political writer

Talent is lacking in the Democratic Party, and it is up to the future generation to change it, a political writer told a group of about 50 students at a University Democrats meeting Wednesday. Paul Burka, senior executive editor of Texas Monthly, writes a political blog and has worked for the magazine since 1975. He also served as an attorney in the Texas Legislature for five years and holds a degree from UT’s School of Law. UDems President Billy Calve said Burka speaking to the organization is a great opportunity to get a different perspective on Texas politics. “Paul Burka is an institution in Texas politics,” Calve said. “We really hope our members will build on their understanding by hearing from him.” It’s over for Anglos, Burka said. He said the future of Texas is up to the Hispanic majority because there has not been a significant time when Hispanics have voted in large numbers. If all Texans voted, the state would prove to have a much stronger Democratic voice, he said. “If you plan to spend your life in Texas, you will live in a blue state,” Burka said. However, Burka that the increase in affluence in South Texas threatens Democrats because increased wealth, combined with a cultural sense of family values and patriotism, could lead more Hispanics living in the Valley to vote for Republicans. The Democratic Party hard said ly exists in Texas, he said. He said the party’s infrastructure is not strong because it has not been able to reach out to the Hispanic population. “The talent level you have to replace is not very high,” Burka said. Burka said Gov. Rick Perry is an unsympathetic politician who is not interested in the Legislature but is a political pro who knows what to do and always has a plan. “There’s nobody better at running a campaign and nobody worse at running the state,” Burka said. Burka said charisma is what makes a very strong candidate. He said the next generation of lawmakers need to be better at it. “The ball is there, and somebody has to go pick it up,” Burka said. Government sophomore Huey Fischer said he appreciated Burka’s insight on Texas politics because he came from a nonpartisan perspective. He said UDems members gained new insight into how to move forward for the 2012 elections. “We do need to start recruiting tougher candidates, better candidates, charismatic candidates,” Fischer said.