Tribpedia: Mark Mckinnon

Mark McKinnon is a political strategist who most recently served as an informal political advisor to John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, where the press noted his “talismanic power” in re-energizing support for the candidate.

He began his political career as an Austin-based media consultant and a Democrat. He has served a number of Democratic campaigns including Michael Dukakis’s 1988 ...

The Brief: Feb. 25, 2014

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, have both made education a central point in their gubernatorial bids.

Democrats and Republicans in Texas differ in their enthusiasm for spending more money for education, but they tend to agree on the need to invest more, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

A TribLive Thanksgiving

From day one, the Tribune has put a premium on events as a very vibrant, dynamically interactive form of journalism: always before an audience, always open to the public, always on the record, usually free and whenever possible resulting in recorded content that could be posted on our web site for everyone to see, not just those lucky ducks who happened to be in the room. Usually these so-called TribLive events have been conversations with high elected officials or other newsmakers, and, indeed, they've occasionally made news. But more often than not they've simply been a way to engage with people in power, to hold them accountable, to ask them questions, to get to know them better. Today we present videos of 21 of those conversations — our way of saying thanks to the men and women who've done their time in the hot seat.

Derision Points

To the list of things that Rick Perry shows contempt for — Barack Obama’s leadership abilities, excessive federal regulation, coyotes that interrupt his morning jog — add this surprising one: George W. Bush’s ideological disposition. The governor seems to go out of his way to criticize his predecessor as insufficiently conservative. Bush, for his part, makes no mention of Perry in his memoir. "There's certainly no love lost between these two men," says UT presidential scholar Bruce Buchanan.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Our wall-to-wall Election Day coverage — complete results up and down the ballot and county by county, the all-hands-on-deck Trib team on the Republican tsunami, my conversation with George W. Bush's media adviser and Rick Perry's pollster about what happened on Tuesday, Stiles and Ramsey on what 194 candidates spent per vote this election cycle, Hu on how the GOP rout will affect the substance of the next legislative session, Hamilton on the Texas Democratic Trust's unhappy end, Ramshaw and Stiles profile the new arrivals at the Capitol in January, M. Smith on what's next for Chet Edwards and Ramsey and me on six matters of politics and policy we're thinking about going forward — plus Thevenot and Butrymowicz on a possible solution to the high school dropout problem: The best of our best from Nov. 1 to 5, 2010.

A Conversation With Mark McKinnon and Mike Baselice

For the 15th event in our TribLive series, I interviewed the former George W. Bush and John McCain media strategist and Rick Perry's pollster about what happened Tuesday night: how the Republicans took back the majority in the U.S. House and upped their number of seats in the Texas House by 30 percent, what that portends for the next two years in Austin and Washington, D.C., and whether the governor is really running for president.

No Love Lost

When George H.W. Bush becomes the latest denizen of Bushworld to endorse Kay Bailey Hutchison at an event at his West Houston home this morning — following on the heels of KBH supporters James Baker, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, and Margaret Spellings — it will be impossible to pretend any longer that there isn't a Bush-versus-Perry narrative at play in the 2010 governor's race. But what's really going on here?

Texas Weekly: Are Republican candidates ignoring Hispanics?

What concerns me as a Republican is that the race for governor may be focusing too much on the personalities of the candidates and the highly charged nature of the race rather than the long-term vision and consequences. I worry that either candidate could win the race but lose the future — too much focus on the politics of the next year, rather than the policies of the next decade.