Dunn Deal

I have subscribed to Texas Monthly for going on forty years. While the magazine has always had more of an Austin perspective, there was enough honest reporting and humor that one could still enjoy reading. But your “Billionaire Bully” article about Tim Dunn [“The Billionaire Who Runs Texas,” March 2024] was the final straw. Even if you disagreed with Dunn’s faith, politics, and methods, you still could have presented a fair and objective story. But this article reminded me of the way Tucker Carlson would smugly treat his guests—a scorched-earth attack, justified because your author, of course, thinks his position is correct.
Dave Odom, Crockett

I am deeply dismayed by Texas Monthly’s increasingly blatant attacks on religious conservatives. I am not a Dunn supporter, and I probably would not enjoy his company, but the rank  innuendo and denigration of Dunn’s faith and life were nothing other than a hatchet job.
Peter Heckmann, Tyler

Your story on Tim Dunn mentioned that he founded his private Christian school, in Midland, in 1998. That timing is interesting because that’s the same year Rick Perry was elected lieutenant governor. While Perry was running, he came to the Dallas suburb of Coppell to speak to the local Texas A&M club, and someone with his campaign called the little newspaper office, where I worked, and insisted we meet with him. I did. During the entire time Perry spoke to me, the only thing he talked about was his zeal for school vouchers. It was so strange. 

I didn’t hear Dunn’s name until 2015, when I did a story on vouchers for the same newspaper. I interviewed a former Coppell ISD trustee and state representative, who explained how Dunn’s operatives had approached him as soon as  he was elected and asked him to sign documents promising how he would vote. He’d refused and was successfully primaried after his first term in the state house. I was surprised to read the same account in your story.   

As a West Texas native and lifelong resident of the state, I don’t know whether to feel surprised at what is happening here or plain stupid for not realizing how money really does control everything. I hope more Texans finally start to understand the motives—including Christian nationalism—of the people pulling the strings of our elected officials.  
Jane Moore, via email


It was a nice surprise for this “Coog” alumna to open her magazine to see “Under Kelvin Sampson the Glory Days of Phi Slama Jama Are Back” [March 2024]. This current team is not the second coming of Phi Slama Jama, though. It is a beast of its own genre. But if the PSJ flag brings folks into the Houston fold, then, okay. 
Wanda Mullen, Houston  

Editors’ note: A story in the April 2024 issue, “Rise of the ‘Ortho Bros,’ ” misspelled the last name of Reverend Ignatius Lozano.  

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of Texas MonthlySubscribe today.