There’s been great feuding and fus sing in the Texas congressional delegation up in D.C. When Rep. Bob Casey of Houston resigned to become a member of the Federal Maritime Commission, he left open a “Texas seat” on the House Appropriations Committee, which newspapers invariably refer to as “the powerful House Appropriations Committee.” By long tradition, the seat should have gone to the most ‘senior member of the delegation interested in the job, to wit, in this case, Richard White of El Paso. \(A tradition established in 1939 when some upstart named Lyndon Johnson lost a seat on the same powerful Appropriations Committee to Albert Thomas because Thomas had three White, 52, has been in the house 10 years and could use the clout the Appropriations seat would have given him as he is facing a serious challenge in this spring’s primary kin, 42, who has been in the House only two years, also wants the seat. Wilson has spent the last two months lobbying members of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, which makes the actual committee assignments. The Texas delegation endorsed White unanimously after a bitter closed meeting during which there was name-calling, shouting, and other good stuff. Reps. Bob Poage of Waco and Henry Gonzales of San Antonio were reportedly particularly infuriated by Wilson’s announcement that he intended to try for the Steering Committee’s nomination no matter who the Texas delegation endorsed. Seniority is a sacred principle to many senior House members. But the Steering Committee has a distinctly liberal majority and Wilson, a moderate, is distinctly more liberal than White. On Jan. 29, the Steering Committee chose Wilson over White and White decided not to fight the committee’s selection. George McAlmon of El Paso is given a fair chance of defeating incumbent White in this spring’s primary. McAlmon, a lawyer and businessman, has helped El Paso’s chicano community with a number of projects. He is a former county party chairman and is noted for his, singularly sweet disposition. Charlie Holmes, who was formerly Ralph Yarborough’s press secretary and former administrative assistant to Bob Eckhardt, is McAlmon’s campaign coordinator. White has been a hawk in foreign policy and votes with the military. `Baloney’ Mayor Jason Luby of Corpus Christi has managed the political equivalent of hitting himself in the face with a cream pie. Luby has been talking about running for Congress against Rep. John Young of Corpus, even though the city manager said Luby couldn’t run and be mayor at the same time. But on Jan. 26, Luby announced that he’d had a change of heart old John Young qualify for full retirement benefits. Luby told the press he’d found out that Young needed two more years in Congress to be eligible for retirement benefits. “Anybody who has 18 years in service ought to have two more,” said the tenderhearted mayor. The next day John Young said Luby’s statement was “inaccurate and insincere” and “baloney.” Young will complete his 20th year in Congress this year and his five years in the military give him 25 years of accredited retirement time in Congress. “I knew nothing of Luby’s plan to withdraw from the congressional race until the Chamber of Commerce dinner at which time he told me and others that he had only gotten into the race to keep two Nueces County state representatives from announcing for Congress,” Young said. “Whatever Luby’s real reasons, however, if he thinks he can parlay a compound failure as mayor into a public promotion, I welcome him to try. I don’t think there’s any place in South Texas for Luby’s brand of baloney, and I am confident I will retire him in a lot less than two years. My advice to Luby is to quit all this big talk about running for Congress, pay his filing fee and let’s get on with the campaign.” Charlie Wilson thinks the Observer’s been pickin’ on a cripple. In our last issue we printed a Capitol Hill News Service item about Wilson’s less than stellar attendance record in Congress. Approxi mately half the piece was lopped off from the bottom because of space limitations. This included an explanation by someone in Wilson’s office that his absences were in part due to the fact that the congressman spent 22 days in the hospital last spring with a chronic back problem. Wilson says his attendance started slipping after he went into the hospital. Still, when a congressman misses every single session of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee and 80 percent of the votes taken in the House International Relations Committee, there’s more to it than a bad back. Texas Republican Sen. John Tower split with the majority of the Senate intelligence committee in opposing the creation of a new intelligence oversight committee. Tower is said to be skeptical of the possibility of establishing a “leak proof’ special intelligence committee. He wants oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency to be left in the custody of the House and Senate armed services committees, which, as The Washington Post said recently, have watched over the CIA “for more than a quarter of a century in a spirit of clubby toleration.” And on a related front, Tower says he’s not sure that the American public should be kept informed of our foreign involvements. The Houston Post reported Jan. 19 that Tower said in Houston that this country’s activities in Angola “should not have been publicized … The average person is not sophisticated enough in foreign affairs to deal intelligently with it.” The Post continued: “Tower said it is a ‘bad mistake’ to reveal covert intelligence activities of the U.S. intelligence community, suggesting more than once that the American people need not know about everything this nation is involved in abroad.” According to Hoyle . . What with the way the rules of the game keep changing, this is an especially confusing year for office seekers. The fact that the Justice Department now must give prior approval to all Texas elec February 13, 1976 11
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