Graphic by Todd Wiseman

Can We Talk?

Not to be-Labor the point, but on this Day when we pause to celebrate the men and women of Texas (and elsewhere) who work for a living, we thought we'd show off the sweat and toil of our crack interviewers. Nearly every Trib reporter has sat down with a few of the most interesting and newsworthy Texans over the last few months: current and former elected officials, authors and activists, operatives and candidates, and policy wonks of all types and stripes. Thus far we've conducted 37 so-called "TT Interviews" (a respectful riff on the Rolling Stone Interviews that many of us grew up reading) and presented them as audio, video, a transcript or some combination of the above. This non-narrative form is an effective and compelling way to tell the unfiltered stories of Texas politics, public policy and government; enjoy. And happy holiday.

Full Story 
Jacob Villanueva

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramshaw on geriatric care in state prisons, with Miller's photo essay inside those walls; M. Smith interviews the state's newest Supreme Court justice, Debra Lehrmann; Aguilar finds fewer Mexicans seeking asylum in the U.S; Galbraith sorts out the politics of pollution and whether our air is dangerous to breathe; Thevenot discovers authorities writing tickets for misbehavior to elementary school kids; Philpott reports on early hearing about political redistricting; Kreighbaum examines fines levied against polluters and finds they're often smaller than the economic benefits of the infractions; and Stiles and Babalola spotlight some of our data projects from our first seven months online: The best of our best from May 31 to June 4, 2010.

Full Story 

TribBlog: It's Lehrmann

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Judge Debra Lehrmann to the Place 3 seat that Harriet O’Neill will soon vacate on the Texas Supreme Court. Lehrmann, a Fort Worth District Court judge, won the Republican nomination for that seat in a runoff against former state Rep. Rick Green, R-Dripping Springs.

Full Story 
Texas Supreme Court

TribBlog: O'Neill Signs Off

Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O'Neill, who isn't seeking reelection to the court, also isn't finishing her term. She told Gov. Rick Perry and the other members of the court today that she will step down from the bench on June 20.

Full Story 

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the fall of Norma Chávez; M. Smith and Ramsey on the runoffs, the results, and the aftermath; Hu on the Tea Party's birthday party; Thevenot and Stiles on the path between schools and prisons; Ramshaw on prosecutors' reaction to helping hands from Austin; Hamilton on self-appointed lawyers; Galbraith on property rights and power lines; Aguilar and Grissom sit down with the mayor of Juárez to talk about his crime-ridden city; Kraft on telling the stories of Texans and other Americans who died in Vietnam; Ramsey on slots and horses and casinos; and Hamilton goes on a field trip with Jim Hightower to hear the history of populism. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

Full Story 
Caleb Bryant Miller

Runoff Day: A Spectator's Guide

Today’s elections in 18 Texas primary races, all but two involving Republicans, probably won't change the overall temperature of the statehouse or our delegation to Congress. The partisan makeup of those places isn't at stake until November. But for three House incumbents and challengers in two other races — for the State Board of Education and the Texas Supreme Court  — how the vote turns out is a big deal.

Full Story 
Morgan Smith

2010: Lubbock or Leave It

Low voter turnout means that in a downballot statewide race like that between Debra Lehrmann and Rick Green the winner could be decided by chance — whose name comes first, or whose name sounds the friendliest. Green and Lehrmann are working to combat that dynamic in an unlikely place: Lubbock.

Full Story 

Can Rick Green Be Stopped?

Ever since his narrow March 2 win set off a collective grumble from the legal establishment, there’s been a movement afoot to shore up support for his runoff opponent. Now the fruits of those efforts have ripened. 

Full Story 

The Supremes

As the last numbers crept in late Tuesday night, there were no surprises in the contested races for the seats on the state’s highest civil court. Voters will return to the polls again in April to see who will take over Harriet O’Neill’s old spot, and Rose Vela didn’t manage an upset against recent appointee Eva Guzman.

Full Story 

Sup. Ct. 3: Green on Top, but Runoff Certain

As of early Wednesday morning, Rick Green has barely broken from the crowd of six GOP candidates vying for the open spot on the High Court, and a runoff is guaranteed. What's unclear is who his opponent will be — Rebecca Simmons, Jim Moseley, and Debra Lehrmann are all hovering close behind. It's likely Jeff Brown, who narrowly trails those three, won't make the cut. The only clear loser of the night is Rick Strange, who didn't keep up with the pack.

Full Story