POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE &KAY PASO? As a state representative in April 1975, Kay Bailey Hutchison was one of only 16 House members who voted against printing ballots in English and Spanish. A spokesman for Hutchison, who is now a U.S. Senator, told the Houston Post, “It was a good vote then. She’d probably vote differently now.” But Carlos Guerra of the San Antonio Express -News reported that when Hutchison was state treasurer memos were issued instructing staffers not to speak Spanish in the office. Hutchison’ s spokesman said the memos were aimed at cutting down personal calls, but Guerra wrote that Sylvia Hernandez-Maddox, the staffer who was the target of a Feb. 10, 1993, memo instructing the treasury staff to speak English, said calls were routed to her because she spoke Spanish; she added that a month earlier employees in another division of the treasury got the same orders to refrain from Spanish. Another staffer later complained that she had received a call from a woman who asked for Hernandez-Maddox and another from “a man with a VERY HEAVY Spanish accent \(I could hardly unfive days after Hutchison, who had taken a Spanish course, replied to a reporter who asked her to speak some Spanish: Nolo contendere, a Latin term meaning “no contest.” Guerra advised, “… if somebody asks for an explanation in Spanish, don’t say ‘no lo contesto.’ That is Spanish for ‘I won’t answer that.’ Just stick to the Fifth Amendment.” SPRINT STUMBLES. The National Labor Relations Board, after a seven-week investigation by board investigators, has charged that Sprint Corp. illegally closed its San Francisco Latino telemarketing operation to thwart a union drive by its workers. The long-distance telephone service closed its La Conexion Familiar office, where it employed 235, and moved the Spanish-language telemarketing operation to Dallas on July 14, just eight days before the San Francisco telemarketers were to vote on union representation. [See “Breaking La Conexion,” TO 9/2/94.] The NLRB on Sept. 16 authorized its general counsel to seek a court order to reopen the California office and reinstate the workers. NLRB investigators found more than 50 separate violations of federal labor law by managers during the organizing campaign, including threats to close the office if workers voted for the union and surveillance and harassment of union supporters. A Sprint corporate vice president in Kansas City also was reported to have falsified documents to bolster Sprint’s claim that the shutdown was for economic reasons. The ‘Communications Workers of America charged in a news release that Sprint fired the La Conexion workers not only to prevent them from becoming the first Sprint office to unionize, but also to spread fear among other Sprint workers. KNOW YOUR ENEMIES. When it came to whom they would rather have on their good side, 10 Republican state senators chose to defy state GOP executives who ordered them not to attend a fund-raiser for Lieut. Gov . Bob Bullock, the Democrat who is expected to have little trouble crushing right-wing Republican “Tex” Lezar. The State Republican Executive Committee was to decide whether to censure the errant senators at its Sept. 24 meeting. Bill Price, who heads Texans United for Life, said the 10 defiant senators had “politically mooned” their party and right-wing Christian leaders are talking about splitting from the GOP to form a third party based on what they consider profamily values. Meanwhile, Bullock, 65, underwent heart bypass surgery Sept. 16 so he would have plenty of time to recover before the next legislative session next January. SENATE SPOILERS. Republican party officials have filed suit in a state appeals court in Tyler to force Curtis Soileau, the Democratic nominee in state Senate District 3, off the November ballot after Democratic party officials named him to replace incumbent Sen. Bill Haley, D-Center, who moved outside the East Texas district to become a lobbyist for the Texas State Trucking Association in Austin. Ironically, Republicans replaced Rep. Ben Campbell on the ballot after the Carrollton Republican recently was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for bank fraud. In the Senate race, Soileau, a lawyer former state House member from Lumberton, would face Drew Nixon, a Carthage Republican who charged that Soileau and his father, former union activist Eldon Soileau, were under investigation by the FBI. That prompted a denial from the FBI’s agent in charge in Beaumont, Ron Kelly, who said the agency simply conducted a background check when the younger Soileau was recommended for U.S. Attorney. GREEN ALERT. Texas Citizen Action’s political action committee is countering the George W. Bush campaign’s property-rights ad campaign with a radio ad of its own. The 60-second ad, which ran in Austin 40 times during the week of Sept. 21 at a cost of $5,000, announces, “Bush is running on a platform so extreme it actually calls for selling off all public landincluding our highways and parks.” The ad is intended to raise money for the production of “a little more Bubba-oriented” ads for other markets, such as the rural areas that the Bush water ads target. Tim Curtis of Texas Citizen Action said Republican strategists, in league with the Texas Farm Bureau, agribusiness and developers, have fabricated the property-rights controversy to district the voters and jeopardize air and water protection for the sake of the election. Although the ad implies support for Gov. Ann Richards, environmental advocates are less enthusiastic about the Democratic incumbent after her recent about-faces on protection of water resources and endangered species. Some environmentalists have indicated that while they plan to vote for Richards they do not expect to work as hard on her behalf as they did in 1990, which could make a difference in a close election. PAX MEXICANA. Three weeks after the August 21 presidential election, one member of Mexican left Democratic Revoarbitrarily detained in Chiapas, in Southern Mexico. According to an Amnesty International, in an Urgent Action Bulletin, Robert Hernandez Paniagua, a schoolteacher and PRD municipal leader, “was shot to death as he was cycling to work in Jaltenango de la Paz.” Amnesty International reports that on the same day, another PRD municipal leader, Enrique Murias, was detained, reportedly by federal judicial police, in Mapastepec, Chiapas. In Mexico City, David Lozano, a student activist, was abducted and tortured on September 2 and released the following day. Rosario Ibarra, a longtime human rights activist and former minority member of the federal Chamber of Deputies, reports that she has been followed by a car and a motorcycle, neither of which had license plates. And the Fray Francisco Vitoria Human Rights Center in Mexico City reports that it has been under surveillance by unidentified persons since denouncing the illegal detention of David Lozano. Amnesty International requests faxes be sent to: Lic. Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Presidente de la Republica, fax 011 525 271 1764; Jorge Carpizo McGregor, Secretaria de Gobernacion, fax 011 525 703 2171; Humberto Benitez Trevilio; Procurador General de la Reptiblica, fax 011 525 626 4430. Copies can also be mailed to the Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos, Periferico Sur 3469, Colonia San Geronimo Lidice, 10200, Mexico DF, and to Jorge Montano, Mexican Ambassador to the United States, 1911 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Wash DC, 20006. Continued on pg. 18 22 SEPTEMgER 30; 1994 .4111.4e… avegye , 111010M.1Ornp!…
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