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Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE V PAUKEN TALKIN’. Tom Pauken, the new chairman of the Texas Republican Party, has been making the rounds of the state touting the GOP as the new home for Hispanic voters, but diligent readers may recall that Pauken, as the Reagan Administration’s director of ACTION, on at least two occasions attempted to discredit organizations affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation. The TO of April 6, 1984 reported that Pauken made his first attack against the grassroots organizations at a business luncheon in El Paso in June 1982, with charges about the then-fledgling El Paso Interrelisingling out its organizer, Robert Rivera, for criticism. At that time, certain groups opposing EPISO were trying to generate community sentiment against the organization. After a December 1983 freeze devastated the Rio Grande Valley’s citrus industry, Valley Interfaith requested .a $66.7 million federal public works project to provide jobs for more than 18,000 workers. Pauken flew into the Valley in March 1984 to remind the workers about the Reagan Administration’s preference for “private sector voluntarism.” Instead of a jobs program, Pauken announced the government would set up 12 food pantries and he went on to attack “Alinsky-style” organizations such as Valley Interfaith, and singled out Interfaith or’ ganizer Jim Drake for criticism because he was not a Texas native but presumed to speak for Valley residents. Echoing a line he used two years earlier in El Paso, Pauken alleged that such organizations were “parachuting in volunteers into communities” and using “threats” and “manipulating” to achieve “hidden agendas.” At the time of Pauken’ s Harlingen tirade, Valley Interfaith, like EPISO, already had established working relationships with Democratic and Republican officials, including John ToWer, whose aide distanced the Republican senator from Pauken. Ernesto Cortes Jr., then director for the Texas Interfaith Network, said the Valley group had merely given the administration “the opportunity to demonstrate compassion, sensitivity and reasonableness. We’re not asking for assistance; we’re asking for picks and shovels. Instead, we get political scorpions.” Texas Catholic bishops, led by then-Bishop John Fitzpatrick of Brownsville, sent a telegram to President Reagan urging him to work with the Interfaith group on its jobs proposal. They got nowhere, Cortes said. “The real shame is that what we had proposed was exactly what the Bush Administration did in Florida in creating jobs to clean up after the hurricane there. Because of his ideological bias, Pauken was not willing to look at the sort of program that another Republican president later used,” Cortes said recently. State Rep. Mario Gallegos of Houston called Pauken’s current effort “an electionyear charade and a cynical attempt to confuse voters about what the Republican Party stands for” after the state GOP convention recently adopted a platform that opposes such things as government-run early childhood development programs, bilingual education and minimum wages. ‘The last time Mr. Pauken reached out to Hispanics, he slapped us in the face,” Gallegos said. “It’s been a decade, but we haven’t forgotten that fiasco.” V MONEY FLOWS. With midsummer campaign finance reports in, Ann Richards and George W. Bush appear nearly evenly matched in the race for governor. Incumbent Democrat Richards reported $5 million in cash on hand June 30 while Republican Bush had $4.5 million. Since July 1991 Richards has raised $12 million and spent $6.7 million while Bush raised $7.4 million and spent $2.6 million. In the Senate race, Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has paid off $1 million in legal bills from her acquittal on ethics charges and she had $2.3 million in cash left for the campaign as of June 30. Her Democratic rival, Richard Fisher, had only $100,000, but he still has his checkbook. Also, while Fisher has said he would not accept PAC money, he apparently doesn’t mind if the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee gets PAC contributions on his behalf. V LOAN WOLF. Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, D-San Antonio and chairman of the House banking committee, may have done a double favor for Texas consumers when he won conference committee approval of the amendment to include the Texas homestead protection in a broader interstate banking bill, which would do away with the last few hurdles to consolidation of the state’s banking industry into a few interstate banks. But Sen. Phil Gramm, friend of the Texas Bankers Association, which sees a $5 billion-a-year industry in home-equity loans, threatened to kill the interstate banking bill on the Senate floor after Gonzalez acted to protect the state’s 155-year-old ban on home equity loans. Builders, real estate agents, farmers, labor and consumers groups support the homestead protection and independent bankers who would welcome home-equity lending wouldn’t mind if the interstate banking bill were scuttled. V GOP BLOC HOLDS COURT. Four conservative Republican justices have managed to control the Texas Supreme Court with the help of conservative Democrats, Walt Borges wrote in the July 25 Texas Lawyer. Democrats Raul Gonzalez and Jack Hightower agreed with the Republicans more often than they did with fellow Democrats, Borges found in a study of voting patterns on the court between January 1993 and June 1994. All four Republicans agreed in 80 percent of the cases while Democrats Lloyd Doggett and Bob Gammage formed a liberal bloc, agreeing 86 percent of the time. Gonzalez, Hightower and Rose Spector generally were the swing votes, but Gonzalez averaged 69 percent agreement with each Republican justice, compared with 53 percent with each Democratic colleague, and Hightower averaged 68 percent agreement with Republican and 59 percent agreement with Democrats. Spector, who voted with the liberals more often than the conservatives, said justices in the minority were more likely to trade a vote in exchange for mitigating language in the opinion. V VOTING RIGHTS & LEFTS. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips has in common with Lath Guinier an appreciation of cumulative voting as a way to increase minorities in the judiciary. Guinier, a Pennsylvania law school professor, was briefly President Clinton’s choice for a civil rights post before Republican senators informed Clinton that Guinier actually had advocated, in print, expanding minority voting rights by such means as cumulative voting, in which voters could cast more than one vote for the same candidate in multi-seat elections. After minority plaintiffs ,suing in federal courts under the Voting Rights Act failed earlier this year to force the state to subdivide its countywide district courts, Phillips, a Republican, proposed to elect trial judges by the cumulative process, which would allow a minority bloc to elect a favored candidate. 24 AUGUST 5, 1994