Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 307 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701 POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE LIBERTARIAN LITE GOV. A constituent who wrote to Lieut. Gov . Bob Bullock to make her case against one of several “right-to-carry” concealed weapons bills moving through the Legislature was surprised by Bullock’s response. It wasn’t just Bullock’s argument”I support the right to carry because I have personal safety concerns, like single parents working nights in high crime areas to support their family…”that concerned the correspondent. Enclosed with the Lite Governor’s letter was an 80 -page study: “Shall Issue”: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws. The study is published by the Independence Institute of Golden, Colo. When contacted, David Kopel, the co-author of the study, described the institute as “a non-profit, freemarket think tank for educational choice, the right to bear arms, and civil liberties in general.” Kopel said the Independence Institute is “like the Heritage Foundation,” the Washington-based Republican thinktank that did much of the thinking for the Reagan Revolution. When asked if the institute was funded by the Adolph Coors Co., the Golden, Colo., brewer that gave us James Watt and the antienvironmental Wise Use Movement, Kopel said that he doesn’t know how much funding Coors currently provides the institute. But Coors, Kopel said, was very helpful in “getting the institute started.” Asked about the foundation, a Colorado ACLU member characterized its thinkers as “gun nuts.” V BAD GRAMMAR, SAD EXILE. Wall Street Journal editor Robert Bartley reached a long way, misplaced a prepositional phrase, and still came up short in a mid-April attempt to rehabilitate former Mexican President Carlos Salinaswho serves on the board of Dow Jones, which owns the Journal.. “Mexicans rip out the still-beating heart of the man who occupied the peak of the Aztec pyramid with an obsidian knife,” Bartley wrote, quoting a California-based Mexico thinktanker. Some would argue that Salinas used a club rather than an obsidian knife during the six years he spent at the top of the pyramid, imposing austerity on his country’s middle class and poor while adding 24 to Mexico’s list of billionaires. Here is how Bartley sees Salinas, now in exile in Boston. “He describes driving for himself, answering his own phone, learning the Mac while working on a book, and trying to get on the internet to e-mail his children.” “It’s almost a Shakespearean tragedy what’s happening to him,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is also quoted in Bartley ‘ s column. V GRAMM’S CHURCHILL. Dole’s Chamberlain. That’s the way Gramm sees it, according to his remarks, as reported in the Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire.” The Texas Senator and presidential candidate has suggested that Dole is something of a Neville Chamberlain Republican, inclined to accommodate the Democrats, as he did in last year’s health care debate. “When the Britons decided to stand up to the Nazis…” Gramm said in a speech in Iowa, “they didn’t turn to somebody who yesterday was for appeasement.” Dole, as in infantryman in World War II, was wounded while serving in Italy. Student deferments kept Gramm out of the military during the Vietnam war. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express News reported that Democratic Houston lawyer John Odam is considering running against Gramm in the Senate race. \(Texas law will allow Gramm to run as a candidate for president and the assistant Attorney General, ran against current Democratic Attorney General Dan Morales in the 1988 Democratic primary, and lost. V GRAMM’S SECOND. Dole’s first. Kansas Senator Bob Dole continues to hold a commanding lead over Phil Gramm, according to a poll conducted by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. According to the Poll, 58 percent of Republicans and strict independents polled selected Dole as their choice for president while only 14 percent selected Gramm. When retired Gen. Colin Powell was offered to the same polling sample, he surpassed Gramm, who dropped to third place. V GREENWATCH. Only the courts and the calendar can save the state’s air and water regulations, it seems, as bills that would undermine environmental rules and give more leeway to developers and potential polluters move slowly but surely toward the governor’s desk. With little more than a month remaining in the 74th Lege, environmental advocates are tracking hundreds of bills that could have a negative impact on the environment. Environmentalists can only count on five or six consistent votes in the Senate, far short of the 11 needed to block objectionable legislation, and the best hope in the House is that the Calendar Committee will slow the flow on floor debate. The legislative climate makes it imperative that environmental advocates look to the courts, said Ken Kramer, state director of the Sierra Club, which filed a lawsuit in federal court in Midland to stop federal subsidies of irrigation in the Edwards Aquifer watershed. Kramer said it makes no sense for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to pay more than $8 million in price supportsthe difference between the market price and the cost of productionon crops such as cotton, corn, sorghum and wheat that are grown on irrigated land in Uvalde and Medina counties, when the same crops are grown in the same counties by dryland methods, without wasting water from the stressed aquifer upon which San Antonio also depends. V TDA LAX? After the Texas Senate rebuffed attempts to force more accountability out of the Texas Department of Agriculture, approving a bill to reauthorize the agency for another 12 years, a coalition of eight consumer, farmworker and environmental groups has asked the federal Environmental Protection Agency to take over pesticide regulation in Texas. A letter to EPA regional administrator Jane Saginaw compared the Texas pesticide program to the three federal requirements for state programs. It claimed the $500 criminal penalty for violations by producers in Texas is clearly deficient to the EPA’s $50,000 penalty. The coalition noted that Commissioner Rick Perry has not referred a case for criminal enforcement in the past four and onehalf years and the civil enforcements have fallen markedly since 1991, with no suspensions of licenses and only $31,000 i fines in 1994. While TDA officials say th numbers . of complaints and penalties hay fallen because the agency is doing its job, the coalition said farmworkers believe it i Continued on p. 23 24 MAY 5, 1995 trp
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.