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to reporters but a deep, indistinct rumble. The only people who ever heard frail, old A. M. Aikin, the dean of the Senate, were the stalwart few who ventured out into the Senate floor in violation of the rules to be within a four-foot ear shot of his desk. A lot of senators couldn’t hear either. Hobby must have been asked a good five times a day by senators to call for better order. The lieutenant governor would half-heartedly plonk down his gavel a couple of times. The decibel level would decrease for a minute or so and then it would rise again. To move on to more substantive matters, Rep. Wayne Peveto of Orange accused Hobby of dropping the ball on property tax reform. This important bill was sent off to die in a subcommittee by Sens. Don Adams, Bill Moore, Tom Creighton, Kent Hance, Max Sherman, Pete Snelson, and John Traeger. Of Hobby’s performance, Peveto said, “I just don’t understand it. He just threw up his hands and gave up. Sometimes I wonder who runs things over there, Bill Hobby or Bill Moor6.” OTHERS wondered about ‘Bill Moore as well. Moore was the first senator to come out in support of Hobby’s candidacy for lieutenant governor. That fact and his seniority in the Senate have made Moore one of the most powerful men, if not the most powerful, in the upper house. This session Hobby once again made him chairman of State Affairs, placed him on most of the key standing committees, and appointed him to most of the important conference committees \(on the last day of the session, he was on more conference committees than any other his power. One day on the Senate floor he told Sen. “Bill Meier to shut up. In State Affairs Committee he berated and intimidated witnesses he opposed. He constantly interrupted and derailed testimony. And he was anything but even-handed in his treatment of bills before his committee. _On the last night of the session, the members of his committee gave him a gift, a drawing of an owl about to pounce on some hapless mouse or something. Moore, who can be charming when he chooses to be, thanked his committee and added, “I must say, we had so many bills I can’t remember them by number. I can only remember them by author.” Everyone, including senators who had been victims of his personal vindictiveness, chortled amiably. Moore seemed to be exempt from the Senate’s much-touted traditions of courtesy and decorum. \(His success as a belligerent and the ‘fact that Hobby appeared to condone his behavior prompted some of the younger conservative senators to ape his style. Sen. Don Adams did a fair imitation from time to time, despite the fact he has neither seemed to look upon him with a certain amount of bemusement. Certainly, no one seemed to fault Hobby for failure to keep him in line. “Ain’t nobody who can handle Bill Moore,” said Clower. “He’s just the last of the old-time senators. Society’s changed, the Senate’s changed.” Visitors to the Senate, however, were often shocked at Moore’s “old-time” tirades and rude behavior. Moore was by far the most outrageous of the obstructionists, but there were others, including Peyton McKnight, Tom Creighton, Grant Jones, and the three Republicans Betty Andujar, Ike Harris, who used to be one of the obstructionists, improved a bit. He sponsored bilingual kindergarten and voting-rights bills. Bill Meier, who was much admired in 1973 as a reasonable, hard-working moderate, seemed to slip some toward the . obstructionists. He consistently voted against utilities regulation. Don Adams, Ray Farabee, Kent Hance, Max Sherman, Pete Snelson, and John Traeger all had fairly abysmal voting records. The Senate’s two Mexican-Americans, Tati Santiesteban and Raul Longoria, voted more with big business than they did with the poor. Neither of them had much truck with the liberals. And then there were the senators who could just barely be counted as present Bill Braecklein, Glenn Kothmann, Frank Lombardino, Mike McKinnon, and Lyndon Williams. Kothmann, the president pro tem, was described by reporter Jim Dolan as “San Antonio’s dormant senator.” Another reporter had a routine going at the press table in which he would provide a running commentary on the unremarkable senator from San Antonio: “Kothmann’s standing up, he’s taking a step forward, he’s raising his right arm to his nose, now, now he’s sitting back down again, he’s down, down for the count. . .” Ike Harris described the 64th Senate pretty well when he told a visiting politician that he thought it was the best Senate session he’d attended, because he didn’t have to worry about anything. Everyone was playing it safe. K.N. June 20, 1975 7 Rules are made to suspend In order to understand how the Senate works, one must first accept the fact that the Senate does not follow its own rules. Jim Dolan of the San Antonio Express-News explained the procedure in a recent column and we quote: Take the regular calendar, for instance. In each house there is a constitutional rule that bills must be “read” on three separate days. The first reading is just that announcement of a bill’s caption and which committee will consider it. Second and third readings are actual floor considerations and votes. As a bill is reported out of committee it goes to the end of the second-reading calendar list, from which bills supposedly are taken off the top for consideration on the floor. But there is a catch. That first bill won’t come up unless the sponsor moves to bring it up. And the sponsors seldom seem to want to do so. In fact getting a high position on that list has become a handy way of slowing or stopping bills with lower calendar positions. Under the rules all the hundreds of bills waiting behind They have because that calendar order rule is suspended a dozen or more times every Senate workday. Bill considerations routinely begin with a sponsor moving to suspend necessary rules to take up a bill out of calendar. \(It requires a two-thirds Assuming the suspension is granted and the bill is passed on second reading, there is that other rule in the way the constitutional requirement of three readings, or the “three-day rule.” Here again senators commonly suspend that rule and go ahead with the third and final reading the same day as the second reading. Hence two rules suspensions per bill, on the average. Because suspensions are so common another Senate rule has been imposed requiring sponsor of bills that may come up out of calendar order to file advance notices of intent to try to suspend the rules. Confused? You ought to see freshman senators. Frank Lombardino of San Antonio ended his first full workday on the Senate last January beaming because he had understood everything that went on.