June 14, 2007
Texas Monthly has issued its breakdown of the 10 best and worst legislators in the 2007 legislative session. This link should give a glimpse.Evan Smith, the magazine’s editor, introduced himself as the editor of BurkaBlog—a nod to Paul Burka, the magazine’s senior executive editor who’s the father of the list. Smith said the suss in the July issue of the magazine is presented as an e-mail exchange between Burka and Patricia Kilday Hart, who teamed on the research.Austin-centric highlight: Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, was named the only rookie of the year. “The former Austin mayor (and once and future statewide candidate) instantly earned respect for his intellect and diplomacy—and for knowing enough to let his elders take credit for his accomplishments,” the magazine writes.Burka said at a press conference today that no other rookies were named simply due to a lack of space in the July issue. He said that if he had picked a House rookie of the year, it would have been Rep. Joe Heflin, D-Crosbyton, who upset a Republican in November to win the seat vacated by former House Speaker Pete Laney, D-Hale Center.Smith noted too that all three GOP leaders—Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick—landed on the worst list.