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

Reform of Emerging Technology Fund Clears House Hurdle

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.

Top elected officials wouldn't decide who gets state commercialization grants under a bill that got an early OK in the House. The bill is aimed at alleviating concerns that friends of Rick Perry have been getting preferential treatment.

 

UIL: Disqualified Student Didn't Make Religious Gesture

The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.
The Texas Tribune Festival 2012 Opening Session: A conversation with Gov. Rick Perry and Evan Smith, Sept. 21, 2012.

UPDATED: The University Interscholastic League has determined that a student's disqualification from a track meet had everything to do with the athlete's disrespectful behavior and nothing to do with his religious beliefs.

 

UT Regent Wallace Hall Updates Lawsuit Disclosures

Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, Jr. takes notes at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Austin.
Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, Jr. takes notes at the University of Texas Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 14, 2013 in Austin.

University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall came under fire for failing to disclose all of the lawsuits in his background before he joined the board. Hall has since updated the filings, which were obtained through an open records request.

Rick Perry Willing to Call Special Session if Needed

In his Jan. 29, 2013, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.
In his Jan. 29, 2013, State of the State speech, Gov. Rick Perry avoided hot-topic issues like abortion, immigration and gun control and focused instead on infrastructure, budget reform and education.

Gov. Rick Perry is warning state legislators that it could be a long, hot summer in Austin if they don’t pass his top priorities: funding water and transportation projects and cutting business taxes. 

House Acting on Recalled Disclosure Bill

Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston, speaks during budget bill SB1 discussion on March 20th, 2013
Sen. Dan Patrick R-Houston, speaks during budget bill SB1 discussion on March 20th, 2013

UPDATED: The Texas House is moving ahead with a bill requiring disclosure of certain political donors despite an effort by the Senate to pull the legislation back. Meanwhile, the bill's author, Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, said senators had been heavily lobbied to change their vote.

Legislator Suspends Aide Who is Facing Charges

John Higgins, chief of staff to state Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, can be seen on the far left of this photo with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Higgins pleaded guilty following a Travis County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit investigation into improprieties involving travel reimbursements.
John Higgins, chief of staff to state Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, can be seen on the far left of this photo with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Higgins pleaded guilty following a Travis County District Attorney Public Integrity Unit investigation into improprieties involving travel reimbursements.

UPDATED: State Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt, R-Lexington, said Friday that he has suspended his chief of staff, John Higgins, who was indicted this week on 12 felony charges stemming from allegedly improper travel reimbursements.