Burka Blog

DPS Nominated for Secrecy Award

Jun 2, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The Texas Department of Public Safety is in the running for an award from a national journalism organization as one of the most secretive government agencies in America.

The Ethics Of Pettiness

May 24, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The Legislature’s efforts at ethics reform this year have been more about petty paybacks and creating lawmakers as a special class of citizens than about improving government.

Disrupt The Narrative

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The leaders of the American Phoenix Foundation claim their hidden-camera investigation of the Legislature has just one goal: Disrupt the narrative.

Failings Of The Flesh

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Hannah Giles and Joseph Basel explain why their hidden-camera investigation of the Legislature is focused on sexual infidelity.

Hannah Giles Links to Patrick, Bettencourt

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Hannah Giles, who has been leading a hidden-camera investigation of the state legislature, appeared in the past on Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s talk radio show, and Senator Paul Bettencourt once raised money for her.

The APF Watchers

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The American Phoenix Foundation employees who are aggressively questioning legislators have created an aura of mystery and distrust around the organization’s hidden-camera investigation.

The Balance of Power

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The American Phoenix Foundation leaders say their hidden-camera investigation of the Legislature is not meant to disrupt the balance of power in the House.

Faith & Freedom

May 19, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The American Phoenix Foundation founder Hannah Giles in 2012 delivered a speech in which she describe the goals of her advocacy journalism group.

What Legislators Look Like On Hidden Cameras

May 14, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The American Phoenix Foundation’s undercover hidden camera video taping of Texas Legislators is not the first project of this kind. The last one received awards from the Investigative Reporters & Editors as well as the Society of Professional Jouranlists.

Hostages

May 13, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Open carry of licensed handguns and border security are the hostages in the tax-cut debates.

Patrick Advisor Was Present at Garland Shooting

May 4, 2015 By Dave Mann and R.G. Ratcliffe

One of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s grassroots advisory committee members apparently was a promoter of the Garland event that came under gunfire on Sunday. According to his Facebook page, Ken Emanuelson, a member of Patrick’s advisory panel, was present at the event when the shooting occurred and was locked down inside the Curtis Culwell Center.

House Takes Its Dirty Laundry Off The Internet

May 1, 2015 By R.G. Ratcliffe

The Texas House earlier today removed from the Internet video of Transportation Committee Chairman Joe Pickett ejecting Representative Jonathan Stickland from a meeting Thursday night over allegations of false witness registrations for Stickland’s bill to ban red light cameras.