Robert Saunders Susan Combs tion, persuaded a sufficient number of representatives that it was a good idea, and did so without ever mentioning Lani Guinier’s name. “He worked hard on the Richards’ campaign in Houston,” said labor lobbyist Dee Simpson, “recovered from a personal tragedy [the death of his father] and pulled things together to have a good session.” Coleman, who represents an urban Houston district, is quiet, unassuming and articulate. Susan Combs ‘Reportedl y asked by a female colleague on the House floor how she felt to be surrounded by so many “throbbing members,” this author of at least one bodice-ripping romance novel has a passion for property rights that burns “hotter than an acetylene torch.” But the dour West Austin Republican is on her way out, having done about as much harm to the environment as any one member can do in two terms. This session she was the House sponsor of the “takings” bill, and although she was not skillful enough to stop Glen Maxey, John Hirschi, Sylvester Turner, et al. from gutting the bill on the floor, she saw it rebuilt at the insistence of senators in the conference commitlee. Combs was less than honest during floor debate and at times the content of her takings bill only emerged under cross examination from by Sylvester Turner and Glen Maxey, who worked tag-team from the back microphone. Combs, a dedicated “wise user,” also passed a bill that will prohibit Texas Parks and Wildlife employees from doing biological surveys on private land unless they obtain written permission from the owner. On the day after she announced that she will not stand for election next year, the director of the Christian ‘Coalition in Austin announced his intention to run for the seat she will vacate. Ed Kuempel A House veteran and non-violent sex offender who has planted a wet kiss on every woman member of the House, the Seguin Republican this session served as yet another vehicle for bad environmental legislation. With Victoria Democratic Senator Ken Armbrister, Kuempel carried a bill that would have prevented state agencies from adopting any environmental regulations stricter than what is adopted by the federal government \(which often writes generic Maine-to-California rules and dewith Pasadena Republican Buster Brown, Kuempel carried a bill that would have made it impossible for local governments to participate in creation of regional habitat conservation plans. Warren Chisum Debate on the Pampa Democrat’s frivolous ideological amendments alone cost the Chisum would have opened public school classrooms to any parents who wanted to enter at any timewithout even checking in at the office”to monitor” teachers. And although this seemed like a democratic concept that would allow parents to experience firsthand what their children were learning \(being exposed to, in terms take into consideration protective orders issued to keep abusive parents away from children, custody fights, and the simple Ed Kuempel fact that too many parents in the classroom might become an impediment to education. All of this was revealed in floor debate on an amendment that would have provided religious-right activists with the statutory Chisum also sent up an amendment that would have made it illegal for a teacher to discuss sexuality, suicide or even death with students, unless parents were informed in advance. And he managed to pass an amendment that would deny state arts funding to any artwork that depicted frontal nudity or, as he said from the back mike of the House, represented any “two people breaking the law.” When he wasn’t THE TEXAS OBSERVER 31
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