POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE AA’ Rep. Ted Lyon of Mesquite was honored recently as “Legislator of the Year” by Common Cause of Texas. He was selected for his ongoing commitment to public-interest legislation. During the 67th legislature, Lyon introduced bills in the House to limit the use of campaign contributions and to require reporting of unexpended contributions; to prohibit contributions to state office holders 30 days, before, during, and 30 days after a legislative session; and setting limits on the amounts which may be contributed to state office candidates by individuals and political action committees. Dolph Briscoe would like to get back into politics and is seriously considering his options. He hasn’t made a decision yet, he says, but he’s pondering a race against John Tower in 1984 or a 1986 race for his old job in the governor’s office. Harris County Republicans are running not just against Democrats this year but against organized labor. In a letter signed by the party’s county chairman, Russ Mather, GOP constituents are warned that “organized labor unions may be running our Texas Legislature in 1983.” Mather’s letter asked for help in raising more than $36,000 “to register voters, to conduct in-depth voter polls and to prepare campaign literature.” I’m not exaggerating or trying to use scare tactics,” Mather wrote. “I would never make such a statement if I didn’t feel we needed to be concerned.” In a postscript, he wrote that “your contribution will help us counter this drive for union control of Houston and Texas.” voi Houston Republicans also got a bit of advice recently from one of their own. Speaking to a group of Republican wothe U.S. must “have the will” to arm its Central American allies. “Don’t let the fact these people are dictators upset you,” he said. “You see who we can work with, and we certainly can’t work with Castro. You send them arms and you train them, and our side will win, I guarantee you.” Mengden warned the women that if this country didn’t take his advice, communists will “take over El Salvador, then Guatemala, then Mexico, and then they’ll cross the Rio Grande, and then Houston.” Joe Gagen, staff director for the Democratic Party in Texas, says the party opposes part of a plan recently adopted by the Democratic National Committee that would change the makeup of delegates at the 1984 national convention. Gagen said the party objects to a section of the proposal that would allow states to choose delegates to the national convention in a “loophole primary,” like the Texas Democratic primary of 1976. In the 1976 primary, Democratic presidential candidates were allowed to field three representatives in each congressional district. The top three vote-getting delegate candidates in each district were then automatically seated at the national convention. Unless the legislature changes the law, the 1984 primary will follow the 1980 guidelines. Under those rules, any candidate receiving 15% of the vote at any level of elections precinct, county, or state is guaranteed proportional representation at the next level of delegate elections. Republican candidate for lt. governor, George Strake, reports on his campaign expenditure report a full-time employee named Knut Rostad. Rostad is a former full-time staff member of NCPAC, the right-wing political action committee notorious for its campaign dirty tricks. Anne Cole, an English teacher at Leander High School, near Austin, supported Bill Clements in 1978 while many of her colleagues were backing John Hill. According to a Dallas Times Herald story, she was suggested this year as a likely prospect for a videotape endorsement of Clements. Her answer was “No, thank you.” “I Would never stand up for him,” she said. “Teachers have been embarrassed and humiliated by Clements. He vetoed our health insurance bill last year.” Despite her perfect Republican voting record, Mrs. Cole says she is now supporting Bob Armstrong. News from Washington Texas lawmakers are split over the $75-a-day tax deduction Congress voted itself last year. Those planning to take the deduction, designed to ease the burden members of Congress bear when they maintain residences in Washington and in their congressional districts, include John Tower, Rep. Ron Paul, and Rep. Mickey Leland. Those not taking the deduction include Reps. Charles Wilson, Charles Stenholm, Thomas Loeffler, Jack Hightower, and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. I,” Observer contributor Craig Clifford reports from Washington that the Senate recently adopted a bill eliminating Social Security benefits for children. of retired, disabled, or deceased workers once the child reaches 18 or finishes high school, effective for those not enrolled as a fulltime student in a post-secondary school by May 1, 1982. The Subcommittee on Social Security held hearings in February to look into concerns about the timing of the provision, and about the apparent failure of the Social Security Administration to give sufficient notice to those effected by the change. There is a move afoot to roll back the deadline to Oct. 1, but an aide to Jake Pickle told Clifford that probably won’t happen. In Dec., 1981, some 758,000 students 18 to 21 years of age were receiving these benefits. Last year Pickle’s Social Security subcommittee received administration assurance that if the SS benefits for college students were eliminated, federal loans and grants for college students would be Maintained. The president has now proposed a series of sweeping cuts to these programs as well. Carl Brannin, the 93-year-old Dallas ceived $2,000 in civil rights damages from the state of Texas for state police spying in 1974. A state police spy report concerning Brannin and others was inaccurate and applied the term “subversive groups” to social action groups. Brannin has given the $2,000 to the Texas Civil Liberties Union Foundation for its use in litigation on behalf of others’ civil liberties. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13
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