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pie’s consent on spending cuts? Why does Perot think that a public raised on a steady stream of entitlements will decide it doesn’t want any more goodies? “Every single penny is going to someone,” notes Mark Melcher, a political economist for Prudential Securities. “Everyone bleats about the deficit, but they all have their hands out.” The America that Perot talks about, where “one generation working and sacrificing for the next one,” exists only in back issues of the Norman Rockwell-era Saturday Evening Post. EVEN COWBOYS GET THE BLUES: PEROT’S BUSINESS RECORD Perot himself is not above the temptation of trying to avoid pain. As his Presidential campaign has picked up steam, more and more evidence is emerging that Perot, though now running a campaign against Washington, was not above trying to buy his share of insidethe-beltway influence. In the 1970s H. Ross Perot, playing the role of a Wall Street White Knight and probably wearing the same familiar puckered expression about the nation’s financial capital, put down $55 million of his own fortune to try to rescue a troubled brokerage house, duPont Glore Forgan. He said some of the string pullers in Washington feared Armageddon if the brokerage house wasn’t saved and public duty made him do it. There was fear that a lot of people would lose a lot of money, but nobody lost more than Perot himself. His Midas touch abandoned him, and the firm was liquidated. Perot went back to Washington looking for help and convinced that he should be able to write off some of his loss on taxes he already had paid. And for a while it seemed that wish would be granted. In an eleventh-hour vote in 1975, the House Ways and Means Committee passed a $15 million designer tax break for Perot. And lest anyone think George Bush is the only one polite enough to send thank-you notes, it is worth noting that Perot contributed $55,000 to Ways and Means Committee members after they had already won their elections. But even a friendly committee could not keep the Perot tax break alive on the House floor. What flourished in a night session at Ways and Means withered in the daylight on the House floor and Perot was hoisted on his own petard. He was more successful in gaining “little” favors. Here is how Nixon’s chief of staff, John Ehrlichman, remembered Perot in his memoir Witness to Power: “During the White House years, Ross Perot was a frequent visitor. He was included at state dinners and businessmen’s conferences; from time to time he called to warn of some problem we faced that we might not have heard of. But he asked for my help only once. He called to tell me that he had built a small fishing cabin on the shore of a Bureau of Reclamation lake in Texas some years before; but now the Bureau was trying to cancel his lease. It was my pleasure to try to save his cabin for him.” Some fishing story. While some observers see Perot’s past relationship to the government in a negative light, others think it could help him. “It ought to give him credibility,” commented William Niskanen, head of the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank. Niskanen adds that while Perot might not have stepped boldly into the realm of new ideas, at least he is talking about some of the issues the other candidates dare not mention, including the national debt. “Have you ever heard the President talk about the $4 trillion debt?” Perot asked. “I challenge the incumbent President to step forward, surrounded by 16 handlers and somebody squatted down in front of him, signing and telling him what to say and when to say it. Give him all his aides. Talk about the $4 trillion debt, $3 trillion on his watch.” As the heat of a real campaign is starting to be lit under Perot, the public hears fewer of BY JACK MCNAMARA Alpine FORMER PRESIDIO County Sheriff Richard Dee “Rick” Thompson, 46, and co-conspirator Glyn Robert Chambers, 37, came face to face with draconian anti-drugtrafficking laws on May 8 in Pecos, when U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer sentenced both men to life terms in federal prison. Thompson and Chambers were indicted Jan. 9 following the seizure of 2,421 pounds of 93-percent-pure Colombian cocaine found in the sheriff’s two-horse trailer at the Marfa fairgrounds in the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 1991. With the aid of an informant, who along with Chambers and Thompson had transported the plastic bags of cocaine from Candelaria, upriver from Presidio-Ojinaga, a force,which also included U.S. Customs and Texas DPS narcotics agents, had cracked what they called the West Texas “good ol’ boy” drugsmuggling organization. The DEA, in a press release issued after the sentencing, claimed Chambers’ organization had imported and distributed 10 tons of cocaine and 10 tons of marijuana through the Big Bend since 1986. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Beery of Midland promises more indictments will be presented to the federal grand jury as the drug gang unravels with the cooperation of Chambers himself. Pecos is one of those West Texas towns whose windows hold more plywood than plate glass. Ranching and oil have declined and irrigated farming is now the principal business farming and law enforcement, that is. The federal district court offices occupy the two floors over the post office, just across the street from the Reeves County Courthouse. Near the courthouse Jack McNamara is the publisher of The Nimby his Granny Clampitt homilies. In fact, some of his recent exchanges sounded more like excerpts from the Watergate tapes. When a National Public Radio reporter pressed Perot about his attempts to get a tax break for his business, Perot snapped back “I am not going to worry about it for a minute. I just assume there will be days when people like you will show up, doing a favor for somebody and now you have done it.” If the professionals are right, some time over the next few months Perot will be left behind like the rest of this year’s outsiders. Maybe he can seek solace from his old pal, Richard Nixon, who can tell him how to cope once they no longer have you to kick around. 0 is a large new county jail and on the outskirts of town a federal minimum security prison, the These facilities, about 200 miles from Presidio-Ojinaga, are the catchment for TransPecos and Big Bend federal law enforcement agencies, which deal overwhelmingly in drug cases. The story of biggest drug bust ever in West Texas came to a conclusion that Friday, May 8, in the same courtroom that once hosted Billy Sol Estes. And, as in that 1960s era, a famous local politician was in the dock. Buchmeyer, a Dallas judge, took the case after Judge Lucius Bunton III of Midland recused himself. Bunton, a Marfa native whose father was sheriff of Presidio County, had previously represented Thompson. Buchmeyer had taken the guilty pleas of both Chambers and Thompson in Dallas. But the Judge traveled to Pecos to make a point with the sentencing. Chambers began cooperating with federal law enforcement shortly after his arrest on Dec. 4. Held without bail, Chambers has been jailed since his arrest; his cooperation resulted in a “motion for downward departure” from the U.S. Attorney. Under the federal sentencing guidelines that were part of the 1987 anti-drug laws, Chambers’ offense requires life in prison, but that sentence might be later reduced, in return for his role in expanding the prosecution. The United States of America recommended no leniency, no “downward departure” to allow an early release for Thompson, however. On May 8, in spite of the tearful appeals from his family, the former sheriff was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Judge Buchmeyer, a short man in his 60s, was punctual and low-key as he conducted the sentencing hearing. He quickly disposed of defense motions, overruling most points by noting the iron strictures of the sentencing guidelines. The `Life in West Texas 14 JUNE 5, 1992 ,oggogag sitga** agalk**.a. agaaakagaggrogo *rare agodaa….0 …… ..******mraottogo. a go.a ow.* ogg