Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Beyond Election Day

Yes, yes, the governor’s race: It’s tended to suck all the air out of the room this election cycle, hasn’t it? But there’s an undercard as well, and even if it’s received scant attention by comparison, don’t think it doesn’t matter. To the contrary, the outcome of races other than the one at the top of the ballot has serious implications for a great many matters of politics and policy that will affect and should interest every single Texan in the near term.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Stiles on the other important Perry in Texas politics, E. Smith interviews Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, Aguilar on the illegal cash moving between the U.S. and Mexico, yours truly on the horse race and other results from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, Philpott on this year's efforts to turn out Hispanic votes, M. Smith's talks on camera with Judge Sharon Keller about her ongoing tangle with the death penalty, Grissom on a sex offender who's angry about his return to ankle bracelet monitoring, Hu on the Texans in line for hot committee assignments if the Republicans win a congressional majority, Galbraith on a courthouse restoration program that's on the budget chopping block and Hamilton's interview with the co-founder of one of the nation's most successful charter school programs: The best of our best from Oct. 25 to 29, 2010.

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A Conversation With Tom Leppert

For the 14th event in our TribLive series, I interviewed the mayor of Dallas on the challenges of leading the state's third-largest city, why he endorsed Rick Perry despite being a nonpartisan elected official, what he thinks of federal health care reform and whether he'll run for the Senate in 2012. Full Story 
Sandi Halley

The People's Courthouses

Since 1999, dozens of county courthouses — some dating to the 19th century — have been spruced up with the help of state funding, and workers have uncovered old artwork or other historic features. But advocates fear that the renovation program will be yet another casualty of the coming biennial budget shortfall.

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Randal Ford

The Most Important Perry

Over the last decade, two Republicans with the last name Perry have dominated the Texas political landscape. One is Rick, the state’s longest-serving governor. The other is Bob (no relation), the state’s largest individual political donor during that time — with no close second. Since 2000, the wealthy Houston home builder has contributed about $28 million to more than 400 candidates and political action committees in Texas, according to an analysis of campaign-finance data by The Texas Tribune. During that time, he's also contributed at least $38 million more to candidates and groups outside of Texas.

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The History of the Shuttle Program, Part Five

As the nation's shuttle program moves toward its scheduled end next year, observers are asking: What's next for manned space exploration? Ben Philpott reports on how federal funding changes for NASA will determine the answer. Full Story 
Office of the Governor Rick Perry

TribBlog: The Paredes Plan

Higher Education Commissioner Raymund Paredes wants to change the way public universities and colleges are funded in Texas. Today, at a meeting of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, he will lay out his latest plan to do just that.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Blood and Money

Each year, billions of dollars are smuggled into Mexico through Texas ports by drug cartels for the purpose of bribing government officials, hiring assassins and purchasing arms. For now, at least, there's not much that the U.S. or Mexican governments can do about it.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Sign Language

With just a few days left in the 2010 campaign, political signs are littering streets across Texas. But are they saying something other than "vote for me"? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune asked Brent Ladd of GSD&M's Idea City to demystify color and font choice and the decision to feature a candidate's picture. Full Story