A Conversation About Texas Monthly's Best and Worst Legislators

  • 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.
    Conversation begins promptly at 8 a.m.
  • The Austin Club
    110 E. Ninth St, Austin, TX 78701 (map)
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Join The Texas Tribune and four editors from Texas Monthly for a conversation about the 2013 list of the best and worst state legislators.

Senior Executive Editor Paul Burka, dean of the Capitol press corps, joined the staff of Texas Monthly in 1973, one year after the magazine’s founding. For nearly 40 years, he has led the magazine’s political coverage and spearheaded its roundup of the best and worst legislators each biennium.

Senior Editor Erica Grieder covered Texas as the southwest correspondent from 2007 to 2012 for The Economist, to which she still contributes. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times,  The Spectator, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and the New Republic. Her first book, Big, Hot, Cheap and Right, was published by PublicAffairs in April.

Associate Editor Sonia Smith, a native of Houston, is a graduate of Georgetown University. Smith has also written for Slate, The Associated Press, the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Kyiv Post, and The Dallas Morning News and was a finalist for the 2008 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. 

Senior Executive Editor Brian D. Sweany was born and raised in Texas and began his career in journalism as an intern at Texas Monthly in 1996. He has also served as an assistant professor in journalism at Ithaca College, and as a senior editor at Dallas' D Magazine. His new book, The Kingdom of the Saddle, a biography of Charles Goodnight, will be published by Penguin in the fall of 2014.


Several times a month, The Texas Tribune hosts a series of conversations featuring prominent elected officials and other newsmakers at the historic Austin Club in downtown Austin. These in-depth discussions are moderated by the Tribune's CEO and editor-in-chief, Evan Smith. Coffee is served before the conversation begins, allowing time for our attendees to mingle. A question-and-answer session afterward offers a chance for the audience to interact with our honored guests.

This series of conversations is generously sponsored by AT&T, BP, Raise Your Hand Texas, Christus Health, the Texas Coalition of Dental Service Organizations, Texas A&M University and 83rd legislative session sponsor My Plates. Special thanks to our promotional sponsor, Deborah Ingersoll of Legislative Solutions. Tribune events are also supported through contributions from our founding investors and members.

AT&T BP Christus Health TCDSO 
Raise Your Hand Texas Texas A&M University My Plates

Disclosure: though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite our events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.