Ross Ramsey Executive Editor

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ross 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 and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he 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 its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

Recent Contributions

Top Texas News for the Week of August 30, 2010

I hit the campaign trail with Rick Perry, E. Smith starts off the fall TribLive series by interviewing Attorney General Greg Abbott, Stiles on the most congested roads in Texas, Ramshaw's interview with former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, Grissom on the perils of talking too much if you're the head of the state's jail standards board, M. Smith on Congressman Chet Edwards' fight for political survival in a Republican year, Philpott on counties worried the state's budget woes will trickle down, Hamilton on whether Texas should be in the movie-vetting business, Aguilar on a Mexican journalist seeking asylum from his country's drug violence, Galbraith on green energy and Texas college football, and excerpts from former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby's new book, How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics: The best of our best from August 30 to September 3, 2010.

An Interview With Former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey

The former University of North Texas economics professor, U.S. House majority leader and hired-gun Washington lobbyist, now the head of the conservative activist group Freedom Works and the co-author of the new book Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto, on what the Tea Party is and isn't, why a GOP majority in Congress isn't enough, where George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush went wrong, what Rick Perry did right and why Barack Obama won't be re-elected in 2012.

On the Campaign Trail With Gov. Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning at a barbecue restaurant in Temple.
Gov. Rick Perry, campaigning at a barbecue restaurant in Temple.

The governor depicted by Democrats as a coward in statewide newspaper ads last week doesn't seem nervous. In fact, as he traveled from Killeen to Temple and on to Texarkana last week accompanied by a reporter from The Texas Tribune, Republican Rick Perry looked comfortable, though he says he's taking his Democratic challenger, Bill White, seriously.

The Watch List

Texas Weekly

School's in. Labor Day is coming soon. And it's time for a scouting report on 21 Texas House races to watch this fall. We based our picks on interviews with politicos and consultants, our own analysis of district voting patterns, campaign coffers, the relative strength of the candidates and issues that could turn each contest.

An Interview With Debra Medina

Debra Medina addressing Ron Paul supporters
Debra Medina addressing Ron Paul supporters

The third-place finisher in this year's GOP gubernatorial primary on whether she'll vote for Rick Perry, how she feels about the mosque near Ground Zero and what her reaction to Glenn Beck should have been.

At Home in the Senate

Texas Weekly

In the wake of a court ruling keeping state Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, on the ballot, lawyers for his Democratic opponent and the state party are deciding whether to appeal to the Texas Supreme Court. But time is short: Under state election law, Friday, August 20, is the last day a candidate who is removed from the ballot can be replaced.

Top Texas News for the Week of August 16 to 20, 2010

Galbraith on grass, federal money and efforts to prevent another dust bowl, Ergenbright on school suspensions and who gets punished; Aguilar's interview with Alan Bersin, whose job is to keep the U.S./Mexico border secure, M. Smith on why it would be harder than you think to ditch the 14th Amendment, Adler and me on whether controversy is politically contagious, Ramshaw on the flap over funding for the state's institutions for the disabled (it's not about the money), my meditation on the state's fiscal woes (including a $1.3 billion deficit in the current budget), Philpott on proposed cuts to the state's food stamp program, Grissom on the push by Hidalgo County officials for a special election that might not be legal; Hamilton on the seven Texas universities that are making a play for Tier One status and Stiles on the mid-year cash-on-hand numbers reported by campaigns and political action committees: The best of our best from August 16 to 23, 2010.

Candidates, PACs Hold $167 Million at Mid-year

The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, and the numbers offer a glimpse at what's competitive and what's not
The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, and the numbers offer a glimpse at what's competitive and what's not

The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, but only 274 of them had more than $100,000 on hand. Our interactive chart tells you who or what they are and how much they've banked.

Documents Reveal Deficit in Texas State Budget

Comptroller Susan Combs' quiet acknowledgment that Texas will show a $1.3 billion deficit at the end of the budget year contrasts with the happy face she's put on state finances leading up to the 2010 elections. The numbers are the worst since 2003, when the Legislature responded with $10 billion in spending cuts, and increased fees, tuition and other revenue sources.

Do Controversial People, Acts and Money Rub Off?

The political mud season is underway
The political mud season is underway

The mud-throwing season is underway, with candidates on both sides working overtime to tie their opponents to controversial people, acts and money, hoping the negative mojo rubs off. Democrats are pushing anchor-baby videos of state Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler. Republicans slam their Democratic foes for taking contributions from ethically suspect U.S. Reps. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif. "Both sides have folks who do what they do," says a rueful Texas Republican who doesn't want his name next to those of his party's outspoken officeholders.

Startup Mode

Texas Weekly

Rick Perry and Bill White are starting to engage on a daily basis. The shape of their election fight is starting to solidify, ads are in the works on both sides and if you count third parties on the Democratic side, already running. Mark Barack Obama's fundraising visit to Texas and the campaign gyrations leading up to it in your diary as the public start of the 2010 general election for governor, get your pizza and wings, and settle in for the show.