When Senators Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison blocked the nomination of El Paso's Enrique Moreno to the powerful Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals they triggered a firestorm of protest fueled by wounded ethnic pride.
George W.'s endgame.
Members of LBJ's inner circle share their remembrances of a man whose powers of persuasion were truly awe-inspiring.
The first test was whether primary voters thought he had what it takes to be president. It was touch and go for a while, but he passed. Now George W. Bush has to get the rest of the country on his side. An inside look at his plan for doing
What are George Bush’s weaknesses as he heads into the fall campaign? We asked six Texas Democrats— a former governor, a former lieutenant governor, two wannabes, and two wiseacre pundits—to make the case against him. They pulled no punches.
Life around the town of Crawford sure was slow until George W. Bush bought a ranch there.
The New York Times versus Texas: It’s only the beginning.
LBJ, George Wallace, Selma: Eavesdropping on the making of history 35 years ago this month.
Is Kay Bailey Hutchison plotting a run for Governor? And other questions about Texas politics in the new millennium.
The changing of the calendars marks the start of the presidential campaign (this time we really mean it), and George W. Bush is still the favorite to win.
The read on James H. Hatfield, a Bush biographer with a past of his own.
Paul Burka on John Connally, Patricia Kilday Hart on Minnie Fisher Cunningham, John Ratliff on Dan Moody, Patricia Busa McConnico on George Parr, and Katy Vine on the TV spot of the century.
“Johnson continues to tower over Texas politics not just because he was the first Texas-bred president but because, 26 years in his grave, he continues to extend the very idea of Texas into American political history.”
For an East Texas school, there’s nothing elementary about George W. Bush’s education plan.
Henry Cisneros’ power derived from his ability to bring people together. It was supposed to get him elected governor, senator, president. He’s finally the president, all right —of a Spanish-language TV network. And all thoughts of a career in public life are in the past.
Drugs. Cussing. Funeral home regulation. George W. Bush is on the ropes—or is he?
Attorney General John Cornyn sure knows how to stir up controversy. He has attacked the fees of the outside lawyers hired by the state in its successful lawsuit against tobacco companies, impugned the integrity of his predecessor, Dan Morales, and now has created a huge exception to the state’s open
Communicator in chief.
CONGRATULATIONS TO TEXAS MONTHLY for your comprehensive look at the life and times of Governor Bush [“Who Is George W. Bush?” June 1999]. I don’t want to diminish an otherwise outstanding effort, but despite your careful fact checking, the articles included a couple of misrepresentations I feel obligated to
Has Dan Morales gone up in smoke? by Skip Hollandsworth.
Officially, the issue tearing apart the West Texas' largest native American tribe is one of lineage. Who is and is not a member. But the real dispute is over money—earned in unimaginable amounts at the casino on their reservation and coveted by rival factions willing to risk everything.
Meet the superheroes of George W. Bush’s campaign for the presidency: a quartet of brainy advisers who are helping him to refine and sell his ideas on the economy, foreign policy, and the like.
No one denies that there was love at the center of Lady Bird Johnson’s marriage to LBJ. But like Hillary Clinton, she endured quite a bit, spousally speaking, as her husband’s star was on the rise.
Remembering the real Bob Bullock.
The book (make that books) on George W. Bush.
WHEN BOB DAEMMRICH starts snapping pictures in the state capitol, lawmakers snap to attention. They know the 44-year-old photographer is after candid shots for Texas Monthly’s biennial rating of the state’s lawmakers (see “The Best and the Worst Legislators,”). Daemmrich, whose pictures frequently appear in Newsweek and Time, has
Rob Junell—Democrat, San Angelo, 52 Bill Ratliff—Republican, Mount Pleasant, 62 From different parties but of like minds, the chairmen of the two budget-writing committees have taken state spending off the table as an issue for other lawmakers to worry about or fight over. House Appropriations chair Junell and Senate Finance
Democrat, Houston, 45. Too much coffee? Can’t sleep? Tossing and turning all night? Log on to the Legislature’s Web site (www.capitol.state.tx.us) and listen to an audio clip of the House Public Education Committee engaged in a discussion of school finance. It’s mind-numbing jargon: tier one, tier two, tier three, basic
Democrat, Galveston, 52. If Patty Gray had done nothing more than negotiate a compromise between the optometrists and the ophthalmologists, she would have been on every legislator’s Ten Best list. Lawmakers long ago grew weary of these Hatfields and McCoys bringing their feud over the human eye to the Legislature;
Democrat, Alpine, 37. Out in the wild, and in the wild and woolly House of Representatives, life is a struggle for turf. Find a piece of ground to call your own—a committee chairmanship, perhaps, or a field of expertise—and you are well on your way to power and influence. Pete
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.
Rookie of the YearPhil King, Republican, Weatherford. It’s increasingly difficult for a freshman to have any effect on major legislation, but King made a breakthrough: He showed a sharp understanding of the law, a respect for opponents’ arguments, and a veteran’s negotiating savvy as the GOP’s point man in dealing
Republican, Burleson, 51. On the next to last night of the session, a nervous Republican staffer watches Sylvester Turner, who is trying to talk the governor’s tax-cut bill to death. If the bill goes down, so does the session. What has come over him? She turns to the person next
Democrat, Houston, 44. It should never have come to this: Sylvester Turner on the Worst list. He is too smart, too public-spirited, and too effective to end up here. But the Best and Worst lists are based on more than personal qualities; how those qualities are put to use—for good
Republican, Plano, 51. Seeing Florence Shapiro at work is like watching a soap opera. The heroine is attractive and articulate but so eager to step on her neighbors on her way to the top that she turns into a villain. What will that woman do next? Whom will she feud
Democrat, Brownsville, 44. Rene Oliveira ran the Ways and Means Committee like an accident looking for a place to happen. And he found it—on the House floor. He put himself on a collision course with Governor Bush over tax cuts, and the wreck was spectacular. Oliveira’s reputation and authority did
Republican, Carthage, 39. When Drew Nixon picks up his microphone on the Senate floor, his colleagues pay close attention—but not out of respect. They’re hoping for a little comic relief, and they’re seldom disappointed. During the debate on an important education bill, Nixon observed that the state’s school-finance system was
Republican, Houston, 63. Long before Jon Lindsay came to the Senate, Houston-area legislators had an unfortunate penchant for wanting to settle local disputes—or unsettle them—in the Capitol, much to the dismay of every lawmaker from outside Harris County. Once, when former lieutenant governor Bill Hobby concluded a particularly torturous Senate
Republican, Sugar Land, 57. During the fourteen sessions that we have been choosing the Best and the Worst Legislators, many a lawmaker has tried to lobby himself onto the Best list. A few have tried to lobby themselves off the Worst list. But never, before Charlie Howard came along, had
Republican, Horseshoe Bay, 49. For the first two months of its 140-day session, the Texas Legislature does little but pass resolutions honoring visitors like the Kilgore Rangerettes and eat barbecue on the Capitol lawn with various chambers of commerce. There are few opportunities for a lawmaker to stand out in
Democrat, El Paso, 39. In a word: clueless. She doesn’t know the first lesson of legislative survival: Lead, follow, or get out of the way. She can’t lead, won’t follow, and absolutely refuses to get out of the way. She set the tone for her career in 1997, her freshman
Democrat, Houston, 48. A lot of lawmakers would give up their cherished parking spaces to have what Kevin Bailey has going for him: fire in the belly, cleverness, a loyal following, a knack for phrasing a political point, and a booming voice to deliver it. What a waste of talent.
Democrat, Dallas, 49. If Steve Wolens were the sort of person who keeps a motivational sign on his desk—which he is not, an encouragement to action being the last thing he needs—it would read, “The difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a little longer.” Indeed, the chairman of
Democrat, Dallas, 46. The Texas Senate operates under the clubby rules of a fraternity. As far as outsiders can tell, hierarchy is determined by a member’s influence, or maybe it is the reverse. About all that is really known is who is in and who is out. Before this year,
Republican, Waco, 51. This was not supposed to be one of David Sibley’s better sessions. Long before lawmakers arrived in Austin, rumors flew that he was not a favorite of incoming lieutenant governor Rick Perry’s and might be stripped of his prestigious Economic Development Committee chairmanship. Indeed, Sibley was one
Democrat, Henderson, 44. Obstinate, autocratic, sanctimonious, uncollegial, unforthcoming, infuriating: No, this isn’t a Ten Worst write-up—but it almost was. As the chair of the House Public Education Committee, Sadler held in his hands the fate of the pay raise for teachers and Governor Bush’s top-priority proposals for cutting school property
Republican, Coppell, 48. He didn’t sponsor any of the session’s most important bills, seldom engaged in floor debate, and didn’t chair a committee, yet Ken Marchant did something far more important. As the chairman of the Republican caucus in a House where Democrats held a narrow majority and partisan warfare
Don Graham rereads The Gay Place.
Advice for the new state comptroller from the old one.
Twenty and a half million. That’s Texas’ projected population in 2000—an increase of more than 20 percent since 1990—and Republicans are salivating at the prospect of gaining seats in the mandatory 2001 redrawing of legislative and congressional districts. Any area that did not keep up with the state’s growth rate