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bad reviews from his colleagues for the grandstand play he almost pulled off at their expense. Gramm Bites the Hand That Feeds Him I,’ As we all know, Sen. Phil Gramm hardly ever ever disagrees with President Reagan. This he made clear in his memorable campaign for the Senate. So probably there were no gasps of surprise in farm families across Texas when Sen. Gramm voted against the Senate’s bailout program for hard-pressed farmers. It was well-known that Reagan was against such farm programs, and indeed the next week he vetoed Congress’s emergency farm bill. Farmers may now await Gramm’s “comprehensive farm bill” that he promised while campaigning in West Texas. \(Gramm told the Lubbock Rotary Club Oct. 17 that he would spearhead such a bill in Congress. His opponent, Lloyd Doggett, said later that Gramm didn’t know the difference Three of the ten Texas Republican representatives voted in favor of the House plan to aid farmers, going against the Republican leadership. They were: Beau Bolter of Amarillo, Mac Sweeney of Wharton, and Larry Combest of Lubbock. All Democratic members of the Texas Congressional delegation voted to help the farmers. Ambitions At least three statewide offices are sure to be hotly contested in 1986 the Governor’s, the Attorney General’s and the . Agriculture Commissioner’s and already there are two dozen names being batted around. Taking it from the top, the Governor’s seat is the first object of Republican desire. Republican Party chairman George Strake has been mentioned most often, but he now says he is losing interest. Instead, according to one report, he is trying to get a reluctant former Speaker of the House Billy Clayton to run as a Republican. There is, apparently, the spectre of T. Boone Pickens, the oil mergerist, for Governor. Somehow, the name of Ronald Reagan’s former White House producer and director \(now Secretary of the newspapers last month as a potential Republican candidate, though he may be grooming himself for a U.S. Senate run in 1988. Closer to home, if not reality, two former state senators Mike Richards of Houston and Bill Meier of Hurst have said they might like to run. South Texas rancher Tobin Armstrong and Amarillo businessman Wales Madden have been mentioned. On the Democratic side the present Governor is assumed to be running. But at least one Democrat state Rep. Pete is threatening to run in the Democratic primary. v The big variable in the Attorney General’s race, of course, will be the lingering effects of Jim Mattox’s fiveweek trial. Though the A.G. has now been acquitted, the Republicans may not let the matter die. Contemplate for a moment, if you will, the horrific possibility of J. E. “Buster” Brown for Attorney General. The Republican senator from Lake Jackson has been talking about the race since last summer and is busily playing up his “tough on crime” image in the Senate this session. State District Judge Roy Barrera, Jr., of San Antonio is mentioned as a possible Republican candidate, as are Collin County District Judge John Roach, state Sen. Bob McFarland and former state Rep. Roy English, both of Arlington, and former Texas Secretary of State David Dean. Leading the list of potential Democrats are former U.S. Rep. Kent Hance and state Sen. Kent Caperton of Bryan. Sen. Ray Farabee of Wichita Falls and Sarah Weddington have been mentioned. All of the state legislators mentioned for Attorney General and Governor are postponing official announcements until the end of the session May 27. Strange things could happen in June. For example, if Buster Brown continues to talk himself up, he could decide to run for Governor instead of Attorney General. The Fort Worth Star Telegram portrayed Brown last month as enchanted with a napkin on which someone had written “Gov. Buster” as he sat at an Austin restaurant and speculated on his chances. 1/ Right-wingers of all stripes will be anxious to take a shot at Jim Hightower’s job as Ag Commissioner. North Texas farmer and Lyndon LaRouche follower Noel Cowling became the first to announce, Feb. 19. He called Hightower a “radical environmentalist” and criticized the Ag Department’s recent pesticide regulations. State Sen. Bill Sarpalius of Amarillo has been posing for the Farm Bureau this session in preparing for an expected run at Hightower \(though he may do an about-face and take on Republican Congressman Beau Bolter of LaGrange, another troublemaker on the pesticide front, is thought to have similar ambitions. These conservative Democrats would be wise to be wary of serving as cannon fodder for conservative interests, who could run a Saunders or Sarpalius against Hightower in the primary in order to deplete his funding and deliver a few low blows before taking him head-on with a wellfinanced Republican in the general election. Hightower has warned potential opponents, “If you want to take me on, you better strap yourself to the saddle.” High Comedy V “I am not an announced candidate but whether I run or not, I’m going to do whatever I can to show the people of this state that Hightower is wrecking the Department of Agriculture,” said Sen. Bill Sarpalius of Amarillo. One thing that was on the senator’s mind was Jim Hightower’s live-in relationship with a woman-not-his-wife. Hightower’s companion, Susan DeMarco, also works for the Department of Agriculture for a stipend of $1 a year. “In Hightower’s case, he’s got his girlfriend on the payroll that he lives with and has been living with her for several years,” Sarpalius said. “This kind of stuff I think a majority of Texans do not support.” The senator filed a bill against this kind of stuff. The bill prohibits a state official from hiring or appointing a person who “cohabits” with the official cohabit meaning “to live together in the same dwelling with another adult of the opposite sex in a relationship that resembles a husband and wife relationship.” An aide to Sen. Sarpalius said the bill was not aimed at Hightower. A homosexual group in Amarillo claimed Sen. Sarpalius as their ally, noticing the way his bill protected their own cohabitations by specifying only “opposite sex” relationships. Observed one West Texas Democrat: “The only difference between Hightower and other politicians is he doesn’t, in addition, have a wife back home.” V There was so much obscenity news last issue \(TO to discuss a bill sponsored in the Senate by, well, . . . by Sen. Bill Sarpalius. The bill would allow each county in Texas to come up with its own obscenity standards. As it is now, the courts use 16 MARCH 22, 1985