The Texas OBSERVER PUBLISHER, RONNIE DUGGER The. Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1980 Vol. 72, No. 20 October 17, 1980 incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Rod Davis LAYOUT: Beth Epstein STAFF ASSISTANTS: Susan Reid, Bob Sindermann Jr. CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Chandler Davidson, John Henry Faulk, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Molly lvins >Maury Maverick Jr., Kaye Northcott, Dick J. Reavis, Laura Richardson, Paul Sweeney, Lawrence Walsh, Alfred Watkins CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Keith Dannemiller, Roy Ham ric, Hans-Peter Otto, Alan Pogue, Bob Clare, Phyllis Frede, Russell Lee CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Berke Breathed, Jeff Danziger, Dan Hubig, Ben Sargent, Mark Stinson A journal of free voices We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal offree voices. BUSINESS MANAGER Cliff Olofson The Texas Observer Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Publisher’s Office P.O. Box 6570, San Antonio, Texas 78209 Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues twice a year, in January and July; 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. 75 prepaid. One year, $18; two years, $34; three years, $49. One year rate for hill-time students, $12. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilmed by MCA, 1620 Hawkins Avenue, Box 10, Sanford, N.C. 27330. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Endorsements /Nov. 4 The following candidates are especially deserving of your vote on Nov. 4 and we recommend them: District U.S. Congress 8 Rep. Bob Eckhardt 5 Rep. Jim Mattox 14 Bill Patman Texas Senate 17 Sen. Babe Schwartz 9 Sen. Ron Clower 7 Sen. Gene Jones 5 Kent Caperton Texas House 20 Rep. Jerry Benedict 33-A Carroll Brown 33-I Rep. Ted Lyon 47 Joe Moron 57-H Joyce Dorrycott 75-A Carolyn Jordan 80 Paul Colbert Proposed Amendments to the Constitution As one of our cynical friends recently observed, when in doubt, “it would probably be a good idea to vote against anything a majority of the Texas Legislature voted for.” There are nine amendments on the Nov. 4 ballot. While some of them are okay No. 3 sounds like a good idea at least four are definitely bad news. Accordingly, we recommend a vote against: No. 1 This amendment would give banks their long-sought opportunity to institute unmanned teller machines, aka elecObserver has long opposed this move by the big banks to enlarge their hold on the market at the expense of smaller, hometown institutions [Obs., July 29, 1977]. No. 2 This amendment would give both the state and criminal defendants the right to appeal pre-trial rulings of the trial judge. Combined with No. 8, it would make our criminal court system even more clogged. This might work to the advantage of some persons accused of a crime those who have lots of it means an even longer delay to resolution of the case. No. 8 This constitutional change could have a negative impact on both criminal and civil cases. If this amendment is approved, the 14 Courts of Civil Appeals will also be given appellate jurisdiction over criminal cases. At present, every criminal defendant has a right to appeal to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The amendment would put those cases in the civil appeals courts before judges who have little experience with and knowledge of, generally, criminal matters. The Court of Criminal Appeals would then accept only those cases it wanted to hear, much like the U.S. Supreme Court. Proponents argue that this plan would reduce the heavy workload of the state’s highest criminal court. However, they cannot explain how a shift in the workload to the civil courts, with a corresponding slowdown in decisions on civil cases, can be avoided. Two years ago, voters gave the Court of Criminal Appeals the capability of sitting in three-judge panels to reduce each judge’s workload. That change has produced some irreconcilable opinions, since the court rarely sits en banc. If the 14 civil appeals courts now become criminal appeals courts also, the inequities of a poor system will only be increased. No. 5 The “Bill Clements special” would give the governor authority to cut back the funds already appropriated to state 2 OCTOBER 17, 1980
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