Julian Castro and Larry Gonzales lead Parade

Cal Jillson, political scientist at SMU's Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, talks about a day in the life of Texas government and politics.

By Jonathon Tilove

Good Morning Austin.

That would be Julian Castro, the Democratic mayor of San Antonio, and Larry Gonzales, the Republican state representative from Round Rock, on the cover of this Sunday’s Parade Magazine, under the headline, “How Latinos are Changing America,”and based on a roundtable discussion held last month, led by NBC Today Show anchor Natalie Morales, who is also pictured on the cover. The other two women are Cristina Jimenez, left, director of United We Dream, and Linda Alvarado, president and CEO of Denver’s Alvarado Construction and co-owner of the Colorado Rockies.

In the article, Castro says that the fast-growing Latino population will mean “a replenishment of exactly what made the United States a great nation: a great work ethic, faith, aspiration, community.”

Gonzales talks about the need for an immigration solution. “There’s a certain brain drain in this country. When these undocumented students are graduating in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—we want them to stay. We need that kind of brain trust.”...

I asked SMU political scientist Cal Jillson whether he thought Perry’s approach was a function of exhaustion, lost interest, or, simply an alternative leadership approach that may play very well outside the Capitol.

Jillson said Perry’s approach was indicative of what has come to distinguish Texas politics.

“It’s not about problem solving, it’s about stopping bad things from happening. Rather than developing an agenda for improving the schools, for improving access to health care or transportation or anything else, it’s much more a priority to stop bad things from happening.”

Jillson said the governor’s message on opening day was that, “as long as there are eight dollars in the till,” the priority was to figure out, “how to give this money back to taxpayers.” In his remarks to the House and Senate, Perry called on the lawmakers to resist the entreaties of those interests across the state who would view the rosy revenue estimates as a “dinner bell.”

Pursuing that image, Jillson said, Perry - “he’s just reaching up to grab - what’s that thing inside the bell - so it couldn’t ring.”...