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Lib-Baiting HOUSE SPEAKER Gib Lewis has engaged in that time-honored Texas tradi tion of dividing the Democratic Party by lib-baiting. At a press conference endorsing Kent Hance for the U.S. Senate, Lewis used the word “liberal” every time he could in referring to Lloyd Doggett. State Rep. Roy English, D-Mansfield, one of five state legislators joining Lewis, said, “Kent Hance has always thought like a Texan,” indicating a spread of Hance’s jingoism. Lewis stuck to basics. “Both of them [Hance and Phil Gramm} are conservative,” he said, “but Han& is a conservative Democrat. Myself and the majority of the elected officials in the state are conservative Democrats.” In a classic Lewis turn of phrase, he also said, “Most Texans are conservative. They look for a helping hand at the end of their arm. We feel Congressman Hance expresses the true thought pattern of the citizens of this state.” What Lewis is doing is playing the role of hit-man for the conservative establishment. The wagons are circled and the white West Texas good ol’boys are trotted out as the only legitimate citizens of this state and as the only legitimate source of government representation. When the good ol’boy myth plays, they’ll play it to the hilt. Meanwhile, San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros has said that while he will vote for Doggett, he will not work for him. Cisneros, a former Krueger supporter, seems unwilling to take a political risk for principles he has, in the past, said were important to him. When Cisneros makes a run for a state . wide office, he may find that the progressive support he expects by virtue of his ethnicity may be backing some other candidate will ing to take a few political risks for progressive candidates and issues. El POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE V Another Reaganite has gotten himself soiled by connections to Texas oil money. Victor M. Thompson, Jr., resigned as president of the U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corp. after questions arose about his connections to King Ranch family member B. K. Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reported in late April. Let’s take it slow: Thompson had sought Johnson’s investment in Thompson’s failing bank while at the same time Johnson’s applications for government loan guarantees were before the board Thompson served on the Synthetic Fuels Board. And so, ethical questions were raised. V Now try this one: A bunch of Texas banks and bankers rounded up a few bucks to show their appreciation of their former regulator, Robert E. Stewart, who retired last summer after 13 years as Texas Banking Commissioner. At the Texas Bankers Association convention in Fort Worth in early May Stewart was presented with a $53,300 cash gift. Current banking commissioner James L. Sexton, told the Dallas Times Herald the gift was a “somewhat unusual” practice that seems “peculiar to Texas.” On the other hand, it might be somewhat unusual for the practice to be seen as peculiar in Texas. V And what’s John Connally been up to lately? Land deals. In one of the largest single land purchases in Travis County, Connally’s partnership with former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes paid more than $50 million April 23 for 3,280 acres in the western part of the county. “The acquisition of the property enables Barnes/Connally to embark upon the largest development project in Travis County,” said Ben Barnes in a prepared statement. V A fancy new computer system in Houston is likely to make it easier for the IRS to reach out and nab someone. The computer system is smart enough to find and call any delinquent taxpayer in the Houston or Austin IRS districts as well as the entire state of Louisiana while flashing their records onto a video screen for an official to monitor. The Associated Press reported April 29 that the system was part of an IRS “allout war on tax evaders.” V In the state’s continuing search for a low-level nuclear waste site, the University of Texas land in Hudspeth County has been cut out as a possibility, leaving the proposed site in Dimmit County in South Texas, where residents have protested the dump since last year, and a new possibility: a piece of state land in West Texas between Big Bend National Park and Alpine in Brewster County. The reaction of Brewster County Judge Tom Connor to the proposal: “We don’t want your garbage.” V Last month the Reagan Administration found a man in Costa Rica who said he had been tortured in Nicaragua by Sandinistas. They trotted the man to Washington and put him on display for the national media. Meanwhile, in Mexico, up to 100,000 Guatemalans have been amassed along the border, some for as long as three years. Does the President’s heart go out to , these refugees, who are fleeing a torturous regime? It seems we haven’t heard about it. Every once in a while a report filters up to the American media, giving a glimpse that the struggle goes on for the Guatemalans. The New York Times reported on May 3 that the Mexican government will be relocating 46,000 Guatemalan refugees from camps along the border to camps farther inside the country. The Mexican decision came two days after gunmen reportedly crossed the border and killed six people in a refugee/ camp. V During 1983, a total of 33 death sentences, and 343 life sentences were imposed by the courts of Texas, according to the Texas Judicial Council. This compares to 32 death sentences and 436 life sentences given out in 1982. Two men have already been put to death in Texas this year, and four executions are scheduled for the end of May. There are currently about 170 persons on death row in Texas. V On May 9th, while returns from the State primary were still being recounted, Gov. Mark White, assuming that Doggett was in the run-off, told his staff that Doggett will beat Hance unless Doggett narrows himself into a corner too tightly on labor and ethnic issues. V Jim Wright, the Democratic Majority Leader of the U.S. House, broke his own custom and precedent by giving a fundraiser in Washington for Krueger before the first primary. Faced with a Hance-Doggett run-off, Wright is for Doggett. The Observer understands that some of Wright’s friends are urging him to give a fundraiser now for Doggett, and some are opposing that idea. V Six Texans in Congress voted on April 4 to cut entitlement programs, including Social Security, a total of $20 billion by reducing cost-of-living in THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11