Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas (Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series)

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9780292714540: Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas (Clifton and Shirley Caldwell Texas Heritage Series)

Renowned for his fierce devotion to the people of Texas—as well as his equally fierce rages and unpredictable temper—Bob Bullock was the most powerful political figure in Texas at the end of the twentieth century. First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1956, Bullock held several key statewide posts before capturing the lieutenant governor's office in 1990. Though nominally the state's number two official, Bullock in fact became Texas's top power broker, wielding tremendous influence over the legislative agenda and state budget through the 1990s while also mentoring and supporting a future president—George W. Bush.

In this lively, yet thoroughly researched biography, award-winning journalists Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson craft a well-rounded portrait of Bob Bullock, underscoring both his political adroitness and his personal demons. They trace Bullock's rise through state government as Assistant Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Comptroller, and Lieutenant Governor, showing how he increased the power of every office he held. The authors spotlight Bullock's substantial achievements, which included hiring an unprecedented number of women and minorities, instituting a performance review to increase the efficiency of state agencies, restructuring the public school funding system, and creating the state's first water conservation and management plan.

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About the Author:

DAVE MCNEELY is the dean of the Texas Capitol press corps. A political writer for the Austin American-Statesman for twenty-six years, he continues to write a syndicated political column for Texas newspapers.

Review:

"Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson's 2008 Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas tries harder to project an aura of journalistic objectivity portraying the volcanic late lieutenant governor. McNeely, former longtime political reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, even refers to himself in the third person. Yet that studied sheen of objectivity does not undercut the authors' prodigious research or crackerjack narrative style. They tell it like it is." (Austin American-Statesman’s Out & About blog 2013-07-23)

"Bob Bullock was truly representative of what it means to be a Texas politician. He was a definitive force to be reckoned with as Lieutenant Governor, which allowed him to be a highly effective leader. Bullock and I had many moments of heated debate, yet we were able to build a lifelong friendship full of the utmost respect for each other. Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson have done an excellent job of providing a narrative of an important period of Texas history in which they were front row observers. Their book is a must-read for anyone who is interested in Texas and all of its years of turbulent politics." (Ben Barnes, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, 1969–1973, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, 1965–1969)

"Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson have done a masterful job of getting inside the mind of Bob Bullock--the most complex, colorful, powerful, and controversial Lieutenant Governor Texas has ever had." (William P. Hobby, Jr., Lieutenant Governor of Texas, 1973–1991)

"Those of us who knew and worked with Bob Bullock either loved or hated him, and could easily do both in a twenty-four-hour period. Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson have done a masterful job of explaining who the real Bob Bullock was, and how his mood and attitude could change at the drop of a hat, and the impact he had on Texas government. Bob Bullock was an icon in Texas government, with a great depth of experience and understanding of all of the working segments from top to bottom. I was always surprised at the uncanny ability he had at hiring the very best people in the state to work for him. Without the talent of folks like Bob Johnson, Tony Proffitt, Bruce Gibson, Paul Hobby, and many others like them to help tame his bad side, I don’t think Texas would ever have had a chance to see state government work at such a high level." (Gibson D. “GibLewis Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, 1983–1992)

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