’s political future seemed to be in peril. Now he’s looking past the 2010 elections—and all the way to the White House. Think I’m kidding? How about a cup of tea?

The Rice Stuff

Why the proposed merger between Baylor College of Medicine and my alma mater could turn out to be a bad prescription.

Congressman Charlie Wilson

Charlie served his district and his state well, and he never tried to hide his shortcomings, and he was a good friend. A lot of people would settle for that as an epitaph.

Center of Gravity

Who can challenge Republicans on the State Board of Education? A different kind of Republican.

Court Attack

How the Citizens United decision could spell doom for democracy in Texas.

Mr. Bridge

He’s the greatest player in the world—maybe the greatest player ever— of a card game that fewer and fewer people know how to play. But Bob Hamman doesn’t care. He’s too busy probing my mind.

The Story of Us

Had the Texas myth become a straitjacket?