AT LEAST DAN MORALES knew that the mere proclamation he was going to have a press conference was not likely to stop the world in its tracks. The night before and all that morning, some supporters, as well as the attorney general himself, were busy calling around to say that at the press conference Morales would announce the startling news that he would not run for reelection. The calls worked well enough. The room at the Capitol was overflowing well before Morales’ scheduled appearance at noon.
History will confirm that George Herbert Walker Bush was a great president.” Maybe so, but the speaker of these words at the dedication of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service on the Texas A&M University campus was not exactly an unbiased source. Only a few moments before, he had begun his remarks by addressing the former chief executive and first lady as “Mr. President, [pause] Mother …” Acknowledging the ensuing laughter, the governor of Texas confided to the audience, “It works every time.”
It was eleven o’clock on Wednesday morning, May 27, 1964, and President Lyndon Johnson was finishing a long conversation on the telephone. “I love you, and I’ll be calling you,” he said to . . . Senator Richard Russell of Georgia.
IN MID-JULY, WHILE MANY TEXAS kids were off at camp or lazing around the pool, the fifteen members of the State Board of Education (SBOE) meditated on their future. At one of the year’s more rancorous sessions, they met to hash out core curriculum guidelines for grades K through twelve: Twenty-nine witnesses testified while board members barraged them with questions and argued with one another.
OUT WHERE THE RADIO SIGNALS FADE to static, past where the telephone poles and speed limit signs end, lies one of the loneliest spots on earth: Loving County, where the oil wells outnumber the people ten to one. One hundred and two humans live here, to be exact, making it officially the least-populous area in the nation.
TWO YEARS AGO I ATTENDED A TRIAL in Houston that resulted in the death penalty for a woman. At the time, there had been several national stories about the number of death sentences handed down in Harris County, more by far than in any other county in the country, and I was there to see what I thought about it. Erica Yvonne Sheppard, who was then 21, had helped murder a woman for her car. The physical evidence against her was incontrovertible, and she had confessed as well.
SOMETIMES YOU’RE THE WINDSHIELD, and sometimes you’re the bug,” House majority leader Dick Armey is fond of saying. In the wake of this summer’s bungled coup against Speaker Newt Gingrich, Armey has been working frenetically to scrape himself off the glass.
THIS IS THE SUMMER of Bill Archer’s content. For 26 years, ever since he won the Southwest Houston congressional seat vacated by George Bush, he has waited through decades of Democratic rule for the time when he would be the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and the point man for a Republican assault on Democratic taxing and spending policies. At age 69, his moment has finally arrived. He is the author of the first tax cut since 1981, the first year of Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
IT’S NOT EXACTLY BRITAIN ceding Hong Kong back to China, but the May election in which McAllen mayor Othal Brand was turned out of office was significant on two fronts. First, Leo Montalvo’s razor-thin victory—a 144-vote margin out of more than 13,000 votes cast—earned him the distinction of being the first Hispanic to lead one of the Rio Grande Valley’s biggest and most-Hispanic cities.
The 1998 campaign for governor of Texas began where its likely winner may end up—on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. But the place wasn’t the White House, and the prospective candidate wasn’t George W. Bush. On a warm day in late June the elegant Willard hotel complex, with its beaux-arts tower and office suites, was home to a reception for Garry Mauro, land commissioner of Texas, possible Democratic challenger to Bush, and recently published autobiographer.