Continued from pg. 24 would pour his vast personal wealth into the general campaign and he didn’t. I hope he’s back. He’s an easy mark.” REVERSING REAGANOMICS. Rep. Bill Archer, R-Houston, the chair-apparent of the House Ways and Means Committee, denies that the Reagan Administration wrecked domestic oil producers in 1986 by intervening in the world oil market to reduce oil prices but now he wants the government to provide tax breaks to help the domestic oil and gas industry, according to Citizen Action, a Washington-based consumer organization. Edwin S. Rothschild, energy policy director for Citizen Action, noted that Archer has expressed doubts about the U.S. influence over Saudi Arabia’s oil production in 1985-86 to reduce the price of crude oil. Now he wants to finance tax incentives to support oil and gas drilling with a sharp increase in the federal gasoline tax or a national sales tax, Rothschild said. V WHO’S A CHRISTIAN? Dick Weinhold, president of the Texas Christian Coalition, may have given some insight into where Catholics and other mainstream religionists stand in the fundamentalist firmament in recent comments to the Houston Chronicle on the effect of Ann Richards’ speech at the state Democratic convention in June when she warned of the threat of the radical religious right. “Ann Richards’ attack … did more to energize Christian voters and Roman Catholics than anything I could have done,” Weinhold was quoted Nov. 13. V SNAP JUDGMENT. The election of marginally qualified judicial candidates was not a phenomenon limited to the Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals races, where the Republican sweep ushered in judges of questionable merit. In Fort Worth, the only Democrat who won a Tarrant County judicial race beat a write-in candidate. In another Tarrant County race, James Wilson, who according to the Fort Worth Star -Telegram began practicing law in 1989 and has tried only two felony cases and four misdemeanor cases, beat Criminal District Judge Bill Burdock. At least Wilson, who is 38, said he plans to repay his student loan. Service Employees International Union LOCAL 100 BECOME A UNION ORGANIZER Statewide Placement Paul Enlow, 35, who unseated civil Judge Catherine Adamski Gant, describes himself as an anti-abortion activist; the Star -Telegram reported that he had not tried a district court case to completion in 1993. Tarrant County GOP Chairman Steve Hollern said he, too, would not oppose moving to a nonpartisan system for electing judges. In Houston, where straight ticket voting helped sweep Republicans into all but one of the 42 contested races for countywide judgeships, 19 Democratic judges lost their jobs, including civil District Judge Eileen O’Neill, a Democrat who was targeted by anti-abortion activists after she ordered limits on abortion clinic protests during the Republican National Convention in 1992. She lost a rematch with Republican John Devine, an anti-abortion activist. Harris County Republican Party Chairwoman Betsy Lake joined the group seeking alternatives for judicial selection. In Dallas, Republicans controlled 91 administrative and judicial offices, including all but a handful of justice of the peace and constable seats and all but three countylevel offices: Commissioner John Wiley Price, state District Judge John Creuzot and state appeals court Judge Ron Chapman. V OFF COLOR. The election was a disaster for minority judges as well as Democrats across the state. Three black judges were wiped out in Harris County Nov. 8, leaving the county with only two minority judges: an Asian American who was unopposed and a Mekican American whose term has not expired. But while most of the minority judges were Democrats and supposedly fell before the Republican tide, Robert C. Newberry of the Houston Post noted that Mamie Proctor, a black woman, was the only Republican to lose an appellate court race. “After Proctor’s predicament, is there any wonder why blacks and other minorities want Harris County judges elected by districts? The way this race went reinforces the beliefs of many minorities that it is virtually impossible to get a black person elected to a judgeship,” Newberry wrote. In Dallas, the Republican sweep resulted in the loss of one minority judge, Lena Levario, a Richards appointee, leaving five minorities on the Dallas County judicial bench. V BEXAR GOES GOP. In San Antonio, Republicans gained control of the Bexar County Commissioners Court for the first time in more than a century, the county clerk’s office, took five of nine contested district judicial seats, three of five contested county court-at-law benches and two of six seats on the Fourth Court of Appeals. However, while the Republicans were sweeping county races, environmentalists who support limits on groundwater pumping won two contested seats on the Ed wards Underground Water District. Walter Barfield, a civil engineer and former Bexar Audubon Society president, won in the four-man field with 34 percent of the vote while Susan Hughes, current president of the local Audubon Society, won with 36 percent of the vote against three men. V REHAB DIVERTED. Prison beds earmarked for substance abuse rehabilitation are being converted to more secure cells for higher-risk criminals that are backed up in county jails, the Austin American -Statesman reported. While the state prison population was topping 100,000 prison officials said half of the 12,000 beds authorized for intensive substance abuse treatment are being “enhanced” with extra security measures at a cost of as much as $6 million to hold other convicts. A prison official said the conversion would save the state millions of dollars in reimbursement to counties that are holding state felons. Substance-abuse project would have to be phased in anyway and in September, a study projected that only 7,200 rehab beds would be needed by 1996. V RIGHT STUFF. Winning candidates in Texas who were aligned with the Religious Right, as identified in a report by People For the American Way, included Gov.-elect George W. Bush; U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; in Congressional races Jim Chapman, D-Sulphur Springs; Sam Johnson, R-Dallas; Joe Barton, R-Ennis; Bill Archer, R-Houston; Jack Fields, RHumble; challenger Steve Stockman, RFriendswood; Kika De La Garza, DMcAllen; Tom DeLay, R-Houston; Dick Armey, R-Lewisville; state Sen. Jane Nelson; and state Rep. Bob Turner, D-Voss. Religious Right candidates also won a majority on the State Board of Education, which threatens the state’s participation in a controversial program establishing national education goals as well as the continuation of the state’s central education agency. Donna Ballard of the Woodlands, Randy Stevenson of Tyler and Richard Watson of Gorman, all Republicans, won with Religious Right backing and give the GOP a one-vote majority on the 15-member board, which sets policies for the Texas Education Agency, reviews textbooks for the 1,048 school districts in the state and recommends the state education commissioner to the governor. The future of State Education Commissioner Lionel “Skip” Meno, whose term expires in March, hangs in the balance. The Houston Chronicle quoted Republican board member Robert H. Offutt of San Antonio saying he is not sure Meno, as a professional educator, can conform to Bush’s education plan but Jack Christie, a GOP board member from Houston, said he would “without hesitation” recommend to Bush that Meno continue to head the TEA. 22 NOVEMBER 25, 1994 ineeropow+A.V.**..
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.