Wendy Davis

Wendy Davis and Open Carry

Feb 7, 2014 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Was Wendy Davis smart to embrace open carry? I think not. In the end, a lot more of her core constituency will be disappointed than will be elated. And I don’t see that she has much to gain. Greg Abbott long ago wrapped up the support of the…

Primary Lessons

Jan 20, 2014 By Paul Burka

If 2014 is the year everything is supposed to change in Texas politics, why do the campaigns feel so irrelevant?

The Most Important Finding in the UT/Texas Tribune Poll

Nov 5, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Democrats are understandably delirious over the finding in the UT/Texas Tribune Poll that Wendy Davis trails Greg Abbott by single digits. But that is not the most significant finding in the poll. The most significant finding is that “the fundamentals of Texas politics have not changed,” says pollster…

Here’s What’s Going On With The Abortion Law Ruling Right Now

Oct 29, 2013 By Dan Solomon

HB2, the law that placed severe restrictions on abortion access in Texas, went to court this month—and one important provision was found unconstitutional yesterday. While national outlets reported that the whole bill had been overturned, this isn't true, and the office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an emergency motion to stay the injunction at two o'clock in the morning.

The Challenges Ahead for Wendy Davis

Oct 28, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

What are the main challenges for the Wendy Davis campaign? Aside from the basic math of a statewide election, that is? Well, according to one trusted Democratic operative, the biggest is “to get everyone to swim in the same direction.” For instance, should Battleground Texas give up its identity and…

What It Takes

Oct 2, 2013 By Robert Draper

After months of anticipation, the most interesting Texas gubernatorial contest in decades will (probably) start Thursday. Does Wendy Davis have a chance?

Jerry’s Daughter

Oct 1, 2013 By Erica Grieder and Susannah Jacob

Among the many Texans transfixed by Wendy Davis's June 25th filibuster was her father, Jerry Russell. In July, he shared some memories about Davis's childhood, her challenges, and what he was thinking on the day that shook up Texas's political scene.

After Wendy, What?

Aug 19, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

It's looking increasingly likely that Wendy Davis will run for governor in 2014. But still, the paucity of credible candidates for other statewide offices is a real problem for Democrats.

Capitol Gains

Jul 15, 2013 By Jake Silverstein

Politics can usually be described along the same lines as that old cliché about the weather: if you don’t like it, just wait five minutes and it’ll change. The will of the electorate is fickle, as constant in its attachment to any particular politician as to any particular variety of breakfast…

The Wet Blanket

Jul 3, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

Following the filibuster by Wendy Davis, I wrote a cautionary post on Burkablog in which I pointed out that the euphoria that flourished in the wake of her memorable performance was not a game-changer; that Democrats would be wise to keep their enthusiasm in check, lest they raise…

Special Delivery

Jul 1, 2013 By Sonia Smith

On the first day of the second special session, activists on both sides of the abortion debate arrived at the Capitol to make their voices heard.

Where Does Wendy Davis Go From Here?

Jul 1, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

As Act II of the Wendy Davis show returns to the Capitol, the Democratic state senator has become an instant national star thanks to her filibuster against the Republicans' abortion legislation last week. What happens next?

What the Filibuster Means

Jun 26, 2013 By brian sweany and Paul Burka

The obvious question about whether the Democrats have a candidate in Davis who has the potential to break the party's long losing streak in statewide races is hard to answer.

Love + Photo ID = Marriage?

May 14, 2013 By Laura Wright

Senator Donna Campbell puts a new twist on the debate over photo ID: You can't say "I do" until you show the proper form of identification.

Election Night: Ten Takeaways

Jan 21, 2013 By Jason Cohen

Cruz cruises, Wendy Davis holds on, Pete Gallego scores an upset, Karl Rove gets cranky, and six other election highlights from around the state and country. 

Davis tweets: victory in SD 10

Feb 15, 2012 By Paul Burka

“Senate District 10 partners victorious in preserving&strengthening ’08 district. Lege damage repaired. Thanks to all who supported&believed.” [tweeted @ 1:33 p.m.] * * * * Just pointing out the obvious: The saving of Davis’s seat could take on added significance if senators choose the successor to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst.

The Best & Worst Legislators explained

Jun 16, 2011 By Paul Burka

The 20th edition of the “Best & Worst Legislators” story is complete. Yesterday we posted, on Twitter and on this blog, the names of the ten Best, the ten Worst, the Bull of the Brazos, and the Rookie of the Year. Today the write-ups for all of these 22 members are available online. The full story, including honorable and dishonorable mentions, furniture, and the very special features that mark the 20th edition of the story will be available in the magazine, which will begin reaching subscribers this weekend, and on our website next week. I have been involved in nineteen of the twenty previous articles, and I cannot recall a more difficult year when it came to selecting the members on both lists. This was a session without heroes. All the usual jokes about naming 5 Bests and 15 Worsts were on point, for a change. The budget dominated everything, with the result that there were few major bills. I count three: Truitt’s effort to regulate payday loans; Ritter’s attempt to get funding for the state water plan (one of several occasions on which Perry could have exercised leadership for the state’s future but did not); and Keffer’s bill regulating hydraulic fracturing in shale formations. The rest was noise. Particularly cacophonous was the governor’s “emergency” agenda, which consisted of nothing but red meat for Republicans. Republicans got to vote on abortion, immigration, voter fraud, tort reform, and, shades of the fifties, state’s rights. Democrats got to vote no a lot. Even the major Sunset bills didn’t seem to generate any interest. You could look out across the House floor during any debate and see few members engaged. The House Republican caucus was a curious organism. Its members preferred to vote as a block, as if they lived in fear that their age-old enemies, the Democrats, might perhaps be resuscitated to offer a scintilla of opposition. The group-think voting was reminiscent of the refrain sung by the “Monarch of the Sea” in Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore: “I grew so rich that I was sent/by a pocket borough into Parliament/I always voted at my party’s call/and never thought of thinking for myself at all.” The anemic Democratic caucus, meanwhile, mustered up occasional resistance, mostly with parliamentary maneuvers, but the D’s were so outnumbered, and so demoralized by their election rout, that they never seemed to have a leader or a plan. Not that it would have made any difference.

R.G.’s Take: Did the Davis filibuster do more harm than good?

Jun 2, 2011 By R.G. Ratcliffe

[Editors note: an earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of School Boards were among the groups that met with Senator Royce West last weekend to discuss the school finance plan. Neither TASA nor TASB were present at a meeting with West. However, sources close to West confirm that the TASB did convey to him that it was ambivalent about the possible benefit of a special session. The post has been corrected.] The test pilots of the 1950s had a saying for when one of their own messed up and lost an aircraft. The pilot, they said, had “screwed the pooch.” Senator Wendy Davis, her Democratic colleagues, and their consultants have—in the lingo of the test pilots—screwed the pooch. Davis’ session-ending filibuster on the public school funding formulas was hailed earlier this week as a noble stand for education and a kick in the shins of the possible presidential aspirations of Governor Rick Perry. But after talking with many sources this week who have intimate knowledge of the events leading up to the filibuster, I have a different view of it. Now it looks far more like a pyrrhic victory that increases the possibility that bills will pass that will harm teachers and the Texas Democratic Party for the decade to come.

Could It Get Worse?

May 30, 2011 By Nate Blakeslee

After last night’s dramatic play by Senator Davis, the calculation this morning seems to be: Will the Dems fare better or worse in a special? There is still time to undo the maneuver, if six Democrats join the Rs in a 4/5 vote to suspend the rules today. Perry’s spokesperson…

Perry threatens to veto Senate redistricting bill

May 30, 2011 By Paul Burka

I heard about the threat from a Democratic senator. The veto would be retribution for the Wendy Davis’s filibuster that killed the school finance bill and forced a special session, which Perry did not want. If the Legislature fails to pass a redistricting bill during the regular session, the task…

Ultrasound bill wins Senate approval

Apr 30, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Doctors would be required to offer ultrasounds to women seeking abortions, and women would have the choice to view or not view the tests, under a compromise accepted today by Sen. Dan Patrick and adopted by the Texas Senate. “It is really inform and consent. It is women’s health. It…

Another confirmation in question

Apr 27, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Bryan W. Shaw's confirmation as a member of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has run into trouble in the Texas Senate. At a press conference this morning, Sens. Eliot Shapleigh, Wendy Davis and Rodney Ellis called for a "top to bottom" review of the agency -- in the manner of the DeLoitte Touche analysis of management at the TexasDepartment of Transportation. Citing examples of ex parte communications, the revolving door between the commission and industry, failure to enforce federal laws and a pattern of decisions in which the commission overrules its own scientists, the three lawmakers claimed unethical -- and sometimes illegal -- activities at the TCEQ were undermining the agency's core mission. Shaw has undergone extensive questioning by the Senate Nominations Committee, but Shapleigh said Shaw has yet to convince lawmakers that he is committed to ending practices like ex parte communications between commission members and industry representatives.  Unless Shaw takes some dramatic steps for a wholesale agency management review, "you'll see many of us move to block his nomination," Shapleigh said.

Tone-deaf, defined by Fraser

Mar 10, 2009 By Patricia Kilday Hart

Freshman Senator Wendy Davis was questioning Fraser when he asked her to speak up: “I have trouble hearing women’s voices,” he said. Really?  Rodney Ellis certainly couldn’t let that one go. He interrupts and asks Duncan:  “I thought I heard my wife’s voice…Is she calling me?” Davis tries to get…

Senate committees: the losers

Jan 31, 2009 By Paul Burka

In making his committee appointments, Dewhurst didn’t do any favors for the two new members, Davis and Huffman. * Davis is on Education, International Relations & Trade (note to lite gov–Fort Worth is near the border, all right, but it’s the Oklahoma border, not the Mexican border), Veteran’s Affairs &…

D’s say Davis is leading Brimer

Oct 28, 2008 By Paul Burka

This is a report from a Democratic operative who is involved in the race. “If you add up the early voters with previous Democratic primary history, and ad up the early voters with previous Republican primary history, and then give Republicans 70% of the voters with unknown primary histories, [Wendy]…