Andrew Wheat

By Andrew Wheat:


Speak No Evil

Van Taylor was elected to the State House as an economic conservative with Tea Party backing. So why won't he talk about Texas' most famous case of eminent-domain abuse?

The government takeover of private land for economic development projects is a cardinal sin for property-rights conservatives. In one of the nation’s most notorious examples, officials in the Gulf Coast town of Freeport tried to seize land so a developer … Read More


Speaker Straus’ Other Horse Race

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus III’s family could earn tens of millions of dollars if lawmakers and voters agree to let racetracks install slot machines.  The magnitude of the payout is spelled out in a pending lawsuit in Dallas County. … Read More

Cover Story

Master Stroke

Why did Gov. Perry's insurance regulators sign their own lobbyist's paychecks?

In 2002 and 2003, a troubled auto-insurance company based in Dallas wrote checks worth more than a quarter of a million dollars to a powerful Republican lobbyist with close ties to Gov. Rick Perry. On the surface, that might not … Read More

Op Ed

In Her Father’s House

Christi Craddick rejoins the Lobby.

Nine months after members of the Texas House stripped Midland Republican Tom Craddick of his speakership, Craddick’s daughter is dusting off her Austin lobbying shingle again. In September Christi Craddick reported to the Texas Ethics Commission that Scythian Ltd., a … Read More


Reappraising the Governor

Rick Perry's private tax protest.

Long before he got national attention for secessionist foreplay at Tax Day “tea parties,” Gov. Rick Perry quietly launched a personal tax revolt. In March 2001, Texas’ new governor bought an exclusive lot on Lake LBJ’s Horseshoe Bay. Horseshoe Bay … Read More


Revolving-Door Democrats

Unseated by Republican redistricting, five former Texas congressmen cash in.

In 2006, public relations giant Fleishman-Hillard Inc. announced that it was merging a recently acquired firm-Mercury Public Affairs-into Fleishman’s lobby division under former Texas Congressman Max Sandlin, the company’s newly hired co-chair. The drab press release recounting these facts illustrated … Read More


The DeLay Scandal Turns Six

Catching up with the players from the disputed 2002 election.

The Tom DeLay scandal has been with us longer than most kindergartners. Six years have passed since the controversial 2002 election, when DeLay sprang his audacious plan to use possibly illegal corporate money to bury Texas Democrats. DeLay’s Texans for … Read More


DeLay’s Blank Check

Two years after scandal drove Tom DeLay from Congress and six years after DeLay allegedly violated state law to make over Texas’ congressional map, a state appeals court recently hammered out a stunning legal opinion that did all it could-and … Read More