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Is every new job a good job?

Jun 19, 2012 By Paul Burka

Not necessarily. Brian Chasnoff, in a story published in the San Antonio Express-News, writes about the mixed blessing that is the so-called Texas “Economic Miracle.” The event that has touched off angst in the Alamo City is the decision by Maruchan Inc. of Japan to locate a ramen…

What’s Next For Paul Qui? Only Qui Knows

Jun 19, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Ever since winning the Top Chef Texas crown, Paul Qui has been riding a wave of celebration, travel, and fame. For the past few months, the former Uchiko chef has been traveling the world to places like New York, Paris, London, and Tokyo, amongst numerous other destinations, while hungry patrons…

Bridget Dunlap on Container Bar and Rainey Street

Jun 18, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Photo taken by Bill Baker. <p><img alt="" class="media-image attr__typeof__foaf:Image img__fid__33533 img__view_mode__media_original attr__field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]__ attr__field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]__" height="384" src="http://www.texasmonthly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/21-jump-street.jpg" title="" typeof="foaf:Image" width="680" /></p> <p>When staying ahead of crime, police need to be creative: Sometimes that creativity apparently comes from a thirty-year-old TV series<span style="line-height: 18.9090900421143px;">—<em>21 Jump Street</em>—</span>that’s been…

Dewhurst’s new consultant

Jun 18, 2012 By Paul Burka

It’s Rick Perry. Well, not exactly. What has happened is that Team Perry has taken over the Dewhurst campaign. Dave Carney is in charge. Mark Miner has joined the communications team. Rob Johnson is heading up the Super PAC. Everyone understands what that means. It means that the Perry playbook…

Takeaways From the GOP Convention

Jun 13, 2012 By Paul Burka

In reading the last couple of days of convention coverage, I found two key takeaways that have been overlooked: (1) Rick Perry is still very strong with the base of his party. He still connects with the rank and file when he makes a rousing speech, as he did at the…

Want to “Hangout” with Tre Wilcox?

Jun 11, 2012 By Layne Lynch

In a previous post, we highlighted an opportunity to virtually hangout with Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko in Austin. Today, Google+ and Zagat join forces again to present yet another virtual culinary gathering. But this time, the…

Perry plugs Dewhurst for Senate, boos ring out

Jun 7, 2012 By Paul Burka

Here is a tweet from today’s Republican convention: When Perry mentioned Dewhurst at #rptcon, the whole convention booed. We want proven conservative Ted Cruz fighting for us! Well, I guess that settles the issue of whether an endorsement by Rick Perry is good or bad. I said “good”…

Dewhurst camp buoyed by jury verdict

Jun 7, 2012 By Paul Burka

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the original $26 million jury verdict in favor of Jordan Fishman, an American businessman who contended that his intellectual property had been stolen by a Chinese company represented by Ted Cruz. In a statement issued earlier today, the Dewhurst…

Texas’s share of the national economy in 2011: 8.7%

Jun 6, 2012 By Paul Burka

The Economix blog in the New York Times carried the news that the Texas economy grew 3.3% last year, trailing only North Dakota and West Virginia, two states that rely heavily on energy fuel, and Oregon, which posted a 4.7% gain in manufacturing. From the article: The…

The office that Bullock made

Jun 6, 2012 By Paul Burka

There has been a lot of criticism, much of it justified, directed at Comptroller Susan Combs, and some observers would say that it is too much for her to move up to higher office. What her critics may not realize, however, is that the comptroller’s office has become something of…

Tax revenue up, but what about spending?

Jun 6, 2012 By Paul Burka

There is good news on all fronts about state revenue. The Statesman reported today that the franchise tax, the weakling among state revenue producers, is performing above expectations. Overall, tax collections have been robust, up 12.56%, year to date, over 2011 levels. Sales taxes are up 11.71%. Oil…

Bryan Hughes, MQS, on the Hughes speakership

Jun 5, 2012 By Paul Burka

UPDATE: Earlier this afternoon, Representative Hughes called me to say that his statements during the conference call last night “bore no resemblance” to the summary I posted below from another blog. After I wrote about Mr. Hughes, Empower Texans posted the audio of the conversation, which I subsequently listened to.

Biggest headlines from the primary

Jun 4, 2012 By Paul Burka

Boiling down the primary results to the ten most important events: 1. Three Straus chairs lose; two others face runoffs 2. It’s Dewhurst vs. Cruz in U.S. Senate runoff 3. TLR’s candidate finishes third in SD-25 brouhaha 4. Wayne Christian defeated for reelection 5. Jana Duty defeats John Bradley for…

Representative Ken Legler, R.I.P.

Jun 2, 2012 By Paul Burka

It is always sad when someone passes before his time. Ken Legler was a member to be reckoned with in the Legislature. It was Legler who sounded the alarm to his colleagues that redistricting was taking a turn that could cost Republicans seats.  His involvement in the redistricting battle spurred…

A fellow blogger’s perspective on MQS

Jun 1, 2012 By Paul Burka

Robert Miller published this on his blog yesterday. I agree with everything he says. Michael Quinn Sullivan is trumpeting the fact that three Republican Texas House Committee Chairs were defeated in Tuesday’s primary, and two others are in runoffs.  He states that primary “race after race was…

Dewhurst’s fatal mistake

Jun 1, 2012 By Paul Burka

Dewhurst has no business being behind the eight-ball in this race. His campaign should have wiped the floor with Ted Cruz. In late January, Cruz’s name ID was 40%. All Dewhurst had to do was stay with his message–that is, touting his record as a conservative light guv and basically…

When in doubt, produce an internal poll

May 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

I can’t believe the Dewhurst campaign resorted to the old internal poll gimmick. Accrording to the Statesman, Mike Baselice has written a memo indicating why Dewhurst will defeat Ted Cruz in the runoff for U.S. senator: Recent internal campaign polling found that Dewhurst has a 65 percent favorable…

Hell’s Kitchen Hosts Casting Call in San Antonio on June 2

May 30, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Hey Texas chefs, do you like being told your cuisine is inedible? Do you like being chastised in your own kitchen every five seconds? Do you like being driven to the edge of tears? Well gas up and head to San Antonio this weekend: Hell’s Kitchen is hosting an open casting…

Dewhurst falls short of the magic number

May 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

If there was one refrain I heard from the Dewhurst camp, it was that they wanted to win without a runoff. But they didn’t make it. From the start of the evening, it was pretty clear that Dewhurst was going to fall short. The closest he got was 47.3%. Hours…

Straus posts solid win but chairs struggle

May 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

Straus’s margin of victory was of landslide proportions. Despite having more than $100,000 spent against him, and a blizzard of negative mailers, he cruised to a decisive victory over Matt Beebe. But the big story of the election is the carnage that befell Straus’s chairs. Vicki Truitt, Tuffy Hamilton, and…

Ames Jones misses runoff

May 30, 2012 By Paul Burka

Now what? Texans for Lawsuit Reform invested a ton of money in Elizabeth Ames Jones, their handpicked candidate to defeat state senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio. But Ames Jones failed to make the runoff, leaving physician Donna Campbell to oppose Wentworth. Jones is well known in San Antonio, in…

P. Terry’s Unveils Two New Menu Items

May 30, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Calling all bacon-burger lovers: P. Terry’s is about to make your dreams come true. The megapopular Austin burger joint is introducing applewood-smoked bacon on its menu at its new location in The Village at Westlake shopping center. This new location…

Quorum Report: Bryan Hughes will run for speaker

May 29, 2012 By Paul Burka

Couldn’t Hughes wait until the election was over before the speaker’s race began? The July 31 runoffs now loom large, as they will be battles between the Straus- and anti-Straus factions of the Republican party in the House. The party is undergoing a purification, driven by Perry’s endorsements and alliances,…

Endangered species list

May 29, 2012 By Paul Burka

These are the House incumbents whom I believe are in trouble as election day approaches: Sid Miller — He blew a huge lead and now appears to be headed for a runoff. Incumbents seldom fare well in runoffs. Jim Landtroop — Same story, second verse. An incumbent in a runoff.

Expect close races

May 28, 2012 By Paul Burka

Close races are the norm in redistricting years because candidates must communicate with large numbers of people they have never represented before. They don’t know their constituents and vice versa. The most effective campaign tool is direct mail, and candidates may not know what their opponents are saying about them…

Public Policy Polling on the Senate race

May 25, 2012 By Paul Burka

The Tribune has the numbers: Dewhurst 46% Cruz 29% Leppert 15% James 3% I was not a believer in the recent UT/Tribune poll that showed Dewhurst’s lead down to single digits (40% to 31%). I don’t believe that the race has ever been this close. The PPP numbers seem much…

Where is Perry on Senate leadership issue? Where is Cruz?

May 24, 2012 By Paul Burka

There doesn’t seem to be much love lost between the governor and the state’s soon-to-be senior U.S. Senator John Cornyn. When Perry was contemplating a race for president in 2011, Cornyn’s comment was a lukewarm, “The field is already pretty full. There have been a lot of people working at…

Turnout could reach 1.4-1.5 million

May 24, 2012 By Paul Burka

This number comes from pollster Mike Baselice, based on high turnouts in Harris County. I’m surprised, because I thought there would be a lot of apathy in the absence of a presidential race. This level of participation would be good for David Dewhurst, because it would indicate that a lot…

East Side King & Jarro Cafe

May 24, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Yesterday, we introduced you to John T. Edge’s newest book, The Truck Food Cookbook. The culinary author traveled across the country to dine at some of the nation’s most beloved mobile food establishments, including East Side King of Austin and Jarro Cafe in Houston, to…

Sweet Potato Bisque from Hillside Farmacy

May 24, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Few chefs command the kitchen as confidently and calmly as Sonya Coté. As the executive chef of East Side Show Room and Hillside Farmacy in Austin, she has enlivened the local food scene and transformed it into more than…

Eat St. Filming in Houston

May 23, 2012 By Layne Lynch

Listen up Houston foodies: Eat St. will be filming at a number of mobile food trailers, trucks, and carts in the city from May 24-29. Some of the trucks and trailers involved include The Modular,…

UT regents post notice for meeting tomorrow

May 23, 2012 By Paul Burka

Patricia Kilday Hart reported the development in the Houston Chronicle blog about two hours ago. She writes: Remember those rumors that the University of Texas Board of Regents were considering firing UT-Austin President Bill Powers for “insubordination” after he mildly complained that they rejected a proposed tuition…

The Truck Food Cookbook

May 23, 2012 By Layne Lynch

For the past few years, food trailers, trucks, and carts have rivaled the traditional brick-and-mortar building as primary sources of delicious, affordable modern cuisine. In fact, take a look around the state of Texas and you’ll see cities like Houston, Austin, and even Dallas jumping on the mobile food wagon…

Perry goes on TV to tout Dewhurst

May 22, 2012 By Paul Burka

Here’s what he has to say: Texas Republicans have an important election on May the 29th.  We have a lot to be proud of.  That’s why I’m proud to endorse David Dewhurst,” Perry says in the 30-second TV spot. “David Dewhurst repeatedly cut spending. David strongly opposes a…

Politicalwire.com: Palin robocalled wrong state

May 21, 2012 By Paul Burka

From the politicalwire Web site: The Topeka Capital Journal reports that robocalls made by Sarah Palin to influence the outcome of the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Texas were actually going to voters in Kansas. Said Palin: “Hello, Texas! I’m Sarah Palin.”…

White fires back at Hamilton

May 21, 2012 By Paul Burka

Allegations against Hamilton, posted on  the Web site “Texas Conservative Republican News” include: * Tax liens of $601.92 and $2,657.91 against Hamilton * A $2000 civil penalty levied against Hamilton for ethics violations * Sexual harassment allegations against Hamilton The latter was an incident that took place on the floor…

Robert Gates: UT “blessed” to have Powers as leader

May 21, 2012 By Paul Burka

During his commencement address to UT graduates and their families on Saturday, Gates praised Bill Powers, saying, “You are blessed to have him as your leader. The best I can wish for all Longhorns is that people like Bill Powers and [former president] Larry Faulkner continue to lead…

Counties with high % turnouts

May 20, 2012 By Paul Burka

This is a correction of an earlier post concerning the counties with the highest percentage of registered voters who have cast ballots. The corrected numbers: Montgomery 3.01% Galveston 2.68% Williamson 2.33% Fort Bend 2.23% I am somewhat surprised by the result. I don’t think Montgomery has a lot of hot…

Implications of the James White revelations

May 19, 2012 By Paul Burka

The first obvious point to make is that somebody failed to vet White. The question that should be asked of every candidate for office is, “Have you ever done something that could cause you a problem if it becomes public?” In the White campaign, who did the vetting? Some consultant’s…

Wall Street Journal reports on UT tuition battle

May 19, 2012 By Paul Burka

Here is the lead from the Journal’s story: The national debate over the cost of a college degree is roiling the University of Texas’s flagship campus, where the school’s president has been at odds with board members and with Gov. Rick Perry over the wisdom of raising tuition. The…

Hamilton campaign says students, teachers, cited improprieties by White

May 18, 2012 By Paul Burka

[Readers can find the story in the Daily Buzz section of the Quorum Report.] From the QR story: HE 19 candidate James White this evening described as “a desperate lie” the disclosure by the Tuffy Hamilton campaign of student and parental complaints against White of inappropriate and sexual references made…

Why mail-in ballots are so high in Harris County early voting

May 18, 2012 By Paul Burka

Mail-in ballots exceed in-person voting in a couple of counties. For example, in the first day of voting in Harris County, 3,380 votes were cast in person. Mail-in  ballots totaled 10,027. The other big county for mail-in ballots was Tarrant (Fort Worth). On the first day of  voting, 2,147 votes…

The Perry non-endorsement

May 18, 2012 By Paul Burka

I don’t know why the Statesman has made an issue of Governor Perry’s failure to endorse Joe Straus. No one with political savvy should have expected otherwise. The speaker does not need Perry’s endorsement to buttress his conservative bona fides; his record of budget cuts and conservative legislation in the…

Tribune interview: Cigarroa says Powers’ job not in jeopardy

May 17, 2012 By Paul Burka

The Texas Tribune today posted a story saying that in an exclusive interview, University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa contradicted published reports questioning the job security of UT-Austin President Bill Powers. As the author of those published reports, I wish to reiterate to readers that TEXAS MONTHLY has a…

GOP pollster warns R’s on gay marriage issue

May 13, 2012 By Paul Burka

From politicalwire.com: Former Bush pollster Jan van Lohuizen warns Republicans in a new memo they are increasingly on the wrong side of the gay marriage issue: “The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups. While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels…