This weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Texas Tribune Festival. If you are a reader of this blog and not yet familiar with the Texas Tribune, I recommend you visit the site ASAP. Click here.
For the 4th year, the Texas Tribune hosted a festival with bold-faced name keynotes and multiple tracks on energy, health care, transportation, immigration, open government, public education, higher education, justice and environment.
I attended with two colleagues from Pierpont Communications and it took us a week to sort out the sessions we would attend and required the building of a spread sheet so we could keep track.
We watched the gubernatorial debate on Friday night with a large audience and heard from candidate for Land Commissioner, George P. Bush. On Saturday, we were all scattered across multiple sessions and collecting valuable information for our clients.
One of the most fun sessions we attended included a panel of national politically focused journalists discussing the 2016 campaign. To a person, they had already nominated Hilary Clinton for the Democrats and had lively discussions about potential Republican nominees.
The very best part of the event was spending time with other people who work in or enjoy politics as much as we do and sharing insights and analysis of the various panels and policy discussions.
One of the biggest take-aways we garnered from the Festival is that the next Legislative session is going to be tumultuous. Most attendees have already elected Abbot and Dan Patrick in their models and are viewing policy through that window. Though money is always an issue, it is not in as short of supply this year. The bigger question is how Republicans will work together to actually solve problems when they are very splintered among themselves.
Thanks to the Texas Tribune for another great nerd nirvana weekend!