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token, and Carriker won with 72% of the vote. “There was no question that I was going to win,” he says, “and I spent a lot more money than I would necessarily have had to . . . because I did want to have a convincing victory. For one thing, the more votes I gathered, the more votes I could get for White, Mattox, Mauro, Hightower. all down the line. . . . And of course, when you really wallop an opponent, well then you have less chance of having another one in two years. If I had just gotten 60% of the vote, you know, just hadn’t worked and just split it 60/40, there would have been some question there. `This is a pretty heavy Democratic district, and he only got 60% of the vote. Is he vulnerable?’ I went at it pretty heavily, but not nearly so hard and heavy as in the primary.” CARRIKER’S 78TH District is predominantly agricultural, and the recession in his area, he says, “has pretty much bottomed out as Reagan promised; it’s now a depression. In Roby, the co-op gin will lose $30,000 this year, he says. In Hamlin, the biggest John Deere dealer in the area closed its doors as of Dec. 31. Naturally Carriker hopes to serve on the House Agriculture Committee, but he has also listed five other preferences: Ways and Means, Appropriations, Constitutional Amendments, Health Services, and Financial Institutions. “I reasonably expect that among the six choices I listed, I’ll be able to get two of them,” he says. Carriker’s first House vote was a yes for Gib Lewis as speaker, and his early assessment of Lewis pretty much squares with those who know the Fort Worth lawmaker well. \(See Kay “Gib’s not a pretentious person, he says, “in that he doesn’t pretend that he has an intricate grasp of all the deep issues. He doesn’t really try to. He depends on his folks to run with the ball on whatever the issue might be. and he listens to them, and they do his footwork for him. He’s the kind of guy who’s very concerned with getting along on a personal basis with the membership. I think he’s personally hurt when somebody doesn’t get along with him. Certainly he’s not going to have the ability the first session to run it with nearly as heavy a hand as Billy Clayton did.” Carriker also says Lewis has assured him he intends to be a two-term speaker, no more. As Carriker points out, that means that Lewis’ successors are already maneuvering. looking to fill 12 JANUARY 28, 1983 a power vacuum. “We’re going to see about a hundred people who would think they would make a good speaker maneuvering for position,” he says. Could Steve Carriker be one of those hundred? “Let’s say we’re going to see 150 minus 44,” he says, laughing. “I don’t think we’re going to see any freshman maneuvering this session, at least not “I think there are a lot of people who are going to want to be identified as Democrats . . . and we’ll say . . . the Democrats are going to get this through because it’s good for the people.” openly. There’ll probably be six or eight testing the waters.” Carriker also predicts more party unity this session, with the Democratic Caucus much more active this session than last. “I think there are a lot of people who are going to want to be identified as Democrats,” he says, “and we may even have some issues that come out, and we’ll say this is the Democratic issue and this is the Republican view, and the Democrats are going to get this through because it’s good for the people.” The tone of the House, he expects, will be influenced to a large extent by the tone of the Senate and by how active Mark White is with his legislative program. As he points out, the philosophical orientation of the membership is little different from last session so it remains to be seen whether Lewis and White can influence the House as effectively as Clayton and Clements did. “I don’t know what role M’ark White’s going to take and how aggressive he’s going to be in the House,” Carriker says. “Lewis laid very low in the governor’s race, and I think everyone who makes assumptions about that kind of thing made the assumption that if Lewis had his druthers, he’d druther be working with Clements than White. And that is an assumption because I certainly can’t say it with any certainty. I’m not sure what the White and Lewis relationship is going to be. I don’t think that White is going to try to strong-arm Lewis, and at the same time I expect Lewis to attempt to work with White reasonably closely, to try to be friendly with him.” Carriker, along with most observers, sees Bill Hobby as the key to the session, particularly since White and Lewis are relatively unknown quantities. “I’m a little bit surprised,” he says, “at the public stance that Hobby’s taken on taxes and finance here in the last few weeks. He seems to be setting the tone for a tax bill. Maybe he’s feeling confident with his office, doesn’t plan to run again, and plans to use the next four years as his gift to the state of Texas; he’ll be the elder statesman who did what was right and not what was popular.” Carriker’s concern is where the tax revenue is coming from. He insists that it not come from local property taxes. He also believes that utilities and big oil companies have been the chief beneficiaries of the Peveto bill. On a gasoline tax increase, he says that the highway lobby is “trying to soften people up,” and that the nickel-agallon increase in federal revenues will make it harder to push through an increase at the state level. It will also be hard to sell in rural areas since highway money has gone mostly to the cities. “That spending has sapped our resources so that we don’t have maintenance money,” he says. “Also no one has developed the mass transit that we need. Carriker suggests a gas tax at the refinery instead of at the pump. “If, for example, half our refined products went out of state and half stayed in state, then 2 1/2 cents would be the same as a nickel tax. That tax still hits pretty hard in rural areas because it would hit diesel fuel for farm uses, but it would bring in money from outside the state.” The freshman legislator says he doesn’t worry unduly about lobby pressure because “lobbyists are an easier bunch to deal with than they were twenty years ago.” He points out that business and banking lobbies gave his primary opponent Walter Grubbs $30,000 while he himself spent $15,000 and still won 57/43. “I’ve got a district where they can’t hurt me,” he says. ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SWAM AUSTIN TEXAS 7S131 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip