DAVIDIAN ACQUITTALS END SAD CHAPTER

by Mike Rush

News Reporter

Confusion over what motivated cultists to open fire in the Feb. 28, 1993, Davidian compound standoff proved detrimental to the prosecution's case in the murder and conspiracy trial of surviving cult members.

On Feb. 26, after seven weeks of deliberation, the San Antonio jury found the 11 defendants innocent of murder and conspiracy in the killing of agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Four ATF agents and six Davidians were killed when the ATF raided the compound searching to search for weapons. The confrontation led to a 51-day siege that ended when the compound burned to the ground.

Cult leader David Koresh and about 80 of his followers perished in the April 19 fire. The defendants are the only surviving adult cultists.

Mike DeGeurin, defense attorney for cult member Paul Fatta, said on the day of the shoot-out, the survivors were simply defending themselves against an attack DeGeurin said was unusually violent.

He said, "They were reacting to a Nazi-type, excessive-force action by an agency of the government."

DeGeurin said because Koresh perished in the fire, the government blamed the survivors for the conflict between the cult and members of the ATF. He said his client and the other survivors are kind, religious people who, for 30 years, were upstanding citizens in Waco.

He did not confirm or deny there may have been a conspiracy within the compound plotted by Koresh and his inner circle, but he said the prosecution failed to show proof the survivors were involved in a conspiracy.

"Their (the prosecution's) theory was that anybody who worshipped at the Mount Carmel Center was a member of the conspiracy, and the jury just didn't buy that," DeGeurin said.

The national ATF office would not directly comment on the case, but the agency's local Public Relations Officer, Francheska Perot, read an official statement from ATF Director John Magaw. In the statement, issued shortly after the verdict, Magaw said the event could have been avoided if the cultists had peacefully complied with the warrant. He also said the ATF was "met with the most terrible hail of gunfire and explosives ever directed against American law enforcement."

UH Psychology Professor Richard Evans said the possibility the charismatic Koresh brainwashed the cultists into conspiring against the ATF is feasible, but he said it is equally feasible the cultists acted in self-defense. Evans said because the prosecution showed no evidence of what inspired the cultists to open fire on the ATF, the jury could not, without a doubt, hold the cult members responsible for murder and conspiracy.

Evans said, "Apparently, the jury found the evidence ambiguous enough, and they could not really assign the blame to these cult members."

Robert Schuwerk, a UH law professor, said the government would have to prove the Davidians agreed as a group, either in conversation or writing, to attack the ATF officers when they approached the compound. If the government had been able to supply proof the actions were inspired by a conspiracy, Schuwerk said, the Davidians could have, as a group, been charged with murder.

"The rule is that any crime committed against anyone in furtherance of a conspiracy is chargeable against everyone in the group," he said.

Seven members were convicted on lesser charges of manslaughter or possession of illegal weapons. Four sect members were completely acquitted. DeGeurin's client, Paul Fatta, was convicted of conspiracy to possess and manufacture machine guns, and aiding and abetting Koresh in his attempt to possess machine guns. Sentencing of the seven convicted Branch Davidians will not occur for several weeks.

 

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SA CANDITATES PASS THE DEBATE BUCK

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

Candidates for the Students' Association presidency may not have a chance to test each others' platforms and participate in a debate this year.

Major players in the elections are confused as to why the debates are not happening and each claims somebody else was supposed to sponsor the event.

Debates are held for students to get to know the candidates' platforms and better decide who to vote for. There have been debates for the last three years.

HFAC Senator Justin McMurtry and Initiative Party candidate for senator at large Position 1 said, "Nobody took it upon themselves to do it." He said last year there was an ad hoc committee that was in charge of planning the debates. However, he said it is possible the director of public relations should have done it.

Director of Public Relations and United Students presidential candidate Angie Milner said the election committee or the Senate should have sponsored it.

"It would not have been right if I sponsored it," she said, adding that the event should be sponsored by a nonpartisan group.

Election Commissioner Habib Salley said the election commission has nothing to do with sponsoring the event, but that "the debates were never passed out of the Senate."

Speaker of the Senate and Initiative Party presidential candidate Coy Wheeler said the debates were never introduced on the Senate floor.

"Last year, four senators put together the debates. This year, there is really no one who is not involved with a campaign," Wheeler said.

"Anybody who is aware of the issues has already made up their minds. If somebody was to challenge me, I would do it," Wheeler said.

In the past three years, there has been "mud-slinging" during elections and debates have sometimes turned into arguments. Wheeler said people involved should "keep our mouths shut for the credibility of SA."

Last year, 3 percent of the student body voted during elections. Wheeler said people need to "get out there" and talk to people who have no idea of what is going on and are not going to vote at all. He said the people who don't attend the debates are the ones to worry about.

Upon hearing that no debate was going to be held, SA President Jason Fuller said he would try to plan a debate for Tuesday. He said the event does not have to be approved by the Senate, but that they "could have taken the initiative."

Dominic Lewinshon from the Alliance Party said he would "love to participate in debates."

"Just one senator had to introduce it," Lewinshon said.

Both Wheeler and Milner are not bothered by the possible lack of debates. Milner said, "They are kind of a waste" and Wheeler said, "No one ever shows up."

If the event will be held, it will be announced today, leaving candidates one day to prepare.

 

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SELLING SA REFORM

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Student political parties campaigning for Students' Association office are focusing on being more responsive to students and implementing internal reform.

Many of the changes that candidates want to make are in reaction to scandals and problems that have recently plagued SA.

With four registered parties and at least one write-in candidate for president, each has different approaches to improving SA.

The Initiative Party, led by Senate Speaker Coy Wheeler, a vocal opponent of SA President Jason Fuller, wants to set up an ethics code, restructure the executive branch and change SA's financial system.

The ethics code is partly in reaction to the "logogate" scandal which posed an ethical question when money was spent putting SA logos on Fuller's Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity T-shirts. The expenditure was not approved on the Senate floor.

Wheeler also wants to focus on reducing SA expenditures by eliminating the $23,000-per-year position of executive secretary and lowering executive branch salaries.

Wheeler believes power should lie more with the Senate than in the executive branch and wants to assign people and groups to keep up with specific campus problems like parking and administrative inefficiency.

Reactions to SA's internal problems also led to the creation of protest groups like Capitol Abolish SA, which illustrates student frustration over SA's ineffectiveness, said Justin McMurtry, an HFAC senator.

Abolish SA, led by presidential candidate Matthew Daly, has kept its promise not to campaign, but to provide students with a choice outside mainstream parties like Initiative and Unity Students, led by presidential candidate Angie Milner. Daly does not literally want to abolish SA, but wants to make changes he says will give SA a new face. He also believes the executive branch should not have more power than the senate.

Milner, who is currently SA's director of public relations, has a platform that is more similar to the present administration than the other parties. Milner's platform calls for changes in the registration and withdrawal processes rather than calling for total structural change.

While Milner agrees with Wheeler's plan for an ethics code, she believes SA's image problems can be better-solved by getting senators and executives out to communicate with their constituents.

With only 3 percent of UH's students voting in last year's elections, Seeking Perfection on Efficiency and the Advancement of Knowledge, a write-in party led by Jessica Martin, believes they will involve students by working outside the usual SA guidelines.

"We're running an interactive campaign. We will make it SA's priority to go to the student body," Martin said. S.P.E.A.K wants to keep suggestion boxes all over campus to keep in touch with student needs.

The Alliance Party, led by presidential candidate Dominic Lewinshon, plans to focus on problems facing dorm residents. Lewinshon is strongly in favor of supporting intercollegiate athletics. Lewinshon has never been involved with SA before.

 

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UH ALUMNI SCALE SOAPBOX

by Toylean Johnson

News Reporter

Alumni from the University of Houston constitute 25 percent of the candidates in the Republican and Democratic primaries.

Candidates obtained either their undergraduate, master's or Doctor of Jurisprudence degrees from UH.

On the national level, Democratic candidates running for congressional seats for District 25 include Beverley Clark, director of the Small Business Development Center, and Paul Colbert, a small-businessman and former state representative. Clark focuses on immunization against preventable disease and creating jobs. Colbert concentrates on universal access to health care and balancing the federal budget.

Gene Fontenot, a graduate of the UH M.B.B. Executive Program, is a candidate in the Republican primary for the District 25 congressional seat. Fontenot said Americans should enjoy the highest quality of health without the Clinton plan.

Democratic Congressman Gene Green of District 29 obtained both a Bachelor of Business Administration and JD from UH. Green's platform includes universal health care coverage for all citizens and providing increased job training and increased funding for educational programs.

Yolanda Navarro Flores, Maria Gallegos, Elizabeth Zermeno and David Boyles are four UH alumni running in the Houston area for state representative in the Democratic primary. Flores and Gallegos are running for the Senate. Boyles and Zermeno are candidates for state representative seats Dist. 140 and Dist. 143, respectively.

Beverly Woolley, running for congressional District 136, is the only Republican candidate affiliated with UH.

Judge Raul A. Gonzalez, presently a State Supreme Court judge, is making another bid at that position. Gonzalez completed his JD at the UH Law Center. Four of 10 Democratic vs. two of three Republicans vying for positions in the Court of Appeals obtained their JDs from UH Law Center.

12 Republican and eight Democratic candidates for district judge positions have degrees from UH.

UH alumni provided two Democratic candidates for County Court at Law and one for district clerk.

Two Republicans affiliated with UH are candidates for Probate Court, one for district clerk, one for county treasurer and two for county chair.

 

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CANDIDATES OFFER VOTERS A FREE RIDE

by Wendy Fischer

News Reporter

Several candidates are offering rides to voters without transportation in an effort to boost voter turnout for the primaries Tuesday.

"We have a special phone number people can call if they need a ride. A lot of people don't have transportation to go vote, like the elderly or the poor, so we try to make it easier for them," said Pamela Berger, a member of candidate Craig Washington's staff.

The Washington campaign staff is concerned about raising the overall level of voter turnout.

"Earlier in the campaign, we did more to promote awareness of the primary," Berger said. "We set up booths in several communities for voter registration and to publicize the election. We also held several statewide initiatives, where we did things like setting up booths in shopping centers for registration."

The campaign staff concentrated on publicizing the dates of early and absentee voting. Berger said that because of the effort to facilitate absentee voting, there is no excuse for someone not to vote.

Although transportation is provided, she said voter turnout is still too low.

"You work as hard as you can, and then hope the voters turn out," Berger said. "There's a big problem in this country, and it doesn't have anything to do with the candidates or the government. It has to do with people taking their rights for granted. Just compare the U.S. to an Eastern European country, where people will walk for miles so they can vote, while here it can seem more important to get your nails done."

Gene Fontenot, Republican candidate for the 25th congressional District seat, also expressed concern about voter participation. His campaign staff is also making efforts to encourage registered voters to vote.

"One of the first things we did was to send pre-printed applications to vote by mail out to elderly supporters, to make it easier on them," said Mark Cowart, Fontenot's organizational director. "Anyone who's 65 or older can vote by mail, so we pre-printed the forms and all they had to do was sign them and mail them."

Most of their efforts were concentrated in the form of mail-outs and phone calls – the Fontenot campaign did not register voters.

"We sent a lot of mail urging people to get out to vote," Cowart said. "We also have our phone bank calling supporters and undecided voters to remind them about the election. Also, if anyone needs a ride, they can request one through the phone bank."

One candidate who has been trying for many years to get out the vote is Ben Reyes. According to his sister, Mary Reyes, his campaign staff has been trying to improve voter turnout for nearly 20 years.

"We've been doing voter registration for as long as I can remember," Reyes said. "Sometimes we do it at churches or at high schools or at colleges or sometimes at supermarkets or we've even gone as far as doing it at some of the nightclubs in our area. We've done registration just about everywhere."

Reyes said they have also held registration drives at Latino band concerts in different parts of town, such as the old El Mercado del Sol.

She said, "People call who aren't registered, but want to go vote. We have to tell them they can't, of course, but we mail out a card for next time. We do everything we can do to get a person to vote. We've pushed voter registration for years."

Reyes said many people are simply uninformed about voting procedures. Problems can stem from simply not knowing where to vote or not knowing anything about voting.

"Sometimes people call who don't know where to go to vote, so we get their addresses and find the precinct, and even take them there if they need a ride," Reyes said.

She said, "A lot of people are new at voting, especially if they're young. We just have to go through the steps with them. To me, the procedure is nothing; it's not a problem. Young people often just don't know, though, so we try to educate them."

 

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18TH DISTRICT CONTEST

by Christian Messa

News Reporter

The March 8 Democratic primary pitting Houston City Council member Sheila Jackson Lee against U.S. Rep. Craig Washington for congressional District 18 will obviously result in one winner, but the campaign will actually not end until the November general election, when the Democratic primary winner takes on the Republican running for District 18, Jerry Burley.

Burley, 45, is the black Republican campaigning for the traditionally Democratic 18th District.

The Hempstead High School government and economics teacher said, "I'm sick and tired of the way we're going as a nation."

Burley, who lives in District 18, decided to do something about it by running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. His campaign platform focuses on jobs and education.

"If we're to expand our economy, we need to look at job creation," he said. If elected, Burley said he would help industry relocate in the district. He said he would have someone on staff meet with businesses interested in relocating.

The tax structure needs to be fixed because it currently is against the risk taker – the small businessman, Burley said.

Concerning education, he said parents should be able to place their children in either parochial or private school if parents are not satisfied with the Houston Independent School District.

A state-funded voucher system could be set up to make this possible, Burley said.

The vouchers would have a monetary value that would give parents the financial power to place their children in the school of their choice, he said. This power would help get parents more involved in their children's education, he added.

In addition, Burley said private schools could educate their children cheaply because they have less bureaucracy than public schools.

Burley said his leadership skills acquired from military training and as a pastor distinguish him from Washington and Lee.

He said he spent seven years in the U.S. Army, 1968—1975, stationed in Seoul, South Korea; Fort Benning, Ga.; and Fort Hood, Texas. As a military police officer, Burley said he specialized in drug enforcement at Fort Benning and security at Fort Hood.

The Prairie View A&M graduate was a pastor in the northeast Texas town of Brookeland for eight years.

Burley said he carries a philosophical "message of hope" in his campaign.

 

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COUNTY JUDGESHIP RACE

by Bridget Baulch

News Reporter

Katherine Tyra – a candidate for Harris County judge who is serving her fourth year as Harris County clerk – faces two opponents in the upcoming Republican primary. Republicans Robert Eckels, son of Bob Eckels, and Metro board member Rafael Acosta are also candidates for the judgeship. The winner of the Republican primary will face off with former Houston City Council member Vince Ryan, who runs uncontested in the Democratic primary for the position.

If successful, Tyra becomes the first female Harris County judge to serve on the Commissioners Court, which is comprised of the county judge and four commissioners. The Commissioners Court, presided over by the county judge, has a major responsibility, that includes controlling $1.2 billion in county money.

The court sets tax rates for flood-control districts, the Port of Houston and the hospital district. The court also approves county contracts and spending, issues bonds, appoints certain county officials and calls elections. The county judge also sits on the Juvenile Justice Board.

Tyra considers crime in Harris County to be the most significant issue of her campaign. She said she will recommend that children age 14 and older be considered as adults for heinous crimes.

"I believe in swift and tough justice for juvenile offenders, although some alternatives should be given to juveniles who join gangs looking for family life," she said.

Tyra said she is certain less than seven percent of gang members are criminals, adding, "I think kids join gangs because they lack things to do or they are looking for a family life – a sense of belonging." She said there is a causal link between peer pressure and intimidation and the decision to join a gang.

As county judge, Tyra said she would solve the gang problem by offering gang members alternatives to fulfill their needs for a sense of purpose. She also hopes to create jobs for full-time athletic directors at county parks.

"There is no point in having parks available without leadership," she said, adding Harris County constituents need a countywide athletic program throughout the county park system – a system that allows all children to join and compete at their own levels. "Too often in the schools, only the very talented children are allowed to participate in sports," she said.

Tyra also focuses on streamlining county government and her commitment to identify and eliminate wasteful spending. She said the money she saved will be used to support the district attorney and Harris County constables. This measure would hold the line on any new taxes, she said.

 

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29TH DISTICT

by Kelly Caughlin

News Reporter

Congressman Gene Green will be running in the March 8 Democratic primary against Ben Reyes for the 29th District congressional seat.

The district, created after results of the 1990 census indicated growth in the Hispanic population, runs from Spring Branch through southeast Harris County to Baytown.

The district consists primarily of people labeled as Hispanic and blue-collar workers.

Gene Green, elected to Congress on Nov. 3, 1992, opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement despite attempts by President Clinton to dissuade him from voting against the agreement. Green said he opposed NAFTA because it would encourage businesses to move manufacturing jobs to Mexico to find a low-wage work force.

Green's chief of staff, Moses Mercado, said after Green held 32 town meetings, everyone agreed to oppose NAFTA.

Reyes voted for NAFTA, saying its passage would lead to more job opportunities for the blue-collar worker.

Another issue the two candidates have debated on is violence caused by people in possession of firearms. The American Medical Association has listed gun violence as one of the nation's fastest growing health problems.

Green has co-sponsored six major anti-crime bills in his first year in the House of Representatives: The Violence Against Women Act, The Gun Penalty Enhancement Act, The Child Protection Act of 1993, the National Stalker Reduction Act of 1993, The National and Community Service Act, and the Truth in Sentencing Act.

However, Green voted against the Brady Bill. "The Brady Bill will only create more black market for guns," said Mercado of Green's stance on the issue.

When asked about his ideas, Reyes said his goal would be to enforce illegal-firearm possession laws in schools, partly with gun control measures like the Brady Bill.

Reyes lobbyists said Green was "bought off" by the National Rifle Association.

"It is a matter of record that the NRA contributed over $157,000 to Gene Green's 1992 campaign," said Reyes, whose data come from a USA Today article dated Dec. 29, 1993.

Replying to the statement, Mercado said, "We accepted $5,000 in the election. The NRA claims to have spent $157,000 on our behalf. But by law, we can only accept $5,000."

Reyes opposes the Civilian Marksmanship Program, which he said authorizes distribution of 40 million rounds of live ammunition to organizations nationwide so that members can teach young people firearm safety.

The program is set up to teach Boy Scouts and other clubs gun safety, Mercado said. The program is funded at $2.5 million under Department of Defense appropriations.

Both candidates want to strengthen the district by creating job opportunities and lowering gun violence, according to lobbyists.

New programs are being implemented by Green, such as a homeless "transitional housing" project. The government has donated $1 million in matching funds to build transitional homes for the homeless in the 29th District.

 

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RECONFIGURATION OF DISTRICTS

by Sharon Simien

News Reporter

On Jan. 26, seven Texans filed a lawsuit against the state in federal court, claiming their civil rights were violated due to congressional redistricting in 1992.

Edward Blum, a former candidate for the District 18 congressional seat, said, "This lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of creating congressional districts on the basis of race, ethnicity and language. It is the first case of its kind in the State of Texas and upholds the landmark Supreme Court ruling in <I>Shaw vs. Reno<P>, which was decided in June of 1993. The goal of the lawsuit is to have the current district lines invalidated and redrawn without regard to race and ethnicity."

The lawsuit was filed by Al Vera, a Jefferson Davis High School government teacher, who ran as a Democrat against then- Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in 1978; Edward Blum, a Republican who challenged Rep. Craig Washington, D-Texas, two years ago; Edward Chen, treasurer of the local GOP; Bill Calhoun, head of a local black Republican group; businessman Kenneth Powers; local resident Barbara Thomas; and Dallas resident Pauline Orcutt.

The population gains of the 1980s allowed Texas to add three new congressional districts after the 1990 Census. According to the written summaries of the legislative redistricting staffs of the Texas Legislature, it was decided that two new Hispanic districts and one new black district should be drawn to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This act was originally implemented to eliminate literacy tests and grandfather clauses directed at disenfranchising Southern blacks.

In Harris County, this action forced people with Spanish surnames into a new district, the 29th. Black Texans who live in Dallas and Houston were forced into the 30th and 18th congressional districts. As a result of the reconfigurations, it is not uncommon to stand on a Houston or Dallas street corner where two or three congressional districts intersect.

Washington's 18th congressional District was created in 1970 to encompass mostly black neighborhoods in Houston's inner city. A demarcation, ordered for the 1992 elections, accommodates the new Hispanic district, leaving the 18th District about 51 percent black, 30 percent Anglo, 11 percent Hispanic and 8 percent other. The 18th District runs in patches from south of the Astrodome to Houston Intercontinental Airport and west to the Galleria area.

Gene Green's 29th congressional District, which includes an area that stretches from Spring Branch through southeast Houston to Baytown, was created for the 1992 elections to include much of the area's growing but geographically dispersed Hispanic population. The district is comprised of 62.1 percent Hispanic residents, 10 percent black residents and 27.9 percent Anglo residents.

Neal Dell, an assistant in Attorney General Dan Morales' office in Austin, said, "Every 10 years when the redistricting takes place, multiple lawsuits are filed – at least 10 or 20." When asked if race and ethnicity played a large part in the redistricting process, Dell said, "No comment."

The suit requests that the March 8 congressional primary elections be put on hold until the Legislature draws new district lines that cluster neighborhoods rather than ethnic groups.

Blum said race isn't the issue in his suit.

He said, "Our group believes that white people will elect blacks to represent them, and that other racial groups and ethnic groups will be similarly unbiased. We're not trying to dilute the power of any one group. Our goal is to empower people in a color-blind way."

 

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A SENATORIAL SAGA

by Ericka Schiche

Daily Cougar Staff

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, once fodder for scathing commentaries, has metamorphosed into a more viable candidate for the senatorial seat she has held since June 14.

The once-embattled Hutchison faces a field of six opponents that consists of M. Troy Mata, James C. Currey, Roger Henson, Stephen Hopkins, Tom Spink and Ernest J. Schmidt in the Republican primary.

A jury recently acquitted Hutchison of all charges derived from a confiscation and subsequent investigation of alleged improprieties, specifically the fraudulent misuse of state property for campaign purposes.

Hutchison's counsel, Dick DeGuerin, contends he objected to the prosecutor's motion to dismiss the case, and the judge abstained. The judge implored the prosecutor to commence prosecution, but he refused to make opening arguments. DeGuerin, reiterating instructions delivered by the judge to the jury, said, "Since the state has presented no evidence, you (the jury) are instructed to find the defendant not guilty."

DeGuerin said, "Now that the people of Texas have seen that this prosecution was a political ploy by a few dishonest Democrats, her chances of being re-elected are greatly enhanced."

Hutchison has prioritized concerns, listing a federal spending reduction bill, an Individual Retirement Account equity bill and maintaining a strong national defense.

Hutchison said, "I'm going to try to put a moratorium on new regulations to give small businesses a breather; I'm going to try to create equity in IRAs, Individual Retirement Accounts for homemakers. Right now, a homemaker can only set aside $250 a year for savings, whereas a person working can set aside $2,000 a year, and I think that's wrong. I think there should be equity."

She and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., co-authors of an IRA equity bill, propose the abolition of bias against homemakers in retirement savings opportunities.

Although Hutchison, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee said, "I'm not for American troops being sent to Bosnia," she does oppose the Clinton administration proposal to double the defense budget cutbacks proposed by the Bush administration.

She added, "We simply cannot allow a repeat of our past mistakes in cutting back on national security excessively during temporary periods of reduced tension."

Hutchison came within two votes (58 in favor, 60 needed to pass) of garnering approval for a 10 percent reduction in federal administrative spending.

During the past session, Hutchison originated and sponsored an amendment, adopted by unanimous vote as part of the Violent Crime Control Act that prohibits awarding of Pell Grants to prison inmates. Hutchison contends this measure frees about $200 million per year for about 100,000 additional law-abiding young people from low-income working families.

Much of Hutchison's original campaign platform was built on the premise that government staffs spend excessive amounts of money on unnecessary items. She said, "I am not for those drastic military cuts, but I am for across-the-board cuts, just like I've done in the treasury. I think every agency of government can tighten up 10 percent – that would save us $30 billion a year."

Hutchison said, "I think that if we set an overall goal of a 2 percent increase in domestic spending, that would overall save us. I would do what's called zero-based budgeting, which makes every agency and every department show why it should be reauthorized, and I think it's important that we have that kind of mechanism to just do away with agencies that we don't need anymore.

"For instance, the Interstate Commerce Commission. The ICC is a commission set up to regulate trucking. Well, we deregulated trucking years ago. We don't need the ICC."

Of President Clinton, she said, "I'll support him when I think he's right, and I'll oppose when I think he's wrong. I think his economic plan is wrong. I think he's right on banking deregulation, and I think he's right on welfare reform."

Hutchison said she doubts the Clinton health care plan will pass. "I am very concerned that during the campaign, he said he thought the Canadian system was a good system to look at. I do not think it's a good system to look at. Its government health care is rationed. You have to wait six months for hip replacement, you have to wait one year for a heart bypass operation and we have the health care system in America that's the best in the world."

Of the extreme divisiveness in Texas politics, Hutchison said, "I don't like the partisanship, I don't like the cheap shots, the games of politics. I wish it were more based on the issues, the way we would like to think the government runs, which is that after the election, the Republicans and Democrats work together for a common goal. But that's not what happens."

 

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TEXAS SUPREME COURT RACE

by James Dufilho

News Reporter

Eleven Texas Supreme Court candidates will be on Tuesday's primary election ballot for three available positions. Seven candidates will run as Democrats and four as Republicans.

Democrats on the ballot will be Bill Yarborough, René Haas, Raul Gonzales, Alice Oliver Parrott, Mike Westergreen, Margaret G. Mirabal and Jimmy Carroll. Republicans will be Oliver S. Kitzman, George Busch, Charles Ben Howell and Nathan L. Hecht.

The three positions available come from Lloyd Doggett, who is stepping down, and incumbents Raul Gonzales and Nathan L. Hecht.

Raul Gonzales has served as a Texas Supreme Court justice for nine years and has a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Houston. He has been in private practice and has served as a federal prosecutor and a legal aid attorney. His other court qualifications include three years as a district court judge and three years as a Court of Appeals justice.

Nathan L. Hecht has been a Texas Supreme Court Justice since 1989. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American and Texas Bar Foundations. He has been a district court judge and has served as a Court of Appeals Justice.

Bill Yarborough has been a Texas attorney for 18 years. He has done civil, criminal and appellate work for Texas and has his law degree from LaSalle University.

Alice Oliver Parrott said her intellect and sensitivity will give her an insight not taught in textbooks. She said this will be of great help as a Texas Supreme Court justice. She has been a trial lawyer, trial judge and chief justice of the First Court of Appeals.

René Haas has served as a district judge for both civil and criminal cases. She is certified in family and criminal law and became an attorney without ever attending law school.

Charles Ben Howell is currently the senior judge in the 1st Administrative Judicial Region in Dallas. He has five degrees from Baylor, Texas Tech, UT-Austin and UT-Arlington.

George Busch said the more than 30 cases he handled on appeal to higher courts make him a good candidate for the Texas Supreme Court. Busch also has 38 years of civil trial work.

Margaret G. Mirabal is in her sixth year on Texas' First Court of Appeals. Mirabal has been a Texas attorney for 18 years and has received the Women of Excellence Award by the Federation of Houston Professional Women.

Jimmy Carroll has been on the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals since 1985 and chief justice since 1990. He earned his law degree from UT and is a recipient of the State Bar Presidential Citation awarded for meritorious service to citizens, lawyers and judiciary of Texas.

Mike Westergreen has been a justice of the peace, county attorney and district judge for more than 10 years. He is also a member of the local lawyer publication Editorial Board.

Oliver S. Kitzman served as district attorney and General Jurisdiction district judge since 1967. He has presided over both civil and criminal cases.

 

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COOGS EDGE RICE 78-76

by Jason Paul Ramirez

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston Cougars ended their Southwest Conference regular season Saturday with a 78-76 victory over the Rice Owls and will play Texas Tech in the first round of the SWC Tournament.

Houston (8-18 overall, 5-9 in the SWC) overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to put away Rice (14-13, 6-8) before 2,386 fans in Hofheinz Pavilion.

However, with just three seconds remaining, Owl junior forward Adam Peakes had a chance to win the ballgame.

But his desperation 3-pointer from behind the backboard rattled in and out of the rim.

Peakes led the Owls with 22 points and nine rebounds.

"I couldn't believe (the shot) almost went in," Houston head coach Alvin Brooks said. "That shot was taken from behind the backboard."

But Rice coach Willis Wilson hinted that the final outcome was really decided by those who were not dressed in trunks and jerseys.

"The refs did a terrible job in keeping the game in control," Wilson said.

Trailing 44-34 at halftime, the Cougars went on a 20-5 run to start the second half and led 54-49 with 9:55 left to play.

Rice missed three of its first 15 shots over the first 10-plus minutes of the second half. In fact, eight of the Owls' first nine points after the break were scored by senior forward Torrey Andrews.

"Torrey Andrews is (one of the) leading scorers in the conference," Wilson said. "And he shot four free throws the whole game. The officiating was atrocious."

Andrews finished the night with 16 points.

Houston's run was led by junior guard Lloyd Wiles, who poured in 14 second-half points.

On the night, Wiles scored a season-high 22 points and was 5-of-5 from the 3-point line.

"I wasn't thinking about (scoring 22 points)," Wiles said. "All I wanted was a win over Rice and it was a great win for us."

Cougar senior guard Anthony Goldwire helped keep Houston ahead in the closing minutes as his slicing move to the hoop gave the Cougars a 77-74 lead with 1:26 left.

"We kept keeping a 3-point lead," Brooks said. "I knew that in order for them to win, they were going to have to keep making their shots."

 

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TWO FACES OF SCHOOLY D ARE CONFUSING

by D. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

Schooly D's <I>Welcome to America<P> suffers from schizophrenia. Two entities reside in the work – Cain and Abel housed in the same body so to speak.

On the one hand, the music rips. Schooly went out and got himself a live band, a sign he has his eyes on the latest trend in rap (a trend pioneered by bands like Digable Planets, the Goats, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy and others).

As an ensemble, the band is tight. Of particular note is the bass work. The bass loops and thumps on every track and the sound is thoroughly phat.

The bass work is accentuated by the funk-style guitar riffs and the jazz-like drumming. All of this is wrapped in synthesized horns that blare intermittently within the songs.

The band features Scott Storch, Mike Tyler and Schooly himself on keyboards; Mike Tyler on lead guitar; Chuck Treece (bassist for the horribly overrated Urge Overkill) and Doug Grigsby on bass; and Andy Kravitz and Mary Harris on drums.

Columbia Records wants to make sure the listener knows that Schooly used an all-live band. The company also stresses that "Schooly D isn't <I>advocating<P> violence and sexism; he's <I>depicting<P> the reality of their existence."

Don't believe that. He's leeching the gangsta rap genre for however much he can get out of the (increasingly tired) cliché.

Herein lies the vinegar of the CD; Schooly D doesn't curse and rant and rave because he has something valid to say. He curses and rants and raves because Columbia Records wants a piece of the "gangsta rap" action. Either that or he is a complete rude, disrespectful moron.

On one track, he defiantly calls black men to action, to rely on their own virtue and not that of politicians, whose concern for the black community ends on the next day. The next thing, he's singing a song titled, "I Shot Da Bitch." To say this man degrades sisters would be the understatement of the year.

Every other track has him "slappin' some bitch," or "*ucking some 'ho'." With all this slapping and *ucking, where does he find time to fight the authorities he's been railing against throughout the entire CD?

But it doesn't stop there. He says <I>nigger<P> so many times, one begins to wonder if he recognizes his very use of the word to describe himself and his people is self-denigrating.

Hard-core hip hop and gangsta rap fans will probably enjoy this one, but if you've grown tired of the "bitch - ho - nigger" style of rap, pass this up; it'll be worth it.

 

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GEORGE STRAIT PLEASES MANY

by Robin Jones

Contributing Writer

George Strait never sends his fans home unsatisfied.

A sold-out crowd of 58,577 loyal Strait fans filled the Astrodome last Monday night. Strait gave them the country music they came for – Texas style.

Strait, a native Texan born and raised in Pleasanton, now makes his home in San Antonio. He is one of Texas' biggest country music stars.

Opening the show with his hit single "Fireman," Strait filled the evening with hit after hit, old and new. Taking only a few breaks between songs to thank the audience for coming, Strait introduced his eight-member "Ace in the Hole" band (all but one are from Texas) and dedicated "Amarillo by Morning" to the cowboys participating in this year's Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Currently on the road promoting his latest release, <I>Easy Come, Easy Go<P>, currently No. 10 on the Billboard Country Music Chart, Strait will be going to Chapel Hill, N.C., after his stay in Houston.

After an hour and 20 minutes of music, the show came to a spectacular end with Strait singing "Unwound." You could see the smiles of appreciation on the faces of his fans as he, mounted on horseback, circled the Astrodome floor shaking fans' hands, then he tossed his famous black cowboy hat into the audience as fireworks exploded overhead.

A George Strait show is always spectacular and a must-see. If you missed out this time around, be sure and catch him the next time he performs in Houston.

 

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OWL STOP UH 73-66

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

If momentum is what the Lady Cougars were seeking coming into the final game of the season at Rice, maybe they should have stayed at home.

The Lady Owls took advantage of three decisive first-half runs and survived a furious Cougar rally in the second half for a 73-66 victory.

Technically speaking, the game meant nothing to the Cougars, who finished the season at 11-14, 5-9 in the Southwest Conference. Their seeding in the SWC Tournament – Houston will play SMU in the first round – had already been determined.

Momentum-wise, though, it was a wash-out

"Obviously, it (the loss) was very disappointing," head coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "We just were not focused. That was the bottom line."

Freshman Traci Bell's 3-pointer brought the Cougars within six at 58-52 at the seven-minute mark of the second half. Rice then seemingly took control again after a technical foul on Michelle Harris gave the Owls a 62-52 lead with 5:47 left.

The next few minutes showed why the Cougars could be dangerous in the Dr Pepper SWC Classic. Houston held the Owls to one free throw in a 2:48 span while scoring seven points of their own, four of them by the precocious Pat Luckey.

That narrowed the deficit to 63-59, but that was as close as it got. Though Rice made only one shot from the floor in the remaining three minutes, they nailed 8-of-8 free-throw attempts while Houston came away empty on their end.

Houston looked sluggish in the first half and was outscored 10-3 to open the game. Junior center Brenda Conaway scored eight of Rice's first 10 points and scored six more during a 9-1 Rice run after the Cougars had come back to tie the score at 11.

Some strong inside play by junior Nicki Manzo aided a 12-4 half-ending spurt by the Owls, giving them a 38-25 lead at intermission.

Luckey led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Conaway headed Rice with 18 points and seven boards.

 

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FIELDS QUALIFIES FOR NCAAS

LONG-JUMP SPECIALIST IN BY 2 INCHES AT CARL LEWIS RELAYS

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

High school and college athletes alike competed together this weekend under the watchful eyes of Cougar alumnus Charles "Bo" Outlaw, Lamar Lathon and, of course, Carl Lewis.

Houston hosted the Carl Lewis Relays at Robertson Stadium Friday and Saturday. Houston won both the men' and women's titles. The men's team accumulated 80 points and the women fisished with 75.

The Cougar high point came when sophomore Sheddric Fiellds automatically qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the long jump. His leap of 26 feet 7 1/4 inches bettered the qualification mark by over two inches.

"It feels good to me becuase I had a bad year last year," he said. "I was starting to get skeptical, but now my confidence is back up."

"I think he's been putting too much pressure on himself," said assistant track coach Kyle Tellez. "Now he feels like he's contributing to the team. Today was a breakthrough for him."

Ten minutes after winning the long jump, Fields won the 100-meter dash in 10.32.

Overall, the Cougars had a very productive outing, winning 15 of the 31 events. In the women's javelin, Houston took the top four spots. Elin Bindixen led the event with a throw of 131 feet 4 inches.

Houston also swept top places in the women's high jump, the 200 meters and 4 x 400 relay. In the 200, Houston had all five runners finish in the top five. De'Angelia Johnson won the event in 24.44 seconds.

The men took all the top spots in the long jump, pole vault, triple jump, 110-meter high hurdles, 100 meters and shot put.

Allen Aldridge, a former Cougar linebacker, won the shot put with a distance of 56 1/2 feet. Since Aldridge attended the NFL combine, he has only been able to practice for about two weeks.

"I kept my strength, but I still need to work on my technique," he said.

Another runner who found success with a heavy schedule was Paul Lupi.

Thursday, Lupi was at Florida to comptete in a last-chance qualifier for the NCAA Indoor Championship meet March 11-12.

Lupi ran a time of 1:50:55 in the 800 meters, but failed to qualify for the NCAAs.

"It was a fast race, but I felt tired. I had the opportunity, but I just didn't take it," he said.

Saturday, he won the 800 in the time of 1:53:35. Even though he won, he did not feel good about his performance.

"I was flat today. The main problem was not having anyone to go with," he said. "I'm not where I want to be, but I'll take where I am."

Houston had other athletes who were competing in other meets this weekend, but could not return for the competition.

Kenneth Bigger, Katrina Harris and Dawn Burrell attended a last-chance qualifier at Louisiana State Friday. All had provisionally qualified for the NCAAs and were trying for automatic acceptance.

Bigger finsished second in the high jump at 7-1, Harris was third in the women's at 5 feet 7 3/4 inches and Burrell came in second in the long jump at 20 feet 1 1/2 inches and third in the 55 meter hurdles, finishing in 7.86.

All failed to qualify automatically, and only Burrell has a chance to make the NCAAs provisionally.

Ubeja Anderson was in Altanta Saturday for the USA-Mobil Indoors. He finsished fourth in his heat in the 60 meter hurdles in 7.82.

"I did a lot of things right, but one mistake kept me out of the finals," he said.

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