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Houston Breakthrough, May 1980
Page 19
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Houston Breakthrough, May 1980 - Page 19. May 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 25, 2015. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5520.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(May 1980). Houston Breakthrough, May 1980 - Page 19. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5520

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough, May 1980 - Page 19, May 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 25, 2015, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5520.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough, May 1980
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 page periodical
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 19
File Name femin_201109_560aq.jpg
Transcript triple damages when they sue deceptive firms. Last session, the Texas Consumers Union gave Waters the highest rating of any Harris County legislator for his pro- consumer bills. Waters smells a rat in Gov. Clements wire-tap proposal. "It will not solve drug- related crimes, but will catch personal, private conversations of innocent people," says Waters, whose support on ACLU- related issues earned him a 100 percent rating from the civil libertarians. Waters has fought to prevent Texas from becoming a site for nuclear waste disposal. "We are just awakening to the horrors of the unregulated political dangers of hazardous waste disposal . . . and we must demand regulatory systems on local, state and national levels." Ron Waters is beginning to sound like the Ralph Nader of Texas, an association he is proud of. "Nader is one of my heroes," says Waters, who was first elected to the state legislature at age 22 and re-elected for four subsequent terms. Ogg seems more like John Hill. Hill was the defeated Democratic candidate for governor in 1978 who tried to be all things to all people, liberals and conservatives alike. His habit of "talking from both sides of his mouth" opened the way for Bill Clements, the first Republican governor in Texas since reconstruction. "I try to keep government in perspective and within its sphere of operation," Ogg says, adding that he tends to be fiscally conservative. He says he is a "pro- growth person" as far as Houston development goes, although he admits the area has developed too rapidly and advises more "systematic, orderly planning." He considers traffic "congestion and scarcity of parks and recreation areas" Houston's two most pressing problems. Ogg says he "generally" opposes wiretapping, but did vote in the last session for electronic surveillance "where nar cotics or organized crime is involved. Wiretapping per se is an infringement on individual rights, but you have to balance a person's individual rights with the overall rights of society," he says. When asked if he favors capital punishment, Ogg replies, "I not only favor it, I introduced the bill that reinstituted capital punishment and it has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States. I'm very proud that Texas was the first state in which the laws were upheld. Other states have since followed, but we are the model." The Senator seldom takes an unequivocal stance on any issue. A qualification, a back-up, a "safeguard measure" seems to accompany every statement. As Barnstone, his old political rival, puts it, "Jack Ogg can talk the wallpaper off a wall. He will say absolutely anything." For example, in a recent interview, Ogg told Breakthrough, "I'm very proud of what I've been able to accomplish during my years in the state legislature . . . with other people's help, of course. I think understanding the system, understanding the committee system, understanding what you do, understanding how to carry legislation and get it through, and how to work both sides—of the rotunda, that is—knowing that something not only has to pass the Senate but has to pass the House—I think all of those things help in being effective. I think knowing what to say about an issue, what not to say, what amendments you will accept, what amendments you will not accept, whether to compromise an issue—all of that strategy goes into making you effective. "I think if you look at the record without any response to whether they have been good bills or bad bills, that I have authorized and passed more than 200 bills that have statewide effect, as opposed to Ron's six bills. This says a great deal about our effectiveness without even talking about the quality of the bills. And I do agree that just pure number has nothing to do with quality. It depends on what's in those bills." About those bills. Waters says the legislative process in Austin is designed to prevent relatively new state legislators from carrying a bill. "A lot of bills I introduced became law, but did not bear my name," he says in his defense. "In the law which gave 18- year-olds the right to vote, as well as in marijuana decriminalization efforts, senior members put their names on the legislation." He also expresses frustration in having to co-sponsor legislation at times with "reactionaries," like Clay Smothers (R— Dallas). That's just "part of the process," he says, referring in this case to his efforts to restore voting rights to ex-offenders. Waters says his experience as "a progressive in a less than progressive legislature" would help him be an effective senator. "It's easier to make coalitions in the Senate. People have to come through you to get a law passed since there are fewer votes. You can't ignore a state senator." Oliver, his campaign manager, notes that there are only 31 senators compared to 150 house members, a fact which he says allows "senators to carry five times as many bills in the normal course of things." He attcks Ogg's claim that he introduced more than 200 bills by saying "at least 50 of them were pork-barrel bills aiding water districts for big developers and builders." One point the Waters campaign cannot dispute is that on paper, Ogg looks good. He was author of several important state laws, including the Texas Voting Rights Act, the Texas Clean Air Act and the original ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1972. Ogg charges Waters with having passed no significant legislation, but Mary Schlett, chair of the Harris County Democrats, remarks, "Most progressive legislators in Texas cannot come up with a long list of bills they have authored or sponsored. Their main duty turns out to be to stop bad legislation." Barbs fly in the final weeks of the Ogg—Waters race. Ogg likes to portray Waters as an extreme liberal and big spender, noting that Waters' office budget in 1979 was only $18,000 lower than his senate office expense, although the senate district serves five times as many people. A Waters aide says, "you can say that if Ron has done nothing else, he has introduced the district to its senator. This is the first time some have ever seen him. Usually he's in the board rooms." Waters was known to have pointed to an empty chair during forums at the beginning of the campaign, saying, "Let me introduce you to your senator for the past eight years." (Now the chair at those gatherings is no longer vacant.) "The Kennedy—Carter race will help us," claims Waters. "It'll stir up interest in voting. With Kennedy on the ballot here, the Carter people are working harder to turn out Democratic votes, and those are our precincts!" Oliver makes one last observation. "Since the Republicans are having a real race (a winner-take-all primary), Ogg will have to stand up in his own party for election this time," he says. Calling Ogg a "closet Republican, one who like Connally should have followed his guts and switched parties," Oliver exudes confidence. "We see this election as the end of the line for Jack Ogg." Ron Waters gave up a comfortable House seat to run against State Senator Jack Ogg. MAY 1980 19