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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE //f “IS HE AWARE that he’s messing with the former starting second baseman for the Denison High School Yellow Jackets?” Ag Commissioner Jim Hightower said of Texas Ranger pitcher Nolan Ryan, when Ryan’s name surfaced as a Republican opponent for Hightower. “My average wasn’t that bad, either,” Hightower said. Ryan was recruited by the Texas Farm Bureau, whose list of potential candidates to run at Hightower is beginning to read like a guest list for a radio sports-talk show. Ryan was the Farm Bureau’s second choice, announced after former Dallas Cowboy running back Walt Garrison said that he wasn’t interested. Should Ryan shake off the Farm Bureau’s offer, their next best hope for a Republican athletic supporter type could be Bum Phillips, a former Nederland Bulldogs’ football coach, now serving as treasurer for the campaign of former Republican Secretary of State Jack Rains. In a Dallas Times Herald sound-off telephone poll, 90 percent of 3,224 callers said that Ryan should not run. //i THE JACK RAINS campaign hasn’t exactly taken off. After a statewide radio voter-registration campaign that should have made the former secretary of state’s baritone a household voice, Rains shows up with the support of four percent of Republicans who say they’re likely to vote in the general election, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston. Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Luce, who hadn’t announced his candidacy at the time of the poll, had one percent. Dr. Richard Murray, the University of Houston pollster who directed the poll, said Luce’s showing is not that bad. “These numbers shouldn’t discourage him,” Murray told the Dallas Morning News, which commissioned the poll. “He can be even with Jack Rains in two weeks if he spends a little money.” fr/ A MORE conventional opponent for Hightower recently gave notice at the Texas Department of Agriculture. Ken Boatwright, the TDA’s Director of Seed Programs, announced that he is considering running against Hightower, but not in the Democratic primary. Boatwright said if he runs it will probably be as a Republican. // “COMPARED TO what?” was the Jack Benny one-line response to the set-up question: “How’s your wife?” That’s not an unreasonable standard by which to measure Republican Senator Phil Gramm’s recent favorable rating of 67 percent. Gramm, for the first time, edged out Texas Democratic Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who received a favorable response from 64 16 SEPTEMBER 29, 1989 percent of 1,024 registered voters questioned between September 5-13. vi DEMOCRATIC National Committeewoman Billie Carr has signed on as yet another endorser in the Bob Bullock campaign. Bullock has almost enough endorsements to have himself declared the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor before the primary is held. Can quoted Bullock’s position on the abortion issue as one of the reasons why she is backing him: “In 1989 after Webster he said, ‘The right to life is a sacred American value, but just as sacred is a woman’s right to make decisions concerning her own faith and her own body. To force women to bear children can create even more tragedies. We know that abortion will continue in this day and time regardless of court rulings or law.’ ” Can also went after Bullock critics who deride him for being an “insider.” “With Bullock as lieutenant governor, there will be other insiders, too Blacks, Hispanics, women, you and me . . .” Insiders, Can said, get things done. V ACCORDING TO a statement released by the American Income Life Insurance Co. of Waco, of which Bernard Rapoport is president, former Speaker of the House Jim Wright has been hired as a special consultant to the company to make talks to its salesmen and to make public appearances. Wright will not lobby Congress or make other “formal contacts with government” in connection with the company, the statement said. vo HOW ODIOUS will Ron Wilson’s Congressional campaign become? Wilson, who is running against Craig Washington et al in a race to fill the Houston Congressional seat left vacant by the death of Mickey Leland, is now proposing an amendment to the U. S. Constitution that would require candidates for all elected federal offices to undergo drug testing. “It’s an easy issue to demagogue,” Texas Civil Liberties Union Legal Director Jim Harrington said. “And it shows that he doesn’t want to do anything to solve the drug problem. Why isn’t Wilson complaining about the six month wait for people who want to get into treatment programs in Houston?” Wilson’s posturing on the drug question, and his predisposition to tamper with the Constitution, further support the “Keep Ron Home” argument. Better that Wilson remain in the state legislature, where he has earned a reputation as a good parliamentary obstructionist with a certain sartorial flair that is lacking in the House. g/I THE GOOD news coming out of the election in the Eighteenth District is that a poll commissioned by Houston City Councilman Anthony Hall shows Hall to be in a dead heat with Washington in the Congressional race. Hall and Washington polled 28 and 27 percent respectively, while Wilson had 10 percent. Trailing Wilson was Houston Rep. Al Edwards, who weighs in with three percent of the public’s support. Edwards, it will be remembered, last session drafted a bill that included a provision to cut off the fingers of convicted drug dealers. The three percent support that Edwards gets in the Eighteenth District is considerably more than most of his legislative initiatives receive in the House, where he has served since 1979. Edwards is also the sponsor of an amendment to the workers’ comp legislation that will require that only English be spoken on job sites. The high rate of on-the-job injuries, according to Edwards \(and the English-First American Ethnic Coalition, who persuaded Edwards employees who do not understand the safety instructions of their foremen. Here at last is a poll that speaks well of the wisdom of the voters. i/ STAN SCHLUETER’S twelve -year legislative career ended as internal revenue officers pored over the Killeen Democrat’s financial records in the Secretary of State’s office, according to a story by Mike Ward of the Austin American Statesman. The Statesman has taken the lead on investigative reporting of ethics violations by legislators. According to Ward, state records show that on September 7, IRS agent Garland Hilton made photocopies of all the records that Schlueter filed in the secretary of state’s office since 1986. The Statesman earlier reported that Schlueter, who last session chaired the House Calendars Committee, had been spending more than $9,000 a month in political contributions even though he has not had an opponent in years. Schlueter had first announced that he would not run for reelection, then, within days, announced that he would resign on September 18, so that he could “make a living.” vo ONE MORE for the Gipper. While many in Austin were holding Schluetergone parties, House Speaker Gib Lewis did more than was called for in noting Schlueter’s passing. “With the retirement of Representative Stan Schlueter, Texas will be losing one of our most capable and respected statesmen,” Lewis wrote in a September 13 press release. 6 he is a big man with a big heart,” Lewis said of Schlueter.. Here the Speaker was half right. 7 “…PA. -44A.144., /4,444. 0.044,4/44-4, segg” ,4/4″44.7 . 01441COVIF. ‘