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CONTENTS FEATURES 1 The Next Round-Up Louis Dubose 2 The Republicans’ Last ,Stand Dave Denison 7 Equality in Education Upheld Mary Lenz 8 A Hunger Strike in Amarillo Terry FitzPatrick 9 Groundwater Troubles Run Deep Rich Piltz DEPARTMENTS 4 Dialogue 12 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 16 Goldbarth’s Lode 17 Shange’s Word Paintings 18 Guardians of the Mind 20 “To A Story Writer” and “Brooklyn Aubade” Afterword: 22 Remembering Threadgill Michael King Rosalind Alexander Gara LaMarche Jessica Greenbaum Bill Helmer In a prepared speech, Toomey said, “If you vote for this bill, you must later be prepared some say committed to vote for six billion dollars in additional revenue.” Toomey said legislators in Austin “hear predominantly from those who want more money from the state. Back home we hear from those who must pay for our failure to live within our means.” When asked from the floor by Rep. Tom Uher, D-Bay City, if the budget meets the needs of the people, Toomey responded, “I think it addresses more than the needs of the state.” Toomey used all the timeworn Republican arguments: that government spending is out of control, that new taxes would stifle economic growth, that the House was failing to “hold the line.” But it just didn’t wash. “Where are the cuts?” asked Rep. Mark Stiles, D-Beaumont. “If this body . . . has not come up with these cuts that these folks think we can find, how in the world could the House appropriations committee go back in and overnight get healed so they can come in and all of a sudden find 3.3 billion dollars? It’s not possible,” declared Stiles, who is not in the habit of promoting anything resembling a liberal agenda. “As, a businessman in the state of Texas,” Stiles continued, “involved in economic development [who] wants to do better in Southeast Texas where business is in bad shape, [I] do not want to put any more taxes on me or my family or my business or my constituents, and neither do you, but the simple matter comes down to: where are you going to get the money?” In the end, the House , voted against Toomey’s motion, 95-54. The $39.4 billion budget passed by an 87-62 margin a short time later. “We’re way down the road to a tax bill,” pronounced Toomey. Speaker Gib Lewis said in a press conference that he was ready to support a tax bill “if that’s what it takes.” THE NEXT DAY, the Dallas Times Herald reported that Clements had been meeting with Lewis, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, and with two leading Dallas businessmen, H. Ross Perot and Peter O’Donnell, and had agreed to a “tenuous” compromise in which he would go along with new tax revenue froni an expanded sales tax base. Reporters and legislators ,at dip Capitol tried to wrap their minds around the idea . that Clements might prove to be bending on the qu,estion of a tax increase. “It’s hard to imagine Clements being flexible on anything,” said Rep. Clint Hackney, DHouston. But if there’s one thing to be understood about the governor, he said, it’s that he’s “totally unpredictable.” At the same time, many of the state’s business bigwigs were gathering at Austin’s Hyatt Regency for a convocation in support of current levels of higher education spending. Led by mortgage banker and Democratic financier Jess Hay, the group included Perot, Dallas real estate magnate Trammel Crow, Houston fatcats Walter Mischer and George Mitchell, former governors John Connally and Preston Smith, as well as members of citizen groups such as Communities Organized for Public Service. With a significant list of backers from the state’s establishment behind Hay’s effort to steer Clements away from his “bottom line” budget, it began to look as if Clements had only himself and a few anti-tax crank,groups left to hold the line. The House’s chief tax writer, Ways and Means chairman Stan Schlueter, D-Killeen, said he didn’t think the governor was about to bend. “He won’t bend until he gets the list of things he wants done approved by the lieutenant governor and the Speaker,” he said. “And he’ll have a long list.” Asked if he thought the Republicans had made their last stand in the House, Schlueter said, “It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings and the fat lady is a tax bill and it ain’t anywhere to be seen.” Rep. Toomey said he was continuing to oppose a tax increase. “I don’t see any change in that position,” he said. Republican Mike Toomey: “Hold the line” Pho to by Vic Hin ter la ng THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3