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Maybe by the time Adams has drawn his first paycheck he too will have learned that only the attorney general “represents” the governor. In five years, Dolph Briscoe has never found himself in need of a “chief’ legal counsel, surrounded as he has been with plenty of lawyers ready to render advice. So, what Capitol insiders figure is that the Adams appointment is pure politics. They predict that the East Texas pol will function primarily as a spokesman for Briscoe’s “opinions” on state law opinions which are likely to contrast sharply with Atty. Gen. John Hill’s as the gubernatorial race heats up. TY 2000 At a September academic sym posium in Austin, Gov. Dolph Briscoe came out of the blue to say that he would set up a brain trust to study Texas’ future problems. \(The announcement caused a mild stir, since many of those in attendance were unaware that the governor had already dealt successfully with all of today’s “The State Commission on Texas in the Year 2000,” Briscoe said he would call it, though he later explained that it would not really be a state commission. “I have found it much easier to annihilate a den of rattlesnakes than to get rid of a state agency,” he said. What’s it to be then? Well, there are a few details still to be worked out, but apparently TY 2000 will be a quasiofficial entity established in the governor’s office. Its staff will have access to state informational resources and work with several existing advisory committees. But the commission is not to be run with state money. Rather, the operating funds are to come from private sources, as yet unnamed. Briscoe claimed private funding would insure that the commission conducted itself in a “nonpartisan and independent” manner. The governor said the new body would “help the legislative and executive branches make current decisions more consistent with the state’s long-run requirements” in policy fields such as education, the environment and industry. The TY 2000 commission has yet to be birthed officially, but Briscoe staffers say its membership will consist of 20 or so representatives from Texas business, labor and higher education. The governor has already named a chairman: Belton K. Johnson, San Antonio businessman and rancher. Johnson is on the board of directors of the Texas Research League \(Obs., Feb. 1, April 12, Aug. 9, Asociation and is a former member of Nelson Rockefeller’s Commission on Critical Choices for America. \(It may be this last credential that won Johnson his new post; if so, Texans need not fear that TY 2000 will produce anything, since the Rockefeller outfit sank quickly out of sight, possibly under the weight of all the How did Dolph come up with this one? The commission is at least partially an outgrowth of a chat Briscoe had with University of Texas economist Walt Rostow while sitting around an airport. Rostow tells it like this: He and the governor were waiting for a plane and engaging one another in idle conversation when Briscoe turned to him and asked, “To what extent do you think Texas can shape its own destiny?” Stranger things have come out of the mouth of this governor, so Rostow can be forgiven for treating it as a serious question. The professor replied that the biggest problems facing the state were a shrinking energy base, a worsening water shortage, and the pressures of population growth. Rostow says he suggested that the governor set up a commission to help him get his mind off these mattersthe better to assist Texas in shaping its destiny, we guess. Bor-ring Why did Barbara Jordan abruptly abdicate her 18th congressional district seat? Health, whisper some, while the conspiracy-minded say Jordan’s decision to quit the Congress ties indirectly with some sort of deal for a federal judgeship. A more likely explanationand the one that makes the most sense to usis that Congress has bored the socks off the 41-year-old Houston Democrat. For all the sense of being at the center of things. congressiOnal work is a slow and tedious proposition. Day after day is filled with meeting after dreadful meeting; huge amounts of energy are expended on minutiae and little that is of any value to world. Although Jordan is one of the best-known members of the House, she is far from being among its most powerful. Fame, intelligence and strength of character give her more influence than the average third-termer, but on Capitol Hill, only time earns power. Her friends tell the Observer that the grind and hum-drums were simply not worth the wait to her. Brown’s bombshell The farmers came to Austin again on Dec. 10, rolling up to the Capitol atop hundreds of tractors. However, only a handful of Texas officials were on hand to greet themState Sen. Lloyd Doggett of Austin, Waco congressional candidate Lane Denton, Corsicana State Rep. Forrest Green \(who brought his Austin, and state Agriculture Commissioner Reagan Brown. Brown and Pickle must have wished themselves elsewhere, for when they arrived on the Capitol steps they were immediately surrounded by a herd of milling farmers. Orari Watson, a Tulia cotton farmer who stands 6’4″ and looks taller, loomed over the two, shaking his finger and giving them unshirted hell: “I made one of the best crops I’ve ever made in my life and I think I’m going to have to borrow money to pay my income tax.” Pickle looked pale and Brown spoke not a word. As it turned out, that was the high point of Brown’s day. The only thing colder than the mid-30s weather was the response the farmers gave the agriculture commissioner’s speech. “First thing I gotta tell yaI’m here,” Brown hollered as soon as he got to the microphone, only to be ma with silence. No crowd reaction at all, except for the “Just barely” one farmer was overheard muttering to no one in particular. It got worse. “I’m fixing to drop a bombshell,” the commissioner told them. [Long pause as Brown tears up his speech and flings the shreds out over the crowd.] “I’m gonna tear up my speech!” That was it. That was the bombshell. It drew a few titters, and Brown tried to recover by rambling on: “I don’t want to see you make 100 percent profitI want to see you make 200 percent profit . . . We got the healthiest people in the world.” Stuff like that. It was not what the farmers came to hear. After the politicians were done and the TV cameras had been packed up, one of the farmers’ own took the mike. Mike McCathern of Hereford one-upped Brown by setting fire to a copy of the new congressional farm bill and said, “We don’t want price supports, we don’t want welfare checks, we want a price in the marketplace.” After the December nationwide farm strike, McCathern said, “This won’t be a protest anymore; it’ll be a revolt.” That was what the farmers wanted to hear. This issue’s Political Intelligence was researched and written with the help of Vicki Vaughan, Debi Pomeroy and Debbie Worrnser. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15