Page 23


POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Rumor Mill v A number of rumors about 1986 races are making the rounds in the state Capitol, most unconfirmable. Among the more likely possibilities is Dallas state Rep. Paul Ragsdale’s bid for Sen. Oscar Mauzy’s seat. Mauzy has given no indication that he will not seek reelection. Among the least likely is the report that recently Republicanized former Speaker Billy Clayton will run against Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower in 1986 for his seat. Then there’s the rumor out of Washington that U.S. Rep. Charles Wilson, D-Lufkin, will not seek re-election. He has been called home by those who sent him there. v The Sierra Club wonders if it should take a stand on the nuclear disarmament issue. Some members argue that nuclear war is potentially the ultimate environmental disaster. Others worry that the Club could get bogged down in an issue best left to other groups. Bob Gard, a Houston member of the Sierra Club, writes in a Club newsletter, “I am certainly in favor of nuclear disarmament, but I don’t think it should be a top priority of the Sierra Club. . . . It is such a big and important issue that it could soak up a tremendous amount of club resources, and that would mean that other important but less dramatic threats to the environment would be ignored, or at least not given the attention they deserve.” 1/ A classified ad that occasionally runs in the City Paper brings the following message: “The conservative columnist study group will be meeting to explore the theme: ‘Using the power of language to justify incredibly untenable conservative positions.’ Please read the four George F. Will selections for the first class.” V The hazards of Houston: the city is home to no less than a dozen waste dumps so toxic the Environmental them on the “national priority list” for Superfund cleanup, according to a recent Houston Post report. That’s more than half the Superfund sites in Texas, and more than any other state in the EPA’s five-state Southwest region can claim. Statistics such as these, figures that only hint at the real scope of the toxic waste problem facing this country, are one reason the House Energy and Commerce Committee will be trying to draft a bill to renew and expand the fiveyearold Superfund program this month, which is due to expire September 30. So far, only six of the 812 dumps the EPA has targeted for the Superfund have been cleaned up. v State Sen. Buster Brown, R-Lake Jackson, no relation to the purveyor of shoes, kicked off his campaign for the Republican nomination for the Attorney General seat in 1986. Brown had made no secret of his desire to replace Atty. Gen. Jim Mattox. Before entering the general election, however, Brown will probably have one or more Republican opponents. Among these have been mentioned state District Judge Roy Barrera, Jr., of San Antonio and former state Sen. Bill Meier of Euless. Brown criticized Mattox for Mattox’s refusal to support the continuation of Texas A&M’s all-male policy for its marching band. Brown also said he objected to Mattox’s failure to defend Texas’ exclusion of ,farmworkers from unemployment compensation. Brown was apparently not aware of the fact that Mattox did defend the state’s position in court, losing to a challenge filed by the Texas Civil Liberties Union. V U.S. Rep. Tom Loeffler, R-Hunt, has lined up 24 Texas Republican legislators to back his gubernatorial candidacy, should he choose to run for governor next year. Among these are state Senators Cyndi Krier of San Antonio and John Leedom of Dallas and Representatives Bill Ceverha, Tom Craddick, Loeffler’s cousin Gerald Geistweidt, Kelly Godwin, Jan McKenna, Alan Schoolcraft, and Gwyn Sheamany of the hearts and minds of the Texas Conservative Caucus that tried to block indigent health care, among other things, in the past legislative session. Anti-abortionists Ceverha and McKenna are probably not excited about possible gubernatorial candidate Kent Hance’s pro-choice record as a Congressman. Republican Congressmen Jack Fields and Bill Archer of Houston and Tom DeLay of Sugar Land have signed a fundraising letter for Loeffler. Clean Cut V On August 31, at 5 p.m., the Texas Coastal and Marine Council will be no more. State Sen. Carl Parker, D-Port Arthur, chairman of the council, presided over the agency’s “last rights” this month and immediately appointed a committee of five legislators to try to resurrect it. Parker said without the council there is no state agency dedicated to protecting Texas beaches and other coastal resources. “We’ve been cut short at the very doorway of a very ambitious program for beach cleanup,” Parker said at the final meeting of the council. Love Affair V The Air Force’s new, state-of-theart B-1B bomber has found a new home, according to a recent Houston Post article. “It will be a new lease on life for us,” said one Abilene resident eager for the arrival of the massive aircraft at Dyess Air Force Base. According to the Air Force’s economic impact statement, by the fall of 1987 an additional $119.1 million a year will be pumped into the local economy. The arrival of the B-1B, writes reporter Fred Bonavita, is also filling the strongly pro-military city with a new sense of pride. “There is a tremendous love affair between Abilene and Dyess,” explained Wade Terrell, executive director of the chamber of commerce. “It’s just our West Texas friendliness toward the military. It’s spread throughout West Texas, from here all the way to Lubbock and Amarillo.” The new B-1B, with a payload of 84 500-pound bombs or 24 missiles or a combination of each, will lead the arsenal of the Strategic Air Command. V In a story about the San Antonio newspaper war, Forbes two anti-Murdoch jokes which Hearst’s San Antonio Light has used in radio jingles against Murdoch’s San Antonio Express-News. In one, a couple of dogs are discussing the Express-News. “Look at the headline on my paper, Spike,” says Pup. ” ‘Crazed dog-catcher terrorizes kennel.’ Why do my humans still take this other paper?” Spike replies: “Well, Pup, you’re not housebroken yet, are you?” In the other joke, canaries don’t even want Murdoch’s newspaper to line their cages. One upset canary complains: “Remember when they put that other paper here in the cage with that headline, ‘Maniac bird killer stalks city?’ ” v A top national Republican official is predicting that Texas and North Caro lina will be Republican states in a jiffy. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13