Politics & Policy

Reporting and commentary on the Legislature, campaigns, and elected officials
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Politics & Policy|
March 1, 1994

John the Knife

He’s a budget cutter in an era of consumption, a conservative Democrat in a party gone soft, a good ol’ boy with no polish or flash. So why is everyone buzzing about Texas comptroller John Sharp?

Politics & Policy|
April 1, 1993

Beer Brawl

There’s trouble brewing at the Capitol this spring, and it has lobbyists and legislators foaming at the mouth. The issue? Your right to drink a glass of fresh, tasty beer.

Politics & Policy|
December 1, 1992

Bill’s Bungle

By not contesting Texas in the presidential campaign, Bill Clinton did more than throw away votes in 1992. He hurt the prospects of Texas Democrats in 1994 and beyond.

Politics & Policy|
November 1, 1992

Merry-go-round

AUSTIN POLITICS ARE the nuttiest in the state. It all stems from an obsession with quality of life, and nothing quite brings out the daffiness like a threat to the city’s beloved Barton Springs. Even as a two-year legal battle continues to rage over development upstream on Barton Creek, a

Politics & Policy|
November 1, 1992

Death of a Fixer

WHEN I WAS A SOPHOMORE AT THE University of Texas in 1977, my grandfather, a prominent Houston attorney, came to Austin to give a lecture to the university’s law students. After his speech, my grandfather told me he wanted to introduce me to someone. He led me toward a large

Politics & Policy|
September 30, 1992

The Intimate GOP

IT WAS JUST TEN DAYS after the close of the Republican convention, and here I was at a much smaller gathering of Republicans at Fairview Farms in Plano, just north of Dallas. Proclaimed a “Boot Scootin’ Olde Tyme Political Hoe-Down,” this campaign kickoff was also, of course, a “family event”

Politics & Policy|
August 31, 1992

Copper Plea

AUSTIN POLITICS ARE the nuttiest in the state. It all stems from an obsession with quality of life, and nothing quite brings out the daffiness like a threat to the city’s beloved Barton Springs. Even as a two-year legal battle continues to rage over development upstream on Barton Creek, a

Politics & Policy|
July 31, 1992

Threat or Menace?

Ross Perot is a candidate for president because a lot of people want him to be. He has acted in a very clever, innovative way to arouse and build that support, but the support truly did arise and grow. That means that Perot’s campaign is a pure expression of democracy.

Politics & Policy|
May 31, 1992

Henry, Hillary, Colin, and Mort

THE PRESIDENT CAN’T RUN THE COUNTRY BY HIMSELF. the people he appoints to key positions can make or break his administration. Here is a possible lineup of Cabinet officials and major appointments. They are able, diverse, and largely nonpolitical. Most of them are people that Perot is known to respect.

Politics & Policy|
May 31, 1992

Westward H2O

THE SHOCK WAVES ARE BEGINNING to be felt from the Texas Water Commission’s decision that the Edwards Aquifer is an underground river—meaning that surface owners can’t use its water without a permit. Another state agency, the Water Development Board, was quick to dust off the old idea of transferring water

Politics & Policy|
April 1, 1992

Split Personalities

With the never-ending school finance crisis entering its umpteenth round, Governor Ann Richards and Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock appear to be on a collision course. Richards has decided that the educational problems of public schools should be considered along with their funding problems. Bullock has decided just the opposite. The

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