IMAGINE A KITTEN, VERY CURIOUS BUT EASILY FRIGHTENED: That was the Seventy-ninth Legislature. It poked around school finance, pawed at tax reform, heard loud shouts of “No!”, fled to Mama, curled up, and went to sleep. Lawmakers did a lot of exploring, learned a lot about the world, even grew
As we head into the most critical legislative session in decades—maybe ever—the question is not just, Who are the people with the most clout at the Capitol? It’s also, What do they want?
Twenty-three other people with more clout than they know what to do with. (Well, they know exactly what to do with it.)
Ronald Reagan once commanded, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." So why has the state GOP declared war on itself over resdistricting?
Two powerful Republicans are in charge of redistricting this session, but that doesn't mean they're out to get the Democrats.
When it's time for her to give the gift of a revenue estimate, Comptroller Rylander could be naughty or nice. Either way, the Legislature better watch out.
Ron Kirk may be this year’s most jovial political candidate, but his bid for the U.S. Senate is as much about race as personality. He knows it. His fellow Democrats know it. And you’d better believe the Republicans know it.
How cuts to the budget of our mental health care system have created a nightmare for police officers in Houston—and everywhere else.
In 2006 Texas schools still can’t teach English to Spanish-speaking students. Here’s what we should do about that—now.
Was Aaron Peña’s defection to the Republican party a quixotic move that will cost him his political career or the start of a bad trend for Democrats?
Why does our health insurance system treat a small part of the Rio Grande Valley differently from the rest of the state?
A unique confluence of medicine, money, and politics is driving health care costs in the Rio Grande Valley. At the center of it all is a Democrat from Palmview, who is already under indictment for unreported income.
It was a new era at the Capitol, with a new Speaker and a new mood of peace, love, and bipartisanship in the war-torn House. But the eighty-first legislative session turned out to be a lot like the eighty that came before it—some heroes, some villains, and enough hot air
The inside story of the Aggie sailing tragedy.
There is no more important job than reshaping the military to confront a dark and dangerous future—and Pete Geren is reporting for duty.
The eightieth session began with a Speaker’s race, ended with a Speaker’s race, and was consumed in between by the usual mix of nuanced issues and nasty politics. Along the way, a handful of lawmakers put the common good ahead of all else. And a handful of lawmakers didn’t.
TXU comes in from the coal.
A pernicious staph infection is targeting athletes young and old—and igniting a debate over the hazards of artificial turf.
If big high schools are the problem, why aren’t there more small ones?
The most powerful Texas congressman you’ve never heard of. And a partisan hack. And a bipartisan pragmatist.
The state agency that’s supposed to protect you is a captive of the industry you need protection from.
A few lawmakers in both parties distinguished themselves during one of the worst sessions anyone can remember. As for the rest? Well, in the words of Jon Stewart, that famous observer of Texas politics: not so much.
No one thinks the Democrats have a chance of winning the 2006 governor’s race. Which is exactly why you shouldn’t write them off.
Who thinks tuition deregulation stinks? Middle-class kids—and me.
• Matthew Dowd, 43, and Mark McKinnon, 49, Austin The two Bush campaign veterans have returned to Texas, consultant Dowd to set up his own firm and media guru McKinnon to return to Public Strategies, his old stomping ground. Their political talent and impeccable credentials will have an impact here.•
• Rick Perry, 54, Austin He’s one of the best campaigners Texas has ever seen, but that’s all that can be said. Beyond the inherent powers of the office, the assets that earn a governor extra clout are an uplifting vision for the future, broad-based popular support, and the respect
The Democratic congressmen targeted by the GOP redistricting plan think they can survive.
For the Republicans under investigation for campaign-finance violations, Sharpstown is the elephant in the room.
How is school finance like a Russian novel? And other questions about the most pressing issue in Texas—and Rick Perry's plan for dealing with it.
Three months ago we named David Dewhurst one of the state's best legislators. Now we're not so sure.
The name on everyone's lips this legislative session is unknown to most people outside Austininside Austin too. But Mike Toomey, the governor's chief of staff, is the most powerful political operative at the Capitoland the most feared. Just ask his fellow Republicans.
Being governor was great, but not being governor is even better.
Who will succeed Brown as the mayor of Houston? He'll probably be black or Hispanic, but he could be White.
After a conservative think tank used its clout to help scuttle a science textbook, some Republicans declared victory. The rest declared war.
Tom Craddick of Midland wants to be the first Republican Speaker of the House in Texas since 1873. He may already have the votes, but his critics are questioning his tactics.
As Democrats and Republicans prepare for the hand-to-hand combat of 2002, African American and Hispanic candidates are finally on the front lines.
Brain cancer has put life and politics in perspective for Lena Guerrero.
A diary of San Antonio Democrat Leticia Van de Putte's first session as a state senator.
Rodney Ellis was excellent. Gary Elkins was well, significantly less so. Bill Ratliff was a model of dignified leadership. Domingo Garcia was a one-man leper colony. Our biennial roundup of the Legislature's leading lights and dim bulbs.
The top 10 percent rule was supposed to solve the admissions problems at Texas' public universities, but it isn't making the grade.
What Texas should learn from the California energy mess.
How Bill Ratliff became lieutenant governorand what it means for Texas.
Teachers without insurance.
Inside the election's numbers.
Three ways to fix the prison system.
Judging abortion rights.
Justice for Medicaid?
The politics of the Medicaid "shortfall."
Does Tony Sanchez want to be your governor?
The two faces of Bush’s compassionate conservatism guru.