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

Lawmakers in No Rush to Disclose Wining and Dining

Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015

Two bills aimed at disclosure of lobbyist wining and dining are on the verge of being snuffed out in a Senate committee, according to the sponsor of the measures. That's despite Greg Abbott’s vow to “dedicate this session to ethics reform."

Despite Rocky Start, Agriculture Chief Defends Record

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

A collection of unflattering headlines has lawmakers and one of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's predecessors questioning whether the world-champion calf roper was ready to steer a billion-dollar agency. But Miller is brushing off the criticism.

 

Sid Miller Backed, Then Nixed, Ag Agency Remodel

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.

Hand-scraped wood floors. Custom ceiling tile. A shower. Those items may not sound like upgrades a cash-strapped agency would need, and new Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller ultimately didn't think so, either. After initially supporting a big renovation at the agency, Miller decided to nix it, officials say.

Signs of Neglect, Wear and Tear in State Government

This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government.