Aug 11, 2005

Texas Government Blogs

Governing Magazine July 2005 Cover Posted by Picasa

While at work today, I noticed the cover story by Christopher Swope ( on the July 2005 issue of Governing magazine, titled Blogger Power. I read the article and found that the focus was on Texas political blogs. The article was informative and it was interesting to discover the variety of political blogs that have developed in Texas. I usually avoid most of the political websites/blogs because there seems to be too much arguing and not enough discourse. To my surprise, the article showcases a couple of blogs that post live from the legislative sessions. "A Capitol Blog," by state legislator Aaron Pena, is posted live from the floor of the House of Representatives. According to the article Representative Pena's blog has become the blog to read if you want to know what is happening in the Texas legislature, and he feels that he is able to let his constituents get to know him and it allows him to explain to them why he votes the way he does. That's a pretty noble goal for a legislator, at least from my perspective. He hasn't been able to get any of the other legislators to follow his lead into the blogosphere, but I admire that he has tried. As a public servant, I appreciate every effort that is made to make governing more transparent. I can see how a trend of government officials blogging could evolve into a form of manipulation by the government, but I think that recent history (the last presidential election) showed that the nation's blogging community can be dogged in its determination to uncover the truth, as well as being merciless in dealing with anyone who is lying to the American public. I can see why most politicians would avoid blogging like the plague, they are terrified of having what they say scrutinized too closely.

On a lighter note, "In The Pink" is a political blog written by Eileen Smith in Austin, Texas. Her blog is named for the pink granite that covers the Texas state capitol building, and her style of blogging is irreverent. If Saturday Night Live had a Weekend Update segment on Texas politics, she would be the writer. Smith's delivery is sarcastic and funny, so she is gaining a following. She even has some contacts at the capitol and she at times blogs from the public gallery, so she has an interesting perspective on the Texas political system. I had a feeling I would like Smith's blog when I read that she is nonpartisan, but is known to go after conservatives who are against gay marriage and late term abortion. After reading her blog, I decided to link In the Pink, so that I remember to check it often for the political updates and for the laughs.

There are many Texas political blogs, but the last one I will mention is Rick Perry vs. The World. Written by Evan, a Republican, currently living in Houston. He doesn't use his last name so that potential employer's don't Google him, then judge him by his blog. He's probably smarter than most bloggers in that respect. Evan's blog covers the gubernatorial race in Texas and I found it to be an interesting read. I don't agree with everything he says, but he doesn't offend me in the way he delivers his message, either. The fact that I am a liberal and a Democrat is no surprise to anyone who knows me, so linking
Rick Perry vs. The World to my blog is a little surprising, but I see it as my small way to support bipartisanship.

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