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TM GET THE STATE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS ON-LINE Tough, investigative reporting; the wit and good sense of Molly Ivins and Jim Hightower; Political Intelligence; insightful cultural analysis; and much more. Check out Molly Ivins’ special subscription offer, too! Subscribe on-line or call The Texas Observer at 800-939-6620 server HE TEXAS b T WORLDWISE DESIGN Worldwise Design is an award-winning graphic design studio that builds cutting-edge creative solutions on a solid, traditional foundation. We design logos, paper systems, brochures, annual reports, advertising, packaging, direct mail, signage, books, Web pages virtually any type of promotional and educational material. [email protected] “Political Intelligence,” from page 17 tary” checks forced the leadership back to the drawing board, with a bill that makes pawn shops the last frontier in the handgun black market. And in Austin, citizens were still waiting in vain for Governor Bush to lift a finger to resurrect a gunshow background check bill that had been killed in the House Public Safety Committee the very the day before Bush declared his “support.” Don’t hold your breath the Guv now says it’s up to the feds. As reported in Political Intelligence Democrat Debra Danburg’s H.B. 1199 which would have closed a major Brady Law loophole allowing gun-show “hobbyist” sales to proceed without the background checks required of licensed dealers was killed, 6-2. But Danburg . \(not on the committee chair Bob Turner, a Voss Democrat who opposed the bill, assured her he would not proceed until she told him she had the votes. “I don’t like to bring up members’ bills just to have them defeated,” Danburg said Turner told her. When Danburg was still one vote shy of passage, she let Turner know she would wait until another day and continue working. Instead, several hours later, Turner brought up the bill while even committee supporters were out of the room hence the 6-2 defeat. What changed Turner’s mind? He told Political Intelligence that if Danburg had an understanding on the bill, “it wasn’t with me, that’s for sure.” Turner said she may have talked to Austin Republican Terry Keel, who passed an amendment to the bill but still voted against it. But one observer in the room said that when news reports of the Littleton massacre became known on the dais, N.R.A. lobbyists quietly pressed the committee to kill the bill before public reaction might make it too difficult to do so. Turner claims he “didn’t pay any attention” to the Littleton news, and that he didn’t work to defeat the bill “other than just stating my opposition.” Asked if subsequent confirmation that four of the Littleton weapons had been purchased at gun shows has changed his mind about the need for such legislation, Turner said, “No because the person that bought the gun-show guns was a legal purchaser … what good would a background check be?” By May 17 when the House enthusiastically approved Senator Jon Lindsay’s bill to forbid city lawsuits against gunmakers the only Lege response to the na tional outcry against handguns was to pro, tect the guns. HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS. The headlines have noted the fervid debates in Congress over support for NATO’s war on Yugoslavia, and the Congressional determination to use the war as an excuse to fatten the Pentagon’s budget but buried in the details are other curious matters. The Fiscal Year 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill would officially aid military personnel in Kosovo and provide food and shelter to Central American storm victims. The Environmental News Network reports that the bill as proposed mysteriously blossomed a handful of anti-environmental riders, including the following a moratorium and phase-out of commercial fishing in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, including federally designated implementation until October 1999 of an already long-delayed oil valuation rule by the Minerals Management Service that would make the largest oil companies pay their fair share of royalties for oil extracted vent the Bureau of Land Management from issuing final hardrock mining regulations until four months after the issuance of a National Academy of Sciences study, meanwhile allowing the continued dumping of illegal mine waste. Environmental groups, including The Wilderness Society and the National Parks and Conservation Association, are asking President Clinton to keep a promise he made at the Department of Interior’s 150th anniversary to veto legislation containing anti-environmental riders. “Let us not waste precious time battling over these bad anti-environmental riders, which I am going to veto anyway,” Clinton promised. “Instead, let’s go on with the work of America.” Read his lips. ri 22 THE TEXAS OBSERVER ,,,Z+111,4.1.4 “‘ORM! Y.P.r…0 MAY 28, 1999