Jay Root Reporter

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.

Recent Contributions

Perry Confronts New Challenges With New Team

Governor Rick Perry offers words of advice to new and veteran House members during a speech on the opening of the 83rd Legislative Session on January 8, 2013
Governor Rick Perry offers words of advice to new and veteran House members during a speech on the opening of the 83rd Legislative Session on January 8, 2013
Texas Weekly

Rick Perry heads into another legislative session, and possibly a 2014 re-election campaign, without many of the trusted aides who helped turn him into a Texas powerhouse. Do they know something we don't know?

Watson Criticizes Combs, Tax Subsidy Programs

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, pauses while leaving the floor after the Senate went into caucus to discuss redistricting on May 17, 2011.
State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, pauses while leaving the floor after the Senate went into caucus to discuss redistricting on May 17, 2011.

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, criticized Republican Comptroller Susan Combs on Wednesday, saying she had a “cavalier” approach to doling out millions of dollars in tax incentives, including the award eventually granted to the promoters of F1 auto racing.

 

Texas Ethics Reform: A Long, Tortured History

A portrait of power in Texas in 1970: House Speaker Gus Mutscher, Governor Preston Smith, former president Lyndon Johnson, and Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, at "Gus Mutscher Day" in Brenham, August 17, 1970.
A portrait of power in Texas in 1970: House Speaker Gus Mutscher, Governor Preston Smith, former president Lyndon Johnson, and Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, at "Gus Mutscher Day" in Brenham, August 17, 1970.

From Gov. James "Pa" Ferguson's impeachment to the Sharpstown scandal, Texas has weathered mighty ethics controversies. Despite reforms, the Legislature still faces criticism over lax disclosure rules and ties with lobbyists.