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.
This week on The Ticket, we asked Republican voters in Iowa and South Carolina what they want to hear when they come to a stump speech. And we interviewed Harry Enten of FiveThirtyEight.com on how early polling affects who makes the GOP debates.
This week on The Ticket: With Rick Perry jumping into the GOP race, we talk with Opportunity and Freedom super PAC co-chair Ray Sullivan about Perry's chances in his second run, and we analyze the Ben Carson campaign.
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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.
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.
Gov. Greg Abbott at a bill signing at the Anita Uphaus Early Childhood Center in Austin on May 28, 2015.
Gov. Greg Abbott is signaling that he will sign into law a bill allowing epilepsy patients to use medicinal oils containing a therapeutic component found in marijuana.
State Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, speaks during a Texas Tribune event on Jan. 12, 2015.
State Sen. Joan Huffman is facing criticism after authoring a measure allowing elected officials and bureaucrats to disclose less information about their spouses' property and financial activity. She says the change was needed to clarify an “unclear” Texas Ethics Commission rule.
Sen. Kirk Watson D-Austin and Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston, discuss language to amendment for SB #11 relating to campus carry on March 18th, 2015
Texas politicians are on the verge of creating a new system for prosecuting a unique type of white-collar crime — the type that involves them.
State Sen. Van Taylor, R-Plano, at a Tribune event on Dec. 11, 2014.
With no collective will to expose "dark money" contributions in Texas, a major ethics overhaul died in the waning hours of the 2015 legislatives session. A few piecemeal changes are still possible before the final gavel comes down on the 84th Legislature Monday.
Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston
Gov. Greg Abbott wanted to "dedicate this session to ethics reform," and now must decide whether to sign a bill limiting the information he and other elected officials must disclose information about their spouses' property and finances.
State Rep. Sarah Davis, R-Houston, on the House floor on May 4, 2013.
Now that the massive overhaul contained in Senate Bill 19 has gone on life support, a few targeted efforts to shine the light on conflicts of interest and enhance transparency remain. Here's a guide to what's moving and what's not.
This week on The Ticket, we analyze Carly Fiorina's presidential campaign and talk with Washington Post writer and The Fix blogger Chris Cillizza about how the 2016 race is shaping up.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, registers a no vote on an amendment to his ethics bill SB19 on May 26, 2015.
The Texas House on Wednesday gave final sign-off to a far-reaching ethics reform package that would shine light on so-called “dark money” while restricting undercover recordings of people in the state Capitol.
House Parliamentarian Chris Griesel is handed another stack of bills during debate on S.B. 19 Tuesday evening May 26, 2015 in the Texas House.
A daylong parliamentary battle ensued Tuesday as the Texas House faced a crucial deadline to pass many major bills before they died. Democrats succeeded in killing an abortion bill, while Republicans managed to pass ethics reform legislation and a version of campus carry.
State Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, on the House floor on May 7, 2015.
An ethics overhaul package, dramatically reworked, now takes aim at people who secretly record lawmakers inside the Texas Capitol. It also would require certain politically active nonprofits to disclose large donations.