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OBSERVATIONS TONG-TIME READERS MAY RECALL that during the second half of my first eight years as Ob server editor, we published., at the outset of several legislative sessions, special “issues on issues.” Therein we summarized pending problems and broke new ground on neglected ones. These issues substantially affected the political and intellectual climate as a session opened, and some members adopted or adapted some of our ideas and ran with them in the House and Senate. What should the 1983 legislature do? It is not at all too early for progressive people to begin thinking about this. Not that Utopia can be enacted in four months, and not that much that’s good is likely to be enacted by any Texas legislature with campaign finance as polluted as it has become. But some good may be done and some bad prevented if people start thinking in time. Governor William Clements is now threatening us with doubled college tuition and with highway user taxes that is, in effect, higher sales taxes for using our highways. That fellow went into office suggesting he would cut the 5% sales tax. “No new taxes,” he promised plus a billion-dollar tax cut. The tax cut isn’t, and now he plans to pick on students and ordinary consumers. A corporate income tax is commonplace in many states, and some of the states that have one are now reforming it to take account of multinational giants’ foreign profits. Instead of taking the income of a company operating in a state to calculate the tax liability, the state calculates the worldwide sales, payroll, and capital investments of the firm and its affiliates and bases the tax on the percentage of these three factors that occur within the state’s boundaries. Dividends paid by foreign affiliates are also considered. New York has switched over to worldwide calculation of tax liabilities for oil companies alone, and the Washington Post reports that tax revenues are expected to jump from $30 million to about $105 million. Some states have passed superfunds to augment federal efforts to clean up toxic wastes. In New York, companies using landfills to bury their toxic wastes have to pay $12 a ton on it to build up the fund. New York also has passed a law this year to protect people who borrow books from public libraries from being investigated by moral and political authoritarians. Such groups as the Moral Majority have tried to gain access to library records that would show what books have been borrowed by what indi viduals and organizations. Public and private libraries are prohibited now in New York from disclosing information on borrowers or what they read unless a court so orders or a borrower gives consent. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times editorialized last February concerning the fact that when House Speaker Billy Clayton quit his campaign for state land commissioner, he took home to Springlake with him $300,000 in campaign contributions. Clayton said he wouldn’t spend it for himself, but would save it for a possible campaign or something in the future, the Caller noted. “But there is nothing,” the paper said, “to prevent him from using it to buy a helicopter to zip around his new farmlands, or a sprinkling system for his crops, or to jaunt around the world, if that’s his pleasure. . . . Campaign funds under Texas law, can be used by the candidate for any purpose. . . . That loophole should be drawn tightly shut.” Two equally incredible facts that there is no limit on how much a contributor can give to a candidate for statewide office in Texas nor to how much such a candidate can spend on his own campaign should be changed, too. What legislator or group of legis TETXDB SERvER The Progressive Biweekly Vol. 74, No. 16 August 20,1982 Editor and Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Co-Editor: Joe Holley Staff Writer: Ruperto Garcia EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, New York City; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio: Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana, Tx.; Susan Reid, Austin; A.R. Tehachapi, Ca.; Alfred J. Watkins, Austin. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Warren Burnett, Nina Butts, Jo Clifton, John Henry Faulk, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Laurence Jolidon, Mary Lenz, Matt Lyon, Greg Moses, Janie Paleschic, Laura Richardson, M. P. Rosenberg, Bob Sindermann, Jr., Paul Sweeney, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Grant Fehr, Bob Clare, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol, Ronald Cortes CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Berke Breathed, Jeff Danziger, Ben Sargent, Mary Margaret Wade, Gail Woods Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. The Progressive Biweekly 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 of free voices. Business Manager: Frances Barton Advertising, Special Projects: Cliff Olofson The Texas Observer postage paid at Austin, Texas. 75g prepaid. One year, $20; two years, $38; three years, $56. One year rate for full-time students, $13. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from Microfilming Corporation of America, Box 10, Sanford. N.C. 27330. Copyright 1982 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 2 AUGUST 20, 1982 POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701.