Social Register V When the Associated Press asked Texas Republican chairman George Strake on June 6 his opinion of the increased voter registration generated in the South by the Jesse Jackson campaign, he responded, “It scares the bejeebers out of me.” Among the voter registration projects being led this summer is a ten-week national drive conducted by the Human Service Employees Registration, Voting and Education The group is aiming to sign up a million new voters by midAugust, primarily by getting social service workers to register their clients. Hulbert James, executive director of SERVE, was in Austin June 8 to help kick off the campaign in Texas. James said his group “tried an experiment in New York City” to see if the agency-based drive would take. In two months last spring the coalition registered nearly 50,000 voters, he said. “This is an idea that Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven hit upon after the massive registration in Chicago in ’82, James said. Cloward and Piven have areued that ever since the masses got stirred up by the populists in the 1890s, the political system has disenfranchised the lower classes by making it difficult to vote. But, as SERVE literature puts it, “the American political system can be democratized by bringing voter registration services to every lowincome and minority neighborhood. What makes this institutional reform possible is the existence of tens of thousands of social agencies.” James said there are about 55 million unregistered voters in the country and about 4 million in Texas. The Texas campaign is recruiting human service workers to conduct registration in their agen cies, a’id also yolunteers from peace groups, women’s groups, and the like to enter social service waiting roams to register people, according Lafe Larson, field coordinator for the SERVE project in Texas. Larson helped persuade Governor Mark White to send a letter in March to 300 state agencies and officials urging them to help register Texans as part of their regular job duties. At least one major agency in Texas, however, was not immediately impressed with White’s call for registration. The Department of Human Resources sent a return letter to the effect that the agency was too busy to register voters. V The largest Texas company doing business in South Africa is Dresser Industries of Dallas, according to a Dallas Morning News report. Dresser manufactures equipment for energy and natural resource industries and ranks 20th among the 350 U.S. companies in South Africa. The newspaper also listed Sedco Inc. the drilling outfit owned by former Gov. Bill Clements among Texas firms in South Africa. Others are: American Airlines, Pizza Inn, and Stratoflex, Inc. V William Bennett, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and once a protege of former UT Dean John Silber, has issued an “emergency grant” to right-wing media watchers, Accuracy in Media, for their proposed critique of the PBS documentary, “Vietnam, A History.” The 13-part documentary aired last fall and is scheduled for rebroadcast this summer. It received $1.2 million from the endowment. Accuracy in Media, citing “a lot of errors and distortions in the PBS documentary,” will present PBS stations with its two-hour “assessment” this summer. Bennett said the endowment got letters calling the series “biased, unfair and inaccurate. It seemed to me that $30,000 to give someone to make the case that there may have been inaccuracies was not an unreasonable thing to do.” But is it reasonable to use as an arbiter of bias Ronald Reagan’s favorite press watchdog? v In their zeal to track down each and every undocumented worker in Texas, our three proud champions in Washington, Jack Fields, R-Humble, Bill Archer, R-Houston, and Charles Wilson, D-Lufkin, have once again shown little concern for civil liberties. These three were the only representatives from Texas voting in favor of an immigration bill amendment that would allow immigration enforcers to conduct raids without search warrants in open fields. In a mid-June vote, the House rejected the amendment by a vote of 285-133. V Railroad Commissioner Mack Wallace sent out a letter on April 18, 1984, asking for funds for his re-election campaign. Wallace did not face a Democratic opponent in the primary but will face Republican John Thomas Henderson in November. The curious thing is that Wallace’s letter states that “a successful effort in November could cost as much as one million dollars.” This is curious because, in addition to the advantages of incumbency enjoyed by Wallace, he faces a candidate who accepts no campaign contributions in order to show that he cannot be bought. Wallace, on the other hand, has done pretty well as a money-raiser. Between October 1 and December 31 of 1983, Wallace received $5,000 each from Ed, Sid, Lee, and Perry Bass all known to have some interest in oil and its regulation. Wallace’s campaign contribution report for the first three months of 1984 shows contributions from the Central Power and Light Co. PAC, the Municipal Service Company of Tyler, Texas Phillips Petroleum Co. PAC, and from corporate lobbyists Jack Gullahorn and Gene Fondren. His 1983 and 1984 reports include large and small contributions from a number of smaller oil and gas companies and drillers, including Lede Exploration and Cavalla Energy Exploration. Henderson, meanwhile, is attacking the current Railroad Commission for its abominable equal employment record. Black commission workers comprise 2.17% of the commission’s administrative personnel and 5.32 % of its professional personnel. Hispanic workers make up 4.34% of the commission’s administrative personnel and 7.37% of its professional personnel. Black workers take home 4.4% of the salaries between $20,000 and $25,000, 2.38% of those between $25,000 and $33,000, and .9% of those above $33,000. Hispanic workers receive 5.03% of the salaries between $20,000 and $25,000, 7.93% of those between $25,000 and $33,000, and 3.63% of those above $33,000. White males at the Railroad Commission receive 90% of the salaries above $33,000. But discrimination does not exist only in the upper income brackets of the commission. Of the 942 workers employed by the Railroad Commission, 82.05% are white. V Rep. Phil Gramm, who will be opposing Lloyd Doggett for the U.S. 12 JUNE 29, 1984
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