The Man

So said the late, great Bob Bullock to a resigning underling who had balked at giving Bullock the news to his face. This is just one of the many larger-than-life Bob Bullock stories he left behind.

At the end of last month, the LBJ School’s Center for Politics and Governance hosted a reception for a new book from the UT Press by journalists Dave McNeely and Jim Henderson entitled, Bob Bullock: God Bless Texas.

Here are some of my other favorite Bullock tales:

One time, Bullock took a state Senator over to the cemetery and walked to one of the prime spots – up on a hill – not far from the burial spot of Stephen F. Austin. Bullock showed the senator the place where Bullock eventually would be laid to rest. The senator expressed considerable surprise that Bullock managed to get himself such a prime spot. Bullock told the senator that he couldn’t be nearly as surprised “as the guy who moved out of here.”

Former Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle has a few gems about Bullock as well. The first was when Bullock told Earle’s father, who during his retirement served as a Capitol parking guard and frequently lunched with Bullock:

You’re a pretty good guy, Charles, but you did a piss-poor job of raising that boy of yours.

Earle tells another story how, soon after he became the D.A., he investigated Bullock for using a state airplane for personal purposes, but the grand jury decided not to indict him. As soon as the investigation was over, Bullock allowed the Legislature to approve funding for Earle’s public integrity unit, which Bullock had been blocking during the pendency of the grand jury proceedings. Years later, Bullock admitted to Earle:

You know that investigation you did on me years ago? I was guilty as hell.

At one of his fundraisers, a trade association sent Bullock a $1,000 contribution, which he promptly sent back with a letter that read:

Here’s your check back, and I’m sending you a $500 check from myself. I didn’t know your association was in such bad shape. I hope this $500 will help you.

Shortly thereafter, the trade association sent him a $10,000 check.

Thx to Texas Politics , Texas Monthly, and Postcards from the Lege