Primary Day 2014
A real-time view of an election in which the tea party flexed its muscles.
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 real-time view of an election in which the tea party flexed its muscles.
Here are five races that I’m watching with particular interest tomorrow that are part of an ongoing battle for control of the Republican party.Sarah Davis vs. Bonnie ParkerWhy it matters:This is a rematch of the 2010 primary, when Davis beat Parker 54-45. Davis is the only pro-choice Republican woman in
It’s that time of the primary season that reminds me a lot of the endless run-up to the Super Bowl: One, it goes without saying that I love the game. Two, I can’t stand to read yet another story about the game before it’s actually played. So let’s kick-off already.
A look at one of Texas's most powerful governors running hard for president. It's like deja vu all over again.
At long last, the business community seems to have awakened to the fact that there is an election going on. The Texas Future Business Alliance PAC has raised–wait for it–$112,000 to support members who favor infrastructure improvements.I wish I could celebrate the news, but the truth is that contributing $112,000
Followers of Texas politics and business will certainly know the name Charles Miller, who is a chairman emeritus of the Greater Houston Partnership and a former chair of the UT System Board of Regents, among many other things. He wrote a response to a post from Monday about
Here is part of the text of the ruling issued by federal district judge Orlando Garcia in San Antonio earlier today: “Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent.
Gromer Jeffers of the Dallas Morning News has written a story that is fascinating indeed: four Republican lawmakers–all Christian conservatives–have fallen prey to what they claim is a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a McKinney businessman who once claimed to have discovered Noah’s Ark. The politicians involved (Ken Paxton,
The candidates on the Republican ballot may compose the weakest ticket in terms of career accomplishments the Republican party has ever laid before voters. Take the race for comptroller: The four candidates (Harvey Hilderbran, Glenn Hegar, Debra Medina, Raul Torres) have thin resumes, Hilderbran excepted (he has been chairman of
Governor Perry ditches his boots (with one important exception), but he's still running hard on the campaign trail.
The University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll results today are not surprising. They show Greg Abbott with a hefty 47-36 lead over Wendy Davis in the race for governor, with 17 percent undecided. That lead is to be expected; of more concern for the Davis campaign should be their inability
The changes Texas is facing can become a terrible burden--or an unprecedented asset.
As the clock winds down on the primary, Patterson unloads on Patrick in the hope of taking the second spot
A look back at the career of one of Texas's most remarkable politicians.
Rick Perry will undoubtedly get his way in naming the next chancellor of the University of Texas System. Kyle Janek, the executive commissioner of Texas Health and Human Services and a former state senator and lobbyist, appears to be Perry’s choice for the job. Will regents question his fitness for
A lesson in how not to run a campaign.
The man expected to become the next governor of Texas shows that he lacks political judgment.
It’s worth spending some time perusing the Texas Tribune‘s revealing graph tracking candidates’ ad buys in the major markets of the state. Of the various graphs reflecting candidates’ network TV expenditures leading up to the March 4 primary elections, the most significant one was the comparison between Hegar
A civil rights summit in Austin celebrates the true legacy of the Johnson administration.
Who has the power in the Republican party--and how are they using it?
How the debate over abortion has come to define our politics like no other issue.
Joe Straus’s enemies are out in force once again, trying to make a mountain out of a molehill — namely, the issue of diverting gasoline tax revenue to other uses. Let me state unequivocally that diversions are a phony issue. They are not an affront to transparency. The only diversion
What the candidates running for lieutenant governor are saying in their campaign says a lot about Texas.
Can Debra Medina throw a monkey wrench into the race for comptroller? She doesn’t have the money to compete with the two leading candidates, Hegar and Hilderbran, but she has residual name I.D. and a loyal following left over from her 2010 race for governor. (See my colleague Erica Grieder’s
Was Wendy Davis smart to embrace open carry? I think not. In the end, a lot more of her core constituency will be disappointed than will be elated. And I don’t see that she has much to gain. Greg Abbott long ago wrapped up the support of the
For years Harris County politics has been controlled by a small group of political operatives and consultants. Foremost among these is Steven Hotze, a doctor who heads an organization called the Conservative Republicans of Texas (CRT). The CRT and other groups Hotze is affiliated with send out mailers
Attorney general Greg Abbott’s $345 million border security plan is almost certainly doomed to fail. The border region is so huge and comprises so many millions of acres that it defies the ability of state government to enforce whatever security issues may arise. Every Republican candidate this election cycle has
Why the evolution of the Republican primary into a race to the far right is a sad moment in Texas politics.
The four contenders for the Republican primary met last week during the Texas Medical Association's Winter Conference. Did their proposals add up?
The bad news for Texans is that 2014 is shaping up in the most predictable way.
UPDATE: I spoke with a friend and high-ranking official at Texas A&M who reminded me that the Aggies have the lowest tuition of any school in the prestigious Association of American Universities.The news from Texas A&M that the board of regents is contemplating an increase in tuition and fees at
I thought President Obama’s State of the Union address was pretty predictable. In past years he has used the speech to lay out what amounts to a laundry list of his programs for Democrats to use in the upcoming congressional elections. And that’s exactly what he did. What was not
It's time to move away from biography and on to the issues that matter to Texans.
The situation in Fort Worth, in which a pregnant woman named Marlise Muñoz was brain dead and was carrying an abnormal fetus, is truly tragic for the family. It was revolting to see Dan Patrick try to exploit the situation to demand that Texas law be changed, following a decision
The debate among the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor was heavy on wedge issues but light on policy.
What happens when a private family tragedy plays out in a very public way?
Good morning, Texans. It’s great to see you all on BurkaBlog, and I’m tickled that I can start my time here by referring you to my profile of Ted Cruz–the cover story for our February issue. I began reporting this story in July. The idea was to publish
In the eight years or so that I have been writing this blog, I have invited a couple of writers, such as Patricia Kilday Hart and Nate Blakeslee, to contribute posts. But for the most part, it has been me and me alone. So I’m pleased to announce that I’ve
If 2014 is the year everything is supposed to change in Texas politics, why do the campaigns feel so irrelevant?
The missteps aren't just by the candidate. They are by the campaign.
What does the math of a speaker's race show? Joe Straus is nearly impossible to beat.
Red McCombs proves that money doesn't buy brains when it comes to UT football.
News flash: Steve Stockman has no chance to beat John Cornyn. So why is the media writing all of these stories?
A fight over the interim president grips Texas A&M.
One stage, four candidates, and countless opportunities to try to burnish credentials.
Is is Rick Perry versus John Sharp when it comes to naming an interim president at Texas A&M?
The lieutenant governor flexes his financial muscle.
What the late filings mean for 2014.
Who is safe--and who is in danger--in the 2014 primary?
I take a dim view of Dan Branch’s campaign for attorney general. A former member of our Best legislators list, Branch is in the process of ruining himself by running away from who he really is, which is a mainstream Republican. On Sunday, the Houston Chronicle