Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE UPDATES. The long, lonely story of former Salvadoran soldier Cesar Joya Martinez, recounted here last fall \(“A Soldier’s Story,” TO other twist. Joya Martinez was arrested by the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Antonio May 29, minutes after his release from a federal detention center, where he was serving a sixmonth sentence for illegally entering the United States. he was charged with torturing and killing two men while on patrol searching for Salvadoran guerrillas in 1989. Joya Martinez has been trying to tell Congress about U.S. links to death squad activity in El. Salvador, but has been subjected to arrest and harassment by the U.S. government. Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez protested the arrest in a letter to Immigration and Naturalization Service Director Richard Casillas, charging that INS and the U.S. Attorney’s office were trying to prevent Joya Martinez from pursuing his political asylum claim. Gonzalez and former President Jimmy Carter, among others, have tried to protect Joya Martinez against what they see as attempts to silence Joya Martinez via deportation to El Salvador, where he would almost certainly be killed. The uprising by chile farmers in El Paso and New Mexico \(“Border Union,” TO 2/8/ as reported in Texas Lawyer by Amy Boardman.. The story explained how a union of migrant farmworkers known as UTAF, with the help of Texas Rural Legal Aid widespread violations of worker safety laws by corporate chile growers. Shortly after the story appeared, the union had signed a contract with one major grower, Loyad Anderson, raising hopes that some of the barbaric practices described in the story would be stopped. But Anderson attemped to institute a work rule that would require workers to thin the chile plants by hand, rather than with hoes requiring workers to stoop for eight hours. On May 21, the workers went on strike. After Anderson threatened to fire them all and replace them with other migranst, however, the union backed down. TRLA has scored some successes in the fight, however. In April, U.S. District Judge Lucius Bunton awarded some workers $35,000 in back pay, to which they were entitled for time spent traveling to and from the fields. The growers have appealed the ruling, claiming that the added wage burden for workers’ travel time would drive them into bankruptcy, and that the ruling violates existing laws. The grower who was the defendant in the case has filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving the judgment unpaid. The fight has spilled over into another arena, because the author of an amicus brief filed on behalf of the growers appealing Bunton’s ruling was written by El Paso attorney Kenneth Carr. Carr, as we reported last month, has been recommended by Sen. Phil Gramm for a federal judgeship in the Western District of Texas. Carr, who has not yet been formally nominated for the post by President Bush, had already drawn criticism from Hispanics who thought the seat should go to a Mexican American. The unions have called on Gramm to withdraw the Carr nomination, picketing his law offices. TRLA is continuing legal action against various growers and government agencies, said Texas Lawyer. BIG GUNS FROM TEXAS. The so-called “Brady Bill,” which would mandate a seven-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns, is the most important crimecontrol legislation to come to a floor vote this year in the U.S. House of Representatives. Most members of the Texas Congressional delegation, however, voted against the wishes of law enforcement organizations and opposed this mild, though progressive legislation, which passed the House 239-186. Here is how our Representatives voted. In favor: Mike Andrews, John Bryant, Jim Chapman, Martin Frost, Henry Gonzalez, Jake Pickle, Charles Stenholm, Craig Washington. Against: \\Bill Archer, Dick Armey, Jack Brooks, Al Bustamante, Ron Coleman, Larry Combest, Kika de la Garza, Tom DeLay, Chet Edwards, Jack Fields, Pete Geren, Ralph Hall, Greg Laughlin, Solomon Ortiz, Bill Sarpalius, Lamar Smith, Charlie Wilson. Public Citizen reports that Texas Congressmen who voted against the Brady Bill received $152,594 in campaign funds from the National Rifle Association over the last five years, an average of $8,477 each. Those who voted for it took in a little over $14,000. Jim Chapman received $13,348 of that amount, yet still voted against the NRA. Six of the eight members who voted for the bill received no NRA gun money. All eight Texas Republican Congressmen voted against the civil rights bill that passed he House last week. Only two Democrats, Stenholm and Hall, deserted their party to join the GOP on this vote. A WOMAN’S PLACE… Note that that last item used the sexist term “Congressmen.” That’s because no women now grace the Texas Congressional delegation. However, by next year, it’s likely that at least one female, State Sen. Eddie Berneice Johnson, D-Dallas, may be moving up to Washington via the new black Congressional seat certain to be created in the redistricting process. And there may be another. Incarnate Word College political-science professor Larry Hufford told the San Antonio ExpressNews that outgoing City Councilwoman Maria Berriozabal, who narrowly lost the SA mayor’s race to former state Sen. and City Councilman Nelson Wolff last month, would make a fine candidate for the Congressional seat likely to be carved out in south Bexar Coitnty. State Sen. Frank Tejeda has been assumed to be the front-runner for the seat, but Hufford prefers Berriozabal, who won much respect for her well-run campaign for mayor, because she is progressive. Hufford observed that only one of the state’s Hispanic U.S. reps is a liberal Henry B. Gonzalez. Another woman seeking higher office is former Austin Mayor Carole Rylander, who switched to the Republican Party a few years back to run for Congress against paleolithic incumbent Jake Pickle and was crushed, winning less than a third of the vote. ExpressNews political columnist Bruce Davidson reports that Rylander is lining up top GOP support for a run against fellow Austinite Lena Guerrero fpr Guerrero’s spot on the Railroad Commission. Guerrero, a progressive, effective former state representative who played a key role in Ann Richards’ gubernatorial campaign last year, was appointed to the post by Richards in January, and must run for election in her own right next year. THE POWER OF MOYERS Another Texan is being mentioned for the White House. Not Lloyd Bentsen, not James Baker, not Phil Gramm but Bill Moyers. Austin American-Statesman columnist Jesse Trevino has joined a couple of national columnists in pushing the former LBJ press secretary turned TV man of ideas to run for an office that has for too long been bereft of good ideas. 24 JUNE 14, 1991
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