Page 14


CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Taking a Stand Against Wiretaps 7 TDC: Cracks in the Myth 15 Dallas Housing Crisis Dave Denison Michael Vines John Fullinwider Frr,F:_-ArTmo; DEPARTMENTS 6 Dialogue -‘*”’7″”‘Alc 6t 12 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 20 Unlikely Heroes Afterword: 22 Paradiso, perhaps James Presley Geoffrey Rips Legislative wrap-up next issue watch for it! amendment on the floor of the Senate, but again he was in the minority. So it was on this subject that he began his extended discussion. Washington’s argument was that citizens have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in their homes and that breaking and entering by police violates the Fourth Amendment. Howard said, “The overriding concern deals with giving our law enforcement agencies the ability to stop this horrendous problem of drug trafficking.” “I’m as much against criminal activity as you are,” Washington said. “But we live in a time when we have to be very careful about protecting individual liberty.” Washington quoted Benjamin Franklin, saying, “Those who surrender their freedom for temporary liberty deserve neither freedom nor liberty.” Howard implored Senators to trust the Department of Public Safety and to retain the covert entry as a tool in fighting crime. “It is a tool to be used only in certain times, in times of emergency, in times of dire need,” Howard said. “It is not a Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry-type situation at all.” Washington advised skepticism about the DPS use of wiretapping. “Law enforcement people are just like the rest of us,” he said. “There’s some bad and some good.” Although he agreed with Howard that there is no evidence of general DPS abuse, he said, “My common sense tells me there have been taps not authorized by law.” And so it went, on into the afternoon, with Howard sitting down to wait out the filibuster and Washington being joined by sympathetic senators with long-winded questions. At 1:00, Sen. Carlos Truan was on the floor, saying, “I can’t help but remember what happened in the Watergate case. . . .” By 3:00, Sen. Carl Parker was asking if Washington’s amendment was designed to save the state money. If the federal government already has the covert entry power, he reasoned, “and we’re always concerned about the duplication of services, Washington said, “My common sense tells me there have been taps not authorized by law.” well then, it seems to me your amendment may be a costsaver. At 4:30; Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos was reading a quote from J. Edgar Hoover saying the risks of wiretapping outweigh the benefits. In between, Washington read from various court entry debate. Sen. Mauzy asked an hour-long question at the dinner hour, By 7:30 Washington was beginning to lose his place occasionally as he read from the law books, but Sen. Ted Lyon rose to pledge that he would return to help the filibuster at 6:00 A.M. , should it still be going on then. By mid-evening, Sen. Bob McFarland, a Republican from Arlington, had begun to aggressively cross-examine Washington, helping the filibuster but at the same time seeking common ground for a possible compromise. McFarland, a former FBI agent, couldn’t help reminiscing about some of the successful stings on organized crime he had seen in his years as a Gman through the help of wire intercepts. Then, with Sen. Truan rambling on in the background, McFarland went over to Washington’s desk and began to work on compromise language. DPS officials were summoned to the Capitol to confer. A proposal was advanced to ban covert entry from private residences altogether. At one point the compromise seemed to be struck, but Sen. Howard, stopping in front of the press table, turned suddenly and said, “McFarland, I’m not sure I want to do that.” McFarland said, “Well, it’s your bill.” Howard said he saw no need to give in to the filibuster, because Washington’s amendment would lose by a 2-to-1 margin if he gave up the floor. The senators once again went back to the lounge to confer. By 11:00, Washington was commenting that he had a new respect for his colleague, Sen. Truan, who earlier in the session had filibustered for 20 hours. Just when Washington seemed at a loss for what to say next, Sen. Chet Edwards rose to keep him afloat. “Don’t you think, Senator, that with all the talk about getting tough on crime, and the war on drugs, that sometimes civil, liberties concerns tend to get lost and lose their proper place in the debate?” Sen. Washington tiredly agreed, and invited Sen. Edwards to expound on that concern. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3