radiation . . . That we know so little, that we have been so careless with this power, speaks volumes for our hubris and ignorance alike.” Ixtoc I, Clements, other disasters As he has led out against nuclear power among Texas officials, Gonzalez has also led out against both Gov. Bill Clements and Mexico on the Ixtoc I oilwell break in the Bay of Campeche, which has been gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico since June 3 and threatens, for the second year, the beaches of South Texas. For Clements, Gonzalez has never had anything but partisan disregard; but the congressman has been merciless in accusing Clements of conflict of interest and gallivanting around the world to advance his own financial interests in oil drilling. Clements owns a large part of Sedco, an offshore oil drilling company, but has put his Sedco stock into a blind trust; his son runs the company now. Sedco leased the rig that drilled Ixtoc I. Gonzalez calls on Clements to “make a clean breast” of his oil interests in Mexico and elsewhere. In a colloquy last fall on the House floor with Congressman stake in Mexico, there is little wonder that Governor Clements has journeyed there so often on so-called good will missions. I would not be at all surprised to find that his most recent good will mission to the Soviet Union is motivated in full or part by hopes of securing future business for his corporate interests. Or to check on those there. Neither, for that matter, would I be surprised if Governor Clements soon went to China, to follow up on promising leads for sales or leases of drilling equipment to that country, which by all accounts has vast oil producing potential.” Gonzalez also told the House, “the same man who defames the federal government, decries a need for federal intervention, himself received $150 million in loan guarantees from the Department of Commerce which enabled him to buy six wells, six rigs, two of which are involved in the blowout in the Bay of Campeche. How hypocritical can anybody get?” But the Mexican-American congressman from San Antonio is no harder on Clements than he is on the officials of Mexico, whom he accuses of indifference to the spill, and some of whom, he says, “have deep financial involvements in oil exploration and in this particular well.” Gonzalez wastes no affection on the recent leaders of Mexico, the country his family fled during the Revolution early in this century. “Mexico insists on being a bad neighbor,” he said. “The president of Mexico is bitterly vituperative against the United States. His predecessor was even more so.” He says that the entire family of former President Luis Echevarria of Mexico was “definitely pro-Russian, pro-communist.” For the last eight years, Gonzalez says, “The Mexican press, which is not free, which is literally a controlled press, has vituperated editorially in the news columns daily . . . against the United States. Never once have I noted in the last eight years one single complimentary or favorable note towards the United States in the Mexico press.” Gonzalez adds, “Mexico is not a free country. . . .” Carter in ’80? Formally staying out of the 1980 presidential race, Gonzalez appears to be leaning, in his views, toward Carter. Last year he berated Carter as vulnerable for following Republican economic policies, but he has little good to say about Edward Kennedy. Now that Carter has mended his fences somewhat with Gonzalez, having him to the White House a couple of times, observers here take the signs to indicate Gonzalez has a pro-Carter tilt. When the Congress passed the sham tax cut bill of 1978 Gonzalez voted against it, called on Carter to veto it and said Carter lacked a visionary national program. At that point Gonzalez condemned Carter’s energy program for failing to try to do anything about the international oil cartel and for starting from the faulty concept of cutting consumption by increasing prices. “The European experience has shown that does not work,” Gonzalez says. “The price of gasoline went to $ per gallon and consumption did not go down.” Attracted to a proposal from Mobil to keep old oil price controlled with an adjustment for inflation while decontrolling new oil completely, Gonzalez has opposed Carter’s oil price decontrol program. “There has to be some kind of balance between the interests of consumers and producers,” he says. Last spring Gonzalez told national Young Democrats who were meeting in San Antonio, “President Carter is acting more like Ford and Nixon than a Democrat, and, because of that, Carter is in trouble.” Many Democrats had become barking-dog politicians someone you throw a little bone and they shut up. “With these barking-dog Democrats,” he continued, according to the Express, “there is becoming little difference between Republicans and Democrats.” As for Democratic calls for a balanced budget, he added, “The American people are being crucified on a cross of the balanced budget” \(which, of course, acting like Republicans,” he told the Observer, and they’ll be a minority party if they keep it up.” President Carter had been, Gonzalez says, “remote.” He almost bobbled his first approach to the San Antonian. Gonzalez wasn’t going to attend the banquet last fall in Washington of the Hispanic Caucus because he doesn’t want to have anything to do with campaign fund-raising in the District of Columbia. Besides, he says, the Hispanic Caucus, composed of the Hispanic members of Congress, never gives an accounting of who buys the $100 tickets for the banquet. Mostly, Gonzalez says, the buyers are lobbyists. But a Carter man telephoned Gonzalez and, saying the President wanted to talk to him alone, asked him to ride over to the banquet with him. The thought was that they could talk in the car on the way. Gonzalez explained he was boycotting the banquet, but added, “Tell him that I am afraid I’m not joining a Draft Kennedy Movement.” And Gonzalez added valuable advice: The President should show up at the banquet late, well after Ted Kennedy \(who was for Kennedy. Carter followed this advice, Gonzalez says, to good effect. When Gonzalez saw Carter last Sept. 27, the President “came on expansive, you know, grinning,” Gonzalez says. The President said, ” You know I have been very negligent, I’ve been wanting to see you and should have seen you months ago.’ ” Gonzalez replied he would not seek to communicate with a President unless there was a major crisis in his district that only presidential intervention would help. But as for communication with the White House staff, he told Carter, “There seems to have been less communication with your administration than with Jerry Ford’s.” ” ‘I want you to know that any time you want me, you pick up that phone and I’ll be over here at the other end,’ ” Gonzalez said Carter told him. Gonzalez, while expressing appreciation, again demurred, but said he would value “open appreciation” with Carter’s staff and Cabinet. Gonzalez said he had found James Schlesinger, the only Republican in the Cabinet, the only readily accessible Cabinet member. “Your chief legislative liaison with . the Congress was inaccessible himself, and I just didn’t try any more,” Gonzalez told the THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.