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

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.

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.