The eightieth session began with a Speaker’s race, ended with a Speaker’s race, and was consumed in between by the usual mix of nuanced issues and nasty politics. Along the way, a handful of lawmakers put the common good ahead of all else. And a handful of lawmakers didn’t.
The name on everyone’s lips this legislative session is unknown to most people outside Austininside Austin too. But Mike Toomey, the governor’s chief of staff, is the most powerful political operative at the Capitoland the most feared. Just ask his fellow Republicans.
May 1, 2003 | by Patricia Hart -- DUPE | Feature
It was a new era at the Capitol, with a new Speaker and a new mood of peace, love, and bipartisanship in the war-torn House. But the eighty-first legislative session turned out to be a lot like the eighty that came before it—some heroes, some villains, and enough hot air to last until 2011.
A few lawmakers in both parties distinguished themselves during one of the worst sessions anyone can remember. As for the rest? Well, in the words of Jon Stewart, that famous observer of Texas politics: not so much.