POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 1/ Centerville Democrat Mike McKinney didn’t win a speaker’s pin when he requested a parliamentary inquiry into the secret monitoring of division votes in the House. McKinney and other members discovered in early May that the House printer was running and recording division voting, only, according to McKinney, “on certain members’ bills.” House rules do not allow the practice; division votes, by their nature, are meant only to show the vote totals, not individual breakdowns. McKinney said that he was not certain that it was the speaker’s office that was maintaining a record of select . votes and that his inquiry had ended the practice. Other sources in the House insist that the trail leads to Doc Arnold, Gib Lewis’s top aide. One source close to the House records clerk insists that the vote monitoring has been going on all year. Only McKinney went public with the vote counting issue; other House mem bers who know what is happening have kept their complaints private. v Some black members of the Texas House were shaking their heads in dismay after Rep. Charles Evans, Republican of Hurst, distributed a memo to all House members that was promoting the sale of diamonds from South Africa. Evans’s memo, dated May 14, said, in part, “Dear Colleague: I wanted to let you know that Mr. Max Friedman, a friend that I met while visiting South Africa, is currently touring the United States and will be in Austin next week. Max is a wholesale diamond broker and he will have with him a full range of high quality diamonds, loose and custom made, available for purchase at very reasonable prices.” The memo went on to give a phone number for Friedman at an Austin hotel. Asked if he had considered that the memo might be offensive to blacks in the House, Evans told the Observer, “Shoot no. Never even thought about it.” He said there was no statement about apartheid intended. “I have a friend,” explained Evans. “He’s traveling in the United States. He sells diamonds. If somebody wants to buy diamonds, God Bless’m. Let’m go buy it. I don’t care.” Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, criticized Evans’s memo on the grounds that it seemed to show a lack of sensitivity to minorities in the House. At the time, Dutton had a bill asking state agencies to award ten percent of their contracts to minority and womenowned businesses that was stuck in the Calendars committee, which Evans chairs. Dutton said he found it “somewhat curious” that Evans cared to promote diamonds from South Africa but not minority businesses in Texas. “It bothers me a little bit,” he said. “In fact, it bothers me more than just a little bit.” tickets. 1/1 Several factors account for the “no” votes in the House on the question of creating a state lottery. Although the lottery’s sponsor, Rep. Ron Wilson, D-Houston, thought he had 95 votes going into the floor debate May 14, when it came time to lay it on the line only 72 represen, Wives stayed with Wilson. Seventythree voted against him. Some were voting against the lottery because it is opposed by many religious organizations but others used the opportunity to cast a vote against Speaker Gib Lewis, who was counting on lottery revenue as part of his proposal to fix the budget, and others were voting “no” to keep the pressure on Gov. ,Clements, who, most of the time, was continuing to oppose new tax revenue despite a several billion dollar gap between proposed state spending and available revenue. Some members of the House feared that if the lottery passed, the public would assume the solution had been found and would be even less tolerant of new taxes. Rep. Juan Hinojosa, D-McAllen, said he voted against the lottery because it is a “pie in the sky” gimmick that tends to take money out of the pockets of the poor. But other liberals, such as Reps. Al Luna, DHouston, Wilhelmina Delco, DAustin, and Larry Evans, D-Houston, supported the lottery. Rep. Steve Carriker, D-Roby, voted against the proposal but said in a way a tremendous opportunity had been missed by rejecting Wilson’s lottery plan \(which went by the identifiers House Joint Resolution 7 and House Bill 11 for numerology buffs a sure message that it was meant to benefit convenience stores such as 7-11, which with his tongue firmly in cheek, said he had hoped the bill could have been amended in creative ways. He suggested paying 7-11 stores in kind, by giving them lottery tickets instead of state checks. And if the lottery is not meant to be a regressive tax on poor people, he said, why not make the price of the ticket $50 so it would be sure to take money from the sectors that could afford it? What about a sliding scale for lottery tickets, with lower prices for those of lower income? he was asked. Carriker agreed that would be an option, but that he would also favor selling tickets to poor people that had greater odds for winning, while rich people were restricted to higher-risk V The May 14 vote was not actually on the creation of a lottery but on the Joint Resolution that would have put the lottery on the ballot for voters to either approve or reject. The vote originally went up on the House scoreboard as a 73-73 tie and on a recount ended up failing 72-73. But even if the resolution would have passed in that vote, it would have later required 100 votes to pass on third reading and that would have been difficult to muster. Proponents of the resolution argued that this was not a vote on the lottery, but merely to “let the people speak.” Rep. Bill Ceverha, the rightwing Republican from Dallas, put Rep. Larry Evans, D-Houston, on the spot after Evans argued that the people should decide the issue. Ceverha asked Evans why he had not voted for a similar proposal to let the people decide by referendum whether to ban personal income taxes. Evans said “I don’t have a recollection of what my vote was \(on the income Ceverha’s point was that Evans was being inconsistent by giving the people the choice on the lottery but not on income taxes. But when the vote on the lottery resolution came up, Ceverha himself voted against putting it on the ballot, even though he had voted in favor of putting the income tax question on the ballot. The Death of the Lottery 26 MAY 29, 1987 ..-AarimermaiNam.
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.