notably, a 10 percent pay raise for state employees and an increase in minimum school foundation appropriations. The extra money for schools would be “distributed on the same basis that the school districts participate” in present allocation plans. Briscoe did not outline his plans for reforming the present school financing program. What with being considered for the vice presidency and appointed to head the U.S. liaison office in Peking, George Bush has offered a pretty good target lately for those who remember his 1964 campaign for the U.S. Senate against Ralph Yarborough. Back then, Bush was a Goldwater partisan and none too keen on the “normalization of relations” with the People’s Republic. He said at the time that if China were admitted to the United Nations, the U.S. should get out. But then he was no U.N. fan, either: he was calling it “deficient” and “a failure in preserving peace.” Since then, of course, Bush has gone places. To the U.N., for example, as chief American delegate. In 1971, Bush recalled his 1964 sentiments this way: “That was 1964, a long time ago. There’s been an awful lot changed since.” Bush led the unsuccessful fight to have the government of Chiang Kai-shek retain its seat when the People’s Republic was admitted. He has since said of the Communist Chinese delegates that he “admired the way they’ve learned the processes here, their seriousness, their dedication.” A Texas arm of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee had a meeting in Houston last spring attended by 25 members, and an organizing meeting was scheduled for Austin in September. The doctrinal commitment of the members includes “the social ownership and democratic control of the means of production and distribution.” There is an irregularly issued newsletter, The Southpaw, emanating from Steve Rossignol of San Antonio. Evidently these are the democratic socialists. “We feel it is time to establish a socialist presence in. the United States and especially in Texas,” Rossignol says. The Texas Railroad Commission is going to the Texas Supreme Court with its fight to keep from doing anything about natural gas shortages in Austin and San Antonio. The commission stoutly maintains that the shortage is a result of sales contracts \(the Lo-Vaca Gathering Co. sold gas that, it turned out, was-needed by legal authority to nullify contracts. Two lower courts have held that the commission does have such authority in this case. From Jack Anderson’s and Les Whitten’s column of Aug. 28: “Even some of Rep. Olin Teague’s colleagues were 10 The Texas Observer astonished when he ordered his personal printed up at government expense. ‘Tiger’ McGovern’s stand on veterans’ rights that he accused McGovern of ‘intellectual dishonesty … threats . , . misleading statements’ and politicking with vet issues. Customarily, members of Congress refrain from personal assaults on each other, particularly when the printed blast is paid for by the taxpayer . . .” Austin Chances look pretty good for division of the Atomic Energy Commission into two separate entities by the end of the year. Before the Labor Day recess, a House-Senate conference committee was set up to work out the differences between two versions of the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974. Both bills separate the regulatory and research functions of the AEC. For years, critics of the AEC have accused it of being the chief proselytizer of nuclear power. The agency has been quick to downplay or even withhold information that casts doubts on the safety of atomic plants. Congress finally decided it was time to make some changes at the AEC. THE SENATE bill, sponsored by an Energy Research and Development over all the AEC’s nuclear-energy programs plus authority to research coal gasification and solar energy. Some 6,000 research personnel from the AEC would be assigned to the new agency. A new Nuclear Safety take on the AEC’s task of regulating all nuclear power plants, recovery plants and fabrication plants. to the Senate bill giving the public more clout in challenging nuclear projects. One of Metcalf’s amendments would give any party to a licensing or rulemaking proceeding before the NSLC the authority to obtain special studies and technological assistance in presenting his case. The commission would pay for the studies, but it could seek financial reimbursement “to the extent that the party was financially capable of providing it.” Kennedy’s amendment makes the government pay for the legal and technical expert costs of public interest intervenors in nuclear licensing proceedings. Metcalf’s second amendment relaxes the AEC’s “trade secrets” and “internal memoranda” exemptions under the =,..foOvo ,etww*, The American Historical Association will convene in Dallas in November, and one of the papers to be given is entitled “The Texas Observer Writers.” Dr. Lawrence Goodwyn, former associate editor of the Observer and now director of the Oral History Project at the Center for Southern Studies at Duke University, will deliver the paper bracketed on a program with another speaker discussing the work of Larry McMurtry, some of whose shorter pieces have appeared in the Observer. disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. In introducing the amendment, Metcalf charged that the AEC attempts to hide “many critical facts” from the public “by relying almost routinely on the two exemptions.” As “examples of the secrecy with which the AEC has attempted to cloak its activities,” Metcalf pointed out that not one of the 120 meetings held by the AEC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards over a 16-month period was open to the public. All were said to deal with “trade secrets” or “internal memoranda.” In 1965, Metcalf said, the AEC completed a study showing the consequences of a major nuclear power plant accident. The study concluded that as many as 45,000 fatalities could occur in such an accident. The disaster area might be as large as the state of vPennsylvania. The report was kept secret until threat of court action forced its release. All three amendments, of course, must face scrutiny by the conference committee. The new arrangement of ‘nuclear agencies should be some improvement over the old AEC, but ‘ hard core critics of the nuke business wonder if the improvement will be sufficient. According to Tom Zemon \(Ramparts, August, 1974, “Nuclear Power: new arrangement means that the giant AEC research and development establishment 4 Nuclear news
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.