Well, my stars! While six women were being cho sen by NASA to become astronauts and train for space exploration, those who study the heavens professionally were taking action to advance sexual equality here on earth. At their annual meeting held in Austin last month, the American Astronomical Society announced that it would no longer convene in states that have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. The new policy, adopted by the society’s governing council in a close vote \(six to five, with Margaret Burbidge, an astronomy professor at the University of California at San Diego and the first female president of the 77-year-old AAS. Dr. Burbidge explained that the council’s intent was to support opportunities for the advancement of all capable as tronomers, regardless of sex. She hopes that, as times change, women will be encouraged to enter science and mathematics, rather than be confronted with the “severe discrimination”including the denial of viewing time at some observatorieswhich women in astronomy have encountered in the past. Women comprise 8 percent of the AAS membership of 3,400, 4nd about 10 percent of the world’s astronomers. Harris Worcester Is there another way? The Texas Regional Conference on Alternative Public Policies will convene in Arlington on Feb. 3-5. Cosponsored by the city and regional planning program at UT-Arlington and by Fuerza de los Barrios Chicanos, the conference will take as its theme “Strategies for Change.” Agenda topics are: “the political economy of housing and land use,” “economic issues: people or wealth,” “participatory democracy: myths ad realities,” and “energy: future choices.” The Saturday night dinner features an address by Georgia state Senator Julian Bond. Others expected to be on hand include former Houston controller Leonel Castillo, now commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; Zavala County Judge Jose Gutierrez; Dr. Barry Commoner, biologist, environmentalist and energy analyst; Linda and Paul Davidoff of the Suburban Action Institute of New York; Chicago alderman Dick Simpson; and Harvey Wasserman, organizer of the Clam Shell Alliance. Registration will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday and cost $5. For information call Sheila Taylor One for the money It doesn’t seem possible that any one could accuse Dolph Bricoe of doing too little for the oil and gas industry, but that is exactly the complaint of Dallasite William Clements, who has declared himself a Republican gubernatorial candidate. A former oil field roughneck, Clements founded SEDCO, now the country’s largest drilling equipment firm \(it One Republican, less than happy with Clements’ entry into the governor’s race, calls him an “oil mongerer.” If not that, Clements certainly is an unabashed booster of the industryasked at a press conference if he favored an alignment of the governorship with Texas’ huge energy concerns, Clements resonded, “If it’s not aligned already with the oil and gas industry, that’s a sad commentary on the governor’s office.” Before he can get at Briscoe, however, the businessman must first win the Republican nomination, which will not be easy. Former state party chairman Ray Hutchison of Houston has to be considered the current front-runner, and party favorite Hank Grover, who was the GOP nominee in 1972 and gave Briscoe a real run for his money, likely will make the race \(the Texas chapter of Young Americans for Freedom has already endorsed Clements is well-regarded in national Republican circles and moves easily among the corporate boardroom wing of the state party. But rank-and-file Republicans in Texas do not fit the fat-cat stereotype, and there is . no guarantee that they will be impressed by Clements’ big business ties. Clements is not particularly well-connected among party leaders around the statehe consulted no one but his wife before jumping into the contest in the fall, catching nearly all prominent Republicans by surprise. Except for an occasional spate of fundrais ing, he had never been much involved in party work and in the years immediately prior to 1977, he had been out of Texas serving Presidents Nixon and Ford as deputy defense secretary. Clements’ campaign staff is as short on practical political experience as he is; Omar Harvey, his manager, is an out-and-out tyro as far as electoral politics are concerned. But the candidate couldn’t care less: “We have the money to run against anybody,” he told the Observer. There it is then, a glimpse of what passes for campaign strategy in the Clements camp. Name recognitionwhich, by contrast, Hutchison and Grover have to burnis viewed by Clements’ people as something that can be bought. The oil equipment dealer is even touting his personal wealth and big money connections as a campaign asset; his agents are out telling potential supporters that whoever the Republican is, he \(or she: don’t rule someone big enough to shake the money tree if the party is to knock off a millionaire like Briscoe. Hutchison, however, is not scared by the bulge of Clements’ money belt. The Houston bond attorney feels that his lack of imposing wealth puts him more in tune with the average Republican. He argues that neither the party nor the state is ready to install an oil industry executive in the governorship. What’s more, says Hutchison, victory in the Republican primary \(in which he expects to attract good organization, not just money. Janie Leigh Frank
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