The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas on October 13, 1993 · Page 35
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The Galveston Daily News from Galveston, Texas · Page 35

Galveston, Texas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 13, 1993
Page 35
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OPINION Wednesday, October 13, 1993 Lea Daughtry .....Editor and Publisher Emeritus Dolph Tillotson „ Editor and Publisher DougToney Managing Editor - Editorials ——___ .. Amendments News offers advice to voters V oters, sharpen your pencils. Sixteen proposed constitutional amendments are on the Nov. 2 ballot. Early voting starts today. Our best advice is to study the issues and vote. For brave readers who can stand a little more advice, here are our views: Proposition 1: Would let the Legislature issue $50 million in bonds to help start "historically underutilized businesses." Vote yes, but have reservations. The law is disturbingly vague. But the intent is to create jobs by encouraging the growth of businesses owned by women and minorities. We- think that's an admirable goal — and worth the risk of approving a poorly worded amendment. Proposition 2: Would let the Legislature grant tax exemptions for pollution control equipment. Vote yes. It's not often environmentalists and industrialists agree, but almost everyone wants to control pollution Proposition 3: Would let the state relinquish its interest in land in Fort Bend and Austin counties. Yes. Definitely. The state is in a losing legal battle with the rightful owners of the property. It's a messy title fight. The state is going to lose. Voting yes just saves taxpayers a lot of legal fees. Proposition 4: Would require voter approval of a state personal income tax. It sounds good, but vote no. Why? Because it's a political cop-out. Because it would perpetuate an inequitable tax structure until Gabriel blows his horn. Because it would tie the Legislature's hands forever by dedicating yet more of the state's limited revenue before it is collected. If you think the current system of taxation is fair and equitable, vote yes and lock it in place. If you think there is room for improvement, vote no. Proposition 5: Would let the Legislature prescribe qualifications for sheriffs. You bet. Sheriffs ought to have the minimum training required to get a job as a beginning deputy.. Propositions 6, 8 and 15: Proposition 15 would allow counties all across Texas to call elections to abolish the elected offices of county surveyor. Proposition 6 would allow the people of Jackson County to do it. Proposition 8 would help the folks in McLennan County. Vote yes. Folks in every county in Texas ought to be able to get rid of government jobs they consider obsolete. It's just sad it takes a statewide vote to allow some county officials around Waco or Edna to save a few tax dollars. Proposition 7: Would repeal corporate requirements for issuing stocks and bonds. Yes. The constitution has a lot of requirements regulating securities. Those who keep up with things noticed the federal government already regulates securities. These constitutional requirements are redundant at best, a nuisance at worst. Proposition 9: Would limit the right to redeem property sold at a tax sale. Vote yes. Right now, local governments — including the city of Galveston — can't get property back on the tax rolls promptly because prospective buyers have to worry about an absentee landowner exercising his right of redemption Absentee landowners who don't pay taxes don't deserve that break. If they can't resolve tax problems in six months, someone else should get a shot at paying taxes on the property. The proposed amendment has adequate protection — two years — for homesteads and farms. Proposition 10: Would authorize $750 million in bonds to finance land and housing loans to veterans. Yes. This program is a nice "thank you" from Texas to its veterans, who frankly don't get a heck of a lot from the federal government, Proposition 11: Would set requirements for the administration of public pension systems. Yes. Right now, some local governments raid employee pension funds whenever they get in a financial bind That's not fair. Proposition 12: Would automatically deny bail, after a hearing, to people on parole or probation who are accused of violent or sexual offenses. Yes._Right now, a fellow who murders or rapes can apply tor bail if he's had only one previous felony conviction. It takes two convictions on vicious crimes to automatically deny bail. One is enough. Proposition 13: Would add the Texas State Technical College System to the list of institutions that receive funds from the Higher Education Assistance Fund. Yes. The technical college system does good work and is asking for less than 3 percent of the pie most universities share Proposition 14: Would authorize $1 billion in bonds for corrections facilities and mental health and mental retardation institutions. Yes. A few years ago the state authorized $1.1 billion for new prison cells for felony offenders. The proposed bonds would be used to fund the state jail system, which will be used for non-violent offenders. It's important to lock up murderers and rapists, but it's also important to help burglars and car thieves find some direction in their lives. The money could be used for boot camps and juvenile centers — an important consideration to Galveston County, which has seen a rapid increase in juvenile crime and which is trying to build a juvenile detention center. Proposition 16: Would authorize $75 million in additional bonds for agricultural business loans. Yes. Texas ought to preserve its agricultural economy. Today's editorial was written by Heber Thylor, assistant managing editor of The Galveston Daily News'. Could 'media-smart' Powell be America's next president? Newspaper Enterprise Association Will Colin Powell become the next U.S. president? Powell's retirement from the Army at the end of September has touched off intense speculation about a future in politics for America's top soldier. Ifs being suggested that the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff could follow in Dwight Eisenhower's footsteps. Like Ike, a World War II hero who became president in 1953, Powell served as a popular general. "Let me put it this way, I would not be surprised to see him as president," says David Roth, an ex-Pentagon aide who knows Powell well. After the Persian Gulf War, Roth worked for 13 months on his public affairs staff. "I think we are going to see him as a young senior statesman on a lot of issues," says Roth about Powell, who is 56 years old. In a new biography, "Sacred Honor: Colin Powell, the Inside Account of His Life and Triumphs" (Harper San Francisco), Roth offers timely perspective. He was granted access to Powell's family and colleagues to write the book. The work by Roth was recently described by The Economist magazine as perhaps "the first campaign biography of 1996." Powell was an officer, in war and peace, during a 35-year career in the U.S. military under both Democratic and Republican administrations. "He's a registered Independent," says Roth. "He had been a Democrat back in the '60s his son says back then to be black meant to be a registered Democrat." But the biographer doesn't think his subject will just "sign on" to any political party right away. For the moment, Powell intends to work on his memoirs. With his wife, Alma, he has purchased a home in the Washington suburb of McLean, Va. He has signed a $6 million deal for the book. He retires with an Army pension of $83,000 a year. Plus he will be paid $60,000 a speech on the lecture circuit. "He is probably the most media-smart person in a position of leadership in this country today," says Roth. "He has made himself a student of the media. He knows that timing is everything. He's very astute that way." Which suggests the ability (if not the desire) to run for high office. "Colin Powell has spent half of his career in Analysis Washington," says Roth. "He has been at the White House as deputy national security adviser and national security adviser — as well as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. "He is a man esteemed on both sides of the aisle. And, though not a partisan politician, he is extremely savvy politically. He has had a number of stand- dovm, face-to-face situations in his career — especially in his chairmanship — and he has won every time." Most recently, Powell opposed President Clinton's efforts to ease the restrictions on gays in the military. The general also has been insistent about his reluctance to commit U.S. forces to political strife in the Balkans. "His whole point is that the use of military force is an extension of policy," says Roth. "You have to have clear policy goals. If you know what those goals are, then you can assess whether or not the military can achieve those goals and what is required militarily to do so." Powell was the top U.S. soldier in uniform during the Persian Gulf War in February 1991. He directed activities from the Pentagon. However, he has never had any high-level field experience as a combat commander. Born in Harlem, Powell was the son of Jamaican immigrants. He was raised in the South Bronx and became an ROTC cadet at the City College of New York. He graduated in 1958 and became a second lieutenant. During his two tours in Vietnam, Powell earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He served as an adviser to the South Vietnamese and as a headquarters staff officer. In Washington, Powell became known in the 1970s for his administrative skills. He also worked in the Department of Energy and in the Office of Management and Budget. As a White House aide to Presidents Reagan and Bush, Powell often dealt with foreign officials in the 1980s. "I think he is personally proud of having seen the Cold War to its end," says Roth. "He started his career at the Pulda Gap (in Germany) as a platoon leader, staring across at a platoon of Soviet troops. "I think he is particularly proud of his role in bringing about the end of the Cold War — in the sense of having served faithfully. Powell thinks in terms of ideals like faithfulness and dedication and diligence." * "/ think we are going to see him as a young senior statesman on a lot of issues! 7 To cap it off, the successor preferred by Powell — his former top assistant and liaison to the White House, Army Gen. John Shalikashvili — was named by President Clinton to become the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Roth says that Powell is a Jeffersonian Democrat who also traces his political roots to Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. "He's proud of being an African-American," says Roth about Powell. "But he doesn't serve because he's a blaek man who wants to make a point based on his race. He does say that he expects to be treated — and he expects other blacks to be treated — on the basis of their performance." Based on his record, according to both Republican and Democratic experts, Powell is now a national figure who could face even bigger things. Here's how to revive our inner cities Just when you'd think Washington was up to its aspirations, what with reinventing government and reforming health care, the nightly horror on TV newscasts forced officials to face anew the rampant crime in our cities. And a strange thing happened: Uncommon common sense was uttered, right in our nation's capital. It was uttered first by an unlikely source: former Federal Prisoner 16126054, who just did time for security fraud at a California prison camp. He is financial wizard and multimillionaire Michael Milken — a most impressive witness before the Congressional Black Caucus. The next burst of common sense was uttered in a different context — in unison, no less — by a former adviser to President Kennedy, a former adviser to President Nixon; a former professor, a former ambassador; a former hero of conservatives, whom William F. Buckley's National Review hailed as 1975's Man of the Year; and a current hero of liberals, who in 1976 unseated Buckley's brother, James, to become New Yorks Democratic senator. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who is all of the above, delivered his common sense soliloquy on NBC-TVs "Meet the Press." Stitch together the comments of Milken and Moynihan and we can create for President Clinton a grand reform-minded approach for our crime-infested inner cities. The bottom line: Don't start by throwing bushels of tax dollars at the problem. Do start by revitalizing two strong, support-giving institutions — the financial markets and the family, Milken challenged banks to invest significantly in inner cities and minority-owned businesses. He said according to The Washington Post: "We create legislation and rules that redline America." We must change regulations that now force banks and pension funds to invest on the basis of past performance rather than potential, Milken said, adding: "You can't have a strong financial institution in a weak society " (A brief digression: Milken's testimony was welcome •••"•*••** nMB ^^"^^** l ^«*I^H^«IMW^BMMi ( | H Doonesbury Martin Schram and clearly overdue. On April 16,1991, I wrote that by sentencing Milken to do manual labor in prison, society committed a crime of missed opportunity: "He is a financial genius; and he should be laboring today to reshape ... the South Bronx with the same zeal that he reshaped Wall Street.") Now hear Moynihan, once the darling of Democratic neo- conservatives, who approaches the crime crisis from its other common sense solution — restoration of the family: We have had a behavioral sink in the last 30 years that ... has no counterpart in our history. ... The breakup of family inevitably, predictably... will lead to the growth of large numbers of predatory males (and) imitative behavior, like drive-by shootings and car-jackings. We saw it coming. It's coma Now, are we going to get out of our denial phase and say 'Do something about this? "We (must) state, right now, the principal social objective of American national government at every level to be ... to see that children are born to intact families and that (the families) remain so." While Washington is reinventing and reforming surely the Clinton White House can muster enough zeal to: (1) Hire the wise ex-con — Milken — to redesign the refinancing that can rehabilitate our inner cities and his own reputation; (2) Heed the wise ex-neo-con — Moynihan — and promote pro-family policies. And set about reclaiming our inner cities, block by block, family by family. Martin Schram is a nationally syndicated columnist. Looking Back 50 years ago October13, 1943 — Lines of relatives and friends of servicemen stationed overseas formed at the local post office all day yesterday as the Oct. 15 deadline for mailing Christmas gifts overseas approached. Two parcel post windows were kept busy handling the packages. Monday more than 1000 parcels and packages were mailed, officials estimated. Postmaster Raymond A. Stewart said yesterday that he anticipates a similar rush up to the deadline. 25 years ago October 13, 1968 — Due to circumstances within their control, Navy Capt. Walter M. Schirra and his two fellow Apollo 7 astronauts were not seen on live television from space Saturday. Schirra had opposed carrying a television camera on the 11-day Apollo mission, but he lost that fight. The first telecast was scheduled for Saturday morning at the end of the 16th orbit. About an hour before the scheduled telecast, as the commercial television networks were readying their equipment to relay it, Schirra told ground controllers in a no-nonsense voice, "At this point TV will be delayed without any further discussion until after the rendezvous." BY GARRY TRUDEAU OKAY, PBOPIZ, L5J'& REVIEW HOW AN OFFIC6R ANPA 6EH- TLEMAN CONVUCT5 HIMS&FAT A SOCIAL. FUNCTION! THE BACK! J. A FEMAlt OFFI- CBR.'yTBfSOUT OF AN ELEVATOR. WHAT DO YOU DO? A 8AB&, I AFFIRMATIVE. HOWPOYOU MAKE HER ACQUAINTANCE? BWINP? HAV5YOU/

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