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.
As the Texas Legislature ponders ethics reforms to increase transparency and reduce conflicts of interests among its members, a key state lawmaker is facing new questions about whether his private business affairs are impacting his public duties.
On the first-ever episode of The Ticket, our presidential podcast, Jay Root and Ben Philpott talk with former Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri, who's now working for Rand Paul, and dissect Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement speech at Liberty University.
A heavily watered-down ethics reform bill will soon be taken up by the full Senate. Lawmakers on Monday rejected an amendment that would have required legislators to publicly disclose their tax returns each year.
Texans grew accustomed to the swagger and bombast of Rick Perry, a governor who didn’t shy from confrontation with the Legislature and upended the notion that his office was inherently weak. Newly elected Gov. Greg Abbott, ever cautious and lawyerly, is cutting a different path.
Proposed ethics reform legislation underwent a significant overhaul Thursday in a Senate committee. Gone is the plan to take state pensions from lawbreaking lawmakers. Also out: a proposal to stop legislators from cashing in on a piece of the public debt business.
Gov. Greg Abbott refused to pick sides Wednesday in a growing squabble over how best to cut state taxes, and moved away from an earlier promise to “insist” that Texas lawmakers cut property taxes before the session ends on June 1.
Two bills aimed at disclosure of lobbyist wining and dining are on the verge of being snuffed out in a Senate committee, according to the sponsor of the measures. That's despite Greg Abbott’s vow to “dedicate this session to ethics reform."
A collection of unflattering headlines has lawmakers and one of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's predecessors questioning whether the world-champion calf roper was ready to steer a billion-dollar agency. But Miller is brushing off the criticism.
Gov. Greg Abbott wants ethics reform, but the legislation working its way through the Senate faces major revisions as early as Monday. The debate demonstrates how difficult it is for legislators to change the rules that govern their own behavior.
Hand-scraped wood floors. Custom ceiling tile. A shower. Those items may not sound like upgrades a cash-strapped agency would need, and new Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller ultimately didn't think so, either. After initially supporting a big renovation at the agency, Miller decided to nix it, officials say.