Page 14


n his speech to the convention, Gramm did his part and praised / his Senate colleague. “I want to make it clear that one of the great pleasures in my service to the Senate has been serving with Kay Bailey Hutchison, my partner…Kay and I love each other and we work together as a Texas team for Texas.” Then the senator who once angered the party’s religious right by saying “I ain’t running for preacher,” returned to the church. “I will never try to impose my values on America. There’s only one person who’s ever lived who I would trust to impose values on America, and when he comes back, he’s not going to need the government to impose his values.” To skeptics it might have sounded like a battlefield conversion, but it was enough for this delegation. The two lines won Gramm his longest standing ovation of the afternoon. One day later, Congressman Barton attempted a more direct defense of Hutchison and was booed by delegates responding to his homely anecdote about the purchase of a Jeep for his daughter. Buying the Jeep, he said, represented his “tolerance” of her opinion about carswhich was different than his. And Senator Hutchison herself delivered a speech that would have been unremarkableexcept for the issue she did not address. Asked at a press conference why she hadn’t mentioned the abortion issue Hutchison said, “I didn’t think about it.” Away from the large stage, the fight over the Senator’s place in the delegation was also conducted within the smaller tableau of convention press conferences, by which the party talked to the public, and equally important, to itself. Governor Bush followed his speech with an impromptu defense of the Senator. “There is no compromise concerning Kay Hutchison, as far as I’m concerned,” the Governor told reporters. “It’s a mistake to keep Senator Hutchison off the delegation….A lot of party leaders and U.S. congressmen will come in and make sure through hard work that she is a delegate.” Gramm held a press conference with Hutchison and renewed his vow to resign from the national convention delegation if his colleague were excluded. He praised Hutchison’ s 100-percent pro-life voting record \(a week earlier she cast a vote against allowing abortions to be per A Ralph Reed File Photo formed at U.S. military hospitals on foreign bases, even if the position as extremists led by “bullies and blowhards.” “What those people up there don’t understand,” said Wade Billingsley, an insurance agent from Beaumont, “is that it doesn’t matter to these folks what a U.S. senator or congressman says. We’re just not impressed by those titles. We’re impressed by people who fight for their religious principles. This is a powerful movement of dedicated people.” checks and balances of the three branches of government. We believe that direct democracy could be a tool of well-financed, well-organized special interest groups \(i.e., gaming interests, pro-choice, poorly-informed electorate with the support of the liberal media. We call on our state legislators to counteract misdirected federal actions such as the Endangered Species Act. We believe that our state government must seek a balance between protection of the environment and protection of private property rights. The Party understands that government ownership is the cornerstone of socialism. …We call on our state legislators to reclaim land under federal control and return them to the people of Texas….We further affirm that groundwater is an “absolute ownership: fight of the landowner. We view with compassion all people infected with HIV….However, because it does represent such a severe threat to both the health and economic well-being of our citizens, we insist that the epidemic be de-politicized and that as a society we take all appropriate steps to protect our citizens from this epidemic. All people, no matter what disease they may contract, are worthy of deep respect as humans. We should, however, love them enough to tell them the truth: Behavior has personal and social consequences. The Party urges that the IRS be abolished. We further urge that inheritance taxes be eliminated and that capital gain and corporate income taxes be reduced. The Party calls upon the United States Public Health Service and all states to declare HIV a “dangerous, infectious, communicable disease.” The Party supports the concept of privatization of government services, including space exploration. And for backsliding Republicans: We deplore the hypocrisy of Republican candidates, officeholders and Party officials who support Democrats. The Party directs the Executive Campaign Committee to strongly consider candidates’ support of the Party’s platform when granting financial or other support. Carrie Evans JULY 12, 1996 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7