Phil King

Politics & Policy |
March 2, 2010

R’s against R’s

A group of Republican House members has injected themselves into Republican primary races in an effort to defeat their own colleagues. In my book, this is bottom-of-the-barrel behavior, but these folks are the type to do it. Those inclined toward eating their own young are Leo Berman, Wayne Christian, Betty

Politics & Policy |
May 22, 2009

Watching paint dry

How else to describe the pace of House debate? I can’t recall another session when the default option was for both parties to chub every bill. The debate over the unemployment insurance bill was particularly dilatory. Why is this bill even being debated? Rick Perry has drawn his line in

Politics & Policy |
May 9, 2009

Wanted: adult supervision

The House was out of control Thursday during the debate on the TxDOT Sunset bill. The process was living proof of the old saying that there are two things you should never see being made: sausage and legislation. This was not serious lawmaking. It was an orgy--an orgy of hatred

Politics & Policy |
April 19, 2009

The Cold War

The House budget debate had a lot in common with the Cold War. The two sides came to the battlefield fully armed, but they engaged in frequent diplomacy that avoided a nuclear conflagration. Jessica Farrar, for the Democratic caucus, and various Republicans, Phil King among them, held a summit on

Politics & Policy |
April 1, 2009

The Guns-on-Campus hearing

This is a report from Texas Monthly's intern, Abby Rapoport, on the Public Safety committee hearing of March 30 on Joe Driver's bill allowing guns on campus. It was four hours into the meeting before Public Safety made it to the issue that had brought crowds. Joe Driver presented HB

Politics & Policy |
March 5, 2009

TxDOT under fire

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a tough day for TxDOT. After the usual routine of resolutions congratulating this and that, and welcoming these and those, the House session ended with a resolution aimed squarely at the transportation agency. Dunnam, Coleman, and other lawmakers are unhappy that TxDOT rushed to decide how to

Politics & Policy |
January 30, 2009

The rules debate: The way it’s supposed to be

It was an amazing thing to be in the House for Wednesday’s rules debate. It was as if someone had taken a giant vaccuum cleaner and sucked all the tension out of the air. The House went about the business of adopting its rules without dramatics. Speakers come and speakers

Politics & Policy |
January 23, 2009

House rules will address removing the speaker

The rules debate will probably take place on Wednesday, one day after the governor’s State of the State address. Last session it took 8 hours and 48 minutes for the House to adopt its rules. Democrats raised legitimate concerns about confidentiality and attorney-client privilege, due to former Republican operative Milton

Politics & Policy |
January 7, 2009

The Liberation

I have covered the Texas House of Representatives since 1975. What I love about the place is that, traditionally, it is has been an open shop. The culture of the House is that you can do what you are big enough to do, whether you are on the team or

Politics & Policy |
December 28, 2008

The speaker’s race: Update

The long Christmas weekend is about over. Keep an eye on the Ethics Commission tomorrow (Monday) for new filings for speaker. Gattis is a possibility. McCall is a possibility. It was this time last year that he filed. I talked to one of the ABC’s on Saturday. He said that

Politics & Policy |
November 19, 2008

Smaller Talk

Honorably Mentioned: Burt Solomons, Jim Keffer, Craig Eiland, Brian McCall, Rafael Anchia, Charlie Geren, Warren Chisum, Phil King, and Rob Junell (naturally). If you do not see your name on the list, you have given us no reason to talk about you. (Go watch it on our homepage so I