V EVEN BEFORE Schlueter’s resignation, San Saba County Judge Charles Bowden was considering running for the seat according to a Democratic Party source. Bowden has yet to announce but, he has been working with Democratic political consultant Harley Spoon, in an effort to put together a campaign organization. V REPUBLICAN Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips has attracted one big Democratic name to his campaign. Franklin Scott Spears Jr. , the son of Democratic Supreme Court Justice Franklin Scott Spears, is directing the Young Texans for Tom Phillips Committee. Spears Jr. described himself to the Texas Lawyer as “more Republican’ than Democrat, but really independent.” Spears Jr. said that he supports judges like Phillips “who transcend political parties *and political ties.” “He’s a conservative,’ conservative Republican. And no Democrat, no liberal or progressive should be endorsing or supporting him,” an Austin labor lawyer said of Phillips, during last year’s judicial races. A former state district judge and member of the Houston law firm Baker & Botts, Phillips was appointed by Bill Clements to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Democratic Chief Justice John Hill. Phillips defeated Democratic Associate Justice Ted Z. Robertson, who left an associate justice seat to run for chief justice. V ATTORNEY GENERAL Jim Mattox’s recent claim that State Treasurer Ann Richards was using “Watergate tactics” in an attempt to penetrate the Mattox for . Governor campaign has been good for business .at the Chinese restaurant, where, according to Mattox, a Richards spy sat and watched everyone who entered and left the Mattox campaign office, located next to the Congress Avenue restaurant. The “Richards spy,” Mattox said in an Austin press conference, also had access to important campaign records. On the afternoon following the Attorney General’s press conference, a number of Richards supporters wearing Groucho Marx masks as disguises sat by the window tables in the Chinese restaurant. On another afternoon, several women armed with binoculars occupied the window seats. The spy that Mattox identified was a Mexican junior-college student, described by the Richards campaign as a volunteer. The student admitted to having entered the Mattox campaign office on several occasions. V KENT NANCE continues to flog the no-state-income-tax issue, challenging any other Republican candidate for governor to ,even suggest that an income tax might be needed now or in the future. When telephone magnate Clayton Williams, who is not exactly a tax-and-spend liberal, said that he wouldn’t close the door on a state income tax, Hance browbeat him into a retraction. A mid-September fax transmission, apparently out of the office of Republican consultant Karl Rove and circulated to the press, had Hance going after Williams on the tax issue. It also reiterated the fundamentals of the Hance campaign. The fax pages, which included the text for a political ad, included Hance’s standard lines on income tax: “Just as cutting your federal taxes sparked our recovery, starting a , State Income Tax in Texas would hurt our economy. Kent Hance believes a constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax would attract more business and jobs to Texas.. He knows from his experience . . . and from common sense.” Williams got the message and backed down. “A brief lapse of sanity,” was the way Austin American Statesman political columnist Dave McNeely described LOUIS DUBOSE Public Citizen’s Tom Smith Williams’s admission that a successful fight against drugs might require spending levels that would warrant a state income tax. V PUBLIC CITIZEN state director and lobbyist Tom Smith served as the point man when a group of progressive, Austin-based activists and lobbyists approached Austin Congressman J.J. Jake Pickle, in an attempt to persuade Pickle to vote against the Bush Administratioh’s proposal to lower the capital gains tax. Pickle, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, justified his support of the capital-gains tax breaks as the sort of tradeoff necessary to bring high-technology employers like Sematech \(a taxpayer-subsidized microchip research, development, and production that the capital-gains cut will raise revenue. He suggested that with the money raised by the capital gains reduction, which most agree will be a short term increase in revenue as investors sell off large holdings because the taxes on profits are down, will help finance social programs such as child care. The Gramm-Rudman :Hollings budgetbalancing law, according to Pickle, makes funding such programs difficult. The Smith-led group had more success talking with the editorial board of the Austin American Statesman, who weighed in with a Sunday-morning editorial arguing that even the 19.6 percent cut proposed by Pickle excessive and unfair to the American taxpayer: “The tax break proposals that are being suggested are a continuation of the tax-cutting syndrome that began under Ronald Reagan, which produced the monstrous deficits that now imperil even the shortest of congressional whish lists such as Pickle’s.” After meeting with Pickle, the Austin group held a press conference and condemned the proposed tax cut and its Democratic Ways and Means Committee supporters, Pickle and Houston Congressman Mike Andrews. V AS THE FIGHT over the capital gains tax-reduction moved to the floor, San Antonio Congressman Al Bustamante claimed that 70 percent of the Texas Democratic Congressional delegation favors the proposed reduction in capital gains taxation. Bustamante told the San Antonio Express-News that he had conducted an informal poll and found , that Texas Democrats in Congress favor reducing taxes on profits derived from the sale of real estate, stocks, and other investments. Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez of San Antonio opposes the tax cut. He told Express News reporter Mark Smith: “I favor keeping the capital gains tax where it is. Any reduction, I think, would be a move toward a more regressive tax system, favoring the wealthy and away from fair and equitable taxes.” V UNCTUOUS Illinois Republican Congressman Henry Hyde will be the featured speaker at an anti-abortion fundraiser held in Dallas on October 14. But Republicans seem to be avoiding the abortion issue, probably because it represents such a political liability. Capitol reporter Sam Kinch writes in his Texas Weekly that “even in Houston, where Republicanism really means conservative,” 47 percent of Republican voters say that the abortion law should be left alone. g/ MIKE MCKINNEY, the Democratic Representative from Centerville, has announced that he will not seek reelection. McKinney cited the demands of his family and his medical practice as reasons for leaving the Legislature. During the past session, McKinney struggled to serve as a broker between the religious right and progressive and moderate members of the House on AIDS-related legislation. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 17 4a1K ,Ia ,441.1. .tmoirwrIleetm..”
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.