POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE GET A ROPE. White House officials complained that the list of names submitted by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros to fill top HUD positions include too many New Yorkers, the New York Times reported on Feb. 25. Several Cabinet officers reportedly are grumbling over the time-consuming efforts by the White House to add diversity and maintain the presidential prerogative for top government posts. At Treasury, where Lloyd Bentsen is Secretary, two of 21 appointments requiring Senate confirmation had been nominated and another two had been named but not formally nominated. Defense Secretary Les Aspin, Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and Transportation Secretary Federico Pena were said to be most clearly dissatisfied with the pace of appointments. GET A SPIN DOCTOR. Jeb Bush, son of former President George Bush has announced that he will run for governor of Florida, which of course once again sets wags to speculating about the possibility that year announce that he is a Republican candidate for governor of Texas, which sets even more wags to speculating whether it is the possibility of a race against George W. that has moved Gov. Ann Richards to the right. For a thorough discussion of the three Bush boys and their business deals \(Neil Bush, the S&L poster child, is not running for any office September/October 1992 issue of Mother Jones. For more on George W., see “Oil in the Family,” TO 7/26/91, and “Global Entanglements,” TO 9/20/91. “Shock and outrage” was the way former San Antonio City Councilmember Maria Antonietta Berriozabal described her reaction to Gov. Richards’ three recent appointments to the University of Texas System Board of Regents. Not one Hispanic and no one from San Antonio, Berriozabal objected in an opinion piece in La Prensa, a bilingual San Antonio weekly. According to Berriozabal, considered in the context of the LULAC v. Richards higher education lawsuit, which attempts to redress the lack of higher-ed funding in predominantly Hispanic South Texas, Richards erred when she appointed no Mexican American to the board of regents. “That is not to say that the individuals who were appointed are not qualified,” Berriozabal wrote “… [but] equal representation is a significant fact.” Richards’ new appointments are Peter Coneway of Houston and Marta Smiley and Lowell Lebermann, both of Austin. CHAIRMAN RAPAPORT. The UT board of regents also elected Bernard Rapaport, Waco businessman and longtime Observer , supporter, as its chairman. Ellen Temple of Lufkin and Lebermann were elected vice chairs. GREY EMINENCE. In drawing up his budget, Clinton turned time and again to Treasury Secretary Bentsen, the oldest of his budget counselors, for advice on crucial issues, the Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 19. For example, the Journal said, Bentsen tipped the discussion against cuts in cost-of-living adjustments for retirement programs, but, his Texas credentials notwithstanding, he supported an energy tax to make the economic plan credible. Bentsen’s position as “first among equals” in the White House budget debate may help salvage Texas pork-barrel projects, such as the V22 tilt-rotor aircraft, the super collider, the space station and the Strategic Defense Initiative, Doug Ireland noted in the March 2 Village Voice. Ireland also noted the pressure appears to be off for cuts in military spending. Clinton proposed a reduction of only 2.3 percent from the level of George Bush’s last military funding. And most of those savings come from reducing personnel and a pay freeze, not from cutting weapons systems. The intelligence bureaucracy, comprising the CIA, the individual service intelligence corps, the DIA and a raft of other spy-related programs, many of whose budgets are secret, also remains largely intact. STALKING TROUBLE. Labor and civil liberties activisists hope to slow down passageof the stalking bill long enough to fix a provision that could be read as prohibiting picketing by labor unions or other demonstrations, as a similar law has been implemented in Connecticut. SB 25, whose sponsors are Sen.. Mike Moncrief, D-Fort Worth, and Brian McCall, R-Plano, passed the Senate and was awaiting House debate at press time. Rick Levy, staff counsel for the Texas AFL-CIO, said the language designed to stop the harassment of abortion providers also could be used to arrest strikers or other activists. “You can’t get Operation Rescue without getting us,” he said. SAN ANTONIO IMMIGRATION lawyers Lee Teran and Robert Greenblum, El Paso lawyer Albert Armandariz and Barbara Hines, an immigration attorney from Austin, were presented awards by the El Paso. Border Rights Coalition a grassroots human rights advocacy organization working on immigration issues. The attorneys were recognized, along with their clients, a group of students from El Paso’s Bowie High School who recently challenged the Border Patrol for stopping, without just cause, El Paso residents. Attorneys and plaintiffs won a preliminary ruling in the federal court of Judge Lucius Bunton, who ruled that the Border Patrol must have a valid reason, other than Hispanic appearance, to stop and question someone \(See “The Battle El Paso recently established a Border Patrol Accountability Commission. The agency itself has formed a citizen’s panel to help border residents seeking to file complaints. Also recognized by the border rights coalition was Alicia Rey Lambert, who recently was released from a halfway house where she served four months for assaulting four male U.S. Customs agents after she claimed one had harassed her. Lambert refused a plea-bargained offer to pay a fine, insisting that she was innocent, but the only four witnesses who appeared in court were the customs agents; Lambert lost: \(See “Hard Time for version of the incident to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, which was scheduled to hear her testimony on March 8. HIGH-TECH BEAUTY. Five states, including Texas and California, are competing in what the San Jose Mercury News calls the biggest industrial beauty contest in recent memory. Microchip giant Intel Corp. is expected this summer to announce where it will build the most costly microchip factory in North America. The Mercury News reported that Gov. Ann Richards recently visited Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., to see that Texas remains in the running. But the article warned readers that the successful contestant might end up getting “less than it expects”: The project to begin in 1994 or 1995 will ultimately cost over $1 billion, but the money will be spent over five years, with only “a Spartan, $80 million shell” being constructed at first. At least $700 million will be spent on chip-making equipment, much of which could be purchased in other states. And, the Mercury News noted, today’s micro-chip plants employ relatively small workforces. The “fab” as the new Intel plant is called, is expected to employ 1,000 workers, compared to 3,000 to 5,000 at a modern auto assembly plant. Recent research has raised even more questions about the workplace hazards associated with the micro-chip industry. A University of California Davis study identified an increased incidence of miscarriage in women working in semiconductor manufacturing. Glycol ethers used in the chip-making process are believed to be the cause. On the other hand, Intel will provide a $40 million annual payroll and with its history of reinvestment might be inclined to renovate the plant when it becomes obsolete, which 20 MARCH 12, 1993
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