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The Democrats won the contested Senate the Senate with a slightly tinge. all five of races, leaving more liberal A progressive Senate? Liberal Democrat Glenn Kothmann beat James Nowlin, a Democrat turned Republican, in a hotly-contested senate race in San Antonio. Max Sherman of Amarillo, who has been labeled a moderate, bested Malouf Abraham in the Panhandle contest. James Wallace, a labor-endorsed lawyer, beat Abraham Farrior, an electrical equipment company executive, in the race to fill the Houston Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Criss Cole. And former Rep. Lindley Beckworth of Longview, a conservative, beat John F. Warren of Tyler. Some political reporters are assessing the Senate as being 17-14 1 i b eral-conservative. Texas senators however, do not lend themselves so easily to liberal and conservative labeling. The Senate will certainly have more “liberal” votes than last time, but that does not necessarily mean that the upper house will be outstandingly progressive. It probably will be up to Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes to set the pace there. Gigantic tax bill The next legislative session will be a difficult one. The Texas Research League estimates that as much as $600 million in new taxes will be needed. The biggest single item in the projected increase is in welfare spending. The Department of Public Welfare is seeking to almost double its budget for 1972-73, from $1.1 billion to $2.1 billion. The reason for the big budget is that welfare rolls have increased dramatically because of new federal regulations and because of federal court decisions. Barnes is among many state leaders across the nation proposing that the federal government take over all welfare responsibilities. The Texas Education Agency is asking for a large fund increase from $2.8 billion this biennium to $3.9 billion next. Whither Barnes? Political types are spending a great deal of time these days speculating about Barnes’ future plans. He easily beat his Republican opponent, Byron Fullerton, to win a second term as lieutenant governor. Barnes has promised to reveal his plans soon to run in 1972 for either governor or senator. Either way, he is an 8 The Texas Observer important young face on the political horizon. The day after the election, Barnes had a telephone conversation with Sen. Edmund Muskie of Maine, which columnists Evans and Novak said symbolizes “the sudden transformation of the Southern Democratic wasteland into a potentially fertile source of 1972 votes.” The reporters said Barnes and Muskie talked of the need to re-establish the Democratic Party’s historical alliance between North and South. The Dallas Times Herald reported that a few days after the election Barnes initiated a series of statewide strategy sessions designed to provide him with a strong base of support for either senator or governor. Uvalde rancher-millionaire Dolph Briscoe, who ran unsuccessfully against Preston Smith in 1968, already has announced his intention to run again for governor in 1972, no matter who else is in the race. Smith has said recently that he will and that he will not run for a third term. . The Monday morning quarterbacks of state politics, laying their fingers aside their’noses, have been saying that La Raza Unida suffered a stupendous defeat at the polls. Only one of the 16 Raza Unida candidates running in four south Texas counties was victorious. The commentators have blithely ignored that fact that only one Raza Unida candidate was on a ballot. tried almost every conceivable means to get on the ballot but was turned down by the courts on technicalities. Raza Unida candidates ran in Zavala, Dimmit, Hidalgo, and La Salle counties. Aside from the party’s one victor, they came close in at least one other race in Crystal City for county commissioner. The party also complained of voting irregularities in Zavala County, where they were not permitted to have party poll watchers in all precincts. Jose Angel Gutierrez, a leader of the party, alleged further irregularities in absentee voting and hassling of voters by election judges. The Party’s winner is Roel Rodriquez, who was elected La Salle County Commissioner by 134 votes to 90. Sansinesta to ply domestic waters. Eggers, the defeated Republican candidate for governor, signed the wavier for Union Oil. T.S.U. 5 free Three years after the disturbance at Texas Southern University, Houston Dist. Atty. finally has dropped charges against all the T.S.U. five, the former T.S.U. students charged with murder and assault to murder \(Obs., June 9, 1967, after a Houston policeman was killed and two other officers wounded during the May, 1967, incident that some call a student riot and others call a police riot. D. A. Vance told reporters he waited so long to dismiss charges because “we wanted to be sure this was our only alternative.” A Victoria jury two years ago failed to reach a verdict in a trial of one of the students. The district attorney had argued that the student was guilty of assault because he engaged in a riot. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld a 40-year sentence of Joe Mattel, convicted of marijuana possession. Ernie McMillan, a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, has now been on the F.B.I.’s fugitive list for more than a year. McMillan disappeared -after he was given a 10-year prison sentence for destruction of property during a demonstration at a Dallas supermarket in 1968 \(Obs., Four important Texas cases are before the U.S. Supreme Court this term. All four cases stem from three-judge federal court actions on obscenity, vagrancy, sodomy, and abortion. The Texas Supreme Court has declined to make a ruling on the constitutionality of the 1969 Texas Obscenity Law because the issue was not raised through correct legal procedures. Sansinesta again A Florida congressman, Dante Fascell, is preparing to ask the House Governmental Operations subcommittee to look into the special treatment given Union Oil during Paul Egger’s term as general counsel of the U. S. Treasury Department \(Obs., look like child’s play,” a Fascell aide told The Houston Post. Although the Treasury Department has a long-standing rule that foreign-flag ships cannot carry cargoes from one American port to another, Union Oil asked for and got permission for the Liberian tanker The state’s abortion law was declared unconstitutional last June. Law enforcement officials are postponing abortion prosecution in both Dallas and Houston until the high court makes a decision. The law struck down allows abortions only to save the life of the mother. Doctors and hospitals also are holding back on abortions until the Supreme Court hears the case. Another county, La Salle, has asked Gov. Preston Smith to remove its Vistas. The La Salle County commissioners object to the fact that the Vista supervisor, Alfredo Zamora, Jr., ran under the Raza Unida banner last spring and was elected the first chicano mayor of Cotulla. The commissioners say that Zamora, who was county chairman of La Raza Unida, was in “a strongly politically tainted position for anyone who is in charge of Vista workers.”