PEOPLE Make a world of difference ! We’re proud of our employees and their contributions to your success and ours. Call us for quality printing, binding, mailing and data processing services. Get to know the people at Futura. FUTUM P.O. Box 17427 Austin, TX 78760.7427 389-1500 COMMUNICATIONS. INC. Continued from pg. 24 nanny problems. Democratic challenger Rolando Rios had been hammering Bonilla’s opposition to Democratic initiatives such as the earned income tax credit and the crime bill, but Bonilla’s nannygate got the attention of radio talk show hosts. LINING UP. It’s not to early to worry about the forces that will be arrayed against the commonweal during the next Legislature. Eighteen agencies are up for Sunset review, including the Public Utility Commission, whose reauthorization was put off two years ago when the last Legislature was unable to come to terms; workers’ compensation, always a mess of conflicting interests; the Racing Commission and Equine Research Account Advisory Committee; the Texas Department of Agriculture and affiliated boards; the Office of State-Federal Relations; five agencies relating to historical preservation and the arts, including the Antiquities Committee, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Historical Commission, the Library. and Archives Commission and the Preservation Board; and other agencies added by the 73rd Lege, including the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the Teachers Retirement System as well as the PUC and Office of Public Utility Counsel. The utility review is likely to include a battle over deregulation of electrical generating and distribution, as Destec Energy Inc., a Houston-based wholesale generator, is seeking the opportunity to supply electricity to industrial and commercial users. Telephone companies also are pushing for deregulation that would allow them to get into interactive technology, while potentially competing communications companies such as longdistance carriers and cable TV companies have allied with Consumers Union and the Office of Public Utility Counsel to submit an alternative plan. Casino interests, clearly hoping to grease the skids in next year’s legislative session for a bill to legalize casino gambling, gave Lieut. Gov . Bob Bullock another $57,500 from July through September, bringing Bullock’s take from gambling interests to more than $200,000 this past year, the Fort Worth Star -Telegram reported. Bullock, who presides over the Senate, has said he is personally opposed to casino gambling but he would not hinder a measure. Juvenile crime is likely to come up for a rewrite as law-and-order advocates seek to reduce the age at which juveniles can be tried as adults. The state’s banks will be pushing for a review of the ban on home-equity loans; the prison-industrial complex will be pushing for more lockups; and land developers will be promoting “property-rights” legislation to limit environmental protection; and business interests will pursue more limits on liability in the courts. FUNNY MAN. In three years with the Attorney General’s office, Drew Durham has risen to chief of the criminal justice division and death-penalty litigation. He also has a history of racist and sexist comments, according to a report by Robert Elder Jr. in the Oct. 31 Texas Lawyer. Former Travis County Commissioner Jimmy Snell, who worked for Durham in the AG’s intergovernmental affairs division, said Durham, a former West Texas prosecutor, routinely told “nigger jokes,” while former consumer protection chief Joe K. Crews said it was common knowledge within that agency that Durham “has a problem on racial issues and on gender issues.” Ray Buvia, who quit the AG’s office March 31, said Durham referred to a black lawyer as “our newest Sambo” and bragged that he had told Morales, “Where I come from Mexicans work for white men, not the other way around,” although Buvia doubted Durham had told Morales any such thing. Buvia said Morales looked upon Durham as a political asset because he “can go out and help him get the good-old-boy vote.” WISE ABUSE. Neighbors of the Gibraltar Chemical Resources Inc. hazardous waste disposal plant in Winona, after hearing conservatives complain about federal regulations encroaching on their property rights, issued a press release wondering when state and federal authorities were going to stop polluters from “taking” the use of neighbors’ property without consent or compensation. “We’ve heard about property owners whose rights could be abridged by efforts to protect an endangered songbird,” said Phyllis Glazer, president of Mothers Organized to Stop Environmental in Winona, many of them people of color whose families have farmed here for generations, whose land and very lives already have been severely impacted by Gibraltar Chemical Resources Inc.” Since state and federal authorities have allowed plants such as Gibraltar’s to operate with lax enforcement, she said, neighbors’ property values have dropped and air and groundwater pollution has caused health problems. Glazer also recently was notified that the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that jurisdiction exists to process a complaint from MOSES that the state’s regulation of Gibraltar has the effect, if not the purpose, of discriminating against African-American members of MOSES. PEOPLE’S CHOICE. In a Texas Poll conducted the second week of October and released Oct. 31, 51 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal, 39 percent said it should not, 8 percent were unsure and 2 percent did not answer. The poll has a statistical margin of error of 3 percentage points. Gov . Richards supports , abortion rights while George W. Bush would allow abortion only in cases of rape or incest or to save a woman’s life. The results mirrored a September poll in which 52 percent of respondents labeled themselves “pro-choice.” The Texas Abortion Rights Action League PAC endorsed Richards, Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, Attorney General Dan Morales, Treasurer Martha Whitehead, Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, Railroad Commissioner Mary Scott Nabers, Betty Marshall for the Court of Criminal Appeals and Alice Oliver Parrott and Jimmy Carroll for the Texas Supreme Court. TWO GIANTS PASS. Journalism on the left lost two giants this past week with the deaths of Andrew Kopkind, associate editor and senior political writer for The Nation, on Oct. 23 and Erwin Knoll, editor of The Progressive, Nov. 1. Kopkind, who was 59, was, in the words of Alexander Cockburn, “the best radical reporter and writer of his time.” Knoll, who was 63, was remembered by Progressive publisher Matthew Rothschild as “a pugnacious pacifist.” Both were longtime friends of the Observer. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19
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