Ross Ramsey Executive Editor

Ross Ramsey Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ramsey was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly for 15 years. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the agency’s director of communications. Before that, Ramsey reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as the paper’s Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ramsey got his start in journalism in broadcasting, working for almost seven years covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

Recent Contributions

Something New

Texas Weekly

A week of Senate infighting closed with a unanimous vote on tax cuts, school finance and education that put Gov. Rick Perry's tax reform package close to completion. But there was something more — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst got his ears pinned back by a group of (mostly) Republican senators who weren't willing to follow his lead on the key tax cut and education bill.

A Critical Weekend

Texas Weekly

If the Senate Finance Committee can make it to Monday or Tuesday of next week with four or five of the school finance components intact, there's a good chance Texans will see a new business tax, a cut in school property taxes, teacher pay raises and a bag full of other legislative wonders. But it's gonna be a long weekend.

Spelling R.e.l.i.e.f.

Texas Weekly

So here's a question: Does the huge budget surplus make it harder or easier to pass the governor's proposed tax bill? Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn added $3.9 billion to the $4.3 billion that was already in the surplus — and those numbers don't include about $1 billion that's already in the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Ready? Set...

Texas Weekly

That act following the Easter Bunny by a day is none other than your Texas Legislature, coming to Austin to work on a problem that has left them bewitched, bothered, and bewildered for years: School finance.

It's Not Dead Yet!

Texas Weekly

And for a tax bill that's been on the ground for 48 hours — with few surprises after all the leaks of the four months — that's remarkable. This one's going to sit out for 19 days before legislators convene to officially consider it, plenty of time for opponents to chew on it.

Perry: It'll Hurt More if You Put it Off

Texas Weekly

Now that he's called a special session on school finance for April 17, Gov. Rick Perry has to sell lawmakers on the idea of raising state taxes to lower local property taxes while not putting new money into education. It's a swap, see, and not an increase in taxes.

Selling Freezers to Eskimos

Texas Weekly

While former Comptroller John Sharp and the rest of Gov. Rick Perry's tax reform commission works on proposed revisions to the state's business taxes, they're starting to hear more noise from lawmakers and lobbyists. That's not unusual with a special session approaching, but it's dangerous for tax bills: An unprotected tax bill lasts about as long as free pot at a rock concert and isn't nearly as much fun.

A Dog's Breakfast

Texas Weekly

Maybe it's a failure of imagination, but we don't see an overarching narrative line in the results of this week's primaries. It's like sitting with a palm reader who, after five minutes of scrutiny looks up and says, "Well, this is interesting."

Tall Cotton

Texas Weekly

Back in the middle 1980s, a Dallas savings and loan tycoon who gave a lot to Texas Democrats said it was usually better to be the second- or third-biggest political giver in any given election cycle, since the guy giving the most took the shots in the papers. But sometimes, the guy you think is giving the most money is actually in second place.

A Circus with No Center Ring

Texas Weekly

It's an odd election season, with little of real interest at the top of the ballots and blossoming competition in Republican primaries. State leaders don't seem to know what to do with themselves.

Will This Travel?

Texas Weekly

Austin Republican Ben Bentzin started his latest attempt to win a seat in the statehouse with every advantage: Help from high state officials; a district drawn for a Republican; a special election called by a Republican governor for a date that was presumably to the advantage of his own party; a successful effort at keeping other Republicans out of the race; two Democrats splitting votes on their side and supposedly bettering his chances in a special election; and a huge financial advantage over everyone else in the field.

Headhunters, A Side

Texas Weekly

Never shoot a bear unless you're sure to kill it. If it lives, it might eat you. Dr. James Leininger and a political action committee he's funding (very, very generously) are on the hunt for five of the Republicans who broke ranks to vote against publicly funded vouchers for private schools. If they win, they'll scare the liquids out of legislators who defy them. If they lose, though, the lesson will be that it's safe to oppose them. Plus, there'll be all those bears walking around.