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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE TEXAS GOLD RUSH. The political season is officially underway with the flight of the fundraisers into Texas. President George Bush returned to his occasional home state aiming to raise more than $2 million for his re-election campaign and for the Texas GOP with events in Houston Oct. 31 and Dallas Nov. 1. An event featuring Bush at the home of businessman T. Boone Pickens in Dallas at $25,000 a couple raised an estimated $500,000, with the proceeds going to pay for redistricting lawsuits, the Dallas Morning News reported. Democratic presidential candidates are not missing the Texas gold rush. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and Virginia Gov. Douglas Wilder already have made campaign sweeps, Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey had fundraisers in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth Oct. 29-31 and Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is expected to make the scene in December. State officeholders also are filling their war chests, although they will not be up for reelection for another three years. Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock raised $1.3 million with his recent “God Bless Texas, Thorns and All” observance. Gov . Ann Richards hopes to raise more than $500,000 with a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser in Austin on Nov. 20, a day after Attorney General Dan Morales’ $25-a-plate event. Events for legislators and congressmen are filling up the political calendar with the nearing of the Dec. 3 opening of the filing period for the 1992 primary elections. The presidential preference primary will be March 10. BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD. State officials are split over how to react to the U.S. Justice Department ruling Nov. 12 that the Texas House redistricting plan did not treat minorities fairly under the federal Voting Rights Act. The Justice Department rejection of the new House map pleased not only minority advocates, but also Republicans who hope the redrawing of more minority-dominated districts will leave white Democratic incumbents vulnerable in adjoining districts. While Attorney General Dan Morales advised Gov. Ann Richards to call the Legislature back into special session, Richards instructed Morales to work with the plaintiffs to try to resolve the Justice Department’s objections in. Bexar County, El Paso County, South Texas and Dallas County. The state would have to receive Justice Department approval before the Jan. 2 deadline for filing for the March primary. Morales has asked a three judge federal panel in Washington, D.C., to allow Texas to use the plan for the 1992 elections until the lawsuits can be resolved. That court has set a Dec. 2 hearing to review redistricting for the House, the Senate, Congress and the State Board of Education. On Nov. 25, state District Judge Mario Ramirez Jr. of Edinburg also will hear a lawsuit challenging the use of 1990 census figures that plaintiffs said missed an estimated 500,000 Texans. While equity of representation would call for 38 Hispanics and 18 blacks in the 150-member House, James Harrington, attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, which joined the League of United Latin American Citizens in the lawsuit, said population dispersal makes that goal impractical. The plaintiffs’ proposal ; if approved by the court, probably would add six or seven Hispanics and one or two blacks to the current minority roster of 20 Hispanic and 13 black state representatives, Harrington said. EASY CHOICE. Juan Hinojosa, a former state representative from Brownsville, hopes to step through the window of opportunity after the recent Texas Senate redistricting settlement made Senate District 27 tougher for incumbent Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-McAllen, to defend. Hinojosa, a lawyer who did not seek re-election to the House in 1990 after five terms as a progressive representative, had been expected to run for the new Congressional seat to be created in South Texas, but state Sen. Frank Tejeda, D-San Antonio, saw that the district’s boundaries would favor his own candidacy, which now seems sure to succeed. Hinojosa said he will challenge Lucio, an advertising executive who has always been a minion of South Texas business interests, in the March Democratic primary election. That sets up another contest between the trial lawyers who can be expected to support Hinojosa and business and industry interests that helped Lucio in 1990 when he upset Sen. Hector Uribe, D-Brownsville, in the bitter aftermath of the workers compensation reform battles. TOO-BIG SPENDERS? Eight Texans were among those who gave more than $25,000 to federal campaigns in the 1989-90 election cycle, in apparent violation of federal law, according to analyses of Federal Election Commission records by Campaign magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Campaign magazine, in its November issue, said most of the high-dollar givers claimed they had not known of the limits. An FEC spokesman told the magazine it would take an “egregiouslooking” violation for the commission to launch its own investigation. According to Campaign, top Texas contributors, the party that was their main beneficiary and the amount donated include: Neva and Wesley West, Houston, Republican, $57,100; James Elkins, Houston, both, $51,500; Mr. and Mrs. L. Smith, Houston, Republican, $48,725; Elizabeth Armstrong, Fort Worth, Republican, $47,088; Margaret and Trammell Crow, Dallas, both, $45,961; Tom and Dennis O’Connor, Victoria, Republican, $43,000; John Lindsey, Houston, both, $40,500; Roy Cullen, Houston, Republican, $40,000. Campaign magazine also reported that while the bleeding-heart liberal stereotype fits the majority of celebrity donors, the only Texas federal candidate who received an assist from Tinseltown was U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, as Kevin Costner “maxed out” with $4,000 to Gramm’s re-election campaign and Bob Hope gave a total of $4,000 to Gramm, the National See Political Intelligence page 20 24 NOVEMBER 29, 1991