Jay Root Reporter

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

Abbott Emails Predicted Ethics Reform Failure

Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott at the Texas State Prayer Breakfast in Austin on May 4, 2015.

Gov. Greg Abbott accurately predicted the death of ethics reform months ago and concluded in a candid and prescient email to top staffers that he would likely be forced to call one or more 30-day special sessions to push meaningful reforms through a recalcitrant Texas Legislature.

 

Emails Provide Rare Glimpse Into Abbott World

Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.
Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.

Dozens of emails obtained by the Tribune provide a rare peek into the private deliberations of Gov. Greg Abbott. The emails paint a portrait of a chief executive more interested in the nitty-gritty of state policy than what’s known of his predecessor. 

Abbott Vetoes Spousal Loophole

Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.
Gov. Greg Abbott after signing Senate Bill 2065, the Pastor Protection Act, into law.

Gov. Greg Abbott has vetoed legislation that would have opened up a new loophole allowing elected officials to cloak assets held by a spouse. State Rep. Sarah Davis, whose bills contained the controversial amendment, said she wound up adding her voice to those calling for a veto.

Abbott Opposes Curbs on Dark Money

Gov. Greg Abbott signs HB4, which adds funding for pre-K, into law at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin Texas May 28, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs HB4, which adds funding for pre-K, into law at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin Texas May 28, 2015.

Republicans went to war with one another over the idea of disclosing dark money. But they probably needn't bother. Gov. Greg Abbott told reporters Monday that he thinks the idea is unconstitutional. Proponents of shining a light on it disagree.

In Texas, a Collapse of Ethics Reform

Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott delivering his State of the State speech on Feb. 17, 2015.

When the gavel comes down on the legislative session on Monday, lawmakers will have failed to pass into law about two dozen different proposals aimed at curbing conflicts of interest and shining light into the dark corners of the Capitol.