Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune

Managing Editor, Texas Tribune

Ross Ramsey is managing editor of The Texas Tribune and continues as editor of Texas Weekly, the premier newsletter on government and politics in the Lone Star State, a role he's had since September 1998. Texas Weekly was a print-only journal when he took the reins in 1998; he switched it to a subscription-based, internet-only journal by the end of 2004 without a significant loss in subscribers. As Texas Weekly's primary writer for 11 years, he turned out roughly 2 million words in more than 500 editions, added an online library of resources and documents and items of interest to insiders, and a daily news clipping service that links to stories from papers across Texas. Before joining Texas Weekly in September 1998, Ramsey was associate deputy comptroller for policy with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, also working as the agency's director of communications. Prior to that 28-month stint in government, Ramsey spent 17 years in journalism, reporting for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as the paper's Austin bureau chief. Prior to that, as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, he wrote for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ramsey got his start in journalism in broadcasting, working for almost seven years covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

http://www.texastribune.org/

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Politics
12:05 pm
Tue August 23, 2011

GOP Sources: McCaul May Get In U.S. Senate Race

Michael McCaul who serves the 10th District of Texas in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, is quietly exploring a run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican sources told The Texas Tribune on Tuesday. McCaul is telling potential supporters that he's prepared to spend $4 million to $6 million of his own money.

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2012 Presidential Election
1:51 pm
Fri August 19, 2011

An Off-the-Cuff Rick Perry Vaults Into the Headlines

In his first week as a presidential candidate, Gov. Rick Perry found there are more people than ever who are paid to parse his every word. And he’s making it easy for them.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:41 am
Wed August 17, 2011

Perry and the Stimulus: It's Complicated

Presidential hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry during campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa on August 14th, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich/The Texas Tribune

As Gov. Rick Perry has launched his presidential campaign, he’s turned to a talking point familiar to anyone who has heard him rail against the federal government over the last two years: the perfidy of the roughly $800 billion stimulus plan orchestrated by the Obama administration in 2009.

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Politics
5:37 pm
Mon August 15, 2011

What if Perry and Dewhurst Lose? Then What?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shakes hands with Gov. Rick Perry at the 2011 inauguration.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

What if everybody loses?

Gov. Rick Perry is running for president. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is running for U.S. Senate. And it seems like everyone else in Texas politics is making plans based on one or both of those offices opening in 2012. Then there’s the 2014 election, when most of the statewide spots in Texas government open, and the assumption that neither Perry nor Dewhurst will be on the ballot that year.

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Politics
10:14 am
Thu August 4, 2011

Susan Combs: The TT Interview

Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

This has been a busy year for state Comptroller Susan Combs.

The state Legislature began the year with a deficit in the current budget and a $28 billion shortfall in the next one, a financial predicament that put a heavy load on the state's chief financial officer. Last spring, her aides announced the agency had left personal information about 3.5 million current and former public school and state employees in an unsecure spot on her agency's website. After that news had been knocked around in public for several days, she took responsibility and fired some of her agency's technology managers. She has since beefed up the agency's privacy standards and has consultants working to see what harm was actually done. Separately, but also central to her political future, she changed her position on abortion rights. All of this came after she told the Tribune she might be interested in running for lieutenant governor in 2014 should the opportunity present itself.

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Politics
2:36 pm
Wed August 3, 2011

Combs Switches, Says She Opposes Abortion

Comptroller Susan Combs giving the biennial revenue estimate in Austin January 10, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Comptroller Susan Combs has switched her position on abortion rights, from pro-choice to pro-life, she said in an interview with The Texas Tribune this morning.

Combs and her husband Joe also contributed $5,000 to the South Austin Crisis Pregnancy Center. Combs said the state needs to focus its policies on more counseling for young women.

Combs said flatly that she has changed her position on the abortion issue, moving from a "pro-choice, but not pro-abortion" position to opposition to abortions. "I’m unequivocal about it. I was wrong," she said.

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Politics
11:33 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Christi Craddick Will Run for Railroad Commissioner

Photo by Jeramey Jannene/Paul Lowry/Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Christi Craddick, daughter of former House Speaker Tom Craddick, says she'll run for the Republican nomination for the Texas Railroad Commission next year — for the seat now held by Republican Commissioner Elizabeth Ames Jones.

Jones has set her sights on a U.S. Senate race and won't seek reelection.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:20 pm
Mon July 18, 2011

Ron Paul ... Not Your Average Texas Candidate

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Gage Skidmore http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Ron Paul has been a national figure for so long that it's easy to forget he's one of ours.

You know. Texan.

After years in the national spotlight and, sometimes, at the edges of the spotlight, Paul announced that he won't seek re-election to Congress next year. Instead, he'll spend his time campaigning for president for the third time.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:32 am
Thu July 14, 2011

Perry, Social Conservatives and the Road to the Top

Photo illustration by Caleb Bryant Miller for Texas Tribune

KUT's political reporting partner, the Texas Tribune, continues its series examining Governor Rick Perry's possible run for the Republican presidential nomination.

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Politics
4:44 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Perry Names Smitherman to Railroad Commission

Photo by PUC Commissioner

Gov. Rick Perry is moving Barry Smitherman from the Public Utility Commission to the Texas Railroad Commission, replacing Michael Williams, who resigned earlier this year to run for Congress. Smitherman was sworn into office this afternoon by Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett.

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Politics
2:46 pm
Mon June 27, 2011

Lawmakers Optimistic About a TWIA Compromise

Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, speaks to the Senate after being appointed chair of the conference committee on the Texas Windstorm Insurance Assn. (TWIA) bill on June 27, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

State legislators say they've reached a compromise on reform of the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, potentially averting a second special session this summer.

Absent a deal, Gov. Rick Perry said last week that he would call lawmakers back into session to work out their differences on TWIA, which acts as an insurer of last resort on hurricane and other windstorm claims.

TWIA has become a battlefield for tort reformers and trial lawyers, after it botched hurricane claims and found itself paying hefty fees to lawyers who sued on behalf of people whose initial claims didn't cover what their policies promised.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

Williams Makes Congressional Run Official

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate at TribLive on January 27, 2011.
Photo by Texas Tribune

Michael Williams is officially out of the Senate race and in the race for a new congressional seat based in Arlington.

He said earlier this month he was considering a switch, and now that the Legislature has approved congressional redistricting maps that include the new district, he's filing papers with the Federal Election Commission moving from the Senate contest to the race for Congress.

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Politics
2:36 pm
Sun May 29, 2011

A Make-or-Break Day for the Texas State Budget

The 2012-13 budget has been approved by both the House and the Senate, and now, with less than two days left in the legislative session, lawmakers have to pay for it by passing one more piece of legislation that raises $3.5 billion in "non-tax revenue" and revises school finance law to allow the state to reduce aid to public schools by $4 billion.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:14 am
Fri May 20, 2011

Why Doesn't Anyone Believe Rick Perry When He Says He's Not Running?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry visits with House members to discuss the state budget issues at the back railing on May 19, 2011.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

It’s Rick Perry versus the nincompoops. That’s not a slap at the rest of the Republican field, but at the political chatterers who just can’t or won’t believe the Texas governor when he says he doesn’t want to run for president.

Nobody believes him, which makes it easier for some to contend that he is making a grab at the highest political office in the land.

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