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Alternate History November 4th, 1986: White wins reelection as TX Governor (The TL)!

Hobby reflecting on his political future

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Hobby
3:45 PM CST, Thursday, February 26th, 1987
Rotary Club, Houston, TX

It was going to be one of those transformative legislative sessions for TX Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby (D), who was in the middle of his 5th term of office. He had been focusing all of his energies to the aspects of getting the legislative process going smoothly inside the TX State Senate chambers since he was the President of the TX State Senate including appointing the committee chairs, etc.,; Hobby was also working on tackling the latest budget shortfall of $5.8 billion.
His solution to the problem was quite simple: cutting expenses & raising revenues $12.5 billion each; Hobby also worked hard in protecting necessary programs & funding that mattered to Texans: education & human resources. He also realized that despite winning 5 consecutive statewide elections by landslide overwhelming margins, his political future was dwindling down very fast as chatter among many in Austin & across the Lone State State, majority of whom were discussing about several ambitious down-ballot statewide officeholders jockeying for positioning & gunning for the Lieutenant Governorship: State Comptroller Bob Bullock (D) & State Treasurer Ann Richards (D), both of whom were rumored to be jockeying for the Lieutenant Governorship, the Lone Star State's 2nd most powerful statewide office.

Over the past 14 years in office, Hobby has experienced lots of changes & intriguing developments. Since taking office as TX's 37th Lieutenant Governor on January 16th, 1973, he learned the limits of pushing reform when he helped lead a serious effort in revising the TX State Constitution. "I believed that we could create a document more appropriate to governing a populous state in the 20th Century," he said. "I was wrong!" Hobby imbibed a sad, but realistic lesson about Texans' "fear of change and innovation. Texas voters will accept change in small increments when they are convinced of the need for it. But multiple changes with strong and credible opposition is going nowhere in a deeply conservative state."
 
Chapter 3: The Big 3 in Austin....

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Lewis
6:22 PM CST, Saturday, February 28th, 1987
Speaker's Office, 2nd Floor, 2.W.13
TX State Capitol, Austin, TX
Things have been going smoothly for TX House of Representatives Speaker Gibson D. "Gib" Lewis (D-Fort Worth), who had been running the TX House of Representatives like a tight ship since winning the Speakership in 1983, holding all of the factions together: Conservatives, Moderates & Liberals by getting them all in line on pushing legislation through the 150-member lower chamber of the TX State Legislature; he also realized the hotly-contested battle over School Finance was going to eventually become a real problem, having spoken with several school superintendents from rural & urban school districts & unless the 70th Legislature can tackle this matter seriously in a main, delicate manner, it would quickly alienate many schoolteachers, students & parents, who could pose problems later on down the road.
Following the Blue Wave of 1982, Lewis along with Governor White & Lieutenant Governor Hobby, was among one of the key figures in working to pass the 1984 Educational Opportunity Act (EOA), which was overwhelmingly passed during an intriguing special session during the Summer of 1984. The EOA was hailed as the hallmark of Governor White's administration including being hailed as one of the most sweeping education reforms in TX history. He was also instrumental in the passage of the 1985 comprehensive TX Water Plan; Lewis later promoted legislation to combating crime, including stricter laws against drunk drivers.

An avid sportsman & hunter, Lewis carried legislation creating the "Operation Game Thief" program & was a sponsor of the Uniform Game Management Act.

While building up this major achievements, there was also brewing investigations in regard to campaign contributions, acceptance of controversial gifts from a few of Lewis' political campaign contributors such as one particular prominent law firm out of San Antonio. These controversies were slowly, but surely going to be hounding Lewis & would eventually backfire on him down the road.....
 
Richards & her political future.....

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Richards
3:43 PM CST, March 14th, 1987
TX Department of the Treasury, Austin, TX.
Popular two-term TX State Treasurer Dorothy "Ann" Willis Richards (D) was the talk of the town. She was considered to become a rising star among many inside the Democratic Party both of TX & the nation going forward & mentioned as a potential contender for either Governor, Lieutenant Governor or maybe United States Senator.
Richards' approval ratings were an overwhelming 88% among all of the statewide elected officeholders in the Lone Star State. She had been focused on finding alternative solutions in getting the economy moving, coordinating with the legendary TX State Comptroller of Public Accounts Bob Bullock (D): both began pushing specific, detailed diversification plans; Richards herself testified before the TX House of Representatives Appropriations Committee during the height of the 70th Legislature's legislative session: "The State of Texas is facing a $5.8 billion budget deficit. We just cannot and will not tax and spend our way out of this problem. I've spoken with Comptroller Bullock and many other legislators on what we need to do in getting the Texas economy up and moving again; I have proposed major cuts in necessary programs, which will be presented to Governor White, Lieutenant Governor Hobby and Speaker Lewis. The members of this committee also need to get with the program on making the toughest, difficult decisions on enforcing these cuts, which will not make some of your constituents happy when y'all get home once the legislative session is over."

Many considered Richards a rising political star due to her seconding speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, CA & campaigning hard for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket across the Lone Star State & other parts of the country: some had taken notice immediately & began working on lobbying her as a possible contender for either the United States Senate in 1988 or 1990 or even the Lieutenant Governorship in 1990, which was supposed to set up a showdown with Bullock in the Dem Primary....
 
Bullock's Raiders....

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Bullock
3:56 PM CST, Saturday, March 28th, 1987
Lyndon B. Johnson State Office Building
Austin, TX.
Fresh off his overwhelming reelection to a 4th term as the Lone Star State's Chief Financial Officer in November 1986 where he garnered over 90% of the statewide vote & swept all 254 counties, TX State Comptroller of Public Accounts Bob Bullock (D) was hardworking & aggressive in getting things done.
First elected in November 1974 defeating Nick Rowe (R) in the heavily Blue Wave of 1974, garnering 1,099,559 votes (71.61%) to Rowe's 419,657 votes (27.33%) & taking office in January of 1975 as the 34th TX State Comptroller of Public Accounts, Bullock immediately began modernizing the office & to collecting certain taxes that had been previously gone uncollected for years, possibly decades before. The officials collecting such taxes were simply known as "Bullock Raiders".

He was the first statewide elected officeholder to adopting an equal opportunity employment program, a policy then-Comptroller Robert S. Calvert had strongly opposed. Bullock was among the first elected officials to using computer technology in state government to cutting costs & improving productivity. He was the winner of numerous national awards for his management skills, including the Leon Rothenberg Taxpayer Service Award; during his long tenure in office, Bullock pledged fair, but aggressive audits. He made statewide & national headlines with a long series of "raids" on businesses which collected state taxes from customers, but had not turned them into the State. As an outgrowth of his tax collecting efforts, the term "Bullock Raiders" entered the TX state government lexicon.

As Comptroller, Bullock's frequent & increasingly accurate forecasts on state finances allowed the TX State Legislature to budgeting more accurately. He also developed a Taxpayers' Bill of Rights in guaranteeing fairness, courtesy & common sense.
 
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Chapter 3: Leland's backstory....

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The Activist Congressman from Houston
12:55 PM CST, Monday, March 30th, 1987
Sharpstown Mall Office, Houston, TX

The political stock of five-term US Rep. Mickey Leland (D-TX) was rising very quickly as well: having overwhelmingly won reelection to a 5th consecutive 2-year term to the US House of Representatives representing TX's 18th Congressional District virtually unopposed, Leland was seen as a rising star not only in the Lone Star State, but national politics as well considering his aggressive & hardworking campaigning for the Mondale/Ferraro ticket in 1984; GOTV efforts in helping Governor White's gubernatorial campaigns in 1982 & 1986; Leland was the hottest ticket whenever he was on the speaking circuit talking to college students, high school students or business establishments, etc.,
George Thomas Leland was born on November 27th, 1944 in Lubbock, TX to the parents of George Thomas Leland, II & Alice Rains; the Leland's moved to Houston's 5th Ward neighborhood. Growing up in a predominantly African American & Latino neighborhood, where he would become acquainted with Ben Reyes & Craig Washington among many others, Leland attended Wheatley High School in Houston, where he ranked in the Top 10% of his class where he graduated from Wheatley High in 1964 & furthered his education at Texas Southern University, where he was a staunch vocal leader in the Houston-area civil rights movement & had brought national leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to Houston.

Graduating from Texas Southern University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy. He served as an Instructor of Clinical Pharmacy at his alma mater from 1970-71, where he had set up door-to-door outreach campaigns in low-income neighborhoods to inform people about their medical care options & performing preliminary screenings. It was during the administration of then-Texas Southern University President Leonard O. Spearman, where Leland received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater. He also began to work with philanthropist John de Menil & his wife, Dominique Schulmberger, both of whom encouraged Leland to get involved in politics if he wanted to make major changes, which were needed on the legislative level.

In 1972, Leland was elected to the TX House of Representatives from District 88, when TX for the first time, allowed its members in the TX House of Representatives & TX State Senate seats to be elected as single-member districts. Soon afterwards, five minority candidates (dubbed "The People's Five") included eventual winners Leland, Craig Washington, Anthony Hall, Senfronia Thompson, & Benny Reyes ran successfully for district seats in the TX House of Representatives, a first for a state that, although Barbara Jordan had been elected to the TX State Senate in 1966, had not seen any African American State Representatives since Reconstruction.

Reelected in 1974 & again in 1976, Leland served three 2-year terms in the TX House of Representatives for District 88. During his six years in the TX State Legislature, Leland became famous for being a staunch advocate of healthcare rights for poor Texans; he was responsible for the passage of legislation that provided low-income consumers with access to affordable generic drugs & supported the creation of healthcare access through Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). In order to accomplish his goals in Austin, Leland served on the TX State Labor Committee, State Affairs Committee, Human Resources Committee, Legislative Council & the Subcommittee on Occupational & Industrial Safety. He was elected Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Prison Reform including becoming the first African American to serve on the Senate-House Conference Committee as a member of the House Appropriations Committee & also fostered state employment opportunities for minorities. In 1978, Leland constructed the National Black-Hispanic Democratic Coalition that drew attention at the Democratic Midterm Convention in Memphis, TN; during this time, he worked as the director of special development projects for Herman Hospital & functioned as the vice president of King State Bank.

When US Rep. Barbara Jordan (D-TX) announced her retirement due to health problems, Leland struck while the iron was hot & ran for the open US House seat for TX's 18th Congressional District & was elected in 1978; reelected in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986 & again in 1988. The congressional district included the neighborhood where he had grown up & he was recognized as a knowledgeable advocate for health, children & the elderly. His leadership abilities were immediately noticed by many on Capitol Hill, & he was named to serve as Freshman Majority Whip during his first term & later served twice as At-Large Majority Whip. Leland met & married Allison Walton in 1983, they would become the parents of three sons.

In Congress, Leland was an effective advocate on hunger & public health issues. In 1984, Leland established the House Select Committee on Hunger & initiated a number of programs designed to assuage the famine crises that plagued Ethiopia & Sudan through much of the 1980s. He pioneered many Afro-centric cultural norms in Washington, DC which included wearing a dashiki & African-style hats. Visiting soup kitchens & makeshift shelters, he became increasingly concerned about the hungry & homeless. The work for which he was most remembered began when Leland co-authored legislation with US Rep. Ben Gilman (R-NY St) in establishing the House Select Committee on Hunger, US House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-MA) named Leland as the chairman of the newly-formed committee when it was enacted. The Select Committee's mandate was "to conduct a continuing, comprehensive study & review of the problems of hunger & malnutrition." Although the committee had no legislative jurisdiction, the committee, for the first time, provided a single focus for hunger-related issues. The committee's impact & influence would stem largely from Congressman Leland's ability to generating awareness of complex hunger alleviation issues & exert his personal moral leadership. In addition to focusing on issues of hunger, his legislative abilities would create the National Commission on Infant Mortality, better access for fresh food for at-risk women, children & infants & the first comprehensive services for the homeless. His sensitivity to the immediate needs of poor & hungry people would soon make him a spokesperson for hungry people on a far broader scale. Reports of acute famine in sub-Saharan Africa immediately prompted Speaker O'Neill to ask Leland to leading a bipartisan Congressional delegation to assess conditions & relief requirements. Upon returning to the States, Leland brought together entertainment personalities, religious leaders & private voluntary agencies to creating general public support for the Africa Famine Relief & Recovery Act of 1985. That legislation provided $800 million in food & humanitarian relief supplies. The international attention Leland had focused on the famine brought additional support for non-governmental efforts, saving thousands of lives.

His ability in reaching out to others with innovative ideas & to gaining support from unlikely sources was a key to his success in effectively addressing the problems for the poor & minorities. He met with Pope John Paul II about food aid to Africa & Cuban dictator Fidel Castro about reuniting Cuban families. In Moscow, as part of the first Congressional delegation led by Speaker O'Neill as part of the post-Cold War era, he proposed a joint US/Soviet food initiative to Mozambique. As Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Leland proudly presented the first awards the Caucus had ever given to an Anglo, rock musician Bob Geldorf & ABC News TV Anchor Ted Koppel. Geldorf honored for his Band Aid concert & fundraising efforts for African famine victims; Koppel for his news stories on the African famine. Leland was a powerful advocate on other major issues: while chairing the House Select Committee on Hunger, Leland was a member of the Committee on Energy & Commerce & the Subcommittees on Telecommunications & Finance, Health & the Environment, including Energy & Power. He also chaired the Subcommittee on Postal Operations & Services & served on the Committee on Post Office & Civil Service & the Subcommittee on Compensation & Employment.
 
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Chapter 3: Governor White's 2nd term accomplishments

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Governor White's 2nd term accomplishments & achievements
During Governor White's 2nd term in office, he spent much of it dealing with the continuing prison overcrowding problem. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the War on Drugs & other national crime prevention efforts. The recession in the Lone Star State continued to be very severe, so White focused his attention on job creation, economic diversification & the recruitment of out-of-state companies & industries. TX was ordered by the courts to finding more equitable ways on finding public schools between wealthy & poor school districts & considerable effort was spent trying to find a solution.

White moved quickly to stabilizing the state's budget crisis & met with Judge Justice by hammering out final terms regarding the Ruiz decision. In the height of the 1987 legislative session, White found himself besieged in the early second term budget battle with the TX State Legislature, controlled by his own political party: the TX Dems, some of whom were applying maximum pressure on the Governor.

Cornered & caught between the need to increasing revenues in maintaining the Lone Star State's basic functions & a firm campaign pledge of not raising taxes, Governor White eventually agreed to a compromise $38 billion budget with additional riders of raising $5.7 billion.

Using special sessions to reforming workers compensation laws, leading the consolidation of state criminal justice agencies under the umbrella of a new TX Department of Criminal Justice; White also established the TX Department of Transportation. During his second term, the economic situation righted itself eventually & with Governor White's hardworking efforts, diversified economic growth areas ranging from Infrastructure projects, new roads, highways & strong water projects: these measures aggressively reduced the odds that another oil slump wouldn't send the Lone Star State into another 1980s-style recession.

White also served as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, where the Democrats held onto Governorships in LA, MS, KY during 1987 gubernatorial elections; delivered the Democratic Party's Response to President Ronald Reagan's 1987 State of the Union Address; served on the executive committee of the National Governors Association.
 
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University of Texas/Howard Scripps....

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University of Texas at Austin/Howard Scripps Polling Survey (May 5th-30th, 1987)
Do you approve or disapprove the job TX Governor Mark W. White, Jr., (D) is doing ?
Approve: 30%
Disapprove: 56%
Undecided: 14%

Do you approve or disapprove the job TX Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby (D) is doing ?
Approve: 70%
Disapprove: 16%
Undecided: 12%

Do you approve or disapprove the job TX State Legislature is doing ?
Approve: 55%
Disapprove: 29%
Undecided: 11%

Do you approve or disapprove the job United States Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) is doing ?
Approve: 73%
Disapprove: 18%

Do you approve or disapprove the job United States Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) is doing ?
Approve: 52%
Disapprove: 34%
Undecided: 12%

Do you approve or disapprove the job US President Ronald Reagan is doing ?
Approve: 62%
Disapprove: 20%
Undecided: 16%

Do you approve or disapprove the job US Vice President George HW Bush is doing ?
Approve: 56%
Disapprove: 28%
Undecided: 13%
 
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Chapter 3: Political ramifications....

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BREAKING NEWS: TX LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BILL HOBBY (D) NOT SEEKING REELECTION IN 1990: DOMINOES OF POLITICAL MUSICAL CHAIRS BEGIN....
Monday, June 1st, 1987
Austin, TX



In a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in uptown Austin, TX Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby (D), who has served as the Lone Star State's 37th Lieutenant Governor since January 16th, 1973, announced he would not seek reelection to an unprecedented 6th term or any other political office in 1990 once his 5th term as Lieutenant Governor expires on January 15th, 1991.

The fallout from Hobby's retirement had major political ramifications going forward:

*Governor Mark W. White (D) thanked Hobby for his 18 years of service as Lieutenant Governor & also said "All Texans will be forever grateful to his tough, strong, dignified leadership in the days, weeks, months and years ahead going forward."

*State Attorney General Jim Mattox (D) thanked Hobby for his years of service to the people of TX & pledged to continue working with them in the remaining 3 1/2 years.

*State Comptroller Bob Bullock (D) confirmed he's formed an exploratory committee on a likely bid for the Lieutenant Governorship in 1990.

*State Treasurer Ann Richards (D) complimented Hobby's years of public service to Texans & said in a statement "Texans will miss the strong leadership of Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby. The accomplishments such as education reform, stronger infrastructure projects as building new roads, highways, bridges, economic growth and many other countless achievements benefiting Texans will be with us for the rest of our lives." Reports circulate Richards won't divulge her political plans until after the 1989 legislative session.

*Other complimentary statements were released by United States Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX), TX Commissioner of General Land Office Garry Mauro (D), TX Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower (D), TX Railroad Commissioners Jim Nugent (D), John Sharp (D) including members of the TX House of Representatives & TX State Senate.
 
Statewide, National & International highlights from Spring, Summer & Fall of 1987

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Statewide, National & International Highlights
(Spring, Summer & Fall of 1987)


December 14th-15th, 1987: The ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines.
*February 8th, 1987: Brownsville, TX is deluged with 7 inches of rain (177.80 mm) of rain in just 2 HRS, & flooding in some parts of the city is worse than caused by Hurricane Beluah in 1967.
*February 26th, 1987: The Tower Commission led by former United States Senator John Tower (R-TX), strongly rebuked US President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.
*April 4th, 1987: Hughes Tool Company merges with Baker International, forming Baker Hughes Incorporated.
*April 1987: Just Marion's & Lynn's closes down following the shooting death of Marion Pantzer on March 11th, 1986.
*Spring 1987: South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX conglomerate of film, interactive media, music festivals & conferences debuts.
*May 22nd, 1987: Deadly tornado in Saragosa, TX (Reeves County) results in the deaths of 30 people, injuring over 100 people; this tornado pretty much destroyed the entire town, damage consisted of $2.5 million.
*July 21st, 1987: Kristi Lynn Addis of MS wins 1987 Miss Teen USA Crown.
*October 14th-16th, 1987: Jessica McClure becomes famous when at 18 months old, she fell into a well in her aunt's backyard in Midland, TX. Between that day & October 16th, rescuers worked 56 HRS to free her from the eight-inch (20 cm) well casing 22 FT (6.7 m) below the ground. The story gained national & international attention & later becomes the subject of a 1989 ABC TV movie "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure"
*October 17th, 1987: The 4th WCCW Cotton Bowl Extravaganza takes place at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, TX; Al Perez wins the WCWA Heavyweight Championship.
*October 24th, 1987: US Rep. Charles E. "Buddy" Roemer, III (D-LA), a staunch conservative Democrat, pulls off a major political upset, winning the 1987 LA Gubernatorial Election defeating embattled three-term incumbent LA Governor Edwin W. Edwards (D), who was seeking reelection to a 4th term; Edwards' third term was engulfed by state finances which nosedived quickly, money from petroleum severance taxes decreased sharply in the middle of the 1980s by plummeting oil prices. It also didn't help that Edwards & his loyalists in the LA State Legislature had pushed through unpopular increases in the sales tax, corporate income taxes & additional gasoline taxes as well as cutting basic services; the federal indictments which occurred didn't Edwards at all with the voters (despite being acquitted in 1986) & other corruption scandals inside Edwards' administration were too much for Louisianans to stomach after 12 years in the LA Governor's Mansion.
Roemer won the Jungle Primary with 516,128 votes (33.1%) to Edwards' 434,802 votes (27.99%), followed by Edwards announcing he won't be participating in the upcoming November Runoff election (which most political observers & analysts strongly agreed Edwards was destined to lose in a landslide). However, by conceding very early, Edwards was cleverly setting a trap for the Governor-elect as well as denying Roemer the opportunity to building a governing coalition in the general election & also denied him a decisive victory that he surely would've attained had a runoff occurred. In one stroke, Edwards made Roemer a minority Governor & virtually ceded total control of the entire Pelican State even before Roemer's upcoming inauguration set for March 14th, 1988.

 
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Chapter 3: Campaign announcements....

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BREAKING NEWS: BULLOCK ANNOUNCES EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE IN LIKELY CANDIDACY FOR TX LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
2:00 PM CST, Thursday, June 4th, 1987
*TX Comptroller of Public Accounts Bob Bullock (D) announced he will be forming an exploratory committee in likely-expected candidacy for the Lieutenant Governorship in a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in uptown Austin.

*TX State Treasurer Ann Richards (D) in a press release, announced she would NOT challenge Bullock in the 1990 Democratic primary election for Lieutenant Governor & endorses him.

Richards also said she's NOT running for the Governorship in 1990 either, but didn't rule out a campaign for the United States Senate.


DETAILS COMING IN: MAURO, HIGHTOWER SEEKING REELECTION TO THEIR CURRENT POSTS IN 1990

*TX Commissioner of General Land Office Garry Mauro (D) & TX Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower (D) both confirmed they'll be seeking reelection to their respective posts in 1990 despite speculation that Mauro would run for TX State Attorney General & Hightower would run for the United States Senate.

*Hightower, who's currently under federal investigation of possible corruption probes, has strongly denied any wrongdoing; he called the allegations "nothing more than a Republican hitjob!"
 
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Chapter 3: The Rising Star in TX politics.....

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Cisneros
3:48 PM CST, Friday, June 5th, 1987
Mayor's Office, San Antonio City Hall
San Antonio, TX.

San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros (D) was not only a rising star of the Texas Democratic Party, but also of the National Democratic Party as well. Since his election to the Alamo City's highest office in 1981, he had been the talk of the country.....

Henry Gabriel Cisneros was born on June 11th, 1947 in San Antonio as the eldest of five children to George & Elvira (nee Munguia) Cisneros, in a neighborhood that bordered the city's predominantly Mexican West Side barrio (now the city's inner west side). He was named after his mother's youngest brother, who had developed Hodgkin's disease at the age of 14 & asked on his deathbed that his sister give his name to her son. Cisneros is descended on his father's side from early Spanish settlers in NM; His expatriate mother was the daughter of Romulo Munguia, a renowned Mexican dissident journalist, printer & intellectual & Carolina Malpica Munguia, an educator, radio personality & longtime activist, who fled their native country in 1926 due to the Mexican Revolution as well as the repressive regime of then-Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz.

Upon graduating from Central Catholic Marianist High School, Cisneros continued his education at Texas A&M University in 1964 & quickly became a student leader with the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs. In his sophomore year, he switched his major from Aeronautical Engineering to City Management. In 1967, through MSC SCONA, he was selected to attend the annual Student Conference on United States Affairs at West Point, where he first learned that American cities were in serious trouble. Relating what he heard to the problems of his largely poor hometown, the meeting, plus a visit to NYC, NY St., was a personal & professional turning point for him.

Graduating from Texas A&M University in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Cisneros then later earned a Master of Arts degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Texas A&M University in 1970; he then earned an additional Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1973; he studied Urban Economics & did doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974 & received a Doctorate of Public Administration from George Washington University in 1976. Cisneros served as an infantry officer in the MA Army National Guard while attending MIT; he also married Mary Perez, where they would become the parents of three children.

Elected to the San Antonio City Council representing the 1st District in 1975 & reelected in 1977 & again in 1979, Cisneros assumed a hands-on approach to governing that he promised during his campaign. He set himself on a plan to knowing all he could about life in the city firsthand by emptying trash cans to learn about problems of the sanitation department; walking the beat with a San Antonio PD police officer; administering first aid with ambulance attendants. He also visited families in public housing units & promised that their problems wouldn't be no longer ignored. During his six years on the City Council, Cisneros took assorted populist positions on such issues like dealing with labor, water, education, & housing among others. All the while, he endeared himself to the Latino community, especially in the city's predominantly Mexican American poor neighborhoods, where he resided. He also formed a relationship with Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS), a powerful grassroots Latino advocacy group founded in 1973 whose focus was to pushing for developing funding into the city's Latino communities. His attention to the needs of infrastructure to the lower income Mexican American neighborhoods further elevated Cisneros' standing in the Latino community. Yet, at the same time, Cisneros looked forward to building a greater San Antonio & the socially-redeeming power that comes with economic growth. From 1975 to 1979, Cisneros' hardworking efforts & abilities on building bridges of all San Antonians continued to have success: between the pro-growth business establishment & the underrepresented Mexican American community. He "enjoyed the resources & visibility of the GGL Establishment without being confined to its agenda" & "built an image of an articulate smooth, Harvard & MIT educated man." He was a local grown homeboy "who cared about the problems of the common person."

Announcing his candidacy as an independent for the Mayoralty in the 1981 elections, Cisneros' campaigning of hopeful visions for the future of the city was able to unite the wealthy conservatives of San Antonio & the increasingly vocal Mexican American community. On April 4th, 1981, Cisneros, at the young age of 33, was elected Mayor with 62% of the citywide vote becoming the second Latino Mayor of a major US city as well as the first Mexican American Mayor of San Antonio since 1842 when Juan Seguin resigned from office. At the time of his election, San Antonio was the 10th largest city in the United States & took office on May 1st, 1981. He was reelected in 1983, 1985 & again in 1987 for 4 2-year terms, winning an unprecedented 94.2% of the vote in 1983; 73% of the vote in 1985 & 67% of the vote in 1987. His popularity didn't rest with just San Antonio's Latino community, but with all ethnic groups including African Americans in San Antonio; In 1982, Cisneros was selected as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America by the US Jaycees, in addition to receiving a prestigious Jefferson Award for "Greatest Public Service by an Individual 35 years or Under.";

During his administration, Cisneros also helped rebuild the Alamo City's economic base & spurred the creation of jobs through massive infrastructure & downtown improvements. In 1984, former US Secretary of State Walter Mondale, the Democratic presidential nominee, interviewed Cisneros as well as Governor White & United States Senator Lloyd Bentsen (D-TX) as possible candidates for the Vice Presidency & in 1986, Cisneros was selected as "Outstanding Mayor" in the nation by City & State Magazine.
 
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Slick Rick's backstory.....

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Perry
4:28 PM CST, Sunday, June 7th, 1987
Haskell, TX

Then-State Rep. Rick Perry (D-Haskell) with TX House of Representatives Speaker Gib Lewis (D-Fort Worth).
There was one particular state legislator inside the TX House of Representatives, whom some considered to be super ambitious, eager in getting what he wanted as well as doing whatever it took to getting toward his ultimate goals---no matter whom he had to double-cross or backstab to getting there & his name was James Richard Perry.

A fifth-generation Texan, Perry was born on March 4th, 1950 in Haskell, TX & was raised in Paint Creek; the son of dryland cotton farmers Joseph Ray Perry & Ameila June Holt Perry. His ancestry is almost entirely English, dating as far back as the original Thirteen Colonies. His family has been in TX since before the Texas Revolution; his father, a staunch conservative Democrat, had served as a longtime Haskell County Commissioner & also served on the Haskell Independent School District School Board of Trustees. Perry said that his interest in politics began in November of 1961, when his father took him to the funeral of legendary US House Speaker Sam Rayburn (D-TX). He served in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) & earned the rank of Eagle Scout; the BSA honored him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

Graduating from Paint Creek High School in 1968, Perry attended Texas A&M University in College Station to furthering his education, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets & the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. He was elected senior class secretary, a member & redpot in Aggie Bonfire & one of Texas A&M's five yell leaders. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture.

Upon graduating from Texas A&M University, Perry was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer & completed pilot training in February of 1974. He was then assigned as a C-130 pilot with the 772nd Tactical Arilift Squadron at Dyess AFB, located in Abilene, TX. His duties included a two-month overseas rotations at RAF Mildenhall, located in Mildenhall, England & Rhien-Main Air Base, located in Frankfurt, Germany. His missions also included a 1974 US State Department drought relief effort in Mali, Mauritana & Chad including earthquake relief in Guatemala in 1976. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Captain from the United States Air Force in 1977 & returned to TX, going into the family business farming cotton with his father.

On November 5th, 1982, Perry married his childhood sweetheart Anita Thigpen (whom they had known each other since elementary school) & they would become the parents of two children: son, Griffin & daughter, Sydney.

Interested on making a difference, Perry ran for & was successful in his bid for a seat in the TX House of Representatives in 1984 representing District 64 & was reelected in 1986 & again in 1988, serving 3 2-year terms. The district included his home county of Haskell; Perry served on the House Appropriations & Calendar committees, while in the State Legislature, he befriended many state legislators such as Harold Dutton (D-Houston), Senfronina Thompson (D-Houston), Al Edwards (D-Houston), Dan Morales (D-San Antonio) & Lena Guerrero (D-Austin). He was part of the "Pit Bulls", a group of Appropriations committee members, who sat on the lower dais in the committee ("Red Pit") who aggressively pushed for austere state budgets in the 1980s. At one point, the Dallas Morning News named Perry as one of the ten most effective members of the State Legislature. In 1987, Perry voted for a $5.7 billion tax increase, which was proposed by Governor White. He also supported the unsuccessful presidential campaign of United States Senator Albert A. Gore, Jr., (D-TN) including working on Gore's campaign in the Lone Star State during the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries.
 
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That Lady from Houston.....

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That Lady from Houston shaking up City Hall....
1:48 PM CST, Thursday, June 11th, 1987
Houston, TX


While rallying her massive group of supporters at the Whitmire Campaign Headquarters, Houston Mayor Kathy Whitmire (D) was addressing the main issues of concern facing Houstonians: tackling anti-crime measures, creating millions of jobs, getting the economy moving in the aftermath of Reaganomics, plus shaking up city government among other areas.

Things were rebounding in terms of the Houston economy which was good news for Whitmire, whose road to reelection for a fourth consecutive 2-year term looked very good & excellent. During her tenure, Whitmire appointed the first African American Police Chief of the Houston Police Department (more on Lee Brown in Chapter 4); the first Latina as the Presiding Judge of Municipal Court; her support of a failed job rights bill for members of the LGTBQ community among other deeds & actions, cemented her support among them including women & minority groups such as Latinos, African Americans, Asian/Pacific Islander Americans, etc.,

Whitmire's success in leading the Lone Star State's largest city gained both statewide & national acclaim, which led to some inside the Democratic Party to believe she would become a future contender for statewide office in the future....


 
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Chapter 4: Linda Gale.....

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Chapter 4: Linda Gale
11:35 AM CST, Friday, June 12th, 1987
TX Governor's Mansion
Austin, TX


During a meeting with her predecessors: Marialice Shay Shivers, Jean Daniel, Nellie Connally, Ima Mae Smith, Janey Slaughter Briscoe & Rita Crocker Clements during a meeting inside the TX Governor's Mansion, TX First Lady Linda Gale White had been making her mark on the ceremonial title over the past few years since moving into the Governor's Mansion on January 18th, 1983.

She became one of the leading advocates in contributing to pushing successful fundraising efforts in the full restoration of the 1888 TX State Capitol; Linda Gale also led on statewide community involvement when it came to education intiatives by encouraging students, parents & teachers.
 
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Chapter 4: Another rising star....

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Morales
4:32 PM CST, Friday, June 12th, 1987
San Antonio, TX

Morales during his time in the TX State Legislature.

When the second special session of the 70th Legislature winded down, there was an outspoken, brave state legislator from San Antonio, who wasn't going to be dancing to the tune of the Texas Democratic Party or anybody else because he believed in self-reliance, standing up for yourself, living within our means, pushing a more center-right approach to government. His name was Daniel C. Morales.

Born on April 24th, 1956 in San Antonio, TX, Morales attended public school in the San Antonio Independent School District; upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at Trinity University where he graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts degree & later a Juris Doctorate degree from Harvard University Law School in 1981.

The young lawyer landed his first post-graduate job at the Houston corporate law firm Bracewell & Patterson in 1981 & the following year, he joined the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. After an 18-month stint of prosecuting minor drug cases, the 28-year-old Morales ran successfully for a seat in the TX House of Representatives from District 124. He explained that while toiling as a Bexar County prosecutor, "the exposure to the system and seeing victims getting the shaft impressed upon me that changes needed to be made." Those changes, Morales came to learn, were best addressed at the legislative level, so he felt compelled to run in 1984 against incumbent State Rep. Joe Hernandez (D-San Antonio), who was a defense attorney. The young candidate excoriated Hernandez, for as Morales put it, "abusing the legislative continuance statute to delay the trials of rapists, murderers, and drug dealers he was representing." Morales defeated Hernandez in the primary election & went onto emerging victorious in the November general election that same year; he was reelected in 1986 & again in 1988.

During his time in the TX House of Representatives, Morales served on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee (Chairman); Criminal Jurisprudence Subcommittee on Budget & Oversight; Criminal Justice Subcommittee on Inhalant Abuse; Ways & Means Committee (Vice Chairman). He also served on the Security for Judgements Committee; Special Committee; Sentencing & Recidivism, Select Committee; Tax Equity, Select Committee. He was also considered by many as a rising star for higher political office, but there was something off about the way Morales had been cutting corners which would backfire on him down the road....


 
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Chapter 4: Hightower's populism....

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Hightower
4:41 PM CST, Sunday, June 14th, 1987
TX Department of Agriculture
Austin, TX.


Hightower during a press briefing in Austin.
TX Agriculture Commissioner Jim Hightower (D) was pushing ahead in the midpoint of his 2nd term. During his tenure of leading the TX Department of Agriculture: Hightower was noted for fostering organic production, alternative crops, direct marketing by small farmers, & strong gross materials regulations. During this period, he also became a leading national spokesperson for the National Democratic Party including endorsing Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign; he also rewrote the Democratic Party's national farm policies; attacked the Reagan administration's handling of the farm crisis in a give-em-hell speech during the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, CA; flying across the United States, giving speeches in Chicago, IL., Des Moines, IA., & in Washington, DC to the National Press Club.

Hightower's message was simple: "Agriculture is in a world of hurt. Farmers are facing economic conditions more severe than those in the 1930s and the Republicans have only made conditions worse: Ronald Reagan promised us a seven-course dinner, but all we got was a six-pack and a possum." Seldom has such as low-profile statewide office produced such a high-profile politician. Hightower uses the farmers' plight allegorically, letting their problems symbolize those faced by small businessmen, blue-collar workers & all of the other "powerless" groups he is trying to reach through the new populist movement, which he helped found. At first, conservative agribusinessmen in the Lone Star State didn't know what to make of a political maverick who went around saying: "too few people control all the money and power, leaving the rest of us with very little of either."

Upon getting elected in the Blue Wave of 1982 with 60% of the statewide vote, Hightower won reelection in 1986 with 59% of the statewide vote; Hightower's first term as Agriculture Commissioner had some good points: immediately starting overhauling the $20 million-a-year TX Department of Agriculture, promising to make it more responsive not only to farmers, but consumers & farm workers as well. However, he also had some roadblocks along the way such as when getting into big political fights: bills being introduced in the TX State Legislature, which would've reduced his authority & cutting the TX Agriculture Department's budget; these bills didn't turn out successful as Hightower had a power-base of coalition of urban voters & minorities including strong persuasion from Hightower allies, who threatened political retaliation on state legislators, who tried to limit Hightower's ability in doing his job.
 
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Chapter 4: C-SPAN interview with Governor White

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C-SPAN Interview with Governor White
1:00 PM CST, Sunday, June 14th, 1987
Reception Room, Governor's Office
TX State Capitol
Austin, TX

TX Governor Mark W. White, Jr., (D) interviewed by Carl Rutan of C-SPAN inside the Reception Room of the Governor's Office at the TX State Capitol in Austin.

Governor White was being interviewed by C-SPAN Morning Show TV Host Carl Rutan inside the Reception Room of the Governor's Office on the 2nd floor of the TX State Capitol in Austin. The topics ranged from: The economic situation in TX, Governor White's reelection victory in 1986, the worsening economic recession affecting Gulf States, the 1988 Presidential campaign as well as White's political future going forward.

Rutan: "Governor White, thank you very much for inviting C-SPAN to do this special interview with on C-SPAN's special of America's Governors. We are live at the Reception Room of the Governor's Office at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas."

White: "Good afternoon Mr. Rutan and C-SPAN. I would like to thank you and those behind the scenes, who are making C-SPAN a great network program for all Americans to discovering how Main Street outside of Washington, DC., is doing. Plus, I am glad that you're here in the great state of Texas for this special on America's Governors."

Rutan: "Before we get to the gist of our special interview. Governor White, there's been lots of political speculation on your political future. National political experts view you, as a potential contender for the Vice Presidency on a spot on the ticket for the Democratic Party nominee for President in 1988; some rumors have pegged you sir, as a last-minute candidate for the 1988 Democratic Presidential nomination; and political analysts think you could be a possible United States Senator in the future. Is there any truth to these political speculations because lots of national Democrats are pushing you to be their choice in the upcoming election..."

White: "With all due respect, I am currently focused on the job that I've got right now and that's continuing to serve as Governor of the greatest state in the country in the entire world. Like I mentioned late last year, I plan on seeking reelection in 1990. Now this is not about having a record, but making strongly sure that the entire State of Texas is being run well and efficient.

I have told Senator Bentsen that I am not running against him in 1988 or even against Senator Gramm for that matter (in reference to United States Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) in 1990); I can also tell you that I am not running for President in 1988 or 1992 and I am not interested in being Vice President either because it would became quite distracting from the job that Texans have hired me to do right now."

Rutan: "Speaking of national politics, Governor White. We both know that no Democrat has won the Presidency without carrying Texas and that last happened in 1976 when then-President Jerry Brown won the state narrowly in his bid to win the Presidency that year; of course, Republicans have since won Texas in three out of the last four presidential elections (in reference to Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984). Your fellow Texan on the Republican side, Vice President George HW Bush is favored to win Texas' 29 Electoral Votes in 1988, which will likely result in Republicans winning a third presidential term in a row next fall.

How can you explain why Republicans have managed to force Democrats to play defense in a large state like Texas in recent years?"
 
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