All aboard! There are now two seats on the three-member Railroad Commis sion up for election in 1980John Poerner’s and the one just vacated by Jon Newton. Newton, who had spent a bundle to win his seat in a hotly contested Democratic primary in 1976, resigned unexpectedly on Pearl Harbor Day for what seems to be the best of reasonshe has come into some land that has producing gas wells on it, and he says it presents a clear-cut conflict-ofinterest for him. “In my opinion,” said Newton, “not even a blind trust can resolve the dilemma in which I find myself as a member of the Railroad Commission.” Not everyone accepts Newton’s selfless explanation at face value, but if he is genuinely stepping down for such reasons he is showing rare scruples for a Texas railroad commissioner, since other members have not been reluctant to accept heavy campaign donations from the industries they regulate \(Obs., resorted to the blind-trust device to keep some of his holdings. Newton’s resignation gives Governor Briscoe the chance to name another commissioner, which means that the entire body will consist of members appointed by him. The governor has no shortage of applicants, but the frontrunners are former State Senator Don Adams, who has been a Briscoe utility man since 1977, and Jim Nugent of Kerrville, an 18-year veteran of the State House who has carried many buckets of water for Briscoe, including his infamous $600 million highway bill in the last session. Nugent has energy and transportation holdings of his own, which he says would either be sold or put in a blind trust. Both Adams and Nugent are said to have the okay of industry lobbyists. Other names reportedly on Briscoe’s list of contenders include U.S. Rep. Bob Krueger, State Rep. Joe Hanna of Breckenridge and defeated State House member Tom Schieffer of Fort Worth. No one with any sort of pro-consumer leanings is said to be under consideration. Return on investment Bill Clements is not the only free spending politician from Dallas this year. Garry Weber, a stockbroker, plunked down $363,186 to take a county judgeship, claiming as he did so that the office “should be run in a businesslike manner.” *IOWA MUM 11** %110/4 ” 11=11110wEL=11 ..:Tor Printers Stationers Mailers Typesett ers High Speed Web Offset Publication Press Counseling Designing Copy Writing Editing Trade Computer Sales and Services Complete Computer Data Processing Services IFLITIU1111Plik 512/442-7836 1714 South Congress P.O. Box 3485 Austin, Texas 78764 THE TEXAS OBSERVEF 17 can you believe it! 10 YEAR CELEBRATION: From now until 1979 join us for 50beer! every day of the week; open til midnight in the Metro Center, San Antonio, Texas One tap beer limit per customer with food order out v.
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