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.
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.
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.
Rodney Ellis was excellent. Gary Elkins was well, significantly less so. Bill Ratliff was a model of dignified leadership. Domingo Garcia was a one-man leper colony. Our biennial roundup of the Legislature’s leading lights and dim bulbs.
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
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.