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texas: harbinger of the future

Tort Reform In Texas: Rove's Genius At Work
Tort reform was one of President Bush's top campaign issues in 2004 -- and one that frequently received the most applause at campaign fundraisers. Karl Rove saw the power of this issue almost 20 years earlier in Texas. He grasped its significance before others did, capitalized on it in the races that he ran in the 1980s and made tort reform a propelling factor in the Republicans' ascendancy in Texas. Discussing this chapter in Rove's political career is Sam Gwynne, editor of Texas Monthly; Bill Miller, a Texas political consultant; Kim Ross, a lobbyist for the Texas Medical Association; and Tom Phillips, former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court.

How Texas Became a Red State
When Karl Rove arrived in Texas in the late 1970s, state politics had been dominated by the Democrats for over 100 years. But by the late '90s it had swung in the opposite direction, with Republicans holding all the popularly elected statewide offices. Here, discussing the political realignment in Texas, Rove's part in it, and why much of the nation has followed Texas' lead, are: Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for Bush's 2004 campaign, and a former consultant for Texas Democrats; Thomas Edsall, a Washington Post reporter; Sam Gwynne, executive editor of Texas Monthly; Royal Masset, a political consultant and former political director of Republican Party of Texas; and Reggie Bashur, a Republican political consultant and former gubernatorial adviser to George W. Bush.

RELATED LINKS

Texas Politics: The Myth vs. the Reality
An interview with Karl Rove from the 2004 PBS/POV program, "Last Man Standing -- Politics Texas-Style." He talks about the rise of the Republican Party in Texas, the Democratic Party's problems in the state, and how Hispanics might change the state's political landscape. (POV, July 20, 2004)

The Nerd Behind the Throne
"It is Rove's longtime association with the Bush family that has launched him to national prominence. The nerdish consultant who tries to stay as far behind the scenes as possible is now being heralded as a strategic genius." (Dallas Observer, May 13, 1999)

History of the Republican Party in Texas
"Without a doubt, Texas is the strongest Republican state in the nation. The people of Texas have entrusted Republicans with the stewardship of every statewide elected office and majorities in the state senate, state house and on the state board of education. Republicans now have majorities in 73 Texas counties that contain nearly two-thirds of the state's population. And Texas' own President George W. Bush currently occupies the White House. But things haven't always been so great for Texas Republicans."

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posted april 12, 2005

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