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A The Rod Serling Oratory Award Imagine, if you would, Rep. Anthony “Tony” Polumbo of Houston a conservative Democratic legislator, a pipe-smoking law-and-order man, whose imagination one day in February breaks loose from its staid bonds and paints pictures for a House committee of ever escalating horrors, of a world befitting Heironymous Bosch. Picture, if you will, Mr. Polumbo, as he leads committee members on a tour of his own personal Twilight Zone: “Imagine for a moment, if you would, a terrorist,” Polumbo said, “who puts a bomb in a crowded airport . . . and kills hundreds of people. Or, imagine if you would, a person that starts across the state of Texas on a killing spree, just to see what it’s like to kill. Or, imagine if you would, a person that takes and poisons the drinking water of an entire city. “The United States Supreme Court Justices, in arguing the constitutionality of the death penalty cited similar examples of cases deserving,” and here Polumbo paused dramatically, “the death penalty.” Polumbo’s mind then took a more fanciful twist. He continued: “You know, as I began studying the capital punishment statute, I came to the realization that I could, for instance, shoot Representative Morales and kill him intentionally, and rob him of a dime. And then I would be eligible for the death penalty. However, if I elected not to rob him of that dime, and instead shot my co-author here, Representative Patricia Hill, and intentionally killed her, too, then I would not even be eligible for the death penalty in the State of Texas.” Over the Edge Testifying on Rep. Polumbo’s death penalty bill, Michael Coe, a deputy sheriff in Houston, opined that expansion of the death penalty would help curb international terrorism. Central America already has “SovietCuban-Libyan-Iranian influence,” he said, and “Texas has an international border leading to Central America.” Show Senator Roy Acuff Voting Aye The Dallas Morning News in April ran a picture of Sen. Chet Edwards with the cutline “Sen. Chet Atkins rallies an ‘aye’ vote.” Best Scatology Fit to Print Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower said of legislative efforts to cut his authority: “It’s kind of like being a fire hydrant at a dog show.” They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? “If I ever vote for a state income tax,” declared Rep. Edmund Kuempel, R-Seguin, in May, “you have my permission to shoot me and no charges will be pressed.” Moment of Truth When San Antonio senator Cyndi Krier claimed that a bill on the Senate floor was hypocritical because it was merely an attempt to “give lawyers a raise,” Sen. Carl Parker responded, “Senator, haven’t you learned yet that hypocrisy is an integral part of this process?” 0 0 0 Don’t miss your chance to buy a poster of the Texas Observer’s 30th Anniversary cover. Artist Tom Ballenger’s Texas landscape highlights the outrageous aspects of Texas culture. From crippled nuclear plants to clear-cutting to pesticides pouring into the Gulf, it is the concerned citizens’ guide to forces that are shaping this state. Show your out-of-state friends what Texas politicking is all about. Or add a touch of satire to your den. The 17 by 22 inch poster for postage and handling. Also on sale are copies of the 30th Anniversary issue for $2 each. \(If you plan to order more than 10 copies, contact the Observer for discount rates Send me Anniversary Anniversary name address city state zip The Texas Observer 600 West 7th Street Austin, 78701 24 JUNE 14, 1985