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.


Who's Next?

San Antonio’s Marshevet Hooker is not just any old high school sprinter; she’s an Olympic gold medalist in the making. Meet her and nine other women we’re betting will lead the new Texas—and the world.

Galveston to Quanah on Texas Highway 6

A secret garden, a drive-through feedstore, presidential papers, tasty pinto beans—and a Picasso.

Can Rick Perry Stand On His Own?

And just how long are his coattails? Texas politics is always interesting, but the 2002 election—with two formidable tickets, four big races, and a healthy debate over whether this is still a two-party state—promises to be one for the books.

The Best and the Worst Legislators

Rodney Ellis was excellent. Gary Elkins was— well, significantly less so. Bill Ratliff was a model of dignified leadership. Domingo Garcia was a one-man leper colony. Our biennial roundup of the Legislature’s leading lights and dim bulbs.

The Education of Laura Bush

A first read on the Midland librarian in the White House: what she has learned so far and how her life has changed.

2002: A Race Odyssey

The next statewide elections are twenty months away, but a pack of would-be candidates—from a Laredo oilman to the mayor of Austin—are already running hard.

Politics • Karl Rove

Getting W. to D.C.

The Man Who Saved LBJ

Who deserves credit for Lyndon Johnson’s newly burnished reputation? Harry Middleton, the director of the LBJ presidential library, who made hours and hours of White House audiotapes public—and in doing so, remade history.

How W. Can Win

The first test was whether primary voters thought he had what it takes to be president. It was touch and go for a while, but he passed. Now George W. Bush has to get the rest of the country on his side. An inside look at his plan for doing precisely that.

Great Escapes

From a boutique hotel in hip South Austin to a bed-and-breakfast across the Mexican border, from fly fishing on the Llano River to bathing in the Chinati Hot Springs, 33 getaways the guidebooks don’t tell you about, courtesy of our intrepid staff of weekend warriors.

The Case Against John Cornyn

If it pleases the court, the question before you is whether the attorney general of Texas has served his constituents or, as his critics charge, only his own political interests. What is your verdict?

The Aggie Bonfire Tragedy

What’s so important about a stack of wood? Every Aggie knows that the answer is tradition—which is why, after a catastrophe that took the lives of twelve young men and women, the decision of whether to continue, change, or call a halt to the bonfire looms so large at Texas A&M.

The Race Is On

The changing of the calendars marks the start of the presidential campaign (this time we really mean it), and George W. Bush is still the favorite to win.

Water Under the Bridge

Henry Cisneros’ power derived from his ability to bring people together. It was supposed to get him elected governor, senator, president. He’s finally the president, all right —of a Spanish-language TV network. And all thoughts of a career in public life are in the past.

Law • James Byrd, Jr.

Crime and punishment.