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

Dirty Words

Texas Weekly

Some things in government, as at the pharmacy, are contraindicated. For instance, you can say INCOME or PAYROLL or GROSS RECEIPTS, but you can't use any of those terms in close proximity to the word TAX. Just look at what happened to John Sharp, head of the governor's tax reform panel, who had to back out of too close an encounter between TAX and GROSS RECEIPTS in his comments after a speech to a trade group.

High Overhead

Texas Weekly

Sherry Boyles, a former statewide candidate and co-founder of a Democratic PAC that supports female candidates, left that group earlier this month to pursue other opportunities. She's leaving an organization that spent 81 percent of the money it raised in 2005, even though that was a political off year with only one election.

Switch Now, Fight Later

Texas Weekly

Hardly anyone who's not employed by Carole Keeton Strayhorn thinks she would win a Republican primary in nine weeks against Gov. Rick Perry. It's more his audience than hers. He can match her dollar for dollar and then some, and she's based her campaign all along on the idea that she needs swing voters in addition to moderate Republicans to wrest the Mansion away from the current occupant.

Will She or Won't She?

Texas Weekly

Saying that you're a Republican, and that you're a candidate for governor, or even that you're a Republican candidate for governor, is not the same as saying you'll seek the GOP's nomination for that office in 2006. And that's why the state's scribbling scrum of political reporters won't close the door on speculation that Carole Keeton Strayhorn will run as an independent next year.

Running Shoes

Texas Weekly

Former House Speaker Pete Laney, D-Hale Center, surprised the political villagers by announcing he won't run again, but most of the pre-election news so far has come from people who are running for office after all.

The Middle-Finger Primary

Texas Weekly

Kinky Friedman has to have almost 50,000 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent candidate for governor next year. His campaign folks are aiming higher, hoping to get two or four times that many — 100,000 to 200,000 signatures — to show outsiders how serious they are.

Unconstitutional, Again

Texas Weekly

Texas lawmakers have trapped local school districts between the costs of rising state education standards and a constitutional cap on property tax rates, removing local discretion over those taxes, according to the Texas Supreme Court.

March Lions, November Lambs

Texas Weekly

What once looked like a frolic for a political junkie in Texas — a year with contested statewide races all up and down the ballot with stars running for governor and U.S. Senate and on and on — now looks more like a quiet night at home.  

A Political Upside-Down Cake

Texas Weekly

Remember in the comics how — whenever they ran out of ideas — they'd throw Superman or some other hero into an alternate parallel universe? That memory came instantly to mind when we saw the results of two polls done for the Texas Credit Union League. They hired a Republican pollster to talk to primary voters of the red persuasion and a Democratic pollster to talk to the blues. They found two distinctly different parallel worlds. 

Just Look at the Size of that Thing

Texas Weekly

The committee that will poke and prod the state's tax system, searching for something more lucrative and less painless, has swollen to nearly two dozen Texans, and we've been able to snag most of the names (it's hard to keep a secret when that many people get involved). Gov. Rick Perry is hoping to finish the list and make it public within the next few days, and the panel could get in a couple of meetings before the holidays shut government down.  

Low Expectations

Texas Weekly

Remember potential energy? That was the bit in high school science class where you found out about the stored power of a bowling ball at the top of a staircase. The political equivalents of that teetering bowling ball are piling up. Lots of stuff could come bouncing down the stairs in the next few days and weeks.

Just Follow the Recipe

Texas Weekly

Somebody around here should point out the remarkable similarities between Tom DeLay's defense, so far, and Kay Bailey Hutchison's defense against the same prosecutors in 1993 and 1994. Hutchison won acquittal after a searing public investigation and indictments, dropped indictments and re-indictments that threatened her political career. When the judge in that case, John Onion Jr., refused to pre-approve evidence seized by prosecutors from Hutchison's state treasury offices, prosecutors refused to present their case. With nothing from the prosecution to consider, the court acquitted Hutchison. And here's the political moral: She's been invincible in state politics since then.

Paying Tribute

Texas Weekly

Political advisors to Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, pulled the plug on an unusual fundraiser for "Speaker Tom Craddick's Political Action Committee" after inquiries about the event. Pitts, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, was traveling outside the U.S. and unavailable for comment. But before he left, he sent a letter to House colleagues from the Dallas delegation asking them to help with a funder on December 1: "I believe, together, we can plan an event that will honor Tom Craddick for his outstanding work during the 79th Legislative Session."