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.
Most people seem to agree that Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst is a decent, reasonable fellow with good intentions. So why is he having to fight for his job?
What happens after the tea party successfully drives moderate Republicans out of the Texas Legislature?
In the battle over the future direction of the state, one player is missing in action—the state's business community.
The probability of getting the feds to agree to a block grant—with all of the exceptions Texas is seeking—is about the same as shooting a unicorn on a hunting trip.
Will the Republicans will pay a price for fielding a ticket that has no star power other than Abbott?
Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman's claim that Texas could be an independent nation is not a hard one to rebut.
The Burleson state representative's depature from the legislature means that another mainstream Republican has effectively been driven out of the pink dome after being targeted by a tea party candidate.
Before everyone declares Dewhurst to be dead, just keep in mind that while his rivals may be starved for money, Dewhurst is not.
The Missouri Legislature is on the cusp of passing a law that nullifies all federal firearms regulations in the state. A similar bill died in the Texas Senate this session.
The lieutenant governor was quoted as saying, "It's my hope, friends, that about a year from now that people are saying, 'Why were we talking about Wendy Davis?" What he should be worried about is whether people will be saying, about a year from now, "Why were we talking about David Dewhurst?"