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.

Stories

The Revision Thing

The opening of the George Bush presidential library at Texas A&M is a good occasion to ask two questions on the mind of everyone but Bush himself: How good a president was he? And what sort of ex-president has he been?

Las Vegas

No good food? Don’t bet on it.

The Real West Texas

High peaks, scant rain, and hardpan soil—but also high art, hip hotels, and a new telescope that’s a star in its own right: Snapshots from a remote region of our state unlike anyplace else on earth.

Politics • Bill Archer

Taxes are his target.

Public Service • Bill Hobby

Governed by generosity.

The Best Worst Legislators 1997

From Bush’s good try on property taxes to Bullock’s grand finale, from savvy Sadler to weaselly Wohlgemuth, from Duncan’s beginning to Howard’s end: Our sorting of the session’s standouts—best, worst, and in between.

Did You Hear the One About The New Aggies?

They overcame politics, poverty, isolation, and Old Aggies to make Texas A&M the state’s academic powerhouse.

The Honeymoon Is Over

In the last legislative session, George W. Bush’s moderate program won over Bob Bullock, Pete Laney, and other top Democrats. But this time, Bush’s agenda is more partisan, and Republicans are measuring his presidential potential—so Texas politics is going to get ugly.

Carl C. Waitz Elementary

At a school whose children come from some of the poorest communities on the border, the way to excellence begins with sheer will and a culture of success.

Home on the Range

Home on the Range All over Texas, small ranchers are giving up and moving to the city. But the Stoner family of Uvalde is as determined as ever to hold on to its land—and its way of life.

Law • Cheryl Hopwood

Sins of admission.

National Politics • Tom DeLay

Cracking the whip.

Perot and Con

From the war on drugs to education and his new Reform Party, Ross Perot has ideas about everything. Too bad they’re usually wrong.

Life After Oil

Midland’s energy companies are still laying people off a decade after the bottom of the bust. But—surprise—the city’s economy is booming again.

Major Barbara

Barbara Jordan saw herself not as a black politician but as a politician who happened to be black—and that was one of the things that made her great.

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