covers government and politics with a focus on data journalism, and he oversees and helps develop the Tribune's library of web applications and interactives. Previously, he was a government reporter at the Houston Chronicle. While there, he won the newspaper's Jesse Award for service journalism and beat reporting and was its reporter of the year in 2007. Before joining the Chronicle, Stiles worked as a reporter for nearly four years at The Dallas Morning News.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry challenged reporters this summer to “find anyone who can outwork” him. According to the public records, the governors of three other large states appear to be putting in a lot more time — at least according to public schedules. Documents obtained through open-records requests show that governors in California, New York and Florida each maintain far more detailed public descriptions of their time.
With the fall political campaigns heating up, candidates and committees last month filed reports with the Texas Ethics Commission listing the total amount of cash they have to spend. Use this table to sort through those records, or select the links to download them in raw data or portable document format.
The 2,694 political committees and campaigns that filed mid-year reports with the Texas Ethics Commission together held $167 million in their accounts, but only 274 of them had more than $100,000 on hand. Our interactive chart tells you who or what they are and how much they've banked.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White is again attacking his Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Perry, for accepting contributions from political appointees — but the former Houston mayor is no stranger to the practice, according to a Texas Tribune analysis of campaign and city records. White has raised nearly $2 million over his years in public life from the people he appointeed to boards and commissions.
When U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison lost the Republican primary for governor, her supporters became political orphans. But many of them have landed with either Rick Perry or Bill White. A Texas Tribune data mash-up shows that more than $1 million has flowed to Perry from Hutchison supporters since March, while at least $600,000 has gone to White.
Many contributors to U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's unsuccessful campaign for the Republican gubernatorial nomination now are backing other candidates. Most remained loyal to party, collectively donating at least $1 million to fellow Republican Rick Perry, the incumbent who soundly defeated Hutchison. But others decided to back Perry's general-election opponent, Democratic former Houston mayor Bill White, who has collected at least $675,000 from the senator's backers. Use the tabs below to view Hutchison's top donors — and see which candidate, if any, they decided to support.
State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, who was involved in a controversial land deal with Gov. Rick Perry, failed to disclose ownership or sale of the property to the Texas Ethics Commission, an apparent violation of a state ethics rules, according to a review of his personal financial statements.
El Paso and Hidalgo are the largest Latino-majority and Democratic-leaning counties in the state, and they rank near the bottom when you compare the size of their voting age population to the actual number of people who show up at the polls. Collin and Fort Bend are growing suburban counties with larger Anglo populations that tend to lean Republican and produce some of the highest turnouts of eligible voters anywhere in Texas. Guess which pair gets the most attention and has the most clout?
Nearly 37 percent of the state's population of nearly 25 million is Latino, but only about 1.2 million Latinos who were registered to vote in 2008 cast ballots. Pinpointing when the emerging majority group in Texas will begin wielding its power at election time is no small feat. Scores of campaigns, party activists and interest groups spend millions of dollars each year trying to determine what will happen when that day comes.
Political observers, partisan faithful and a pair of campaigns have been consumed by one question for nearly eight months: How close is the race between Republican Rick Perry and Democrat Bill White? Members of both parties agree that White represents the Democrats' best shot at winning the governor's office in 15 years, despite the state's status as a Republican stronghold. But many believe that voting patterns show Texas is still years away from becoming truly competitive.
This interactive map shows the average vote margin in all contested, statewide elections by county. Darker shades represent increased partisan divide in each county, with red representing Republican support and blue representing Democratic support. Over the years, Democrats have lost support in West Texas and East Texas, but also won Dallas County in 2006 and both Dallas and Harris counties in 2008.
A federal appeals case involving race-based admissions at University of Texas at Austin threatens to reinvigorate an ideological skirmish of the late 1990s. Fisher v. Texas — the first lawsuit of its kind brought against a university since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a pair of landmark decisions in 2003 — has observers across the country wondering if the state's troubled history with race-based admissions have made it the ideal incubator for the next round of affirmative action battles.