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Sam Adams’ Freedom Fighters a Novel of the American Revolution The freedom-fighter of the American Revolution, as the principal character of this novel, developes swiftly but accurately around the lives of William Mollineaux, one of San Adams’ Lieutenants in Boston, and his nephew J.J. J.J. diligently searches for Laurie Aldrich, a Quaker mistress to Major Percy of General Gages’ British Forces. She is also the dream girl of J.J.’s boyhood infatuation. His quest, kidnapping, and flight with Laurie to the Carolinas is a romantic backdrop to that revolutionary history and the battle of Kings Mountainthe critical battle of the revolutionary war which resulted in Cornwallis’ retreat through North Carolina into Virginia and surrenderending the war. The history of that time is told in faithful detail, since the Revolution itself is the principal character. FUTURA PRESS P.O. BOX 17427 AUSTIN, TX 78760-7427 11, tat, !Natl . 250 pps. Paperback $12.95 incl. tax & shipping the Senate floor while seeking a favorable vote from them; and Republican gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams lending his campaign millions of dollars in an attempt to buy the election. According to Public Citizen, in 1989, about 800 registered lobbyists reported spending more than $2 million on entertainment and gifts to lawmakers, including vacations, hunting and fishing trips, and golf games. Last year, and during the first three months of 1991, the top 100 lobbyists spent $1.6 million on legislators, almost $9,000 per lawmaker. What does this largesse buy? “Money often times doesn’t mean a vote on large public issues,” noted Tom Smith of Public Citizen.”What it means is a vote for the utility companies, in a subcommittee, on an amendment when no one’s looking. You can’t trace a quid pro quo most of the time.” But the public interest suffers nevertheless. “[Rep.] Eddie Cavazos said it best when he said, ‘If I’ve got a $1,000 donor on the phone and one who’s given never a dime, whose call do you think I’m gonna take?’ When you don’t have time to study an issue, who gets the opportunity to talk to you often decides which way you’ll vote,” Smith told the Observer. The existing ethics law was one of the nation’s weakest; as Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle put it, “Today we have `Mr -Smith-Goes-to-Washington’ expectations, but a Bo Pilgrim reality.” In a major series on the subject, Fort.Worth Star-Telegram political writer Kaye Northcott pointed out obvious and totally legal examples of apparent conflicts of interest among legislators, including: state Sen. Ike Harris, who represents clients before the State Board of Insurance while serving as vice chair of the Senate Insurance Committee; state Sen. Eddie Lucio, who furnished his Austin apartment, paid family members $190,000 for campaign work and paid staff $12,000 in bonuses all out of political contributions from special interests. House Environmental Affairs Committee chair Robert Saunders, D-La Grange, accepted a $500 fee from Dow Chemical Co. for a speech to executives in Houston, and regularly attends the Texas Chemical Council’s dove hunts in Mexico. These and other incidents illustrated the need for ethics reform, and Gov. Ann Richards, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, and House Speaker Gib Lewis all promised to make ethics legislation a top priority. Richards’ ethics advisor, former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, intoned at a January Senate subcommittee meeting discussing ethics reform that “We are talking about the salvation of the republic as we know it.” The University of Texas ethics professor wasn’t overstating, for recent studies show that the system of representative democracy is jeopardized by a crisis of confidence: the public doesn’t believe their government works for the people. Accordingly, Richards told the House State Affairs Committee not to pass a bill that “whitewashed” the issue, or she would veto it and revive the issue in a special session. She bolstered the notion that ethics would be a top priority by appointing former state Rep. and U.S. Attorney John Hannah, one of the most respected public officials in Texas, as Secretary of State, the chief election officer. Promising Proposals Richards, Bullock, Earle, Sen. Bob Glasgow, D-Stephenville, and others made a number of strong proposals for reform. Many of these were contained in the Senate’s version of the ethics bill; even the original House version wasn’t bad. Some of these ideas included: ‘Disclosure requirements: require candidates to divulge their recent income tax returns, full disclosure of what lobbyists spend on officials, require disclosure of the names of individuals contributing large amounts to PACS, to prevent the present practice of hiding identities of big donors. ‘Limits on the lobby: limit the total amount lobbyists could spend, ban so-called honoraria, fees for speeches such as that paid to Saunders, ban lobby-paid gifts, travel, and entertainment, ban officeholder accounts, prohibit state regulators from taking transportation and entertainment from industries they regulate, require lobbyists to disclose their fees, ban local governments from hiring private lobbyists with public money. ‘Political finance reform: abolish office holder accounts like Lucio’s, limit the amount an official can spend daily from political accounts to $50, limit reimbursement for wealthy candidates’ loans to their own campaigns, require legislators to report professional fees received from anyone who hires a lobbyist, prohibit payment of campaign funds to any business owned by a candidate or officeholder, and banned use of campaign funds for buying real estate. ‘Strong Ethics Commission: Bullock called for an ethics commission with “a full set of sharp teeth and steel jaws”; he proposed a comprehensive plan that would include crossaudits of legislators’ political accounts, campaign finance records, federal income tax returns of officeholders and their businesses, plus cross audits of reports by lobbyists and campaign contributors. Such a scheme would make uncovering of pernicious relationships between special interests and lawmakers much easier to ferret out, improve enforcement of other ethics rules, and probably prevent more than a few unholy alliances. The Senate wanted the commission enshrined in the state Constitution \(to protect it from legmend legislative pay raises, and to conduct, on its own initiative, full-scale investigations. The House Dawdles After.promising to consider ethics legislation early in the session, the House leadership appeared to put it on the bottom of its priority list. After it was referred to Laney’s State Affairs Committee, the chairman assigned five legislators to devise the final form of the bill. None of the five had worked on the issue before, and the two Democratic members didn’t demonstrate overwhelming concern for appearance of propriety; Rep. Keith Oakley, D-Terrell, had earlier asked lobbyists to pay for an anniversary junket and a special birthday dinner for his wife, and Rep. Curtis week’s vacation, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Public interest lobbyists and Lt. Gov. Bullock charged that the House leadership deliberately delayed bringing the bill to the floor in order to forestall amendments and media scrutiny. It was rumored that House leaders indirectly threatened to punish members who pushed too hard for strong ethics legislation, perhaps retaliating through the redistricting process. After criticism of its dilatory tactics, the House state affairs committee finally recommended a bill \(reportedly written by Laney, 15. This version drastically weakened the Senate’s ideas. The Ethics Commission’s audit and subpoena powers were watered down, complaints were allowed to be settled in informal, behind-closed-doors reviews before ever reaching public hearings, and the most stringent penalty was set not for public officials who transgressed ethics rules, but for their accusers, who could be fined $10,000 for bringing “frivolous” complaints. It 12 JUNE 28, 1991 , 11,0,,