Speaker Billy Clayton is now ahead in the Wretched Excess in the Name of No New Taxes Sweepstakes after his remarkable suggestion that one of the 12 years of public school be abolished. Many people mistakenly assumed that Clayton was proposing the abolition of the 12th grade, but it turns out he meant any one of the 12. Fifth and seventh would be our nominations: real loser years. Or maybe first, where they don’t do anything but mess with Playdough and learn to read. Clayton said he had discussed his proposal with educators around the state. We checked with his press man about these educators and he said Clayton didn’t mind being in the frying pan but he didn’t want to pull anyone else in with him, so he wasn’t revealing the names. Bye-bye, Bob Bob Hardesty is leaving what must have been an impossible job as Dolph Briscoe’s press secretary. Hardesty is taking a $42,500 a year gig as associate deputy chancellor of the University of Texas System. He says his work at UT will include public information, administrative duties, and lobbying at the congressional level. In announcing the resignation, Briscoe and Hardesty praised one another effusively. “You and Janey have meant something special to the Hardestysand I hope we will always know the privilege of your friendship,” Hardesty wrote. Briscoe answered, “When I first discussed the idea of appointing you press secretary more than three years ago, our late beloved President, Lyndon Johnson, told me that you didn’t know anything about state government, but added: ‘But he will learn. And in the meantime, he will be intensely loyal to you.’ You have fulfilled both of those prophecies and I am most grateful to you for your services and your friendship.” Chick Morris, the number two man in the governor’s press office, is moving up to the chopping block as Briscoe’s link with the press. Morris, 41, has worked for Gov. Preston Smith, as a reporter-photographer for the Lubbock daily, and as a public relations man for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. One Waring blender for metaphor mixing to Rep. Joe Spurlock II of Fort Worth, chairman of the Special House Committee on Crime and Its Control. Spurlock, in kicking off the festivities at the committee’s first meeting, talked about what a dread disease crime is and how it’s spreading. “What we’re here to do,” he said, “is to put a band-aid on this epidemic.” The House Armed Services Commit tee has put the kibosh on Fort Hood’s expansion plans for the nonce, thus relieving the minds of many an outraged rancher and farmer in the Killeen area. The Fort Hood folk were unable to make it clear to anyone why they needed another 60,000 acres. They said for national security, but sometimes that dog won’t hunt. State Sen. Bob Gammage, a liberal Democrat from Houston, and Ron Paul, a Republican physician from Lake Jackson, are in a runoff to fill the 22nd Congressional District seat vacated by Bob Casey, who joined the Federal Maritime Council. Lorene Rogers Working on down the line, Democratic Rep. Gene Jones and Republican Walter Keith made it into the runoff to decide who will take over Gammage’s old Senate seat. Lance Lalor and Walt Williams are the finalists in the race for state representative District 80, the job abandoned by State Rep. Joe Pentony who came in third in the Senate race for Gammage’s seat. J. L. Brisco and Bill V. Williams are fighting it out for Jones’ District 97 spot in the Texas House. John Brunson, a conservative Democratic Party honcho, came in third in the congressional contest. Texas Rural Legal Aid. and the ACLU have lost their battle to get two Rio Grande Valley water districts to supply fresh water for the poor folks who live in colonias within the districts \(see Obs., Court upheld a three-judge decision in Brownsville which ruled that the rural chicano slums could not join the districts, which supply water for irrigation purposes, unless the districts are willing to accept them. The new justice, John Paul Stevens, joined William J. Brennan, Jr., in a dissenting opinion in favor of the colonias. Gonzo victory The gonzo-absurdo ticket triumphed in student elections at the University of Texas in Austin. The new president of the student body \(following in the footsteps of such illumanti as John Connally, Allan Shivers, U.S. Rep. Jake Pickle, oil lobbyist Sandy Sanford, Gulf Oil President Jerry II student in General and Comparative Studies. Adkins’ platform included a pledge to change the name of UT Austin to Fat City and to change the engraved slogan on the tower from “You Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free” to “Money Talks.” The new student vice-president is Skip Slyfield, who introduces himself with, “Hi, I’m Skip Slyfield. I don’t have an original thought in my head. All I do is follow Jay Adkins around, and I’m a tool of the anarchist and absurdist elite.” March 26, 1976 15
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