EDITORIAL Bob Bullock PHOTOS BY ALAN POGUE A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them, because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: James M. Cullen Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Editorial Interns: Todd Basch, Mike Daecher, Jubilee Barton. Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Peter Cassidy, Jo Clifton, Carol Countryman, Terry FitzPatrick, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Jim Hightower, Ellen Hosmer, Molly Ivins, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, James McCarty Yeager. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. 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INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 198I,The Texas Observer Index. copyrighted, 0 1995, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues in January and July \(25 issues per by the Texas Democ477-0746. E-mail: [email protected] Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Senate Bob Bullock The Texas Constitution provides that the lieutenant governor presides over the Senate, but he is not the majority leader. If ailing Texicrat Bill Sims loses his West Texas seat, if Dallas Democrat David Cain’s move to the right fails to convince voters in a district he barely won in 1995 that he will never again vote the progressive agenda he voted in the House, and if Republican Drew Nixon of Carthage holds onto the East Texas seat he won in 1995, the current 17-14 Democratic majority in the Senate becomes a 16-15 GOP majority. “I might be deaf but I’m not blind,” Bullock has said on occasion. He can also read last November’ s election returns and contemplate the 1996 election, and apparently fears that in the second session of his second term he could end up counting votes for Republican Majority Leader David Sibley. That more than anything, except perhaps money, seems to have determined the course of the Senate this session. Bullock has accommodated the Republicans. Early on he signed on with the single worst piece of legislation, the “takings bill,” which is not only anti-environment but profoundly anti-government. Bullock’s hostility to good environmental legislation was confirmed when Senate Natural Resources Committee Chair Bill Sims was incapacitated by a stroke, and Bullock replaced Corpus Christi Democrat Carlos Truan as acting chair of the committee. Truan, the senior member of the Senate who has a strong record on environmental issues and was the Vice Chair of Natural Resources, elected to remain chairman of International Relations, Trade and Technology while Bullock picked as the interim Natural Resources chair Lake Jackson Republican Buster Brown. Brown, when he is not a piece of Senate furniture, can be something of an environmental public enemy, and he went on to floor-manage several of Sims’ anti-environmental bills. Bullock also stacked most conference committees with conservatives. For example, the takings bill, which had been vastly was rebuilt by the Senate’s half of the conference committee. When Truan, on the penultimate day of the session, set out to filibuster the takings bill \(carried in the Continued on p. 7 Correction In “Oil and Timber Desperadoes” [TO Tree” should be “Learning Tree.”-And 6/2/95] the program identified as “Burning Caddo Scholars are funded by Don Henley.. 2 JUNE 16, 1995
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