Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby Speaking Next Week
A veteran Texas politician who served in the state’s Number 2 position for nearly two decades will visit the University of Houston next week to offer an insider’s perspective on Texas politics.
Former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby Jr. will talk Texas people and politics in his free presentation, “A Political Atlas of Texas,” at 1 p.m. on March 10 in the Robertson Auditorium in the Academic Building at the University of Houston-Downtown. UHD will hold a reception for Hobby after the lecture at 2:30 p.m. in the Coffee House next to the auditorium.
Hobby served 18 years as the state’s lieutenant governor and two years as chancellor of the University of Houston System. His book, “How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics,” will be out this fall.
In his UHD presentation, Hobby examines the Republican vote percentage and election results in terms of the Voting Rights Act variables considered in redistricting. He also uses county census data and demographic information such as age, race, ethnicity, income and education. The numbers produce some interesting results. For example, 27 percent of all Texans live in two counties, Harris and Dallas.
His new book deals more with how the legislature works from his unique perspective. Hobby notes that the Texas political climate has changed in recent years and not all of those changes have been for the better.
“Partisanship now is as important as it ever was in Washington and that’s a change for the worse,” Hobby said. “For many years, partisanship wasn’t a big thing (in the state legislature). When they take the oath of office it doesn’t say, they swear to defend and protect the Democrats or Republicans. It says they swear they’ll do the best job they can. In other words, they need to read the directions.”
Hobby’s lecture is one of the week’s highlights as UHD officially welcomes its fifth president, William V. Flores. The formal academic ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on March 11 at the Wortham Center.