personal style is abrasive. It transmits a total disregard for the well-being of most people. He’s insensitive to the problems of the average person. . . .” Cong. Jim Collins, Dallas, said in a letter to supporters, “In 1982 I am planning to run for the Senate against one of Washington’s biggest spenders Lloyd Bentsen. The reason America has high inflation and high taxes is because of the spending of the liberals. Bentsen has earned his reputation as the most active liberal senator in the South.” Sen. Walter Mengden, Collins’ likely opponent for the GOP nomination, thinks there will be even more candidates vying for that nomination because Bentsen looks beatable. He expects, he told the Observer, “a large primary,” and “The Democrats in this case should be very pleased, because it’ll take a lot of conservatives out of their primary.” Mengden said that with Clements from Dallas and John Tower from North Texas, Houston is a huge area with no upper-level Republican representation. “I’m still testing the water,” he said, but added, “I’m very determined to run,” and will probably announce right after Labor Day. When Mengden was being nominated for president pro-tem of the Senate, his GOP colleague John Leedom of Dallas said that when he, Leedom, was running, Mengden called him and said, “I have a fella here who thinks like we do.” Leedom met the man, he said, “and when I came outa there I had a $5,000 check.” In Collins’ 3rd congressional district, likely GOP candidates include Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former state representative; Richardson Mayor Ray Noah, a long-time Republican worker; Jim Jackson, Dalas county commissioner; and Joe Devany, ex-Democratic county chairman. In the Republicanized 5th, now represented by Democrat Jim Mattox, who may or may not run, the Republican field includes Dallas city council member Steve Bartlett and perhaps Sen. Dee Travis. In the 24th, incumbent Democrat Martin Frost is running again, but with the district 64% minority, possible black candidates mentioned include Rep. Paul Ragsdale, ex-Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, ex-councilperson Lucy Patterson, and businessman Marvin Robinson. In the 27th, including Corpus, Sen. Carlos Truan is “thinking about it”; so is Nueces Sheriff Solomon Ortiz. Reps. Hugo Berlanga and Arnold Gonzales are both eyeing Truan’s Senate seat if he tries to move up; Berlanga says people Austin Recently we called note to a situation in which Senator Lloyd Bentsen appears not to have been reading his mail very carefully \(“A Puzzle,” TO item has caused Dr. Wendell Gordon, professor of economics at UT-Austin, to show us another example of this. Last summer Bentsen and another U.S. senator held a hearing in Austin for oil and gas royalty owners who wished to protest the effects of the windfall profits tax on them. Washington was duly berated, sometimes including Senator Bentsen, who was at pains to convince the crowd of royalty owners he was on their side. On July 18, 1980, Gordon wrote Bentsen: “I am sure that you noticed that your audience of royalty owners in the University of Texas Special Events Center did not show much appreciation for what you were trying to .do for them. “In my opinion, if ever there was a group of people that does not deserve tax favoritism, we royalty owners are the group. The glibness with which we imply that we have worked to deserve our royalties is hard to justify. Royalties, surely it is obvious, are something Texas farmers and ranchers are getting for pretty close to nothing. The $120 a year I get in ten separate checks from various oil companies I have not done one thing to merit. “Non-farmers and ranchers, trading in royalties, should take their lumps along with other speculators. “There are a lot of people with varicose veins and high blood pressure, who are fairly elderly, who are not fortunate enough to be getting royalty checks at all. “I was rather dumbfounded by the self-righteous attitude of that group of talk to him about Congress, too. Tom Bass, Harris County Commissioner, is eyeing the new 25th congressional district . . . . In the far West Texas district, ex-assistant U.S. district attorney William B. Hardie, Jr., is talking about running as a Republican against incumbent Democrat Richard White. Why did Sen. Chet Brooks of Pasadena cast that decisive vote for the Democrat-gutting redistricting bill? It is three or four thousand mostly quite affluent people. What they had a right to be indignant about, I have trouble understanding. “You have a difficult job. \(I trust the University of Texas police had the good judgment not to impound very many of “Sincerely, Wendell Gordon.” Senator Bentsen replied to Professor Gordon, on July 29, 1980: “Thank you for your recent correspondence. “Like you, I strongly disagree with provisions of the so-called windfall profits tax that make royalty owners subject to the tax. For this reason, I offered amendments in the finance committee and on the Senate floor to exempt all royalty owners from the windfall tax \(up my amendment was unable to garner sufficient support in the committee or on the floor. “I share your concern that the tax will seriously harm our nation’s ability to produce domestic energy supplies. On balance, I believe that the compromise bill agreed to by the House-Senate conference is still punitive and confiscatory. Therefore, I voted against the tax in the Senate, and I voted against the conference report. “Since the windfall tax became law, I have re-introduced my amendment to exempt royalty owners from the tax. Please be assured that I will take every opportunity to amend the tax to allow for greater domestic energy production. Your support will be most helpful to me in that effort. “Again, I appreciate your taking the time to contact me. “Sincerely, Lloyd Bentsen.” our information that he had been let know that even his Senate district was in jeopardy if he did not. Obviously he knew his desire for a congressional district he could win was at stake; it’s the consensus he got such a district. In addition, Brooks was interested in a bill licensing psychotherapists, which Gov. Clements obligingly added to the special-session call. On such trivial matters, history suspends. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11 Bentsen: Like You, I Strongly Disagree with You . . . Uh . . .
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