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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

E. Smith interviews Gov. Rick Perry for the Trib and Newsweek, Philpott dissects the state's budget mess in a weeklong series, Hamilton looks at whether Bill White is or was a trial lawyer, M. Smith finds experts all over the state anxiously watching a court case over who owns the water under our feet, Aguilar reports on the battle between Fort Stockton and Clayton Williams Jr. over water in West Texas, Ramshaw finds a population too disabled to get on by itself but not disabled enough to get state help and Miller spends a day with a young man and his mother coping with that situation, Ramsey peeks in on software that lets the government know whether its e-mail messages are getting read and who's reading what, a highway commissioner reveals just how big a hole Texas has in its road budget, Grissom does the math on the state's border cameras and learns they cost Texans about $153,800 per arrest, and E. Smith interviews Karen Hughes on the difference between corporate and political P.R. — and whether there's such a thing as "Obama Derangement Syndrome." The best of our best from April 19 to April 23, 2010.

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A Newsweek/Texas Tribune interview with Gov. Rick Perry about the Tea Party, his beef with the federal government, health care reform, Mexico, the state budget, redistricting, what he thinks about George W. Bush, and whether he plans to run for the White House himself.

A five-part, five-day look at the state's budget troubles, with stories on how we got into this mess, raising taxes, the pox on income taxes, legalized gambling, and possible budget cuts.

In the early days of the general election campaign for governor, the Perry team has been shouting it from the rooftops at the start of every press release, no matter the issue at hand: “Liberal trial lawyer Bill White …” The Democratic nominee rejects that label, which has morphed into an epithet during years of poisonous tussles over tort reform. So is he one or isn’t he? More importantly, does it matter?

On the surface, it’s about an oat-and-peanut farm and two South Texas men who wanted enough water to operate it. But underneath lies a century-old tug-of-war — between landowners, groundwater conservation districts, municipalities and the Legislature — over who really owns the water beneath the land.

A West Texas town is challenging an oil tycoon and former GOP gubernatorial nominee over the depletion of its municipal water source. Whether David defeats Goliath is up to an 11-member groundwater conservation district.

What's in an IQ score? For autistic or profoundly mentally ill Texans: everything. A growing number of disabled young adults are considered too high-functioning for state care services, but their families say they’re too dangerous to go without them. And what's an autistic and suicidal young man to do when he's too dangerous to live on his own — but his IQ score is too high to qualify for state care services? To find out, we spent a day in San Angelo with Cameron Maedgen and his adoptive mother, Karen Bartholomeo.

Sign up for state agency e-mail alerts from, say, the comptroller or TCEQ and they'll let you know when meetings are being held and when proposed rules are ready for review. But click a link in those e-mails and they have the ability to see who looked at which rule and which web page and who didn't look at all.

It's no secret the Texas Department of Transportation is broke. Texas Transportation Commission Chair Deirdre Delisi tells the Tribune's CEO/Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith just how broke the agency is (and the full interview from which this was taken will run in The Texas Tribune on Monday morning).

Gov. Rick Perry has invested $4 million in the Texas Border Watch Program over two years. Twenty-nine cameras have been installed on the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico border, or one camera for every 41 miles of border. Internet viewers have helped police make a total of 26 arrests — that’s about $153,800 per arrest.

Karen Hughes, George W. Bush's longtime communications director and counselor, about the difference between advising CEOs and pols, what happened to Kay Bailey Hutchison's gubernatorial campaign, the "myth" of Obama Derangement Syndrome, and more.

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