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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE BALLOT BURBLES. Bush, son of the former president, has pushed aside the other potential rivals for the Republican nomination, clearing the way for a challenge of Democratic Gov. Ann Richards. Houston businessman Rob Mosbacher bowed out after a closed-door meeting with Bush while Tom Luce, counselor to H. Ross Perot, said he also would not challenge Bush, the 47-year-old managing partner of the Texas Rangers baseball club. Bush’s brother, Jeb, is an announced candidate for governor of Florida. \(No word on said Bush will have to spend $10 million to $15 million to have a chance against Richards. Luce said he might get in line on the Republican side to challenge Dan Morales. Despite some dissatisfaction with Morales, no Democratic rivals have emerged, although Jim Mattox said he has been approached; he’s not interested in a comeback as attorney general. Other Republicans said to be interested include district judges John Marshall of Dallas and Don Wittig and Pat Lykos of Houston, Dallas lawyers Tom Pauken and Texas Lezar and Austin lawyer Hector De Leon. Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Democratic Treasurer Martha Whitehead will defend their seats. Republican Carole Keeton Rylander is preparing to challenge Democratic Railroad Commissioner Lynn Nabers. Democratic Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, who kicked off his re-election campaign with “a mailing going out this week to 20,000 of my closest friends,” Mauro told Ross Ramsey of the Houston Chronicle. No Democrat has shown although state Rep. Robert Eckels, R-Houston, has announced he will run. Also mentioned as a candidate is Republican Marta Greytolc, until recently the dour doyenne of the Public Utilities Commission, whose outbursts at fellow commissioners and at members of the press who could never seem to get the story right, resulted in videotaping of all commission meetings. Judge Michael J. Westergren of the 214th District Court in Corpus Christi has announced his plans to run for the Texas Supreme Court against Nathan Hecht, a Republican. Westergren, a Democrat, has been a district judge nearly 10 years. Blandina “Bambi” Cardenas Ramirez, former member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission from San Antonio, is thinking about running as a Democrat for the 23rd Congressional District, now held by Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla of San Antonio. Bonilla, with an assist from the U.S. Department of Justice under George Bush, unseated Democrat Albert Bustamante in 1992. In Texas Senate notes, Carl Parker of Port Arthur has decided to run again and Ike Harris of Dallas has decided to hang it up after 30 years. Parker, a labor-oriented liberal and a colorful orator, had long complained that Senate duties have intruded on his law practice as well as his personal life, but trial lawyers and other progressives, including Gov. Richards, persuaded him that this was not the time for him to leave. Harris, a business-oriented conservative, would have been matched against fellow Republican Florence Shapiro of Plano. In redrawn District 2, Rep. Keith Oakley, DTerrell, announced he will not run after all, after Rep. David Cain, D-Dallas, announced his candidacy for the seat. The Austin AmericanStatesman quoted Oakley saying he had announced early to try to “deter any wellfinanced opponent such as David Cain from entering the race. However … this strategy did not work.” Oakley said he would support Cain. Both are moderate Democrats. Another potential candidate in that district, former Sen. Ted Lyon, D-Rockwall, said he will not run and hosted Cain at his annual dove hunt. INSURANCE COP WANTED. Gov . Richards got the insurance industry’s attention when her office disclosed that J. Robert Hunter of the National Insurance Consumers Organization and one of the nation’s leading advocates for insurance consumers had met with Richards about the job of insurance commissioner to replace the State Board of Insurance. Hunter was not interested in the post, but the State Board of Insurance reportedly received 128 applications for the post, which pays as much as $150,000 a year. The board will recommend several applicants to the governor, who is expected to make her choice by midNovember. In the meantime, Edna Ramon Butts, an assistant attorney general, will serve as the interim insurance commissioner. ASK ME NO QUESTIONS… The Public Utility Commission is scheduled to vote Sept. 15 on whether to limit the number of inquiries by intervenors in telephone and electric company cases. In an effort to speed up rate cases, the agency’s staff has recommended limits of 500 interrogatories in rate cases and 250 in power plant approval cases. Consumer representatives sometimes ask thousands of questions in the complicated rate cases, which may involve trailer loads of documents generated by the utilities over several months and involving hundreds of millions of dollars in potential revenue for the utilities. Gov . Richards recently named economist Sarah Goodfriend to the threemember commission. She had been in charge of the PUC’s division of economic and regulatory policy. Gay and lesbian advocates also applauded the fact that she is a lesbian. COALITION POLITICS. Gov . Richards’ appointment of Joe Krier, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce president, a prominent Republican, to the Higher Education Coordinating Board had some Democrats scratching their heads, but Rick Casey of the San Antonio Express-News reports that local politicos figure she is trying to reach out to the business community and neutralize the potential support of ‘Crier’s wife, County Judge Cyndi Krier, also of the VNEW ALIEN NUMBERS. A new federal report estimates 3.2 million undocumented aliens in the United States, 20 percent less than the four million used by nativists spreading alarm about uncontrolled immigration. California had 40 percent, or 1,275,000, the Immigration and Naturalization Service reported, followed by New York with 485,000, Florida with 345,000 and Texas with 320,000. Mexicans accounted for 172,000 of the undocumented aliens in Texas, followed by Salvadorans, 53,000; Hondurans, 11,000; Canadians, 9,500; and Guatemalans, 7,7000. INS processed over 100 million records on non-immigrant visitors, examining the settlement patterns of persons legalized by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, census data and apprehension data of persons entering without inspection. FAMILY VALUES. Austin City Council has given the state’s fundamentalist preachers a new demon to fulminate against after the council extended health insurance coverage to domestic partners of city employees, which some view as a thinly veiled attempt to legitimize homosexual liaisons. A dozen other cities nationwide have similar plans, but it is a first for Texas. 24 SEPTEMBER 17, 1993