You may think you know Texas, but which one? Texas is a land shrouded in myths, and so is its politics. The Real World of Texas Politics pulls back the veil on those myths and reveals the secrets the elites don't want you to know. It lays bare the dual worlds of the Lone Star State: the one for the elites, and the one for the masses. Inspired by the works of political scientist James Lamare, the authors argue that the privileged few have used their superior resources to dominate all aspects of the Texas political system, from voting and elections to government institutions and policymaking. This dominance by the elites has resulted in a subsistence life and limited future for millions of people living in twenty-first century Texas.
The authors are insiders — Locander a political scientist, Shaw a union leader, and Bailey a state representative — with a combined ten-decade involvement in Texas politics and government. But they're also outsiders, holding views that don't align with the people in power. Rather than placate, they seek to scrutinize with a skeptical eye the most pressing issues facing one of America's most important and most populous states. They lay bare the crass influence of money and power and provide a roadmap for what Texas can do to get state government working for average Texans.
The Real World of Texas Politics challenges the economic and political status quo. It peels back the myths to expose how the state's leaders, both Democrats and Republicans, have forsaken the masses to cater to the rich and powerful. Reversing this trend takes knowledge, and this book offers a hefty dose by taking a hard look at how politics and power really work in the Lone Star State.
Robert Locander holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of New Mexico. His professional articles and reviews have appeared in "Presidential Studies Quarterly," "The American Political Science Review," and "The Texas Journal of Political Science." Locander has been a long-time faculty member at Lone Star College – North Harris. He has also taught courses on politics at Lamar University, the University of Houston, and the University of Houston-Downtown. Outside of teaching, Locander has served as a civic club president, the vice-president of a Harris County MUD and a Catholic school board member.
For over 43 years, Richard C. Shaw was active in the Texas union movement. Shaw retired in 2017 from his position as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Harris County AFL-CIO Council. Prior to his 1995 election to the labor council, he had been the president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. After leaving HFT, Shaw held posts with AFSCME Local 1550 as a business representative and as an executive director, in addition to serving as a vice president of the Texas AFL-CIO. Shaw has also worked in government for the City of Houston and is an election judge for Harris County voting Precinct 165.
After leaving college teaching, Kevin Bailey took a position in Houston city government as the chief of staff for Councilmember Dale Gorczynski. In 1990 Bailey ran and won an election to the Texas House of Representatives for District 140. During his 18 years as a legislator in Austin, he chaired the House Committees on Urban Affairs and General Investigating and Ethics. Bailey was one of the co-founders of the Legislative Study Group in the House. Holding political science degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and Sam Houston State University, Bailey is now on the faculty at Houston Community College.
“The authors are firm believers in the cause that ordinary, hardworking Texans can and should get a fair shake from their state and local governments. This book is a testament to that belief.”
Co-author and editor, Texas Government
"Thoroughly informative, refreshingly analytical, entertaining even, The Real World of Texas Politics is an engaging read that provides insights into the wild ride that Texas politics has been. In particular, the authors place a clear-eyed, investigative focus on the economic elites at the center of the Lone Star political tradition. Whether agreeing or disagreeing with this unrelenting progressive spirit, the reader will come away with the most elusive of literary results: illumination!"
Dr. Allen Vogt
History Professor Emeritus, Lone Star College
"This book is a must read for any Texan interested in understanding real Texas politics. It is thought provoking, eye-opening, and offers no apology for the truth."
Texas community college trustee