The New York Times SUNDAY EDITION Delivered to your home in the Dallas area. Call 239-5235 for rates and information. Dump Strauss Democratic Chairman Robert Strauss continues on his trouble-making course of destroying the 1972 reforms in the Democratic Party. Attorney Colin Carl summarized the facts in the November newsletter of the West Austin Democrats, and I can do no better than quote his piece, which is entitled “Strauss Strikes Again”: “The worst of Texas-style politics has been successfully foisted upon the national Democratic Party by Bob Strauss and his 22 The Texas, Observer The Outpost Austin’s Best Barbecue 11:00-7:30 Monday-Friday Closed Saturday and Sunday David and Marion Moss .345-9045 Highway 183 North / . AV/SPOIL . 0 % v. 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And, it adopted another requiring support of 25 percent of the members of the credentials committee to enable a minority report to be heard. “Soon after these actions in midOctober, the Strauss-dominated Compliance Review Committee rejected all of the Texas challenge to the Bentsen presidential primary and most of the challenge to remaining inequities in the convention processes in Texas. The CRC did sustain the necessity of implementing a procedure at the county and senatorial district conventions for determining the proportion of various presidential preferences among the participants. Other than this Washington, D.C. Scene: Election night, November, 1974. Walter Cronkite and crew announce a Democratic landslide in Congressa flock of new, young, aggressive representatives. Congress will be more activist, more progressive, tougher on special interests. Scene: The corridors of the Capitol, January, 1975. Spearheaded by the 75 freshmen, House Democrats have overthrown the hoary seniority system by deposing four out-of-step committee chairmen. In addition, the freshmen are given unprecedented opportunity to meaningfully participate in the legislative process. They are represented on party policymaking councils; five of them are appointed to the House’s most important ‘panel, Ways and Means. The arrival of the millenium is heralded. Scene: Ten months later, a committee room in the Capitol, late at night. Thirtyfour members of the House Ways and Means Committee, weary from three months work on tax “reform” legislation, yawn and squirm. A proposal is introduced to allow individuals with capital losses of more Than $30,000 to carry them back for three years to offset taxes paid on capital gains during that period. Although the carryback provision is opposed as yet another tax break for the wealthy \(moderate income taxpayers do not lose $30,000 in one year in the and the proposal is passed by the taxwriting panel, 20-14. It will cost the treasury $165 million per year. Later it is learned that the principal beneficiary of the carryback provision is Texas multi-millionaire Ross Perot, who will get a $15 million rebate check from the government if the proposal becomes vrairm.. lapse into fairness, the CRC has fallen prey to the traditional Texas Democratic Party diseasecosmetic unity and stifled dissent.” I think Strauss has now gone too far. A recitation of his gross offenses to the more progressive part of the Democratic Party would take more work that it’s worth. The thing to do is something real. The hour is late, but it’s clear that Strauss is leading the Democrats into a convention at which basic debate will be cut short and the progressives will find doors shut and microphones guarded. If Al Lowenstein could dump Lyndon Johnson before the 1968 national convention, why can’t 1975 progressives dump Strauss before the 1976 convention? At the minimum, publicly repudiate his chairmanship and select a counter-chairperson. To go on accepting such brutal leadership is unworthyand suicidal. R.D. law. It is also learned that Perot’s lawyer, former IRS Commissioner Sheldon S. Cohen, drafted the original proposal that the committee’approved. Coincidentally, Perot made $90,000 in campaign contributions to incumbent members of Congress last year, including $55,000 to Ways and Means members. In the great majority of cases, the contributions were made AFTER the 1974 general elections. Texans Omar Burleson received $5,000 and $900 respectively from Perot. The $90,000 in payments appear to have been one of the Texas tycoon’s most profitable investments. Scene: Three days later, on the floor of the House. The members are debating a bill that has been kicking around Congress for five years to establish an office to represent consumers within the federal bureaucracy. Member after member rises to oppose the consumer protection agency because of its cost$10 million a year. Even though the bill had passed the House in the previous, more conservative Congress by a three-to-one margin, this time it barely commands a majority and falls far short of the two-thirds vote needed to override an expected Presidential veto. Thus, in the space of three days, the House’s most influential committee had decided that, one individualone of the wealthiest persons in the countrydeserved $15 million of the taxpayers money, while the House decreed that more than 200 million consumers were not worth $10 million. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Peter Gruenstein Capitol Hill News Service o-^r-r”. TAX BREAK!
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