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Senate Notebook Texas Congressional leaders reportedly have been checking out vacancies in the Clinton Administration that might have appealed enough to Jhn Mattox to keep the progressive former attorney general out of a potentially lethal Senate race with interim Senator Bob Krueger, the consensus candidate of the Democratic establishment But despite their ministrations, “Bill ain’t called,” said Mattox spokeswoman Elna Christopher, as Mattox prepared to formally announce his candidacy for the two years remaining on former. Senator Lloyd Bentsen’s term. In the meantime, Richard Fisher, the centrist Dallas businessman, echoed Mattox’s call for campaign finance reform and Krueger called for an end to federal tobacco subsidies two weeks after Mattox called for tougher tobacco regulations. “It looks like Mattox is already setting the agenda,” Christopher said Mattox also appears to be leading the race, despite being cut off from official support from labor and Democratic minority groups and financial support from trial lawyers: A Republican poll recently showed Mattox ahead in the free-for-all special election race with 22 percent support, followed by Krueger with 18 percent, Kay Bailey Hutchison with 16 percent, Rep. Jack Fields of Humble with 9 percent, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Ennis with 7 percent and former La Raza Unida organizer Jose Angel Gutierrez with 3 percent. A Texas Poll showed Mattox with the highest name iden40-percent negatives offset his 38 percent positives. State Treasurer Kay Hutchison has shown a real talent for gaffes in her U.S. Senate campaign. First she claimed the President had no business interfering in the armed services. “We have a military that is headed by military,” she said, apparently unaware that part of the President’s job title is Commander in Chief. Then it was disclosed that Hutchison finally got her college bachelor’ s degree from the University of Texas in May 1992 after cornpleting -with a tutor in her spare time -a Spanish course she had lacked, but when reporters asked her to speak some Spanish, she replied with the Latin phrase, nolo contendere. Told that was not Spanish, she tried again: Me no sabe, which is close, but no cigarro. Sam Attlesey of the Dallas Morning News on February 6 reported that a brochure from Hutchison’s 1982 congressional campaign stated she had completed undergraduate studies, but she said it was not designed to mislead voters. Although some news reports during the 1970s and at least one voter’s guide showed her with her undergraduate degree, she said reporters apparently assumed she had the degree because she obtained her law degree in 1967 under a six-year program that allowed her to proceed to law school without her undergraduate degree. The San Antonio Express-News recently took her to task for criticizing Krueger for supporting a family leave bill when, she said, Congress had exempted itself from the bill. The Express-News noted that Congress, in fact, had not exempted itself in that case. “Hutchison should do her homework,” the paper editorialized. “Such missteps on the campaign can prove embarrassing.” Krueger, seeking to show that he can count on support other than Gov. Ann Richards and the Democratic establishment for the unexpired Senate term, recently formed “Independents and Republicans for Krueger,” headed by Bartell Zachry, chairman of H.B. Zachry Co, the [non-union] construction company based in San Antonio, according to Bruce Davidson of the Express-News, leaving Texas AFL-CIO leaders, who have lined up behind the moderate-to-conservative Krueger, to wonder whose side Krueger will take when the vote comes down to business vs..labor. Mattox, testifying against a products liability bill which appears headed for quick passage and which would limit lawsuits against tobacco producers, took at dig at Gov. Richards, who defeated him in the bitter 1990 gubernatorial primary: “Thank God we’ve got a strong Democratic governor who will veto it, just like I would if I were sitting in that office,” he told the House State Affairs Committee, which nonetheless approved the bills limiting product liability claims and wrongful injury suits filed by non-residents. Richards has not announced her position on the measures. Marshall went on the appear before John Brown on at least 10 occasions before his appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and then his elevation to the Supreme Court. He won all 10 times. That isn’t surprising; Marshall was always on the side of right and justice and dignity and equality in all these cases. He had an ally in Judge John R. Brown. Perhaps there was more in common than meets the eye between Brown’s background in admiralty law and his judicial philosophy. Judge Brown was fond of explaining the role of a judge in admiralty: “He may stride the quarterdeck of maritime jurisprudence and, in the voice of admiralty judge, dispense, as would his landlocked brother, that which equity and good conscience impels.” To him, that was his job dispensing that which equity and good conscience impels. How fitting, then, that his last opinion, released just four days before his death, involved visceral notions of fairness and justice, rather than staid concepts or legalese. In that opinion Judge Brown wrote, “We are concerned with parties receiving fair treatment. … The risk of injustice … far outweighs [any other concerns in the case].” Jack Bass whose 1981 book, Unlikely Heroes, explored the historic work of the Fifth Circuit court under Brown wrote that Brown had “a passion that reacted to injustice” a keen aversion to unfairness and inequity. So did Thurgood Marshall. Their deaths occurred only one day apart and magnify the dearth of those traits on their respective courts today. P1 Continued from pg. 24 Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin, and Carlos Truan, D-Corpus Christi, to minimize pesticide use. The potential for excessive spraying was among the concerns cited by Gov. Richards two years ago when she vetoed a similar measure. GROWING TAX BREAKS. Texas schools last year lost more than $800 million in tax revenues from the agriculture exemption intended to help family farmers and ranchers, with many of the exemptions going to wealthy corporations, billionaires and foreign investors with land holdings awaiting development in urban areas, Bob Sablatura and Tara Parker Pope reported in the Houston Chronicle. More than two-thirds of the value of open space in Texas has been removed from tax rolls, including an Exxon subsidiary, Friendswood Development Corp., which pays only $222.38 for 250 acres near the Greensport Mall, $4 million worth of property in the Aldine school district, which normally would net $21,742. Perot Group, owned by H. Ross Perot, owns 15,420 acres near the Alliance Airport in Fort Worth. If valued at market rates, Perot Group would pay Northwest Independent School District near Denton $750,000 instead of the $21,300 Perot pays, the newspaper, said. House Speaker Pete Laney, a Hale Center farmer, told the newspaper he would support reforms that would end abuses by corporations and land developers. NO CHOICE. The number of physicians in the Dallas area willing to perform abortions is diminishing, due to harassment of abortion providers, family members and neighbors at their residences and workplaces. Dr. Clay Alexander .recently signed the pledge demanded of him by antiabortionists, after withstanding six weeks of public pressure, including intermittent picketing by Roman Catholic Bishop Charles V. Grahmann. Two other area abortion providers signed the pledge after they were informed they would be next to have their offices, their children’s schools, and their neighborhoods picketed and/or plastered with fetus :in-a-bucket pictures. At least one other Dallas-area physician who has been enduring harassment for five months was still holding out as of mid-February. In other developments around the state, authorities in Corpus Christi are blaming arson for a fire that destroyed a building housing an abortion clinic early Feb. 15. A flammable liquid was found in the waiting room of the clinic, which had been the target of numerous demonstrations by abortion opponents, but Rex Moses, director of the Diocese of Corpus Christi’s Human Life Office, told the Associated Press the fire may have been set by a burglar trying to hide a crime. On the political front, Stephen Hopkins of Burnet plans to launch a statewide TV campaign featuring graphic anti-abortion footage, includ ing dead fetuses. Citing federal election laws, Hopkins forced Austin TV stations to air similar ads during the general-election campaign, when he ran a write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Jake Pickle. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23