r a. .: Political Intelligence 1011111111111111111111111 Notes from Washington LUNCH ON THE RIVER OR THE BALCONY BRUNCH ON SUNDAY! … and Sandwiches, Chili, Tacos, Chalupas, and restaurant baked desserts. Haagen Dazs Ice Cream and fresh yoghurt. Soup and salad bar. 11:30 am until 5:00 pm Monday thru Sunday. 224-4515 the greenhouse Above the Kangaroo Court Downtown Riverwalk 314 North Presa San Antonio, Texas One Texas congressman thinks Jim Wright’s chances of ever becoming House Speaker went out the window after the Texas defections and Democratic defeat over the budget bill. An old hand at Washington reporting says that the staffs’in the offices of Phil Gramm, Charles Stenholm, and Kent Hance are highly professional and on the ball in marked contrast to most of the Texas delegation. Speaking of utilities and dining at the University Club with home-state utility executives, Cong. Charlie Wilson’s contributors for 1979-80 include PAC’s connected to some out-of-state firms: Montana Power Co., Baltimore Gas and Electric, Florida Power and Light, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Potomac Power and Electric Company, and Southern California Edison Co. . . . On the wall one sees when leaving Wilson’s Washington office, there is a gigantic portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt. A Republican Majority Leader before the next election? That nightmare is part of a pessimistic scenario Mickey Leland can set forth convincingly. It’s really simple the “Boll Weevils” switch parties and the GOP calls for a reorganization. The turncoats are rewarded with key chairmanships. Think of Phil Gramm leading appropriations, Jack Hightower controlling agriculture, and Charlie Wilson at the helm of foreign affairs. One top staff member of a defecting congressman went on “vacation” the day of the big budget vote. A number of others expressed embarrassment. Illustrating the axiom that politicians in the middle of the road get clipped from both the left and the right, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby has now been clipped by the Texas Pro-Life PAC. Correctly perceiving that Hobby helped kill anti-abortion bills last session and noticing also that the Hobbys hosted a reception for the Houston chapter of the ACLU at their home last fall, the anti-abortion PAC has sent out a scurrilous mock invitation to a “reception” at the Hobbys’ home, the proceeds to be used “to promote abortion on demand, pornography, and homosexuality.” Candidates; Cash The two right-wing candidates for GOP nomination against U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas are sniping sharply at each other, a fair indication they both might run. State Sen. Walter Mengden, Houston, is arguing that Cong. Jim Collins, Dallas, is an ineffective legislator, is 65 compared to Mengden’s 54, would give up a subcommittee chairmanship in the House by running for the Senate, and can’t undercut Bentsen’s Houston base as well as Houstonian Mengden could. Collins, who favors repealing the federal income tax, nevertheless seeks the more moderate track, telling Sam Attlesey of the Dallas News, “I don’t think anyone could be more conservative than Mengden.” .. . Die-hard champions of football star Roger Staubach running for the same nomination say they have 237 GOP precinct chairpersons on the line for Staubach. A recent Texas AFL-CIO poll showed Gov. Bill Clements running 10 or 12 percentage points ahead of John Hill, Dolph Briscoe, or Mark White. According to the newsletter of the Texas Democratic Party, the mayor of El Paso, Thomas D. Westfall, formerly an FBI employee for 26 years and a conservative Democrat, announced several months ago he will run for governor. Garry Mauro, Democrat running for land commissioner, says in the first six weeks since he has announced he has traveled 100,000 miles, raised $70,000, and obtained pledges for $190,000 more. Speaker Bill Clayton plans to wait until the end of the special session before deciding whether to oppose Mauro for the nomination. Bob Slagle, state Democratic chairman, says it may take at least $5 million to beat Clements and is pushing the line that many Democrats “keep coming up to me and saying,” why don’t the Democrats “run just one” candidate in the primary for governor. low Jim Hightower, likely to run for agriculture commissioner, said to Virginia Ellis of the Dallas Times-Herald, about officeholders like Clements and Atty. Gen. Mark White raising political money while in office, “There is no nice way to put it. They are using the power of their office to raise that money.” He, for one, can’t consider running for governor or U.S. senator, he said, because he knows he can’t raise the necessary millions. “The days when someone can come out of the blue and take on, say, the governorship, are over until we do something,” Hightower said. xo” Jimmy Carter’s national Democratic chairman, Robert Strauss of Dallas, said in Houston of the federal government, “We have tried to do too much and we have promised too much.” . . . Former Democratic Gov. Preston Smith of Lubbock told the Dallas News that unless leaders of the Texas Democratic Party “shift to a more conservative viewpoint, the Democratic Party in Texas will be doomed.”. . . Dave McNeely, political editor of the Austin AmericanStatesman, observes that the GOP sticks together in the legislature while the Democrats, “by contrast, with no parti THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15 Life Insurance and Annuities Martin Elfant, CLU 4223 Richmond, Suite 213, Houston, TX 77027
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