Christopher Hooks

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

Texas Politics

Even Hurricane Harvey Can’t Temper GOP Hostility Toward Texas’ Big Cities

Governor Greg Abbott scoffed at Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s request for emergency funds, saying he "has all the money that he needs."

On August 4, less than a month before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appeared on the Fox Business Network with a diagnosis for what ails the nation. “Where do we have all our problems in America?” he … Read More

Donald Trump
Texas Politics

Trump Nominee to FEC Tried to Shred Texas’ Already-Weak Ethics Laws

Nominating Trey Trainor to the FEC makes sense: Most Trump appointees either hate or are ignorant of the thing they’re expected to oversee.

In yet another case of the cosmic satire in which we live hitting its mark a little too hard on the nose, the Trump administration last week nominated Texas lawyer Trey Trainor to a seat on the Federal Election Commission, … Read More

Texas Politics

Will Hurd’s Guide to Running as a Republican in 2018

During a tour of Dairy Queens in his district, the West Texas congressman offered a master class in the rhetorical skills many Republicans are going to need this cycle.

It’s the best of times and the worst of times to be Will Hurd, the Republican who represents the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, a giant swath of Texas that stretches from San Antonio some 550 miles to El Paso … Read More

Texas Legislature

Why Aren’t More Texas Democrats Running for Office at the State Level?

There are a boatload of Democrats running for Congress in Texas, but the slate for statewide offices and the Legislature is awfully barren.

The hottest new trend in Democratic politics these days is running for Congress — everybody’s doing it. So far, more than 200 Democrats have filed to challenge Republican incumbents and raised at least $5,000. That’s more than the number of … Read More

Texas Legislature

Thank You, Matt Rinaldi

Republicans who are repelled by people like Rinaldi have a problem: They depend on the votes of the people who cheer him on.

We spend a lot of time looking for what’s human and what’s kind in our politics, but it’s usually more important when someone shows us the opposite. To that end, Texans owe a great debt of gratitude to state Representative … Read More

Donald Trump
Texas Legislature

It’s a Trump Miracle! There are Signs of Life Among Texas Democrats

For the last 15 years, Texas Democrats have been accusing Republicans of overreach. This time, they might be right.

November 8, 2016 should have been a night of unmitigated joy for the Harris County Republican Party, the largest local GOP organization in Texas. After all, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, hometown hero, had rushed to back Trump as soon as … Read More

Texas Legislature

Is Competence Enough? Mike Collier is Counting on it in Race Against Dan Patrick

Eschewing political showmanship, the mild-mannered accountant says he is aiming to take down "the worst lieutenant governor in the history of the state."

Congratulations! It’s campaign season again. On Saturday, at a public square in Round Rock, businessman Mike Collier made official his bid to unseat Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in 2018. Texas Democrats are fired up this year, but they’re also weary … Read More

Texas Legislature

Worst. Legislature. Ever. How Did We Get Here?

The Republican Party of Texas, hostage to its own overreach and gerrymandered districts, will never fix itself.

Grind with me for a moment the gears of imagination, and consider a state not unlike our own — let’s call it Rexas — which has demonstrated an unusual degree of political stability over the last 20 years. One party … Read More