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The Texas Civil Liberties Union index of representatives’ voting records on seventeen key human rights votes in the last session of the legislature shows McLeod with a poor 20% rating. “There was a tremendous amount of pressure in the last session by the Governor and the H. Ross Perot forces to pass the anticrime bills,” says McLeod. “I had to think long and hard before I voted for the wiretap bill. I had to be absolutely sure that it would be used properly.” Even Schwartz is not that critical of the McLeod A.C.L.U. record. “Eighty % of the legislature voted the way Doug did,” he says. Like the other two challengers to Brooks, McLeod admits that he would have voted with the southern boll weevils on the Reagan budget. “Had I been in Congress in 1981, I would have voted for the Reagan budget. We had to go in a different direction and while I might not have agreed with everything, I think it was the right thing to do for this country.” Brooks While the challengers say that Brooks’ record is weak, the facts show that over a thirty-year congressional career Jack Brooks has been a busy man. He was the prime mover behind construction of the Rayburn Dam and reservoir, the largest dam and reservoir in the state of Texas. He also secured funds for extensive improvement to deepwater shipping in the channels serving the ports of Beaumont, Galveston, Port Arthur, and Texas City. He secured authorization for a Galveston Bay study and public works funds for development of the Wallisville Reservoir and Galveston-Texas City Port complex improvements. Brooks was also instrumental in the approval of plans for the Public Health Service Hospital in connection with the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and secured federal assistance in research programs at U.T.M.B. Brooks claims to have brought millions of dollars in improvements and loans to Lamar University in Beaumont. He also authored legislation to provide flood insurance to protect businesses and individuals during hurricanes and natural disasters. As a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Brooks played a significant role in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This caused much anger in areas around Beaumont such as Vidor, which have long been hotbeds of intolerance toward blacks, even to the present day. Brooks received a brief share of the national limelight as a member of the Judiciary Committee during Watergate, playing a key role in the impeachment proceedings which ultimately led to the resignation of Richard Nixon. In 1973, Brooks led the investigation which uncovered the expenditure of millions of dollars in public funds at President Nixon’s vacation retreats in San Clemente, Cal., and Key Biscayne, Fla. The result: legislation greatly restricting such expenditures. Under Brook’s leadership, the Government Operations Committee has initiated oversight investigations and issued reports that have led to documented savings of billions of dollars. Some of the major legislation in Leland Hearings By Mark Schroeder Houston Congressman Mickey Leland, chairing the final field hearings of the Democratic Party’s National Commission on Low and Moderate Income Participation in Houston recently, acknowledged that the Party has a problem. “If the Democratic Party is to reign victorious in 1982 and 1984, we are going to do so by appealing to the poor, the oppressed, the victims of the budget cuts,” he said. “By their elitism the Republicans have precluded the representation of lowand moderate-income people.” The commission’s mandate is to end the under-representation of lowand moderate-income people within the Democratic Party. Previous hearings were held in Philadelphia, Detroit, Little Rock, and Los Angeles. The commission had before it a program of changes advocated by ACORN \(the Association of Community Organisociation of neighborhood organizations. ACORN had asked the commission to recommend that: 30% of all delegates to the national convention be lowto moderateincome people; a 1972 policy that one-eighth of party funds be set aside for the convention expenses of lower-income delegates be implemented; barriers to participation like excessive lodging costs and delegate The writer is on the staff of ACORN in Austin. troduced by Brooks and enacted into law since he has chaired the committee include the Brooks Act, which sets government-wide policy for’ the $5 ,$10 billion-a-year computer acquisition program. Another is the Inspector General Act, which establishes independent offices of inspector general in major de partments and agencies to prevent fraud and waste in government; the Paperwork Reduction Act, which allegedly will reduce government paperwork. To detractors’ glee, his name is on legislation establishing the Departments of Energy and Education, favorite targets of conservative business interests. selection primaries in large districts be reduced or eliminated; party organizing councils in lowand moderate-income organizations be set up on the local level. Bill Chandler of the National Hospital Employees Organizing Committee testified in support of these proposals: “In elections 50% or less of those eligible vote. Yet I have seen up to 100% of workers vote in union representation elections because the issues affect them and the workers have been involved in an organizing committee. There’s no reason to think that issues in society should bring out any fewer people. But workers see Ivy League types discussing the issues and they’re turned off.” Billie Carr, Democratic National committeewoman from Houston, voted for the one-eighth rule at the national convention in 1972. “Year after year on the Democratic National Committee,” she said, “I have asked the party chairmen if the money was being set aside. Every time I was told no, there were too many debts.” Given the failure of the national leadership on that issue and others, she said, she favored quotas. She saw a contradiction between the mandate of the Leland commission and the recommendations of the National Commission on . Delegate Selection chaired by North Carolina Governor James Hunt. “The worst proposal of the Mint commission is a return to winner-take-all or loophole primaries,” she said. “This would eliminate the very people you’re trying to involve.” Can also had some caustic words for a party hierarchy that opposes quotas only when they benefit under-represented groups. The Hunt commission proposes a quota to assure a high proportion of elected officials as national convention delegates. “People don’t seem to mind quotas when it involves officeholders,” she said. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9 I … -11111101111* FT