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Hedge hogs Latest figures filed with the Federal Election Commission reveal that corporate political action groups clearly favor incumbent John Tower in the Texas Senate race. But with evidence that his opponent, Bob Krueger, is closing fast, they’ve also been putting a little safe money on the Democrat. PACs covering their bets this year include: Political Action Committee of: Contributed to Tower Contributed to Krueger American General Insurance $ 1,000 $ 200 American Podiatry Association 1,000 500 5,000 2,000 Braniff International 1,000 1,000 Coca Cola 500 500 Columbia Gas System 300 300 First City Bancorporation 3,500 1,000 First International Bancshares 1,000 1,000 Houston Natural Gas 1,000 1,000 Houston Oil & Minerals 1,000 1,000 Independent Telephone Association 200 200 Ling-Temco-Vought 7,500 200 Litton Industries 500 100 NL Industries 50 500 Pacific Lighting 1,000 100 Pennzoil 1,000 500 Southern Union Gas 500 500 Texas Eastern Gas Transmission 1,000 600 Texaco 200 1,000 Texas Eastern Gas Transmission 1,000 600 Texas Medical Association 5,000 107 Texas Utilities 750 500 Nobody’s fool U.S. Rep. Dale Milford of Grand Prairie has never been accused of being particularly quick on the uptake, but ever since his defeat at the hands of challenger Martin Frost in the May Democratic primary, evidence has been piling up that suggests we’ve been underestimating the former TV weatherman all these years. First, there was the campaign expenditure report he submitted in June to the Federal Election Commission, which revealed that lawyer Mary MilfordDale’s wife, who doubled as his campaign treasurerhad brought home $8,000 of the $19,549 the campaign spent from April 22 to May 26. Curious, isn’t it? Ms. Milford, campaign treasurer, wrote the $8,000 check on election day to Ms. Milford, attorney at law, to compensate herself for “legal and bookkeeping expense for compliance with FEC requirements.” It was a legitimate legal fee, she insists, though she concedes it is twice as much as she’s ever collected from any client in her private law practice. Then, in July, the resignation of Dallas County criminal court judge Robert Stinson gave local Democratic party officials a fresh patronage plum to hand out, and for awhile it looked as though Mary Milford was going to become the new public official in the family. But some of husband Dale’s political foes seized on the $8,000 self-payment as evidence of ethical insensitivity, and her name has dropped from contention. The latest word is that the 24th district lame duck has himself been scanning the horizon for a government job that would add three more years to his six as a congressman and 11 in the Army Air Corps, and thus entitle him to a federal pension. His best bet appears to be a post as Southwest regional representative of energy secretary James Schlesinger, who is said to be seriously considering meteorologist Milford for the job. John “Too Tall” Tower? When this year of political races started, the Observer adopted a hard and fast rule against making cheap references to John Tower’s physical statureall five feet or so of it. Given our natural proclivity, this has not been an easy policy to stick with, especially since the senior senator chose “He stands for Texas” as his re-election slogan, but through seven and a half months our journalistic restraint has held firm. However, now comes a confidential source, a person in the know, with a Tower “short” story that begs to be told. The source claims that Tower, who is stressing his 17 years of seniority this time around, wanted to film a television advertisement showing him speaking to Texans from the floor of the U.S. Senate, but the rules prohibit the use of cameras in the chamber. Tower is said to have appealed to the secretary of the Senate for a variance, but was refused. Undaunted, Tower’s PR man, Robert Goodman of Baltimore, leased a television studio in which he constructed a likeness of the historic Senate chamber so Tower can appear to be on the job. That’s tricky enough, but now comes the short part: it is alleged by our source that Goodman, seeking to enhance his client’s senatorial image, fudged the advertisement even more by scaling down the furniture to make Tower look larger than life. “Absolutely incorrect,” was Goodman’s comeback when told of the allegations that miniature furniture was used. If anything, he says, the Senate desk that was built for the ad is larger than the real thing. And by the by, counters Goodman, the Tower team never intended to build an exact replica of the Senate chamber, but merely to “suggest the atmosphere” of the place where Sam Houston once stood in his sarape. The idea, he went on, is to link Tower to the tradition of individualism Houston exemplified. Whatever, our source stands by his version, so we toss the charge and denial out for public consideration. The ads are scheduled to begin airing this month, and you can make up your own mind whether Tower will go down in history as the politician who reversed the old saw about growing to fit the office by literally shrinking his to fit. 12 AUGUST 25, 1978