Page 16


WHAT WE HAVE on the state level is an escalation of the class warfare being practiced by Reagan and articulated by the new Education Secretary William Bennett. “It is not self-evident,” Bennett told a press conference, “that the government has the responsiblity to permit everyone to go to whatever college they [please note incorrect movement from singular to plural pronoun] want. ” Perhaps not everyone should go to college, Bennett suggested. “If my own son, who is now 10 months, came to me and said, ‘You promised to pay for my tuition at Harvard. How about giving me $50,000 instead to start a little business?’ , I might think that was a good idea.” Most of us aren’t faced with such options. Bennett said the cutbacks in grants and loans would simply mean “stereo divestiture, automobile divestiture, three-weeks-at-the-beach divestiture.” Big talk for a person who used to sit around listening to Elvis Presley records as a UT graduate student. An increase in state tuition simultaneous with federal student-assistance cuts spells disaster not only for middleand lower-income students in this state but for state colleges and universities as well. They will be deprived of some of their best students. They will suffer enrollment drops prompting cuts in faculty and services. Already, under state budget proposals, they are facing huge cuts in their budgets. And those cuts will come in faculty employment and education programs. You can bet there will be few calls for a sale of the UT Chancellor’s mansion to raise education revenues or for rescinding some of the sweetheart deals UT has made with the MCC micro-computer consortium. Texas A & M and the University of Texas are already complaining about the hesitancy of top-flight faculty applicants to consider this state’s schools because of state budget proposals. So much for the commitment to education by this state’s leaders. And Mark White has further demonstrated his dedication to higher education by honoring a couple of old state traditions in appointing regents this month to the boards of the University of Texas and Texas A & M. First there is the fine old tradition, pointed out by Molly Ivins, of appointing two oil men and a campaign treasurer: White came through swimmingly for UT, naming campaign treasurer Shannon Ratliff and oilmen Jack Blanton and William Roden. When he got to A & M, however, he had run out of campaign treasurers and had to name a broadcast executive and Chamber of Commerce president from San Antonio instead. There is never any thought, of course, of naming someone like Ralph Yarborough, author of major education legislation, or teacher president Sonia Hernandez. That is because there is a second old tradition to be upheld in appointing regents: it’s called “nominating a few people who gave you hefty campaign or officeholder contributions.” Shannon Ratliff, as campaign treasurer was, of course, obligated to guarantee a number of loans to the White campaign, totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for 1983 and 1984. \(These were not, if you recall, dropped hefty contributions on Mark White’s campaign and officeholder committee during the two months before this current legislative session. Bill Roden, appointed to the UT board despite his lack of a college degree, Royce Wisenbaker, reappointed. to A&M, and L. Lowry Mays, Clear Channel Communications president, each gave Mark White’s Texas Committee $10,000 last November. John Mobley of Mobley Industries got off with $1,000 last November, but, then again, his appointment is facing opposition in the state senate. White told a press conference that campaign contributions play no part in appointment decisions. “I don’t know what contributions any of these people gave to me,” he said. In the future, however, if regent nominations are to be based on campaign support, may we suggest a contributor who appears on White’s contributor list with a $100 contribution on December 6, 1984: Jean J. Rousseau now of New York City. His education credentials are impeccable though his theories about human nature may be shocking to some of those currently proposing cutting out the lowerand middle-classes. G.R. CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Education Divestiture Geoffrey Rips 4 Waist Deep in the Big Muddy Dave Denison 7 Nationwide Crackdown on Sanctuary Movement James Ridgeway 9 Omnibus Hunger Act Battles Revenue Shortfall Barbara Vauthier and Zy Weinberg 11 Grow -Your -Own -Relief Program Greg Stephens 12 Abortion Bills and Smokescreens T. L. Langford 17 Shel Hershorn’s Texas 20 Valley Battalion to Join Big Pine III Scott Lind 22 Economic Rights Greg Moses DEPARTMENTS 15 Political Intelligence 29 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 26 The Failure of Pragmatism Barbara Paulsen 28 Setting Sparks Against Apartheid Roger Williams Afterword: 30 Bullish on America Greg Franzwa Cover by Shel Hershorn THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3