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CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Mid-Session 6 The Movement is Racist 7 Dead on Arrival? 9 Screening Out the Poor 11 White Oil Dispute 13 More Families Without Food 15 Texans in Congress Divided on Housing Issue 16 George Bush’s Connections 17 Hackles Raised in Hereford Dave Denison Ronnie Dugger Louis Dubose Bill Adler Al Lewis Zy Weinberg Ronnie Dugger James Ridgeway Jane Thrall DEPARTMENTS 4 Dialogue 18 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Afterword: 23 Arlington Safari James Sallis way, if the unshrewd or the unlucky get in a jam there will be a little something extra in it for the banks. Our most effective lobby is the bikers’ lobby we are speaking here of motorcycles and leather and long hair and no pussyfooting. They don’t want a law requiring the wearing of helmets. They come to the Capitol for one day each session and they get the job done. Maybe they encounter Senator Grant Jones, who, with his aristocratic air and his pipe smoking, seems to belong in a den somewhere with oil paintings of ancestors. Maybe they decide to lobby Senator Jones. “See, Mr. Jones,” they might say. “It’s like we, uh, we don’t really feel all right wearing a helmet when we ride. See?” Senator Jones would probably see, and mumble something to that effect. Nothing else is quite so simple. The finance and appropriations committees are meeting daily, going over the state budget in excruciating detail. Most individual committees declined to make the kinds of cuts the governor is saying are necessary, so the axe has been passed on to the appropriators. The state will have $31.8 billion to spend over the next two years, but it would take $38.8 billion to maintain the current level of state services. Legislation passed both houses in March that would make up $2.9 billion of that deficit by extending the “temporary” sales tax and motor fuels tax hikes passed last summer. Gov . Clements says he will veto any additional taxes, and even insists that a plan to extend the sales tax to cover more goods and services must be done in a “revenue neutral” fashion. Lotto Fun /N SUCH A DIRE climate, some legislators see the perfect opportunity to establish a state-run lottery. There is a joke beginning to go around that the governor thinks this is a great idea, too it would be a fun-filled way for the citizens to give to the government. The only catch is, he’s insisting that the lottery be revenue neutral. Actually, he claims to be neither for nor against it, but is willing to let the voters decide the issue by referendum. Comptroller Bob Bullock, however, is not impressed with the plan, which he referred to as “sleazy.” He says a lottery would only bring in an additional $600 million a year once it was well established. And just as Clements and legislative leaders are counting on postponing some of the state’s bills through the use of cash management notes, Bullock begins to make rude noises that this would violate the state’s, constitutional ban on deficit spending. For two weeks in March, a deathly silence falls over the Capitol on tax and finance questions, as everyone waits to see if Attorney General Jim Mattox agrees with Bullock and rules accordingly. The proponents of a lottery suggest that the money raised could go to build new prisons, the governor pronounces it a good idea, and everything begins to seem a little madcap. Here we are charting a brave new course in state government: We will play on people’s dreams of instant riches, we will set up a game of chance, we will all have a little fun . . . and what better use for the proceeds than to put a few thousand more people behind bars? Play the Lone Star Lotto, we might advertise your life may depend upon it! Welcome to Huntsville, we could say, your accomodations courtesy of the fine folks who played the Tex0 Lot ‘0 Fun Sweepstakes. Tempest Over Teapots WITH THE STATE of things being so deplorable, and with the governor doing nothing but making it worse at all turns, everyone seems to be in the mood for a political scandal. The story of the governor’s approval as a Southern Methodist University board member of illicit payments to SMU football players took on all the more staying power when it gained, as all good scandals do, an element of sex. Unsubstantiated stories began to filter into the press that SMU sorors were paid $400 a weekend to sleep with promising football recruits. Clements denies he knew of such programs and calls the stories “frivolous.” Wags suggested amending the “Ponygate” label to the multiple entendre “Ponytailgate.” On a different front, some anti-Clements partisans began to circulate a story that the governor and his wife had made a visit to the University of Texas art museums and returned to the governor’s mansion with holdings that were not supposed to be loaned out. Art historians were said to be looking askance. Upon inspection, it turns out that the Clementses unwittingly stumbled into a university snakepit the ever problematical Humanities Research Center \(founded in 1957 saw internal dissension come to a head in the wake of the First Family’s visit. Staff members, some of them disapproving about the HRC’s apparent role as a decorating agency for the state’s elites, charged that conservation procedures were overlooked. But University officials and the HRC’s director, Decherd Turner, insist that, while Bill and Rita Clements’s requests were expedited, strict conservation policies were properly observed. It’s hardly a Teapot Dome, but it shows that, even as the governor’s political foes are trying to start a movement calling for his resignation \(and there are those who believe his role in the SMU affair constitutes a serious breach of trust with term and decorating accordingly. Take a look at the haul they made from the HRC: according to university documents the THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3