Reader letters published in our December 2022 issue.
A man approached Cecilia Ballí and asked, “Are you looking for work?” It shook her—and helped her grasp the danger in early-aughts Juárez.
How Texas Monthly’s Paul Burka held the powerful to account—and made Texas a better place.
Remembering Paul Burka—The State’s Most Revered Political Writer Was the Heart and Soul of Texas Monthly
Friends and former colleagues share their memories of the legendary writer, editor, and mentor.
Paul Burka bids farewell to Texas Monthly—and wonders what happened to the Texas he once knew.
The unrivaled legacy of Paul Burka.
For forty years, Paul Burka has been a part of Texas Monthly. His retirement officially begins today, on Texas Independence Day. His legacy will live on in Texas Monthly’s list of the best and worst legislators, and his celebrated career has made an impact on Texas politics. But what few know
The dean of the Capitol press corps announces his upcoming retirement from Texas Monthly.
As you read this, Texas Monthly’s editor, Jake Silverstein, is moving the last few items out of his office. He has traded his view of the Texas Capital building for that of a Duane Reade and is moving to the New York Times Magazine. We’ll miss that guy.And I personally owe him
When the Legislature meets in January, lawmakers know they won’t be able to cut their way to a balanced budget. Instead, they should do what a certain Republican governor did more than twenty years ago: raise taxes.
TEXAS MONTHLY is proud to be a sponsor of the Texas Book Festival, which is held in Austin on October 16 and 17. For a complete listing of events, check out the official schedule. To see which sessions TEXAS MONTHLY editors and writers are participating in, see the schedule
Paul Burka talks about cutting $18 billion from the Texas budget, separating the essential from the nonessential, and spending money on bricks and mortar.
Every family has its myths. Some are intended to reveal, and some are intended to conceal, and sometimes the intentions can get confused. The problem with myth, however, is that it can overpower history. That’s what happened in the case of my father, who died when I was four. Only
Land Commisioner Jerry Patterson, former Galveston legislator A.R. Schwartz, and TEXAS MONTHLY's Paul Burka all blast the Texas Supreme Court for last week's ruling.
Longtime Rio Grande Valley legislator and recent Republican convert Aaron Peña won’t seek a seat in the next election.
The good people who sign my paychecks have asked me to do radio and television commentary regarding Governor Perry, when news organizations make requests. I have been doing a lot of this recently, including NBC Nightly News and The News Hour. They mainly want to know who Rick Perry is.
Michael Quinn Sullivan has a bone to pick with me. I am the subject of a blog post by Sullivan published on the Empower Texans web site yesterday under the headline, “Texas Monthly: Disclosure-Free Zone.” Sullivan objects to the fact that in an April column about
Christopher and Kathleen Sleboda, D. J. Stout, and Paul Burka.
Ross Ramsey, writing in the Texas Tribune today, has a story that the Hutchison campaign asked that I not be allowed to be a panelist on the gubernatorial debate on the grounds that KERA, the Dallas PBS station that is hosting the debate, and NPR both have policies against opinion
Here are the numbers. Commentary follows. Approval Ratings Obama as president Approve 68% Disapprove 29% Obama economic policy Approve 63% Disapprove 34% Rick Perry Approve 57% Disapprove 30% Kay Bailey Hutchison Approve 65% Disapprove 17% John Cornyn Approve 55% Disapprove 19% Texas Legislature Approve 58% Disapprove 28% Democratic Primary (Governor)
I came home last night to find a GOPAC survey in my e-mail queue. I tend to vote in Republican primaries (4 of the 6 elections starting in 1998), since that is the only election that matters for statewide candidates, so I assume that is how they found me. Here
Dear Paul, You have covered me throughout my career in public service to Texas so you remember I was a proud Republican even when we could hold our gatherings in a phone booth. Having helped make the GOP the dominant party in Texas in the late 90s, I am committed
Arlen Specter’s party switch gives new life to the old issue of if and when Hutchison should resign her seat. Now that the Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority, she is no longer under any compulsion to remain in the Senate to prevent the Democrats from passing their agenda. She can
The big winners, of course, were the ABCs. Each of the eleven received a chairmanship. Six are on Calendars. The chairs: Pitts/Appropriations: as expected Cook/Environmental Regulation: A story made the rounds yesterday that he wasn't happy, but he lives in an area that is affected by coal plants and cement
Burka and Eileen discuss probable Speaker Joe Straus, Craddick’s exit, horse racing, and whether bridge qualifies as gambling. Honorably mentioned: John Smithee, Burt Solomons, Dan Gattis, Jim Keffer, and playing the ponies. (And yes, I am wearing a scarf over my turtleneck. My space heater gave out, and I can’t
The final video of 2008. (You can thank me later.) Stick a fork in Craddick? Is he really done? Really? Honorably Mentioned: Gattis, Smithee, Solomons, Kolkhorst, Chisum, Straus, Hamilton, McCall, Dunnam, and just about every other House Member you can think of And who was that anonymous Republican source?
Paul Burka on Ed Kuempel, Terry Keel, and why mistresses should form their own union.
The poll was conducted by Voter Consumer Research between December 7 and December 9. The telephone survey included 601 general election voters and 466 Republican primary voters. The margin of error for the general election survey was +/- 4.1%, and +/- 4.6% for Republican primary voters. Favorability: * 67% of
Your daily space queen video! It’s worth clicking on just to see what I look like when I forget to sit on a telephone book. Paul Burka on the secret speaker’s ballot, and why he was for it before he he was against it. (Flip flopper.) Honorably mentioned: Speaker Craddick,
OK, so maybe he hasn’t “posted” any “updates” on Kay Bailey Hutchison’s exploratory committee, but I did catch Burka in the hall to do a video with me to at least talk about the interview he had with her yesterday. And I’m all, yesterday? She never returns my calls. In
Burka and Eileen preview the legislative sunset: How does an agency “misplace” $1 billion? Or lose one-third of its criminal files? Or let the governor’s mansion get torched? Or screw Texas homeowners? Don’t get mad, get even. Honorably mentioned: Steve Ogden, Lois Kolkhorst, John Carona, and Wayne Smith. Not so
Here’s the problem for Tom Craddick. The House passed tuition deregulation in 2003 for one reason and one reason only: The speaker twisted Republicans’ arms to get the votes. Almost six years later, tuition and fees at Texas’s public university have risen by an average of 50%, according to Robert
Eileen and Paul talk about if the Speaker even matters, Craddicks and Anti-Craddicks, and whether Tom was popular in high school. Honorably Mentioned: Dan Branch, Lois Kolkhorst, Pete Gallego, Jim Dunnam, and, of course, Speaker Craddick
Latest video: Burka on the Speaker’s race, naming names, the “Craddick Effect” (copyright pending), and broken pledges. For the first time, Paul wonders if Craddick can keep his post. Honorably Mentioned: the candidates, the Conservative Coalition, Plan B, and Warren Chisum. (Note: If you are having trouble viewing this,
Eileen talks with Burka about the cantankerous Speaker’s race, a House divided, Craddick D’s, ABC’s, and 2010 with KBH. Honorable video mentions include: Reps. Tommy Merritt; Jim Keffer; Pete Gallego; Craig Eiland; Dan Gattis; Alan Ritter; and Sylvester Turner.
Here is what to watch for. If Craddick has the votes, he will lay out the names. If he doesn’t lay out the names, he doesn’t have the votes.
Why is it that the Democrats insist on trying to act bossy? Is it genetic? Can’t they help themselves? The demand upon party discipline before they have won a majority is foolish. My last post on this subject was, I have to admit, a bit on the hysterical side, and
Senior executive editor Paul Burka on editing Bum Steers.
Executive editor Paul Burka and senior editor Anne Dingus tell the story behind January's cover story, "The 2001 Bum Steer Awards".
For and against George W. Bush; Wichita Falls bites back.
Texas Primer Who’s been on our cover the most times? Ross is boss.
Race MattersI was captivated by paul Burka’s observation in “What’s Black and White and Red-faced All Over?” [December 1997] that “the only way to open the door to more minority students is to broaden—that means reduce—the standards for admissions.” The real question for society is this: Shall we lower our
Anyone who knows executive editor Paul Burka would have a hard time imagining him as a cowboy, so perhaps it seems farfetched that he was the one to write this month’s story about the plight of a small working ranch in Uvalde (“Home on the Range”). “I’m a