A new era for the Capitol—and for Texas Monthly’s Capitol bureau.
Brian D. Sweany has been the editor in chief of Texas Monthly since July 2014. A native Texan who was born on Texas Independence Day, he began his career in journalism as an intern at the magazine in 1996, and in the intervening years, he held nearly every possible job in the editorial department. Before being promoted to his current post, he was a senior executive editor in charge of Texas Monthly's political coverage. Sweany has also worked as an assistant professor in the journalism department at Ithaca College, in New York, and as a senior editor at D Magazine, in Dallas. He is active in a number of civic and volunteer organizations, serving on the boards of the Texas Book Festival, the Texas Cultural Trust, and the Frank W. and Sue Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, in Denton. He lives in Austin with his wife, two children, and an ever-growing manuscript for The Kingdom of the Saddle, a biography of Charles Goodnight to be published by Penguin.
A new era for the Capitol—and for Texas Monthly’s Capitol bureau.
What Greg Abbott’s nominee to the UT Board of Regents means for the state.
On the first full day of the Dan Patrick era, he makes his mark on the Senate.
It’s the turnout, stupid.
Despite all the exits and entrances around him, House speaker Joe Straus plans on staying right where he is.
The dean of the Capitol press corps announces his upcoming retirement from Texas Monthly.
Sometimes journalism really does make a difference.
I was surprised to read that Wendy Davis intends to make another run at public office, as yet unspecified. Among other things, she has retracted her support for open carry. But it is hard to see what kind of future Davis has, particularly when Battleground Texas proved to be as
The “clear frontrunner” will be hard to beat.
It appears that Governor-elect Abbott is considering some form of Medicaid expansion. If this is indeed the case, it is incredibly good news for Texas. Rick Perry’s rejection of Medicaid expansion was petulant and extremely damaging to the state. The cost of expansion to the state is miniscule (mainly covering
The news that Speaker Joe Straus has become the Vice Chair of the Republican Legislative Campaign should be the final nail in the coffin of Michael Quinn Sullivan and Empower Texans. Of course I know it won’t. But it should end any speculation that Straus has any political worries whatsoever;
The pleasure of picking a Bum Steer.
Greg Abbott is off to a fast start—and that is good for Texas.
A visit from the ghost of elections past.
Joe Straus is safe--and he always was.
After every major election, it seems I find myself writing an obituary for the Texas Democratic party. It’s not a true obituary, I suppose, since the Democrats are not exactly dead, just comatose. This year brought a rare combination of considerable early optimism by Democrats, followed by the worst pasting
Free advice for Greg Abbott, the new governor of Texas.
Texas is a Republican state and nothing is likely to change that in the foreseeable future.
As the returns are started to roll in–find updated results here–here are a few quick thoughts:1. As the race in CD23 begins to take shape, the only competitive Congressional seat from Texas looks be breaking Republican. Challenger Will Hurd is leading Democratic incumbent Pete Gallego 53-44%.2. In the
UPDATED AT 7:25: The polls have closed, and the early vote totals are coming in. Here are some of the quick results, with a whooping 1% of the vote having been counted:ABBOTT: 57%DAVIS: 40%++PATRICK: 55%VAN DE PUTTE: 41%++PAXTON: 56%HOUSTON: 40%++HEGAR: 56%COLLIER: 39%++BUSH: 62%COOK: 33%++MILLER: 59%HOGAN: 36%++CORNYN: 60%ALAMEEL: 36%
Battleground Texas, the organization chosen by the Obama White House to “turn Texas blue,” proved to have been nothing more than a mirage. In fact, Battleground did more to sabotage the Democratic effort — unintentionally — than to support it, thanks to Jeremy Bird, Battleground’s leader. Bird produced a memo
Does Jeb Bush have a chance at the White House? Or is the family name too damaged?
It provides such a meager amount of funding that it's hardly worth the effort of putting it on the ballot at all.
UPDATE: In my original post, I mistakenly referred to previous endorsements by some of the state’s major newspapers, and I have corrected the errors.This election has all the earmarks of being one of the strangest ever. First, as I have opined before, this is the weakest ticket the Republican party
To the surprise of no one, the Morning News has endorsed Greg Abbott for governor. It is a choice that I won’t criticize. But I will raise this red flag: that Wendy Davis has uncovered serious issues about Abbott’s character and lack of empathy for Texans who have
Andrea Valdez and the making of our digital identity.
The war chest matters in 2014, but it sets the tone in 2018.
I’m not surprised that the race for governor has tightened according to the recent Lyceum Poll. This is a contest between two candidates who have the support of large constituencies that stretch far beyond Texas. Abbott is among the state’s most prominent attorneys and is no stranger to
The final debate in the 2014 governor's race is over, and the winner was clear-cut.
The candidates' true colors were on full display.
When one looks at the wheeling and dealing that went on with the Texas Enterprise Fund, my question is this: Why is it not an impeachable offense? These folks used the Enterprise Fund for their private playground. They awarded $222 million to entities that, according to the Dallas Morning News,
Alas, I was out of the state for the Texas gubernatorial debate on Friday evening, but having watched the replay, I can’t say that I missed much. As debates go, I found it relatively low-wattage. Both candidates were articulate and reasonably polite to their opponents, though I thought Davis
Recent actions by state government have reinforced my belief that the state rarely does anything FOR the public; it only does things TO the public. The latest example is that Texas insurance commissioner Julia Rathgeber allowed the three largest home insurance companies to impose significant rate increases. Rathgeber could have
Katharyn Rodemann, Barça, and the making of a great issue.
I was interested by Eric Bearse’s piece in the Quorum Report yesterday concerning Wendy Davis and abortion. Bearse wrote, among other things: “The reason Wendy Davis has never recovered politically from her abortion filibuster is she fought on turf where she couldn’t win. Outside of San Francisco and
He's still raising money for his race for governor. And it's not because he's worried about Wendy.
It is all but certain that Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal Judge Dietz’s school finance ruling. It’s classic Abbott. He has to win, even if he realizes that he is going to lose.But the Legislature’s treatment of the schools during the 2011 session all but guarantees a loss for Abbott.
Why Republicans should listen to what female voters are saying.
The false criticism of Joe Straus.
The governor has a first-class legal team, but some of its arguments concerning the indictment sound more like rhetoric than law.Such as “an unconstitutional attack on Perry’s rights”And …”defies common sense”And …”a violation of the Texas and U.S. constitutions”And … “an improper attempt to criminalize politics”And … “based on state
Smearing the prosecutor is just about the dumbest thing a defendant in a criminal case can do. The second dumbest thing is to threaten the prosecutor.
The indictment of Rick Perry turns Texas politics upside down.
UPDATE: I’ve included a link to the indictments at the bottom of this post.Thought Texas politics couldn’t get any weirder? A short time ago special prosecutor Michael McCrum announced that a grand jury had indicted Perry on two counts related to his veto of funds for the Public Integrity Unit:
I don’t think Republicans recognize what is happening to their party in Texas. The GOP is verging on irrelevance. The failure of Texas to land the Republican national convention should have been a wake-up call for the state party. There was a reason why the Republicans chose Cleveland over Dallas:
In a preview of our September cover, Patterson says college players shouldn't be able to monetize their famous names.
The indefatigable Pamela Colloff.
Brian D. Sweany on taking the reins at Texas Monthly—and always carrying a pen.
With three months to go until the general election, there isn't much reason to talk about the governor's race. It's over.
To close this discussion, I simply want to say one thing: This was completely predictable. There was no reason to send the National Guard to the Border. There was no mission. There was no objective. It was just political theatre to make Rick Perry look like he was doing something,
Wouldn’t it be nice if Texas were to catch up to the modern world, for once? I’m addressing the issue of same-sex marriage here. What’s the use of fighting for a policy that without question violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws? In fairness to Greg