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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE V PHIL GRAMM continues to campaign against the federal government, taxes, and gun confiscation. Gramm said campaigning across the nation reminds him “how good the people of Texas and America are. . . and how rotten the federal government was,” according the Longview Morning Journal. Campaigning on behalf of Republican Congressional candidate Horace McQueen, Gramm accused incumbent Jim Chapman of walking “arm-and-arm” with a Jim Wright aide to vote for taxes. And Gramm warned of Democrats’ plans to disarm the public: “Listening to Michael Dukakis talk about confiscating guns, maybe he thinks that criminals would turn in their guns. But I don’t believe they would. I believe that lawabiding citizens like you and me would be the people who would be disarmed.” V GRAMM IS SAYING little about his part in the defeat of a Ted Kennedy bill to increase the minimum wage from $3.35 to $4.55 per hour. During the Senate filibuster Gramm opposed any increase in the mandated wage scale; his own amendment to increase the minimum wage to $1 million per hour suggests exactly how inflated the Senator’s cynicism has become. For a legislator usually inclined to invoke public sentiment, Gramm has missed on this one. A recent statewide Texas Poll found that three of four Texans favor increasing the minimum wage to $4.55. An employee working full-time at minimum wage earns $6,700 per year $2,360 below the poverty level for a family of three, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Gramm called the proposed increase “anti-poor” and “anti-American.” V HOUSTON CONGRESSMAN Mickey Leland’s continued high profile confirms that he is still seriously considering a race for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated if Michael Dukakis wins in November. Leland, after returning from a trip to Vietnam where he negotiated the emigration of several children of mixed race, spoke about hunger and food policy to the Austin Democratic Forum, then proceeded to the Capitol for a press conference on the same topic. On the evening prior to his Capitol appearance, Leland had joined Democrats gathered at an Austin restaurant to watch the Presidential candidates’ debate. Houston City Councilman Rodney Ellis, who traveled to Austin with Leland, said the Congressman is committed to making the race. “Did you know that the only three blacks to serve in the Senate have been Republicans?” Ellis asked. The only blacks ever elected to the Senate were Edward Brooke, a Massachusetts Republican who lost his seat in 1978, and two Reconstruction-era Senators. “This is the best chance [for a black to win a Senate seat] that I foresee in my lifetime,” Ellis said of the Leland candidacy. Ellis and Hazel Obey a leader in the Jesse Jackson campaign said they hoped something could be “worked out” with Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower. Obey said that a Leland-Hightower race would present a difficult choice for Jesse Jackson supporters. “I feel that the Jackson Faction would be split,” Obey said. She added that in the past, Leland has raised more money than Hightower and that fundraising would be important in a Senate race. According to Obey, Leland had intended to run for the Senate when Lloyd Bentsen retired. “We were informed that [Bentsen’s retirement] would be in 1992,” Obey said. fro CAPITOL LOBBYISTS will be making room for former Gib Lewis aide Gordon “Doc” Arnold who has announced his resignation. Arnold resigned from the top spot on the Speaker’s staff usually the last stop for former legislators on their way to real money in the lobby in early October. He is replaced by retiring state Rep. Mike Millsap. Millsap a Fort Worth Democrat who served on the Speaker’s team in the last several sessions elected not to run this year. Richard Millsap, the Representative’s brother, now faces Republican Kenneth Brimer in the 96th district race. V YET ANOTHER TEXAN on a Presidential ticket and this time a woman. That was suggested by the Texas Government Newsletter which had Dallas City Councilmember Diane Ragsdale high on the list of third-party Presidential candidate Lenora Fulani’s Vice Presidential choices. Fulani, however, selected a New Yorker, Rafael Mendez. Ragsdale, and fellow Dallas Councilmember Al Lipscom, endorsed Fulani in July. According to Ragsdale, who is black, she has “never felt comfortable in the Democratic Party. The issues and struggles we organize around have been the same whether there has been a Republican or Democrat in power,” Ragsdale said in July when she endorsed Fulani. The Fulani-Mendez ticket will appear on all 50 state ballots in November. V GEORGE WAS THERE! Wearing a “Where is George?” T-shirt, George Farenthold led one, then a dozen bloodhounds around the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, in a search for Vice President George Bush. Farenthold never found the Vice President, though the Bush hunt did attract the attention of the local media covering the $1,000-a-plate Republican fundraiser. The view from inside was a little different. There, Frances Farenthold, George Farenthold’s mother, found the Vice President among the party faithful. Ms. Farenthold, a former legislator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate, described the mood of the Republican crowd as “supremely confident.” The Vice President, she said, knows what plays well with Texas Republicans. According to Farenthold, “He went through the standard Republican litany . . . but got the biggest applause each time he said that he was opposed to gun control.” Ms. Farenthold was the guest of a relative who paid for a table at the Houston fundraiser. V NONE OF THE Texas press corps who attended the Republican National Convention will soon forget Governor Bill Clements’ daily homilies on behalf of a Jeane Kirkpatrick Vice Presidency. “She’s from Texas, she’s a drilling contractor’s daughter,” Clements said of Kirkpatrick, on whose candidacy he only reluctantly gave up after Bush settled on Dan Quayle. In late September Kirkpatrick came “home” to the public trough at the University of Texas where she collected $22,500 for a 90-minute speech. Kirkpatrick attracted some 1,000 people to listen to her describe the the world as a very dangerous place. Outside, 100 protestors demonstrated against the former U.N. Ambassador’s support of right-wing dictatorships in Latin America. \(It was Kirkpatrick who made the famous distinction between “authoritarian” tyrants who support the U.S. and speech was interrupted by one protestor who stood and chanted “Jeane. Jeane, Death Squad Queen.” Kirkpatrick, a former Democrat, has been an outspoken supporter of Ronald Reagan’s policy in Central America. V WILL IT PLAY in El Paso? Not unless it’s bilingual. According to the El Paso Times the English First movement has been renounced by the Republican leadership in El Paso County. Ron Ederer, Chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, complained to Times political writer Gary Scharrer that “old-time, very popular and influential Republicans” have promoted an official language amendment for nothing more than “self-aggrandizement in the Republican Party.” 16 OCTOBER 14, 1988