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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 West 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE GEORGE BUSH, the only President from Texas we’ve got, used his Texas persona during a mid-January campaign swing in New Hampshire. According to The New York Times, “He suddenly began talking about tidness’ and quoting country music lyrics at every stop. ‘I would remind you of another country & western song by the Nitty Ditty Nitty Gritty Great Bird Band If you want to see a rainbow, you’ve got to stand a little rain,’ he told his audiences.” Right George. Remember the Goliad. GLEN MAXEY-the-first-openly-gaymember-of-the-Texas Legislature, as the newspapers always call him, faces primary opposition in his Austin district from Lulu Flores, an Hispanic lawyer almost as liberal as Maxey. In an effort to differentiate her politics from his, Flores told the Austin American-Statesman, “I am not going to die on the sword for principle.” God forbid. OUT IN THE WEST TEXAS TOWN OF EL PASO, good news! Who should be running for a state Senate seat in the Lege but Malcolm McGregor, an Old Fort. \(In order to qualify for membership in the Old Forts, you have to have been a freedom-fighter in the Texas McGregor last served in the Texas House in the 60’s and is now in his 60’s himself. In the Bad Old Days, McGregor used to vote right for the most refreshingly simple reason he could never figure out any reason not to: he had a safe, progressive district and didn’t need lobby money. He is, on the whole, inclined to think that the Constitution of the United States deserves respect and that the people of Texas are more important than the interests of the Bituminous Coal Dealers or any other special interest. McGregor, a successful attorney, may be the least angst-ridden liberal Texas has ever produced. It would be great fun to see such an easy-going old hand serving with the cur 24 FEBRUARY 14, 1992 rent crop of earnest, serious, careerist young pols. He is running for the seat now held by Peggy Rosson. REMEMBER CLARENCE THOMAS, who rose above his humble beginnings as a poor black child in Georgia to become an apologist for Republican benign neglect of civil rights during the Reagan Administration? There was hope that a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court would free Thomas to moderate his views, but the newest justice found himself solidly with the conservative majority in three recent decisions. The court, on a 6-3 vote, drove a wedge in the Voting Rights Act when it allowed two Alabama counties to strip budget authority from newly-elected black commissioners. The court’s majority declared the 1965 law was “not an all-purpose anti-discrimination statute.” Another decision, which Thomas wrote, allows employers to keep union organizers off their property, including parking lots; a third decision limits political asylum for refugees fleeing military service in wartorn countries. George Bush must be proud. WHAT WALLISVILLE RESERVOIR? the Texas Water Commission asked as it sided with environmentalists to delay an extension of water rights from the reservoir the U.S. Corps of Engineers is creating on the Trinity River southeast of Houston. The state agency, which ordered additional environmental studies on the 33-year-old project, may stop the city of Houston and the Trinity River Authority from using the reservoir as a water source, but federal authorities indicated they will proceed with the $65 million reservoir, which U.S. Rep, Jack Brooks, D-Beaumont, has pushed through thick and thin. Environmentalists fear the dam will stop the flow of fresh water that is needed to replenish marine life in Galveston Bay. NOBODY’S PERFECT. When the liber al Americans for Democratic Action reported on its heroes and villains recently, no Texans were on the list of 20 congresspeople who have a perfect 100-percent voting record with the liberal group. Five Texascongressmen, all Republicans, made the list of 33 “villains” with zero ratings during their careers. They are Bill Archer of Houston, Dick Armey of Lewisville, Larry Combest of Lubbock, Jack Fields of Humble and Sam Johnson of Dallas. NEW LINES, HARD TIMES. Campaign magazine reported six Texas congressmen, all Democrats, are vulnerable because of redistricting and the baggage they carry into their new districts. They include John Bryant of Dallas, whose opposition to the Gulf War and support for the Civil Rights bill may alienate voters; Martin Frost of Dallas, who may be “ideologically inconsistent” with his new district; Pete Geren of Fort Worth, who has a marginal constituency; Greg Laughlin of Victoria, also with a marginal constituency; Charles Wilson of Lufkin, whose flamboyant lifestyle is a constant source of comment; and Mike Andrews of Houston, who like Bryant, Frost and Geren lost many of the minority Democrats in his district. WILDLIFE AFTER STATEHOUSE? Who better to look after the state’s fish and game than a former Texas House speaker? Mike Leggett, outdoors writer for the Austin American-Statesman, predicts Gib Lewis would come up as a potential appointee to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission when three seats on the commission open up next February, right after the Fort Worth Democrat’s House term expires. Lewis, an avid hunter, reportedly has told friends a Parks and Wildlife seat is the only government job that would interest him after serving as speaker, and he has had a good relationship with Gov. Ann Richards. Among the liabilities are his central role in a Continued on page 21