Jay Root, Texas Tribune

Reporter with The Texas Tribune

Jay Root is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when he walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't the resist the draw: it was the the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and realized it wasn't for him. Soon he was applying for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. He has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.

Bob Daemmrich

The government’s seemingly sluggish response to Hurricane Harvey has been a headache for Land Commissioner George P. Bush, whose office plays a major role in getting Texans back into damaged homes. 

One company that is trying to help him out — in more ways than one — is Horne LLP, a big accounting firm that provides disaster recovery services to governments. On Oct. 30, 2017, the company signed a $13.47 million contract with the agency Bush oversees, the Texas General Land Office, to help with Harvey recovery efforts. 

Three days later, more than two dozen Horne LLP executives helped out Bush with his re-election campaign, sending him $27,500 in political cash — including $1,000 from the Horne partner who signed the contract.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Only weeks into the job, the acting executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is calling it quits.

Ed Swedberg’s abrupt and unexpected resignation from the agency, effective Monday, marks the sixth high-level departure since April from the agency that oversees alcohol regulation in Texas. The TABC has been rocked by revelations of lavish spending, mismanagement and regulatory overreach.

Martin do Nascimento for The Texas Tribune

With Donald Trump in the White House and rumors of widespread law enforcement raids percolating throughout her heavily immigrant community in North Austin, Irma Perez said she decided to help pay off her brother’s unpaid tickets to help him avoid any trouble. 

It would lead to her own family’s undoing.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate, passing its first bill of the 2017 legislative session, unanimously approved an ethics reform package that watchdogs say will help curb conflicts of interest and shed more light on the private dealings of state elected officials.

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