Dave McNeely began reporting on Texas politics and government in 1962, as a political reporter and later editor of The University of Texas student newspaper.
In the years since, with breaks for a Congressional Fellowship in Washington, and a Nieman Fellowship for journalists at Harvard, he has covered most legislative sessions and Texas elections. For more than 20 years, he has written a column for the Austin American-Statesman.
McNeely's master's thesis in government was on the 1964 U.S. Senate race that George Bush lost. He first interviewed George W. Bush in 1978, when Bush was running for Congress.
An expert on Texas politics when he joined the Austin American-Statesman in 1978, McNeely is now the dean of the Texas Capitol press corps. His column is also carried in several other Texas newspapers.
McNeely has co-taught a course at The University of Texas on "The Press and Politics" -- first with Paul Begala, a consultant who with James Carville ran Bill Clinton's 1992 race, and then with Karl Rove, chief political adviser to George W. Bush as governor, and now as President.
McNeely was married to the late Carole Kneeland, an award-winning TV news reporter for Dallas and Houston TV stations, and later news director for KVUE-TV in Austin. Carole died of breast cancer in January of 1998. McNeely is on the board of The Carole Kneeland Project for Responsible Television Journalism founded in her name, which hosts an annual seminar in Austin for local TV news executives from across the country to expose them to Carole’s unique style of newsroom management.
McNeely in late 2003 married Kathryn Longley, general counsel for the Texas Methodist Foundation. Between them they have five children and four grandchildren.
McNeely was born on June 12, 1940.
In Texas, so many politicians’ names sound alike
COMMENTARY | June 14, 2012
Sometimes borrowed name identification helps a candidate; it did for George W. Bush, for example, and possibly some others that columnist Dave McNeely points out.
Calling on God to bring some rain to Texas
COMMENTARY | April 29, 2011
Gov. Rick Perry proclaimed Easter weekend as Days of Prayer for Rain to help put out massive wildfires in many areas of the state. Some in the state prayed the governor would stop posturing for the Tea Party and do things within his own power for schools and nursing homes that face disastrous budget cuts.
In Texas, thinking about Barbara Jordan
COMMENTARY | March 12, 2011
Noting what would have been her 75th birthday, Dave McNeely looks back on Barbara Jordan's achievements, and friends and admirers create a foundation in her name.
Young men looking cool in Dallas, their pants around their knees
COMMENTARY | October 11, 2007
Sagging trousers, a style also known as “Jailin’” are called disrespectful, disgusting, dishonorable and a safety hazard, and there’s a proposal to fine people who wear them. Dave McNeely says belts and suspenders would be a beautification effort, and recalls trying to look cool himself, in an earlier day. (Dyed his hair black after getting Elvis’s autograph.)
Will Bush work with Democrats? He did back in Austin
COMMENTARY | November 16, 2006
Bush got along with Democrats when he was governor of Texas; maybe dropping Rumsfeld and, possibly, getting off Cheney’s lap are signals he’s preparing to try a little bipartisanship in Washington.
5 candidates for governor, no runoff
COMMENTARY | August 18, 2006
Texas has never had an independent running for governor; this year it has two, plus a Republican, a Democrat and a Libertarian
DeLay Judge Shuffle Underlines Texas Judicial Election Problems
COMMENTARY | November 12, 2005
Partisan races, $1 million or more in contributions needed and guess who the big donors are. Some are looking to change this court system
McNeely recounts 40+ years of covering the Texas legislature
SHOWCASE | August 10, 2005
Successful reporters had an in with legislators and lobbyists in the ‘pre-ethics days.’ Things have changed some since then, writes Dave McNeely (Nieman 1976).
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