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it was to avoid a new tax increase at all costs. He attacked those who “want to constantly raise taxes and make government bigger and more expensive,” and he said the state’s economic difficulties “give us an opportunity to change the nature of our state government and strike out in a new direction.” From there, Clements and Hobby continued to head in different directions, so that by the end of the session the two were hardly on speaking terms. Nor did it do much for mutual trust and good will that Hobby had let it be known early in the session that he intended to run for governor in 1990. “Hobby is the problem,” Clements told the press in May, by which time it was obvious that the session would end in failure and the budget stalemate would last into a summer session. Hobby’s criticisms of the governor were comparatively understated he called Clements’ s statements “puzzling” but everyone knew that if he were not speaking for the record he would find stronger words, perhaps reflecting a harsh judgement on the governor’s mental competance and fitness for the job. The differences between the two Men Who Would Be Governor amount to more than a personality conflict. The Hobby/Clements split is the story of the 70th session because it shows how deeply divided is the business community in this state and the business community is what the Texas legislature is all about. Two years ago, the 69th session was remarkable in its deviation from this tradition. Major battles erupted between the well-moneyed forces of reaction \(such the new vocal citizens’ lobby, especially the Industrial Areas Foundation groups that pressed for an expanded indigent health care program. A surprising amount of progressive legislation somehow survived that session, and dramatic floor fights were led in the House and won by the Mexican American Caucus and the Black Caucus. This session the battle lines weren’t drawn over social reform. \(Farmworkers won passage of three significant bills: the state minimum wage bill, the right-to-know bill for hazardous chemicals, and a bill to curb stoop labor, the latter to be vetoed by the governor after the distinguished by battles among well-financed heavyweights on insurance reform and “tort reform,” on telephone and trucking deregulation, and even on the ongoing Texaco/Pennzoil court fight. The business community couldn’t seem to agree on anything, least of all which direction the state should go in budget and taxation matters. In the one corner, you had Bill Hobby and a sizeable gang of high-profile corporate leaders, such as Democratic financier and Board of Regents head Jess Hay, along with computer magnate and education reform proponent H. Ross Perot, giving their blessing to higher taxes and government spending. In the other corner, you had a group of Republicans wedded to Reaganistic cant about the evils of big government, led by a mercurial and sometimes bizarre former oil drilling executive who seemed to be marching to a drummer even his followers sometimes couldn’t hear. THAT WOULD BE Bill Clements. What an irony that Clements began the session by constantly claiming that he stood for a departure from the status quo, only to lead the legislature to the very same state of affairs in which it opened in January. Through 140 difficult days, in a time that called for action, Clements ensured that nothing would change and with each passing week the status quo became the enemy of good sense and good government. It didn’t help the governor’s leadership that he seemed to be losing credibility and respect from the moment he took office. He began his term saddled with the Ponygate scandal, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby at inaugural parade, January 20. CONTENTS FEATURES 2 The Men Who Would Be Governor Dave Denison 5 Miami Vice Louis Dubose 7 The Speaker’s S&L Dilemma Richard Ryan 8 Civil Justice Reformed Louis Dubose 10 Victories and Vetoes Dave Denison 11 Key Votes 14 A Legislative Roundup 18 Great Moments of the 70th Session DEPARTMENTS 4 Dialogue 21 Political Intelligence 22 Social Cause Calendar Afterword: 23 A Gentle Reformer Harry Middleton Cover Art by Richard Bartholomew THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3 Pho to by Vic Hin ter la ng