Page 21


.ilisoiprp”..Wwwtva4 , salesman, she discovered Draughton’s doesn’t even have a computer. It’s very expensive to operate computers, the salesman explained, so the school sends students out to friendly businesses in town for a few hours of computer experience. “But the school is going to get a computer next year,” he added. The Draughton’s catalogue reflects that the school doesn’t have a computer programming course, per se. It has a General Business and Computer Operator Course and a Computer Operator Course. The General Business ” Course includes typewriting theory, one course in business math, marketing, accounting, etc. The student gets Introduction to Computer Systems, Introduction to Computer Languages, System Design Application, Operating Systems, Operating System Workshop and two pfogramming language courses. “The student who completes this course is qualified as a competent accountant with a solid background in computers,” the catalogue says. The Computer Operator Course provides the same computer courses with typewriting theory and mathematics. Another friend of the Observer, a computer programmer with a fat-cat Houston company, says “key punch, computer operating and computer programming are different jobs entirely.” She said she has never heard of anyone going from key punching to computer programming. She said computer pgorammers are skilled personnel who usually do programming and nothing else. They don’t type, they don’t keep books, and they don’t operate the computers. Our programmer ‘, an honors graduate from Duke University, said that general business courses would probably be useless to a programmer. The field, she said, is not “wide open.” And she pointed out that most companies train their own programmers for their own specific needs. They don’t pluck them out of computer operator courses. K.N. “Jim Nugent is harder to figure out than after watching Nugent’s unpredictable, ambivalent tWo-day performance in trying to get his ethics bill through the House. Nugent, the powerful Rules Committee chairman from Kerr, has sponsored the House ethics bill for 10 years. The two-day debate on the bill was replete with amendments to the amendments to the motion to amend the substitute, for the second revision, etc. Gamesmanship within gamesmanship was evident as members scrambled to build pro-ethics voting records. The ethics game played in past years has been for the House to pass an ethics bill to be sent to die in the Senate and for the Senate to pass an ethics bill to be sent to die in House. Sen. Ralph Hall of Rockwall, the author of the Senate-passed ethics bill, was one who believed the House was trying the same old game. “They want to be able to go home and say, ‘We passed an ethics bill,’ ” said Hall. “But that won’t mean a thing. It’s got to pass the House and the Senate before you can have a law.” , Hall said he didn’t care if the House took the credit for the bill. “If they want it that bad, we’ll put their picture on it and name it after them. I don’t care whose name is on it. I just want the bill to become law.” Lt.-Gov. Ben Barnes was teed off that House went ahead with its own bill rather than considering the Hall bill. “I can’t believe they’d do that,” he said. “It’s incredible. I’ll tell you one thing. We’re going to get an ethics bill, passed this session. We’re not leaving Austin without passing an ethics bill if I have to cause a special session to get it.” Meanwhile, the motley crew in the House couldn’t even agree on when to go to lunch. Adjournment motions clotted up both days of debate. For irony freaks, the presence of Rep. Tommy Shannon in the chair presiding over the Great Ethics Debate was a special thrill. Shannon, who was substituting for the absent Mr. Mutscher, is one of the politicians named in the SEC stock fraud case he introduced the “Frank Sharp bills” and made $31,125 on his NBL stock dealings. At times Nugent seemed to be working for his bill’s defeat. “This is utterly absured,” said DeWitt Hale of Corpus Christi in reference to a section of the bill which would have denied lawyer-members the right to practice in state courts. “It’s an insult to every lawyer in the state. What this section means is that a lawyer cannot be a member of this House and practice law.” “Uh, well, yes, I guess you could read it to mean that,” replied Nugent. “And this could keep every banker from banking and every insuranceman from conducting his business, too,” said Hale. “Well, yes, I guess it could.” At other points, Nugent came on very strong indeed. “I shall not cast aspersions upon the motivations of any member of this House,” he said, preparing to cast mightily. “But I notice we have some strong, dedicated leaders who have voted for this bill in the past knowing full well it didn’t have a chance in Senate, but now that it might become law we begin to see who won’t support it and why.” The strongest amendment to the bill came from freshman Rep. Charles Patterson of Taylor and Rep. Dave Allred of Wichita Falls. It provides for complete, public financial disclosure for all legislators, state officials and candidates. The amendment passed 137-2. It was precisely the same as a proposed amendment to the House rules that got about 30 votes early in the session. Two amendments by Rep. Dave Finney of Fort Worth strengthened the bill: one provides that no legislator can be on a lobbyist’s payroll or on the payroll of a corporation that retains a lobbyist and the other prevents legislators from investing in businesses regulated by the state. Hale was finally successful in getting most of the “anti-lawyer” provisions taken out of the bill, although the bill does forbid lawyer-members to appear before the state boards for compensation. At the end of the two-day debate, Nugent tried to stave off a vote on the bill. “I’m not sure that anyone here realizes what’s in the bill now,” he said, urging the House to wait until after Easter so they could cast more “informed votes.” “No! Kick it out! Vote!” yelled the members. “Let’s take this dose of castor oil and get it over with,” muttered one. And they did upon an ethics bill vote, 135-6. Supporters of the bill, which must still pass a third reading in the House, admit privately that the thing hasn’t a chance in the Senate. Rep. Tom Moore, Jr., of Waco said he thought the chances were 100 to one against the bill ever getting to the Senate floor. Two days of sound and fury, signifying . . . M.I. April 23, 1971 9 Ethics and other games A SHORT VISIT TO A SMALL TOWN IN EAST TEXAS AFTER TWENTY YEARS The car crept carefully through town, Past old familiar homes, Past sons of altered friends Boys grown to men Men grown to grey Grey grown to unknown Gone In worn navy blue suits From dark brick buildings With twice-tarred roofs. DONLEY E. WATT, JR. Austin