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The CORPUS CHRISTI A capital idea Jim Wright gave a party in Wash ington and practically everybody came. On Jan. 31, the House majority leader served up barbecue and beans at a $1,000-a-plate dinner in his honor and the Madison Hotel was swarming with special interest representatives eager to pay the price. Not only is Wright a popular man, he’s very powerful House Speaker Tip O’Neil hailed the Fort Worth Democrat as his logical successor, which would make Wright the most powerful member of Congress. Some were less inclined to sing Wright’s praises. Common Cause, which viewed the affair as nothing more than a shakedown of lobbyists, issued a press release that termed the bash “the Superbowl of Washington fundraisers.” Cactus Pryor, an Austin humorist and free-lance political observer, suggested sharply that the invitation should have read: “Jim Wright Puts the Bite on You Tonight.” The event is expected to net $300,000 for the majority leader, who will dispense the cash at his discretion to selected Democratic House candidates this year. One group of ticket holders found more than they expected at the eventunion representatives were startled to find that the drink of the evening was Coors beer, currently the target of an AFL-CIO boycott because of the Colorado brewer’s infamous labor practices. Bentsen takes HHH seat Sen. Lloyd Bentsen is the new vice-chairman of the Joint Eco nomic Committee, succeeding Hubert Humphrey. The JEC, a 20-member economic study committee made up of an equal number of House and Senate members, was created by the Employment Act of 1946. Rep. Richard Bolling hailed Bentsen’s advancement in a news release, noting that the former Houston businessman “is particularly knowledgeable about the complex economic issues facing the private sector.” The chairmanship of the JEC rotates between the two houses of Congress every two years, putting Bentsen in line to head the committee in 1979. Here comes the Sun A weekly tabloid aimed at South Texas’ Mexican-American popu lation has been launched in Corpus Christi. The Corpus Christi Sun is backed by Edward V. Driscoll, billed in the city’s media as a “local oilman.” Editor and publisher is John Moulder, who has had reportorial and editorial experience with The Dallas Times Herald, The Fort Worth Press, The Odessa American, the San Angelo Standard Times, and National Star. Managing editor Bill Hendricks has a news background ranging from coverage of the JFK assassination to Vietnam and Watergate for Texas newspapers and the Scripps-Howard chain. Hendricks said efforts to market the Sun, which is printed in Laredo, are concentrated in Corpus Christi. Some effort will be made to distribute the paper as far south as Brownsville. The immediate circulation goal is 20,000. The Sun covers local entertainment, politics and general news with more than a touch of sensationalism and an eye toward the underdog. The paper has lashed out at local school district officials for allegedly taking their wives to conventions at public expense. Currently running is a five-part series on “chicano power.” “As editor of the Sun, what I’m trying to do is reach the people,” Moulder said, noting that more than 50 percent of the people in Corpus Christi are Mexican-Americans. Driscoll, in a full-page bilingual editorial published in the first issue in January, called the city’s Mexican-American “a sleeping giant” which his paper hopes to awaken. Prominent in the second issue was a full-page piece headlined “Bob Krueger: a young man on the rise,” a special to the Sun written by Robert Mann, a member of Krueger’s U.S. Senate campaign staff, a fact not noted in the paper. Krueger has led the fight against governmental controls on oil and gas production and prices on the floor of the U.S. House in the last two sessions of Congress. In comes oilman Driscoll, who gave an invitations-only reception for the congressman from New Braunfels the evening the adulatory profile was printed. \(Driscoll held a $100-a-plate fundraiser for John Hill on Feb. 9. The take for the AG’s gubernatorial campaign was $15,000 in Little is known in Corpus Christi about Driscoll, who was born and raised in Fort Worth and has lived in Corpus steadily only since 1975. He reportedly made his money by financing South Texas oil ventures from a New York money base. He operates Driscoll Productions in Corpus Christi and his only appreciable media exposure came when he had $250,000 worth of improvements made to his Ocean Drive house. As if hitting the streets with a new newspaper wasn’t enough to do in one day, Driscoll offered to buy up the contract of Corpus Christi school superintendent Dana Williams. Williams’s performance has displeased Driscoll, who was willing to shell out $120,000 to cover the remaining 30 months of the superintendent’s current contract. But there was no mention of the offer in the new paperDriscoll told the Observer he made it as a private citizen and taxpayer. The local media reported on the matter, and the Sun followed up in its second issue with a full-page spread that included the text of a 350-word statement by Driscoll. Driscoll apparently has enough money to stake his paper through a shaky start while he and the editors try to plot a definite editorial course. Jerry Needham 12 MARCH 3, 1978