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feels like Dallas County is a plantation and he’s the plantation owner.” SOMETIMES, sometimes we feel like just giving up on trying to understand Houston politics. During a good year for Democrats, who should beat long-time semi-liberal County Judge Bill Elliott but a Republican named Jon’ Lindsay. Lindsay was a Democrat until two years ago and was reportedly handpicked for the race against Elliott by the inimitable Nancy Harris County Republicans. Elliott was obviously hurt by twin reports of the Harris County grand jury and district attorney issued on Oct. 18, in which an associate of Elliott’s was accused of influence peddling. Now heaven forfend that anyone should suggest that D.A. Carol Vance might issue a politically motivated report, but while Elliott’s associate was accused of various tacky doings, he was not, in fact, indicted for anything. Elliott was also hurt by a low voter turnout in the city’s black precincts. He carried them by about 95 percent, more than which one cannot ask, but the turnout there was only about 20 percent. Elliott suffered a net shift of about 15 percent in white districts. Lindsay has been hotly denying that he is any kind of pawn of the Harris County Republican party, but the fact remains that he couldn’t possibly have gotten elected without Napalm’s effective precinct work. And a political debt is a political debt is a political debt. The Legislature There will be all of three new faces in the Texas Senate this. session. Nelson Wolff, who was at least a semi-decent senator from San Antone, even if he did oust the libs’ beloved Joe Bernal in ’72, got lost in the shuffle of those trying to replace , 0. C. Fisher in Congress. He has been replaced by former Rep. Frank Lombardino, who, frankly, did not acquire for himself any kind of a reputation as a mental giant during the time he served in the House. Kent Hance, a 31-year-old moderate, is replacing Doc Blanchard of Lubbock and, until proved otherwise, that should be counted as a net gain. Hance used a corps of college volunteers who spread the word that Blanchard had voted against the E.R.A. and the minimum wage and for the sales tax on food. Hance would presumably do otherwise. He is known to be a Bill Hobby fan. Another new Hobby man in the Senate is Ray Farabee of Wichita Falls. Jack Hightower, who has now been promoted to 8 The Texas Observer Congress, left the seat vacant and Farabee is the primary. Farabee is a lawyer and a businessman who is alleged to have progressive tendencies. Sen. Betty Andujar squeaked back in, and we mean squeaked. Her Democratic opponent ran an ad that was a put on of a television game show, “What Is This Woman’s Secret?” Was it, the ad inquired, that she had voted against this, that, and the other? Why, no, that’s no secret, the ad answered itself. Andujar’s secret is that she is a REPUBLICAN!! NOW IN THE House, oh, shoot, what can we ever say about the Texas House? We have 30 new faces, which is the normal one-fifth turnover one expects in the House barring Sharpstown scandals or other acts of God. The Republicans lost three and picked up one G. R. Close of Perryton cutting their contingent from 18 to 16. Perryton is one of those Texas-German Republican areas where you just can’t convince the stubborn natives that the party of Lincoln is no longer progressive. As for the rest of the new lot, think of it this way no matter what the freshies are like, at least they beat some clutzes and some stinkers. We note with some sincere regret the passing of one of the last of the House Cro-Magnons, Billy Williamson of Tyler. Williamson never, to our recollection, voted for a progressive measure, but he,did add a distinctive style to the House. His bi-annual speech opposing state aid to private, religious-oriented colleges was nothing shOrt of classic. “You can’t trade the cross for the cookie jar!” Rev. Williamson once intoned. One Bill Clark replaces him. Kit Cooke of Cleburne retired after one term, having made himself infamous by insulting Rep. Senfronia Thompson. Ed Mayes of Granbury replaces him. Jerry Russell of Garland, considered one of the more outstanding pieces of furniture in the House, is being replaced by Kenneth Vaughn of Garland. Another of the last of the great Neanderthals, Jumbo Ben Atwell of Dallas, bit the dust and will be replaced by Calvin Rucker of Cedar Hill. Atwell, who possesses an almost stupefyingly reactionary record, nevertheless remained a general favorite, of sorts. “Party with the liberals, vote with the conservatives,” was his advice to generations of incoming freshman. If we ever get enough nerve and his permission, we may yet print the true story of how Jumbo Atwell became the Father of the Texas Water Safety Act and of what he did for Water Safety thereafter. Travis County boosted two more libs into the Lege, thus perfecting its claim as the only metropolitan area in the state with an all-lib delegation. A black female, Wilhelmina Delco, and a chicano male, Gonzalo Barrientos, join two WASP males, Rep. Ronnie Earle and Sen. Lloyd Doggett, with the dean of the delegation, Rep. Sarah Weddington. Barrientos, who was edged out two years ago after a semi-vicious campaign by his opponent Wilson Foreman, came back to triumph not only against the conservative Democrat in the primary but also against a well-funded Republican and a La Raza candidate in the general election. We used to think that Houston might become the political New York City of Texas. Travis County seems to have jumped over several steps and to have become the Texas Manhattan. Another great loss to the Olde Troglodyte School is Henry Sanchez of Brownsville. Sanchez, ever amiable, is best remembered for the time he dragged a couple of mailbags up to the front mike with him, claiming that they were stuffed with letters protesting the institution of Daylight Savings Time. It was discovered, in mid-flight of Sanchez’ rhetoric, that the bags were stuffed chiefly with old newspapers. Joe Sage, the San Antonio Republican, bought it and is being replaced by Albert D. Brown, Jr. Lombardino is being replaced by Abraham Ribak and Wayland Simmons, who was capable of being the most mean-minded man in the House, is succeeded by Donald Cartwright of San Antone. Rep. Frank Calhoun of Abilene, who defended the highway fund and other awful causes, is being replaced by a David Stubbeman. And dear old Renal Rosson of Snyder, a man whom only West Texans could love, is succeeded by Michael Ezell. Hilary Doran of Del Rio finally quit voluntarily, mostly out of disgust. Doran was an arch-conservative but also an extraordinarily bright man. He combined the looks of a dissipated riverboat gambler with a waspish wit, not to mention an -occasional inclination to pitch in just to get something done, which made him an effective legislator. His successor is a conservative female rancher named Susan McBee. Skip Scoggins of El Paso, who switched to the Republicans in expectation of getting a safe, Republican single-member seat, was beaten countywide by Robert O’Malley. Chalk one up for U.S. Supreme Court, which put off redistricting for another session. Meanwhile, the very genial Charlie Tupper, also of El Paso, will be replaced by Paul Moreno, a Distinguished Former Member. Moreno was one of the more solid members of the Dirty Thirty. The Houston delegation will look remarkably the same next session. Sid Bowers, an aggressive Republican and a menace on the basketball court, will be replaced by Frank Hartung, a Republican of unknown parliamentary and athletic skills. Democrat Bill Caraway pulled the trick of defeating an incumbent, removing Ray Barnhart of Pasadena from the list of House Republicans. Barnhart led the Houston Republican charge against “equal