is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly for 15 years. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.
The state's finances are in better shape than previously believed, the state comptroller said Monday, with a new projection showing $1.6 billion more than lawmakers expected, even after the state covers part of the its Medicaid shortfall and restores some cuts to state agencies and universities.
For this week's nonscientific survey of politics and government insiders, we asked about the early presidential primaries, who'll be the Republican nominee, and who the insiders think will be sworn in as president in 2013.
Forget everything. The candidate announcements, the relocations, the decisions not to run again, the who vs. who and the campaign finance. With a Friday night order, the U.S. Supreme Court turned Texas election season into chaos.
In a late Friday afternoon order, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the use of court-drawn maps for legislative and congressional districts in Texas, telling the lawyers involved to be ready for oral arguments next month.
State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, won't seek re-election. The seven-term legislator told her hometown paper, the Victoria Advocate, that the court-drawn redistricting maps made another run difficult.
Some are waiting to see what the courts will do. Others want to see if any opponents surface. Regardless, with six days to go until the filing deadline, how many incumbents haven't filed yet? A whole bunch.
They lost in 2010, but some candidates are hoping by now that voters have changed their minds. The 2012 ballot will be stippled with officeholders who were cast out by voters last election but want to try again.
With a month to go before people in other states starting voting on presidential candidates, we asked the insiders for their current take on those races. First things first: They don't see much of a window for Gov. Rick Perry.
So far, 26 members of the Texas House have said they won't seek reelection — 27 if you count Rep. Fred Brown, R-Bryan, who resigned after the legislative session. The list could grow by next Thursday, the deadline for filing for the 2012 elections. And four more incumbents will lose their elections next year — to four incumbents.