For the Eighty-second Legislature (our twentieth at the Capitol), everything old was new again: the state faced a budget deficit; the governor harbored presidential ambitions; the members of the Best list were hard to find; and the names on the Worst list picked themselves.
Ah, redistricting—that partisan, vengeful, hazardous battle for domination the Legislature fights every decade. Here we go again.
The Republicans whipped the Democrats in November. Now what are they going to do?
Texas is facing an unprecedented deficit in the next legislative session, so to help our poor, overworked elected officials, I went ahead and balanced the budget for them. And good Lord! It wasn’t pretty.
Who’s the toughest opponent for Republicans who want to crack down on illegal immigration? Other Republicans.
The Democrats will most certainly fight the Republicans over immigration reform legislation this session, but the Republican’s biggest opponents are powerful interests within their own party. Nate Blakeslee talks about grassroot efforts, tea party champions, and why immigration has become one of the most important issues facing our state.
Read this National Magazine Award-winning story about how the Legislature slashed funding for women’s health programs in 2011 and launched an all-out war on Planned Parenthood that has dramatically changed the state’s priorities. The battle continues raging, and the stakes could not be higher.
In Republican-dominated Texas, the May 29 primary might as well have been the general election. And what it revealed is a party perfectly capable of doing battle with itself, no Democrats required.
Once again, redistricting has devolved into a bitter, partisan, confusing, chaotic mess. But take heart, voters! There is a better way.
How architecture changed the balance of power at the Legislature and other observations from my three decades covering Texas politics.