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Yes, Ben, there is a governor “Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes stresses the necessity for passage of a balanced fair tax bill.” That’s the caption under this photo from the little booklet distributed to visitors at the entrance of the Texas Senate. Despite the official booklet’s reassurances, the only tax that Barnes publicly supported during the Legislature’s traumatic weeks of debate on the tax question was a two cent a gallon increase on the gasoline tax. Gov . Preston Smith estimated that the tax would have raised $287 million in taxes, only a fourth of which would have gone into general revenue. Barnes said that the Highway Department, which would have received three fourths of the benefit of the tax, had asked for the increase. Smith and a number of reporters said they had it on good Highway Department authority that Barnes himself had initiated the idea. At any rate, Smith threatened to veto the whole $900 million tax bill if it weren’t substantially shrunk. “The most repulsive feature, for every Texan, of H.B. 730 is the increase in the gasoline tax,” Smith said, giving a rather broad hint as to which part of the tax package should go. His threat was greeted at first with incredulity and then with jeers in the House and Senate. But the legislators soon sobered and repealed the gasoline section of the tax bill. The repeal was especially embarrassing to the Senate, which is still smarting from the bad press it received last session when it passed a tax on groceries. Ralph Hall of Rockwall stated what seemed to be the Senate’s consensus: “I think it’s sad and it’s sick that we have to buckle under to this lack of leadership the state has suffered from a man who has spent six years in the House, six years in the Senate, six years as lieutenant governor and, God help us, only four years as governor.” generally excel in this area, in quantity if not quality, but Jones’ gem explaining his vote against rolling back the two cent increase in the gas tax deserves special recognition. Entitled “Reason for Vote on H.B. 1858,” the release goes along for some time on the subject of Jones’ aversion to higher taxes and his long record of voting against them. Then comes the key sentence. “I accidentally pushed the wrong button on my voting machine.” Reports UN Ambassador George Bush might return to Texas and run for governor or senator are just speculations, receiving nothing but emphatic repudiation from Bush. Quote of the Month: Spiro Agnew, pooh-poohing rumors that John Connally will be on the 1972 Republican ticket as vice-president: “Why, can you imagine anyone with a Texas accent being able to pronounce ‘pusillanimous pussyfooters?’ ” Ben Barnes is wroth with Bill Heatly because the appropriations conference committee hasn’t done enough work. Just the facts The new biographical data form required of all UT applicants for graduate school financial aid, includes the following questions: “Have you been suspended or dismissed from an institution of higher education either as a student or as an employee? If your answer is yes, please explain giving dates and circumstances. “Have you ever been convicted of a violation of a state, local or federal law other than minor traffic violations? If your answer is yes, please explain giving dates and circumstances. “Have you ever organized or helped to organize or become a member of any organization or group of persons which, during the period of your membership or association, you knew was advocating or teaching that the government of the United States or any state or any political subdivision thereof should be overthrown or overturned by force, violence or any unlawful means? If your answer is in the affirmative, state the facts. “If your answer to [the above question] is affirmative, did you, during the period of such membership or association, have the specific intent to further the aims of such organization or group of persons to overthrow or overturn the government of the United States or any state or any political subdivision thereof by force, violence or any unlawful means?” The form must be sworn to and notarized. Hank Brown, President of the Texas AFL-CIO, has told friends he will not run for re-election at the state labor federation’s convention in August. Brown has health problems and says he is too tired to continue in the job. Roy Evans, the Secretary-Treasurer of the labor organization, has indicated he will run for the job, but he is expected to have opposition. Evans and Brown have disagreed politically for years, and Brown may even endorse a candidate against Evans. Those currently being discussed include Don McCullar of Houston, leader of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Harold Tate, a member of the Texas AFL-CIO staff. ‘ . Republicans for Progress, appears to have decided to oppose John Tower in the Republican primary next year. Sobel has been seeking to generate “moderate-progressive” candidates in Texas on the Republican side. The chairman of the Texas Council for Republican Alternatives, Paul Priddy, a Houston insurance broker, has been quoted stating that Tower can be defeated in the Republican primary next year. Sobel has run unsuccessfully for the Houston city council and the Texas Legislature. According to the Americans for Democratic Action, Bob Eckhardt of Houston is Texas’ most liberal congressman. He made a score of 92% on the ADA’s rating system. Next highest was Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio with 64, then Jack Brooks of Beaumont, 36; Richard White of El Paso and Jim Wright of Fort Worth, 32. Jim Collins of Dallas and Omar Burleson both compiled liberal voting records of zero. June 4, 1971 7