Page 30


A Elliott Naishtat and Friend explaining to the Clinton administration that this was both bad public policy and bad politics, which would hurt the poor in Texas while allowing Bush to run for president saying, “I privatized welfare in Texas.” Despite talking Texas tough to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala \(“You promised an answer last unable to get the federal waiver he needed for his privatization scheme. Coleman has also been one of two or three House Democrats who have talked to the national press about Bush’s shortcomings, both to the Times’ major-league asshole and to minor-league assholes at The Austin Chronicle and The Houston Chronicle. In January, the brainy Houstonian who is a star in the , House Black Caucus gets hisBig Time. These three DemsNaishtat, Maxey, and Colemanalso had the audacity to fly to St. Louis to brief Gore personally on Bush’s Texas record before debate number three \(while alleged Democrats like Hays County Senator Ken Armbrister and former Beaumont State Representative Mark Stiles traveled in the Goverjoke “a Jew, a gay guy, and a black guy walk into the governor’s office down in Texas”what happens to these Democratic state reps when Bush comes home a loser might make Rickles’ Alan Pogue humor seem genteel. It’s hard to find anyone in the Texas Senate with enough courage to incur Bush’s wrath. Only Mario Gallegos, Jr., the Houston-area Democrat, has dared take Bush on, by questioning the size of his projected surplus on the eve of the Republican convention in Philadelphia. As a senator who has spoken to the national press at a critical moment, Gallegos might have a problem. El Paso Democrat Eliot Shapleigh is an occasional critic, who seems to retreat and advanceor, as they say on the border, un paso adelante, dos atras. By failing to be a persistent critic of Bush, he might have saved himself from the retribution that genuinely courageous legislators are certain to suffer. And Rodney Ellis, another Houston Democrat, has been AWOL, too, though his inner-city constituents haven’t exactly fared well under the Bush administration. Republicans won’t be immune, either. Tom Pauken, the Dallas lawyer and fundamentalist Christian who led the Christian takeover of the party in 1994, and last year flirted with a Dan Quayle candidacy before refusing to endorse Governor Bush, could be in trouble. “I’m supporting a true conservative,” Pauken told reporters. In the 1997 session, as state chair of the Republican Party, he attacked Bush, warning Republican legislators “not to 8 THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 3, 2000