16 7 4*.46..,:44Wellw40**04+ All I know is what little the papers have said about it. The special corporate police force is probably the most ill thought out proposal ever to pass the Legislature. A potential private gestapo armed with arrest power! Apparently no one, except the governor, saw through it or warned of its potential. The papers never mentioned it until the veto. I think the governor deserves a lot of credit for spotting this one. Can you imagine Exxon, IT & T, et al, with their own private “Texas Rangers”? 3.The governor’s insurance legislation is already producing spotted reductions in rates and will, I predict, result in more rate reductions. This is money the people will keep that they should not have had to pay to the insurance companies all these years anyway. And why not give the governor due credit for appointing Joe Christie to the Insurance Commission? That’s what the people really needed a consumer advocate on the commission. 4.The governor was right on the school financing dilemma. His proposal was simply: let’s take the extra money we have and give it to the poorest districts, as an immediate help and a stop gap measure. After all, the Legislature did not send any bill to the governor. The House, by a tie vote, killed the Senate’s bill which, I assume without knowing, had at least the tacit approval of the TSTA. Therefore, I don’t believe the governor can be blamed for the failure of the Legislature to do anything on this issue. Also, I think the governor is right in not calling a special session at this time. I haven’t studied this question in depth, but from my The Texas Observer knowledge, the solution would be either to equalize ad valorem taxes statewide for payment to school districts based on need, or to eliminate this tax for school purposes altogether and support the schools directly from general revenue. Both ideas are fraught with problems such as bonded indebtedness, local control, enrichment programs where they are possible, etc. This merely points out that I don’t have sufficient information to have a proposal, but at least the governor’s plan would have provided some immediate relief where it is most needed. After all, Rodriguez came down in March and in order to provide an equitable solution, more study is definitely needed. The professional education lobby cannot be given the sole and final word on this issue. 5.The governor signed humanitarian reforms such as comparative negligence, revision of the guest statute and workmen’s compensation. When I was in the Legislature, we couldn’t even get these bills out of committee. Later, Preston Smith vetoed those that did pass. 6.I think a definite trend in the governor’s thinking is dembnstrated by his actions so far. He is the most independent . Texas governor in my memory and he is displaying a keen awareness of the so often neglected need of protecting the people against bad legislation. 7.I noticed that the Observer mentioned the governor’s appointment of a black dentist to the State Board of Dental Examiners. The article noted that his press people gave no notice to black newspapers that the man was black. I think it is newsworthy that we have a governor who appoints people on their qualifications without making a big display about their race. Obviously, he felt the man was qualified without regard to his color, and that’s really what we’re after. I’m sure the man in question must appreciate the fact that he was not publicized as a black being appointed, but merely as a qualified dentist being recognized to serve his profession. But more important the appointment demonstrates that the governor is trying to give minority groups an opportunity to participate at all levels of their government. 8.Much can, and is, being said about drug reform. Nevertheless, the governor was the first chief executive to advocate abolition of felony convictions for marijuana possession. Without this the bill would probably not have passed the Legislature. This, alone, will relieve much misery among the youth and their parents. The defense of these youngsters has been one of the most agonizing aspects of law practice for me the past few years. I know, as do you, that these kids aren’t criminals. I’m thankful that this unfair and unjustified aspect of my practice is going to pass. I’m grateful that the governor understood this problem. There still are attacks being made on this new law by the “purist” element. Some still want past convictions to stay on the record, and court tests are being made. But at least we have a governor who has compassion for the young people so we can be hopeful. 9. The question of leadership is, of course, a “many splendored thing.” Some lead quietly, some by deed alone, some by example, some’ by more loud and “colorful” means. Who can say which method is best or most effective? Circumstances actually dictate which approach is best. I hope that the Observer does not overlook the significance and impact of the governor’s recent speech at the Bar Association’s annual convention. Not only did he eloquently and accurately characterize the public’s indignation to the Watergate affair, but he properly laid it to the lawyers to do something to correct the conditions which permitted it to happen. I do wish the Observer would look closer at what the governor has done. I think that he has done an outstanding job of restoring the people’s faith in their state government and in blocking bad legislation. The present members of the staff should be reminded that Dolph was one of the “dirty thirty” of 1955. I think his actions demonstrate that he still has the heart that he had back then when he not only stood with but, on many occasions, led the minority \(then as now, wars of 1955. J. C. Zbranek, 1937 Trinity St., Liberty, Tex. 77575. Zbranek is a former member of the House and a graduate of UT and the UT Law School. On Oct. 4 \(after this letter announced that Zbranek had been appointed to the Board of Regents of Lamar University. IDialogue I Not that bad I do not have much use for Gov. Dolph Briscoe either, but is it really fair to compare him to Peron, Brezhnev, and Col. What’s-his-name because he shut down a whore house that turned out to be a great favorite of the press corps? Was that really so anti-democratic and reactionary? A. D. Wilbanks, 430 Marilu, Richardson, Tex. 75080. Good therapy Keep up the good work. Right now I’m covering politics in Phenix City, Ala. And I thought all the politicians in Texas were asses. The only person over here with any style is Wallace. You ought to see his Messiah act as he slowly rises from the wheelchair to waggle his husky eyebrows over the adoring multitudes. The Observer is the only thing keeping me sane. Sarah Sharpless, 5429 Stonehaven Dr., Columbus, Georgia 31904.
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.