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Postmaster: if undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE SENATE RUNOFF. Jim Mattox picked up endorsements of former Sen. Ralph W. Yarborough, who said Mattox “will do to ride the river with,” eight Democratic members of Congress and a farmers’ and ranchers’ coalition as Mattox pledged to work to ease problems the North American Free Trade Agreement may cause. them. He also promised to push for improved access to health care in rural areas. The Austin American-Statesman quoted Richard Fisher’s campaign manager saying NAFTA would have negligible effects on Texas agriculture and might help the industry with better roads through Texas, although Wes Simms, a Big Springs farmer, predicted that as many as half of Texas family farmers could be ruined if Congress does not act next year to offset effects on farmers from free trade. Meanwhile, Mattox brandished a copy of a $1,000 check signed by Fisher to George Bush’s 1992 campaign. Fisher, who has acknowledged contributing to Republican campaigns,’ said the contribution, which was meant to be from his wife, was later reimbursed. AGINNERS. Nearly 100 Republicansout of 535 U.S. Senators and members of Congressvoted against virtually every piece of major federal legislation in 1993. “They voted ‘no’ on Family and Medical Leave, ‘no’ on Motor Voter, ‘no’ on the President’s Budget, ‘no’ on the Brady Bill and ‘no’ to National Service,” the Democratic National Committee observed. Among were Texans Sen. Phil Gramm and Reps. Dick Armey of Dallas, Henry Bonilla of San Antonio, Larry Combest of Lubbock, Tom DeLay of Sugar Land and Sam Johnson of Dallas. Houston suburban Republican Reps. Jack Fields and Billy Archer must have been mightily chagrined at their exclusion from the DNC’ s Shame List. WHAT RECOVERY? Democratic National Committee Chairman David Wilhelm and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Vic Fazio in an early March presented the Chicken Little Awards, given to those sky-is-falling Republicans whose economic predictions during 1993 were so dire that the recovery therefore cannot possibly be happening. Among the Top Ten Most Outrageous Predictions by Re publicans About the President’s Economic Plan were statements by Rep. Henry Bonilla, who ranked fourth with his May 26, 1993, statement on the MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour that the President’s budget was “going to take a tremendous amount of money out of the hands of the working people and the small businesses in this country and put it into big government, and I don’t think that’s what we need right now,” and Sen. Phil Gramm, who ranked second with his remark in the Aug. 5, 1993, Congressional Record: “We are buying a one-way ticket into a recession.” \(The Number-One Chicken Little statement was by Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio, who said on CNN August 28, 1993, “This plan will not work. If it was to work, then I’d have to become a Democrat and believe that more taxes V TAKING SIDES. State GOP leaders took the unusual stop of endorsing Bobby Ortiz against Dick Bowen in the April 12 Republican runoff in El Paso for the nomination to challenge Democratic Rep. Ron Coleman. All nine Texas Republican Congressmen endorsed Ortiz and labelled Bowen “an embarrassment to our party.” Bowen in a 1992 primary fight dismissed Henry Bonilla as “the great brown hope of the Republican Party” and “an Oreo with double stuffbrown on the outside and white on the inside.” The El Paso Times noted that Ortiz has started airing .ads noting that on March 8 Bowen attacked affirmative action programs, which is not normally considered far outside mainstream Republican thinking, although Bowen added that laws allowing preferences based on ethnicity could result in sending Jews to the gas chambers. V STRAIGHT TALK AT GOP. State GOP Secretary Diane Rath walked out of a senatorial district convention in San Antonio after being overpowered by Christianright forces. Even in Travis County, conservatives gutted an attempt to fashion a minority report that sought to preserve abortion options and deleted reference to homosexuality. Texas Republican Chairman Fred Meyer, who faces a challenge from hard-right-winger Tom Pauken this June in Fort Worth, rejected the endorsement of the predominantly gay Log Cabin Republicans. Meyer said he opposes “any attempts to present homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle.” POLICING THE STATS. Gov . Ann Richards was proud to report the state’s major crime ratethe rate of crimes per 100,000 populationwas down 8.8 percent over the past year, while the actual number of crimes reported also fell by 6.8 percent and the crime rate has fallen two years in a row to the lowest rate in almost a decade. Richards credited reductions in paroles and a doubling of prison space \(which has led to the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world, according to Texas Citizens, but Republican challenger George W. “Junior” Bush was not about to let a drop in the crime rate get in the way of his demagogery. His spokeswoman, Debra B. Wade, noted that the actual number of violent crimes was still up 6 percent since 1990, while juvenile crime was up 52 percent. V GUN DELAYS. Some police grumbled about the extra work and gun buyers had to wait five days before they could lay hands on their new pistol, but in the first two weeks after the Brady Bill took effect on Feb. 28, Houston police ran checks on 1,306 gun purchasers and rejected 150, mainly for criminal records or outstanding warrants, the Associated Press reported. Despite criticism that criminals would not try to buy a gun in a store, Dallas police refused 95 of 1,286 applications in two weeks while San Antonio tossed out 31 of 849 applications. V POWER SLAM. When U.S. Rep. Barney Frank sent up an amendment to trim $2.5 billion from President Clinton’s military budget as a test of liberal muscle in the House, U.S. Rep. John Bryant, D-Dallas, was the only Texan who joined Frank and 103 others who would rein in post-Cold-War military budgets. According to The Nation, Frank saw the amendment as pivotal in efforts to change spending patterns after Clinton proposed to increase military spending by $11.7 billion over the next five years from the current annual budget of $260 billion. The White House lobbied heavily against the amendment, which was slammed on a 313105 vote. 24 APRIL 8, 1994