director of NCEC, said, “Spurred by a drive from the National Association of Manufacturers, over 400 new individual corporate and industry-wide political action committees have been formed in the past 16 months.” A recent NCEC report described the Texas race between State Sen. Bob Gammage and Dr. Ron Paul \(Obs., as “the first full test in 1976 of the power of the combined resources of the right-wing committees.” Paul, a Republican from Lake Jackson, beat Gammage, a liberal Democrat from Houston, by accumulating close to $350,000 in campaign funds and outspending Gammage two-to-one. Gammage led into the run-off and he might have been able to beat Paul without a run-off if the third candidate, John Brunson, hadn’t siphoned off conservative Democratic support. The NCEC reported that some of the same conservative committees that funded Paul also gave money to Brunson. These included the National Conservative Political Action Committee, the Realtors Political Action Committee, and the Committee for the Survival of a Free ConAccording the NCEC, Paul’s cam paign contributions included $2,000 from Dow Chemical, $3,000 from Associated General Contractors, $15,000 from tion, $15,000 from the Texas AMA, $6,500 from the Coors’ Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, $11,500 from the Gun Owners of America, and $16,976 from the National Conservative Political Action Committee. Against break-up U.S. Rep. Bob Eckhardt \(D the oil industry, opposes a congressional plan for divestiture of the major oil companies. Eckhardt says that “divestiture is not appropriate as a legislative process Congress does not have the expertise to decide that all of the different entities in the oil business should operate in only one area of the industry. Furthermore, the oil industry has never developed monopolies to the extent that such were developed in communications, aluminum, copper, or automobiles.” Evangelist Lester Roloff was due to begin serving a five-day contempt of-court sentence in Corpus Christi June 21. A Corpus district judge gave him five days and a $1,750 fine for refusing to allow welfare department employees to inspect his children’s homes. A three-day sentence handed down by an Austin judge was suspended when Roloff finally allowed an assistant attorney general and a state welfare inspection team to visit the schools on June 10. \(During the visit, Lynn Taylor of the a.g.’s office was nicknamed “the devil’s hammer” by a mechanic at Roloff s RebeRoloff contends that the state has no authority to visit his church-sponsored homes. “We have but one law and that’s the Bible. These are Bible and church homes,” he said during a recent rally in Austin. According to the Corpus Christi Caller, Roloff affirmed during the Austin trial that the children at his homes are sometimes handcuffed to plumbing fixtures or locked in upstairs rooms with the door knobs removed. The paper quoted the evangelist as saying parents sometimes bring their children to his homes handcuffed and insist, “Whatever it takes to hold my child, do it.” “They’re desperate,” Roloff said. “We don’t give them dope, which is what the state gives them to knock them out. We give them hope. I believe you can take a child and whip him, and if you leave a strike mark on him, you couldn’t prove it wasn’t Biblical.” later, most of those fly-by-night oil Some 465 cease and desist orders well promoters seem to have vanished, The Dallas Times Herald reports. Nearly 250 individuals and companies, many of them based in oil-producing centers, have been sued in a state-federal crackdown on Schedule D operators \(Obs., Unscrupulous promoters sold ownerships to wells that were never drilled, not to mention a West Texas well only 17 feet deep. Federal court records indicate that one Dallas company alone bilked its investors out of $9 million and never drilled a commercially producing well. Further criminal prosecutions are expected in coming weeks. Texas Sen. John Tower resigned as President Ford’s floor leader at the Republican National Convention because he’s not a delegate and won’t be able to speak from the convention floor. July 2, 1976 7 About those TYC funds Austin If indeed the machinery of state government is lubricated with molasses, Dolph Briscoe must surely be glued stiff by now. For months Briscoe sat like a protective hen on the $2 million the Legislature earmarked for the Texas Youth Council’s corrections program \(Obs., Alternately claiming that he was unsure whether the program would work and that, besides, he was saving the state some more money, his aides continued to reassure folks that the guy didn’t want to hinder the program, just make sure that it was done up right. Well, whatever his motivation, Briscoe has managed to foul everything up; he neither saved the state any money nor satified anyone one way or the other about whether the program would work. He killed any chance the $2 million will ever be used for what it was intended. He gummed up the whole works. From the beginning what the Legislature and TYC wanted was a corrections program that would supervise juvenile delinquents without dumping them into Gatesville and other state institutions. A community-based corrections setup with half-way houses, supervisory programs for “pre-delinquent” kids, and group homes, as humane and sensible a measure as one could hope for. But somehow the practicality of preventing delinquent kids from turning into criminal adults failed to stir Briscoe’s sensibilities. After an opinion from the attorney general’s office challenging Briscoe’s impoundment of the $2 million, TYC executive director Ron Jackson wrote Comptroller Bob Bullock on May 26 requesting that the money be made available for expenditure, and four days later the transfer was made. But there was not enough time before the end of the biennium to implement the community program and spend the money. The biennium ends August 31,1976, and there’s this little section in the appropriations bill that says all unexpended items in the TYC budget carried over from one fiscal year to the next must be used to supplement institutional facilities like Gatesville if the population of these facilities exceeds 1,080. Even now the population hovers around 1,200 with more increases expected. So there you have it. Some staffers in both the comptroller’s office and the TYC were livid with indignation. Said one, “Ron Jackson simply freed up the $2 million before it lapsed and reverted to the general revenue. Had Briscoe not sat on the money it could have been used the way the Legislature intended. Briscoe should get some kind of award for either deviousness or ineptitude.” There is a predictable reluctance among TYC officials to criticize their governor. “Governor Briscoe only did what he thought was right,” said Stanley Pindar, TYC director of community services . Come September the TYC board members, all of them Briscoe appointees, will meet to decide on what institutional services the pirated $2 million will be spent. Randy Fitzgerald
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