Jay Root — Click for higher resolution staff photos

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.

Recent Contributions

This graphic humorously references a trip that top state liquor regulators took to the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators in 2015 at a cost of more than $7,000 in taxpayer money. The illustration was created by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission during work hours on a state computer with input from top agency officials, records show. Pictured from left to right are TABC Director Sherry Cook, Licensing Director Amy Harrison, Analyst Jesse Valdez and then-TABC technology contractor Jim Harrison.   Illustration by TABC

Liquor regulators acknowledge Rangers haven't cleared them

Texas liquor regulators claimed this week that an investigative report about its sale of alcohol at a state convention had been turned over to the Texas Rangers. That story fell apart Friday, a day after the Texas Tribune reported on TABC lavish spending practices at out of state conventions. 

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Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio, reacts after his point of order to kill SB 4 the sanctuary city bill is denied during debate on Feb. 7, 2017. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Menéndez failed to report $50,000 in donations

A Texas Tribune investigation found that two state senators failed to report almost $60,000 in donations from two PACs. Sens. Jose Menendez and Carlos Uresti, both San Antonio Democrats, vowed to file amended reports.

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State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, lays out SB 14, the Ethics Reform and Anti-Corruption Act, in the Texas Senate on Feb. 7, 2017. Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Texas Senate passes ethics reform

The Texas Senate passed a bill that would take pensions away from officials convicted of felonies and require lobbyists to disclose more of their wining and dining of lawmakers.

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Defense attorney Carlos Garcia (r.) confers with former Border Patrol agent Joel Luna. Douglas Young for The Texas Tribune

Two sharply different portrayals of Border Patrol agent at murder trial

Devoted public servant who protected the nation’s borders and erred only by helping out his family? Or leader of a drug- and gun-trafficking enterprise? Those were the two portraits that emerged of Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna at his two-week murder trial. Now, a jury will decide his fate as early as Monday.

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Chief Prosecutor Gus Garza walks by a safe brought into the courtroom as evidence during the murder trial of former Border Patrol agent Joel Luna and his brother Eduardo Luna Rodriguez. Douglas Young for The Texas Tribune

Jury to decide Border Patrol agent's fate

The fate of Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna and his Mexican-born brother Eduardo, both charged with drug trafficking and the murder of a would-be snitch, is set to fall to a Cameron County jury Friday after almost two weeks of testimony and sparring over evidence.

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