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in Democratic party politics. White, on the other hand, seems to need to be continually reminded of its importance. While Hobby now seems to be the best statewide reader of political forces, Gib Lewis has shown some evidence of a new understanding of these matters. This increased Mexican American electoral influence has, in turn, resulted in increased legislative influence by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus. Gib Lewis, in reading the number of votes controlled by the caucus and the numbers he’s needed for his own legislative agenda, has awarded key positions of leadership to caucus members. The increased Mexican American electorate has also provided sudden constituent strength for public-interest lobbyists working on issues for which there is great Mexican American support, including farmworker issues, health care issues, education equalization. During this session, publicinterest lobbyists from across the spectrum out-organized and out-played their private interest adversaries. On several occasions, lobbyists representing churches, environmental groups, consumers, small farmers, farmworkers, labor, ethics and prison reform banded together to kill or pass important legislation, each calling upon his or her own legislative advocates for support, trading one vote for another. Then there is the influence on a statewide scale of the community organizations of the Industrial Areas Foundation around specific issues, calling upon voters from Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth, the Valley, Austin, and El Paso. It is no mere coincidence that the year of Hobby’s revolution has also been the year of IAF presence in the halls of the Capitol. IAF leaders worked closely with public-interest lobbyists on matters such as pesticide regulation. Bill Hobby hailed IAF leaders Helen Ayala of San Antonio Communities Organized Interfaith as “two people to whom credit really belongs” for securing indigent health care funding. During the 1984 special session, the IAF organizations provided the chief constituent pressure for including education funding equalization in the education package. As a direct result of the changes in constituent power, some conservative forces have shown a new sophistication in dealing with social reform. Whereas conservative powers of old were never forced to abandon their knee-jerk denial of equitable social services, many conservative interests these days are being forced to accommodate social reform but do so while protecting their interests against any major change in the state’s revenue structure. \(Their approach this session has been far more successful than the extremist reaction that characterized such interests as the Farm Bureau and the Texas Chemical Council. Rather than adapting to new political realities, these groups defied them, resulting in the demise A bill by Ways and Means Committee chair Stan Schlueter, D-Killeen, provided for a constitutional amendment banning the imposition of state personal or corporate income taxes. It passed the House only to be killed by Oscar Mauzy, DDallas, in the Senate. In a time of tight money, the first priority for the corporate interests was to protect their assets from becoming part of the state’s revenue solution. Oil and gas interests, rather uncharacteristically, lobbied against the bill, recognizing that increased taxes on oil and gas production were among the most logical alternatives to income taxes. The Texas Association of Business joined the forces lobbying for passage of unemployment compensation for farmworkers, reasoning that, with the state court ruling on farmworker eligibility, business would be shouldering the burden for farmworker benefits unless agricultural operators were forced to pay into the fund, as businesses always had. Then there was the matter of the huge tax break given Texas banks by the 1984 special session and what that has meant to state revenues. In response to a 1983 Supreme Court ruling on the assessment of bank stock value, the legislature replaced the property tax on bank stocks with a corporate franchise tax. Not only did this reduce local revenues, but it also reduced the amount of money the state could make had the legislature adopted one of two other solutions to the Supreme Court ruling. Had the legislature adopted a method proposed by the Texas State of Georgia, Texas would have realized increased yearly revenues of $55 million or $40 million, respectively, above what is received through a franchise tax. Having gained a tax break in 1984, banks were not about to lose it again in 1985. Although the switch in taxing methods could have been easily justified by White \(why should banks get new breaks needed for indigent health care, this option was never considered. Banks have their priorities. They will not oppose indigent health care as long as they aren’t funding it. There were other issues important to conservative and corporate interests, such as the finance companies’ interest in second mortgages and the abolition of the homestead exemption. But these issues were secondary to the maintenance of the status quo in state revenue acquisition. If social reform can be achieved without changing the state’s revenue structure, then opposition to that reform becomes a secondary issue for corporate interests. Should failure to pass social reform legislation spark new interest in the state’s revenue structure as could have happened if no funding mechanism had been developed for indigent health care then it would be in the best interests of corporate forces to help pass a modified reform package. Finally, the urbanization of Texas and the reduction of federal social services and assistance to urban communities have to be considered prime movers in the passage of social reform this year. It no longer makes sense for a predominantly urban legislature to protect agricultural interests from unemployment and workers’ compensation that is required of city businesses. As Texas cities grow larger, their problems grow larger, including the provision of health care and food. With the Reaganomic reduction in assistance to cities and their residents, the cities must turn to the state for aid in dealing with these economic burdens. The State of Texas is being forced to ‘provide the social services for the hungry, the sick, the poor, the elderly that the Reagan regime has abandoned. 2. The Politics of Reaction NOBODY SAID IT would be easy. The victories achieved by progressive forces this session were as much a matter of defense as of offense. Late in a session marked by a dearth of open combat or debate, progressives engaged the forces of darkness in three handto-hand battles and each time emerged victorious. As a result, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Black Legislative Caucus, and the public-interest lobbyists left the 69th session with new strength, while members of the Texas Conservative Coalition and lobbyists for the Chemical Council and the Farm Bureau ended up with their ability to muster votes in question and their credibility shaken. It was no secret that Republicans and conservative Democrats intended to use this legislative session to gun for Attorney General Jim Mattox and Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower. Right-wing Republican Bill Ceverha of Dallas introduced a bill to limit Mattox’s ability to settle lawsuits 4 JUNE 14, 1985