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.


Wright and Wrong

The congressional investigation that is focusing on Speaker Jim Wright’s ethics is missing the real problem—his judgment.

A Stately House: A Photographic Portrait

Even on her one-hundredth birthday, the Texas Capitol looks good in places other building don’t even have places.


From H. Ross Perot to the people who will run Texas in the nineties, from couples with clout to the Brownwood Mafia, we present the most complete guide to power in Texas ever compiled.

Famine, Pestilence, Destruction, and Death

These are only aliases. Their real names are Mattox, Mauro, Richards, and Hightower. And they may be leading the Democratic party to its apocalypse.

The Best and the Worst Legislators

We just rate them. You voted for them.

Heads, We Win, Tails, You Lose

Highly partisan justices are at the center of the Supreme Court scandal.

High Noon at the Capitol

The biggest legislative bloodbath in 31 years is shaping up between Clements and Hobby. At stake: not only the state’s education budget but the economic and political future of Texas as well.

Undertakers of the Oil Patch

The death of an oil well keeps an oil-field service company alive.

The Wright House

For the first time since Sam Rayburn’s day, the Speaker of the House will be a Texan. And if Jim Wright of Fort Worth is to be successful, he’ll have to remember what Rayburn taught him.

The Strange Case of Mark White

The governor has a good record, good ideas, and good intentions. So why is he in danger of losing his job to a man he already beat once?

The National Car of Texas

It’s big, it’s fast, it’s powerful, it eats gas, it’s the Suburban.

Primary Lesson

Subtract Democratic voters, add new Republicans, and it equals realignment.

The Oil Revolution

So long, OPEC. So long, $27 oil. The Merc is king now.