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.
The chairman of the political science department at Rice University recently ranked Texas House members' partisanship based on their 2009 legislative votes. Our interactive chart highlights what he describes as Texas' increasingly polarized political environment.
Politicians, candidates and other state officers are required to disclose their personal finances, to discourage conflicts of interest and, according to the law, "strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in state government." Yet getting these documents isn’t easy, so we've put all 3,070 available online.
Mark P. Jones, political science chairman at Rice University, recently ranked Texas House members' partisanship based on their 2009 legislative votes. The study, which we've used to create an interactive chart, shows Texas' increasingly polarized political environment, Jones says in an interview.
Tonight is the legally imposed reporting deadline for the next round of campaign finance reports, which is big deal for two reasons: Candidates want to show momentum and credibility at mid-year, and they love having an excuse to ask supporters to pony up before the clock strikes midnight. Hurry, hurry, hurry!
Revenue from Texas red-light cameras soared in 2009, with cities collecting more than $62 million from motorists, newly released state records show. We've taken that revenue data to create an interactive visualization that shows how the traffic camera revenue, expenses and profits vary from city to city, along with the proportion of the money that goes to the state.
Texas now has about 24.8 million residents, an increase of 3.9 million, or almost 20 percent, since 2000, and trails only California in the proportion of its residents who identify themselves as Hispanic. We're also the third-youngest state, with a median age of 33; only Utah and Alabama have younger populations. These and other fun facts can be discovered in a new database application that helps explain and visualize how the makeup of Texas counties has changed since the last U.S. Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau's latest county population estimates show that Texas is getting more racially and ethnically diverse. Texas minority population now exceeds 50 percent, as it does Hawaii, New Mexico, California and the District of Columbia. These are the last county estimates to use 2000 Census results as a base. The 2011 population estimates will be the first in the estimates series to be based on the 2010 Census population counts.
Since our November launch, we've published more than 30 web applications made from government records, including the most comprehensive public payroll database in the state, an interactive database with all 160,000 inmates serving time in the 100-plus state prison units, rankings of more than 5,800 public schools, a comprehensive list of every red-light enforcement camera in Texas, and databases with state-level fundraising and spending for members of the Legislature and statewide elected officials. Readers have viewed these pages more than 2.3 million times — more than a third of the site's overall traffic.
It's not only rich people and lobbyists and interest group activists who make political contributions. Texas congressional candidates gave at least $1.3 million to other campaigns and causes over the last 15 months, according to itemized records of campaign expenditures released for the first time by the Federal Election Commission. Topping the list of big spenders in the Texas delegation were U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Surfside, who contributed at least $240,000 — the highest dollar amount — and Charlie Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, who gave more than 60 contributions — the highest number. Search our database to see who gave what to whom.
That’s right — they’re not from Texas. Newly licensed physicians enlisting to treat the state’s Medicaid and Medicare patients are more likely to have been trained at international medical schools, according to a review of state medical licensing data.
Of the roughly 1,500 doctors who have received fast-tracked licenses in the last three years for agreeing to treat Medicaid and Medicare patients, about 40 percent were trained at international medical schools, while just a quarter were trained at Texas medical schools. The Texas Medical Board fast-tracked more licenses for doctors trained in Pakistan — halfway around the globe — than it did for doctors educated in neighboring Louisiana or Oklahoma. Scroll over our interactive world map to see where these internationally-trained doctors got their medical education.
Aides to Gov. Rick Perry's re-election campaign have accused his Democratic challenger, Bill White, the former mayor of Houston, of running a “sanctuary city," where officers don't inquire about immigration status during routine patrols and investigations. But Houston's policy is remarkably similar to that of Texas DPS under Perry. If Houston is a sanctuary city, why isn't Texas a sanctuary state?
Our latest interactive database has records on each of the more than 160,000 inmates in Texas prisons, including their names, crimes, hometowns, height, weight and gender, the counties in which they were convicted and their sentencing dates. Explore them all.