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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE V GOV WATCH. Campaigns & Elections, a magazine for political consultants, has predicted that Republican George W. “Junior” Bush will beat Gov. Ann Richards next year. But who had the better week? Richards was credited with swinging several wavering Democratic senators onto the side of the Superconducting Super Collider as the U.S. Senate kept hopes alive for the controversial $11 billion science project by voting 57-42 to provide $640 million next year. Its fate now rests in the House-Senate conference committee. A federal court jury in Austin also rejected claims by three Republican former employees of the Texas Commerce Department that a housecleaning of the troubled agency in early 1991 was apolitical purge \(See Politics aging general partner for the Texas Rangers baseball team earned raspberries and brickbats from baseball fans when he announced the name for the new ballpark in Arlington will be … The Ballpark in Arlington. A poll conducted for the Dallas Morning News andHouston Chronicle found 59 percent of Texans surveyed approved of Richards while 25 percent disapprove of her performance. Bush was viewed favorably by 47 percent and unfavorably by 31 percent. State Democratic Executive Director Ed Martin said confidently of Bush: “Before it’s over, he’s going to be as torn up as Nolan Ryan’s ligament.” But on Oct. 2 it was Richards who was laid up with a sprained ankle after she stumbled on her morning walk around Town Lake. V OF POTENTIAL CHALLENGERS for the U.S. Senate, Jim Mattox, the former attorney general who had his own run-in with Ronnie Earle, was viewed favorably by 24 percent and unfavorably by 36 percent, while Richard Fisher, a Perotista Democrat who was also-ran in the special election, was unknown by 74 percent. Of those who knew of him, 13 percent were favorable and 12 percent were unfavorable. V LAWSUIT REBUKE. Public interest groups are rallying to the defense of Larry R. Daves, a San Antonio lawyer whose representation of employees laid off from the Levi-Strauss & Co. plant in San Antonio got him a $300,000 fine for filing what a federal magistrate ruled was a frivolous lawsuit. Daves, a rioted civil rights attorney, represented a group of female Mexican-American workers who alleged the April 1990 plant closing adversely affected opportunities of Hispanic woman and that Levi-Strauss discriminated against Mexican Americans by hiring nonHispanics for management positions, Texas Lawyer reported. U.S. District Judge H.F. “Hippo” Garcia, on the recommendation of Magistrate Robert B. O’Connor, granted a summary judgment favoring Levi Strauss on April 20. O’Connor later granted Matthews & Branscomb’s motion for sanctions against Daves. Groups such as the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Texas AFL-CIO have written the court in support of Daves. The groups complain that the use of sanctions has intimidated attorneys from taking civil rights and labor cases, Mark Ballard wrote in Texas Lawyer. “When the word gets around that someone with Larry Daves’ reputation gets sanctioned, then no one will want to take these cases anymore,” the magazine quoted MALDEF legal director E. Richard Larson of Los Angeles. Garcia was expected to decide the case in early October. V DON’T ASK, DON’T SERVE. The Pentagon is stalling implementation of President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” compromise on gay and lesbian enlistment in the military after the U.S. House of Representatives with a 301-134 vote on Sept. 28 approved a tougher policy, already passed in the Senate, that discourages homosexual enlistment in the military, branding it an “unacceptable risk” to morale. According to the Associated Press, the Congressional policy ignores the major tenets of Clinton’s compromise that sexual orientation is not a bar to service, an end to witch hunts to ferret out gays and even-handed enforcement of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for homosexual and heterosexual members and allows future defense secretaries to reinstate the practice of questioning recruits about their sexual orientation. Texans who opposed the policy, all Democrats, were John Bryant, Dallas; Henry B. Gonzalez, San Antonio; Eddie Bernice Johnson, Dallas; Jake Pickle, Austin; and Craig Washington, Houston. V DEMOCRACY OR DEMAGOGY? The U.S. House by a 384-40 vote on Sept. 28 changed a rule that for 63 years had allowed House leaders to keep secret petitions to force bills out of committees and onto the House floor. House rules allow a majority of mem bers to spring a bill which had been bottled up in committee by signing a petition, but the identities of the petition signers was kept secret until the majority was reached, allowing some members to claim they supported the discharge petition when they did not. Ross Perot and talk-show hosts had clamored for the change, which Rep. Jim Inhofe, ROklahoma, hailed as “a great victory for American democracy,” but the Democratic leadership denounced the change. House Speaker Tom Foley said it would strengthen powerful lobbies who are able to bring pressure on lawmakers and it would undermine deliberation and compromise on important legislation by forcing controversial bills onto the floor for up-or-down votes. Texas Democrats who opposed the rule change were Jack Brooks, Beaumont; Henry B. Gonzalez, San Antonio; Jake Pickle, Austin; and Craig Washington, Houston. V BIAS BANBLOCKED. Insurance companies won the first round of a legal fight over a new consumer bill of rights when state District Judge Pete Lowry temporarily stopped the enforcement of new rules that would prohibit insurers from “redlining,” or setting rates that discriminate on the basis of race, national origin or geographic location. Insurance spokesmen said the rule, which was adopted by the State Board of Insurance shortly before it lost much of its authority on Sept. 1, was vaguely worded and would invite lawsuits. Lowry refused to block three other rules prohibiting blacklisting of applicants who were rejected by other companies; preventing limits on a family’s insurance when a child reaches driving age; and preventing insurers firm requiring a motorist to buy insurance on other vehicles or other lines of insurance in order to obtain a policy. V LABOR LOOKING.United Auto Workers are tuning Bill Clinton out while H. Ross Perot is in, the Detroit Free Press found when it conducted a poll among the union’s members in early September. The newspaper found that UAW members backed George Bush over Democrat Mike Dukakis by 64 to 36 percent in 1988. Last year UAW members went 58 percent for Clinton, 27 percent for Perot and 15 percent for Bush. But this year in a three-way race between a Democrat, a Republican and “an independent like Ross Perot,” 50 percent of the union members would support Perot, 36 percent the Democrat and 14 percent the Republican, as In These Times reported. 24 OCTOBER 15, 1993