Looking for Kay BY JAMES CULLEN HIGH-RISEN TEXAS LAW FIRMS, long a bastion of male gentility, saw little to recommend Kay Bailey, a newly minted University of Texas law-school graduate in 1967, when she made the rounds looking for a job. The rebuff turned the LaMarque native, a former UT cheerleader, to TV reporting, which, if not quite a respectable occupation for a young lady, at least allowed her to meet respectable people. After four years of covering Houston politics and the Legislature for KPRC Channel 2, she became press secretary to Anne Armstrong, a Texan who was then co-chair of the Republican National Committee. After six months, Bailey returned to Houston in 1972 to run for a redistricted Republican seat in the state House of Representatives. After two terms she got an appointment to the National Transportation Safety Board in President Gerald Ford’s Administration, quitting in 1978 to marry former state Republican Chairman Ray Hutchison. She lost a 1982 race for U.S. Congress in North Dallas. While she now depicts herself as a political outsider, she has been the beneficiary of high-level Republicans at the state and national level who helped her win election as state Treasurer in 1990 and now have taken her to the door of the U.S. Senate. \(We trust that Observer readers are familiar with the career of Bob Krueger from his campaigns for the Senate in 1978 and 1984 and our editorials in the 1/15/93 and 1/29/93 issues, following his appointment to the Senate rowing up in LaMarque, a blue-col lar community in mainland Galveston County, Hutchison told the Dallas Morning News in 1991, she aspired to be a middle-class homemaker like her mother. At UT, she majored in governnment, joined a sorority and was a member of the cheerleading squad before she switched to prelaw, she said, “because I didn’t find someone to marry when I was in college.” She was one of only seven women in the class of 236 that graduated in June 1967, according to the News. \(Hutchison admitted in February that she only completed her bachelor’s degree requirements in May 1992 after completing with a tutor in her spare time a Spanish course she lacked. Asked to demonstrate some Spanish, she replied with the Latin phrase, Once in law school, she said, she grew to love the law and the challenge of learning. She worked for a Galveston law firm about a year but when she interviewed with larger firms in Houston, she said, all she heard were questions about what would happen when she married and had a baby. After months of interviews led nowhere, she decided that being a news reporter “might be interesting.” With neither experience, rsum nor video clips, she applied for a job and was hired for the courthouse and political beat for radio and TV. In 1971 she was assigned to interview Armstrong after her election as cochair of the Republican National Committee. Impressed by the young reporter, Armstrong hired Bailey as her press secretary. After six months, Bailey in 1972 returned to Texas to run for the Legislature from a new Republican district in the West UniversityBellaire area of Houston. During two terms as a, legislator she hewed to a generally conservative line, the Houston Chronicle reported, as she promoted better treatment of rape victims and credit rights for women but favored silent prayer in school, term limits on the governor and restoration of the death penalty. In 1975 she voted against killing an amendment to allow use of Medicaid funds for abortions, but she opposed abortion rights on all other occasions and voted to make 21 the age of consent for an abortion. She was appointed by Gerald Ford as vice chair of the National Transportation Safety Board in 1976. After Ford was defeated, she briefly chaired the board, quitting in 1978 to wed Ray Hutchison, a former Texas Republican Party chair who lost the GOP primary for governor later that year to Bill Clements. In 1982 she ran for the North Dallas seat vacated by right-wing Congressman Jim Collins. Although she finished first in the Republican primary, she was beaten by Steve Bartlett in the runoff after a bitter campaign, Hutchison has served as senior vice president and general counsel of RepublicBank Corp. and served on the board of directors of Capstead Mortgage Corp. She also owned McCraw Candies Inc., was part owner of Fidelity National Bank of Dallas and a partner in Boyd-Levinson Ltd., a furniture sales showroom in Dallas in Houston. When Ann Richards ran for Governor in 1990, Hutchison entered the race for Treasurer. Despite criticism of her promotion of private prisons while her husband was involved in bond issues that financed them and her role in guaranteeing $12 million in bank loans to a relative who later defaulted, she defeated Nikki Van Hightower. In August 1991 Hutchison suggested that Texas house inmates in private prisons two years after her husband’s law firm made $738,000 in the state’s largest prison deal. Republicans raised her profile in August 1992 when she was temporary chair of the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston. She delivered a speech most remembered for her putdown of Ann Richards: “She was born with silver roots in her hair.” Anegations that Hutchison not only occasionally hit or pinched aides who failed to respond quickly enough to her corn rnands, but also expected them to do private tasks for her on public time were floated by allies of Republican Congressman Jack Fields of Houston before the May 1 election. She previously had been criticized for ethics lapses. She joined in the Republican criticism of Land Commissioner Garry Mauro’ s use of state telephones on behalf of Bill Clinton during his Democratic primary campaign last year. “I just think it’s important that you not run a that you not abuse the taxpayers of the state that have elected you to represent them,” she told a TV crew in April 1992, according to’ the Houston Post. Three weeks later the Post reported that David Criss, the treasury’s director of policy and planning, had used the state computer to keep fund-raising records and thank-you letters to major campaign contributors. Hutchison later acknowledged the mistake and reimbursed the state for the use of treasury equipment and employee time. She also reportedly threatened to sue the Post in April 1992 before it publicized her acceptance of contributions from lottery related interests, including $1,000 from the political arm of the Texas Commerce Bank, which was approved to handle collections for the lottery, and $2,500 from lottery-related interests, including a former lobbyist for a lottery ticket printer and board members of corporations that own stores that sold lottery tickets. State law makes it a misdemeanor for the state treasurer to knowingly accept political contributions from anyone with a “significant financial interest in the lottery.” Hutchison complained that Lieut. Gov . Bob Bullock had ordered lawmakers to place her office under the contribution restrictions, that State Comptroller John Sharp had failed to provide her a list of lottery business bidders and that lottery lobbyist Ben Barnes, on Sharp’s behalf, was trying to do away with lottery-related campaign contribution restrictions. Hutchison also waived the bid process and awarded a $300 million borrowing program to Goldman Sachs Co., whose executives had contributed at least $29,000 to her campaign Continued on page 21 8 JUNE 4, 1993
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.