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

Dewhurst, Straus, Perry See Opportunity for Tax Relief

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (left), House Speaker Joe Straus and Gov. Rick Perry met with reporters on Jan. 9, 2013, the second day of the 83rd legislative session.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (left), House Speaker Joe Straus and Gov. Rick Perry met with reporters on Jan. 9, 2013, the second day of the 83rd legislative session.

In a joint appearance Wednesday, Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus seemed to agree that taxes would go down. Meanwhile, none would commit to restoring education cuts from last session.

Tax Incentives Could Prove Divisive For GOP

Texas Weekly

Republican leaders like to say government should just get out of the way and let the private sector do work its unfettered magic. But during the session, they may have a hard time squaring their stated philosophy with their support for tax giveaways to private industry.

Ethics Commission Backs Off Investigative Power Plan

Texas Capitol's dome
Texas Capitol's dome

The Texas Ethics Commission backed off Thursday from a proposal to take some investigative authority away from the Travis County district attorney’s office, but the agency approved two recommendations aimed at enhancing criminal investigations of state elected officials.

Murky Rules for Lawmaker-Lobbyist Ties

State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, state Sen. Kirk Watson, state Rep. Dan Flynn and state Rep. Craig Eiland
State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, state Sen. Kirk Watson, state Rep. Dan Flynn and state Rep. Craig Eiland

Some lawmakers revealed lobbyist ties to investments they made in politically connected banks, and others didn't. It highlights a murky area of the state ethics law — and one some argue needs to change.

F1 Race Over, but Debate on Tax Subsidies Continues

Awards stand of the Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, left to right, Comptroller Susan Combs, Nick Craw of FIA, Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.
Awards stand of the Formula One Grand Prix in Austin, left to right, Comptroller Susan Combs, Nick Craw of FIA, Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

Austin's first Formula One race has been largely deemed a success. But state officials are still discussing whether to give as much as $250 million in tax subsidies to the race promoters.