2023: The Best and Worst Legislators

Our scorecard of the Eighty-eighth Texas Legislature’s noisy scoundrels and quiet heroes.

Politics & Policy|
June 27, 2013

Two Thirds? Or Not Two Thirds?

With another special session set to begin on July 1, the issue arises of how the Senate will handle the two-thirds rule. Will there be a blocker bill? Will the tradition be honored?The history is that in 2003, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst made the decision that the two-thirds rule would

Politics & Policy|
May 30, 2011

Who holds the cards?

The answer is: Rodney Ellis. On the last day of the session, Ellis has become the key player, because he is effectively the minority leader of the Democrats–not just the Senate Democrats, but also the House Democrats. The nineteen Senate Republicans will need at least six Democratic votes to suspend

Politics & Policy|
November 9, 2009

White noise

I keep getting e-mails from friends in the politics game that Bill White is going to switch to run for governor. Got one this morning, in fact. Burnt Orange gives life to the rumors today as well. My Houston-based colleague Mimi Swartz made some calls at my request,

Politics & Policy|
August 17, 2009

Would Perry pick Patrick?

I confess that I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Dan Patrick’s reelection announcement last week, but one thing struck me as very peculiar. Here are the first three paragraphs of the release: “During the past few weeks there has been speculation I might run for, or be appointed

Politics & Policy|
August 10, 2009

Barton may seek Hutchison seat

I missed this story from the Startlegram on Saturday. The first few paragraphs: No one seems to be mentioning U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, as a candidate to replace outgoing Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. Turns out that Barton — who came in third in the 1993 special

Politics & Policy|
July 13, 2009

Why is Bill White Running for Senate?

Aside from the obvious—he wants to go to Washington—I can’t think of a good reason to run for Senate instead of governor. As things now stand, Hutchison will probably resign her seat in the fall. I believe that Perry will appoint either David Dewhurst or Greg Abbott. Michael Williams would

Politics & Policy|
June 10, 2009

Maine may go unicameral

The Maine legislature is considering a measure that would merge the House and Senate into a single body. The House currently contains 151 members, the Senate 35. The proposal would convert the legislature into a single house of 151 members. The idea was proposed as a way to save money.

Politics & Policy|
January 17, 2009

The future of the 2/3 rule

Ever since Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst wired around the 2/3 rule to pass congressional redistricting in 2003, I have believed that the rule cannot survive in the partisan era. It may still have some life in issues that don’t have partisan overtones, but the maneuvering on the Voter I.D. bill indicates

Politics & Policy|
December 13, 2008

More on the Hutchison Poll

No one should be surprised that Hutchison has a substantial lead over Perry. She has always polled better than he has. What is surprising—according to the Hutchison camp—is that his support among Republican primary voters is down 10% since his 2006 race. (I will ask the Perry forces for their

Politics & Policy|
November 24, 2008

Shapleigh: “In my view you miss the point.”

I am going to publish below an e-mail and corresponding op-ed that I received from Senator Eliot Shapleigh. It requires no explanation. # # # # This is Shapleigh's letter to me: I’ve read your recent pieces on major issues, including tuition. In my view you miss the point. After

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