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

State Fights Release of Race Records

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.

The Texas Department of Insurance is fighting the Tribune’s request for records that could shed light on why the agency has failed to collect racial data on injured workers, despite a 1993 law that requires it. 

A Day in the Life of Sam Houston

Sam Houston, the Democratic nominee for Texas attorney general, in Houston on Oct. 7, 2014. Despite his GOP opponent's ethical troubles, Houston faces long odds and is struggling to draw attention.
Sam Houston, the Democratic nominee for Texas attorney general, in Houston on Oct. 7, 2014. Despite his GOP opponent's ethical troubles, Houston faces long odds and is struggling to draw attention.

With little money and swimming against the tide in conservative Texas, Democrat Sam Houston has little choice but to campaign for attorney general "the old fashioned way" — on the cheap, and largely from the front seat of his Toyota Prius. 

 

Injury Data by Race Goes Uncollected in Texas

Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.
Glenn Johnson, 55, was injured in a smelting accident near Amarillo in 1997 in which a furnace filled with molten metal exploded, crushed him and left major burns over 90 percent of his body. His left arm was amputated and all but two the muscles in his right forearm were removed.

The Texas Division of Workers' Compensation is not maintaining race data on all valid worker injury claims, despite a law requiring it. Advocates say without the data it's impossible to tell if injured minorities face discrimination at work. 

In Debate, Abbott Gets Aggressive, Davis Stays That Way

The second and final gubernatorial debate between Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was held in Dallas on Tuesday.
The second and final gubernatorial debate between Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, was held in Dallas on Tuesday.

Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has mostly avoided direct confrontation with his opponent in the race for Texas governor, took a hard swing at Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis over her ethics as a lawmaker in a televised debate Tuesday night. And she let him have it right back.

In Stick's DWI Case, Perry Critics See Double Standard

Jack Stick, a lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. He has fought a drunken-driving charge that has gone relatively unnoticed.
Jack Stick, a lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. He has fought a drunken-driving charge that has gone relatively unnoticed.

The DWI case of Republican Jack Stick, the top lawyer for the state’s health care agency, is scheduled for a pretrial hearing next week after two years of delay. But it has received little attention from politicians or the media.