Paul Burka

1-43 of 43 Articles
March 2, 2015

Texas Barbecue Appreciation Society

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

May 9, 2014

Texas Barbecue 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

Politics & Policy|
January 20, 2013

Dollars and Sense

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.

January 20, 2013

Join Texas Monthly at the Texas Book Festival

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

January 20, 2013

The Man Who Wasn’t There

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

Politics & Policy|
August 19, 2011

My 15 minutes of fame

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.

Politics & Policy|
June 29, 2011

A response to Michael Quinn Sullivan

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

Politics & Policy|
December 23, 2009

Banned Wagon

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

Politics & Policy|
June 24, 2009


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)

Politics & Policy|
May 8, 2009

GOPAC wants my opinion: Here it is

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

Politics & Policy|
May 1, 2009

Dear Paul

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

Politics & Policy|
April 30, 2009

Free at last

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

Politics & Policy|
February 12, 2009

Committees — Winners and Losers

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

Politics & Policy|
January 5, 2009

Ich bin ein Speaker!

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

Politics & Policy|
December 31, 2008

For Auld Lang Speaker

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?

Politics & Policy|
December 12, 2008


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

Politics & Policy|
December 8, 2008

Secret Disservice

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,

Politics & Policy|
December 5, 2008

I Swear Paul’s Here Somewhere

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

Politics & Policy|
November 25, 2008

State Secrets

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

Politics & Policy|
November 12, 2008

Show the Speaker Voting Me

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

Politics & Policy|
November 10, 2008

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Place in Line

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,

Politics & Policy|
November 7, 2008

Bringing Down the House

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.

Politics & Policy|
November 4, 2008

The Democratic Pledge: why it won’t work

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

The Stand Up Desk|
January 1, 1998

Roar of the Crowd

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

The Stand Up Desk|
September 30, 1996

Paul In The Family

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

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