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.


Politics • Karen Hughes

Communicator in chief.

The Best and the Worst Legislators 1999

Naughty Nixon and wonderful Wolens, soapy Shapiro and revered Ratliff, and of course, a certain governor who’s ready for his close-up: Our say-so on the session’s standouts—good, bad, and in-between.

The W. Nobody Knows

He’s irreverent and unself-conscious, and that’s not all.

Savoring the Private Ryan

Out of uniform, in his own words, Texas icon Nolan Ryan on baseball, ranching, values, and his love for his native state.


A masterpiece of courthouse architecture in Waxahachie, a handsome jail of native stone in Marfa: Significant structures line the streets of five terrific town centers.

The Six-Billion-Dollar Men

How to spend a huge budget surplus will be the defining issue of the coming legislative session. It will also determine the political futures of George W. Bush, Rick Perry, and Pete Laney.

The Disloyal Opposition

How five right-wing members of the State Board of Education are making life miserable for their fellow Republicans—especially George W. Bush.

Two for Texas

Candidates Rick Perry and John Sharp donÕt agree on much, but they both say the race for lieutenant governor is the most important one on the ballot this fall. They’re right.

POLITICS • Paul Begala

The great defender.

SPORTS • Dennis Rodman

As the Worm turns.

President Bush?

He’s the front-runner even before he has officially entered the race, but sky-high expectations are the least of the obstacles George W. Bush faces in his quest for the White House.

We Are the World

Want to see Kuwait, Iowa, and Washington, D.C.? Go to El Paso, Austin, and Houston.

The Hero Had Two Faces

For fifteen years Galveston knew Tim Kingsbury as a civic leader and do-gooder. Then the wife—and life—he deserted back in Ohio caught up with him in Texas.

You Lose Again!

A billion-dollar drop in revenue? You bet. How politics ruined the Texas lottery.

What’s Black and White And Red-faced All Over?

The University of Texas at Austin, whose paralysis in response to the Hopwood decision ignited racial tensions. And that was before Lino Graglia said a word.