Eighty-second

The Best and Worst Legislators 2011

Jan 21, 2013 By Paul Burka and Nate Blakeslee

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.

Between the Lines

Jan 20, 2013 By Texas Monthly

Ah, redistricting—that partisan, vengeful, hazardous battle for domination the Legislature fights every decade. Here we go again.

The Eighteen Billion Dollar Man

Jan 20, 2013 By Paul Burka

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.

Business as Usual

Jan 20, 2013 By Nate Blakeslee

Who’s the toughest opponent for Republicans who want to crack down on illegal immigration? Other Republicans.

A Q&A With Nate Blakeslee

Jan 20, 2013 By Jasmin Sun

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.

Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives

Jul 31, 2012 By Mimi Swartz

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.

Right to Strife

Jun 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

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.

Mappily Ever After

Feb 1, 2012 By Brian D. Sweany

Once again, redistricting has devolved into a bitter, partisan, confusing, chaotic mess. But take heart, voters! There is a better way.

Capitol Affair

Jun 30, 2011 By Paul Burka

How architecture changed the balance of power at the Legislature and other observations from my three decades covering Texas politics.