The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 02, 1978, Image 7

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    A new, growing breed of citizens
More groups watch Brazos politics
Special to The Battalion
A growing breed of sturdy rain or
shine citizens is watching local poli
tics nowadays. They’re a minority in
the multitude of fair-weather obser
vers, but they’re changing the com
plexion of the political scene.
Usually, relatively few people or
organizations seem to keep up with
local government.
Bryan Mayor Richard Smith said
most citizens are pretty naive about
the local political situation.
Organized interest groups, with
regular membership and meetings,
“aren’t that significant, said Col-
Station Mayor Lorence
Bravenec. Brazos County Judge Bill
Vance commented, “every year
there’s a different issue and a differ
ent group. No one group domi-
Xm <jor>na represent ciff of you?
- ■
And as far as political clout in
\razos County goes, Bryan
layor Richard Smith said,
“there’s no group that can de
icer votes. ”
ito by Liz Bailti
The show.
lyone may
percent, tk
that Presidal
in the Sen*
And as far as political clout. Smith
aid, “there’s no group that can de-
iver votes.”
Some of that is changing, though,
[here are signs of growing commu-
lity awareness and involvement in
deal government.
For example, the past May pri-
nary drew more private campaign
ontributions from Brazos County
•esidents thatn the two previous
irimaries combined.
. , , According to campaign contribu-
onal rarku j ons an( j ex p ense reports at the
.. Irazos Coutny clerk’s office, the
or a andidates in the last May primary
eceived money donations of at least
Only the primaries in 1974 and
i 92 percejgyg ^ | )e validly used for coin
ed positions! iar j son b ecause the requirements
! r reporting contributions were dif-
were all De» !ren * ' n die years before. Total con-
el Humpy Motions for 1974 and 1976 can’t be
John Culvt! Neither, because the reports are
, Mont., as “ m P lete - J J ,
lass 96 pe however, i n individual races, the
/a andPaiik gures show contributions doubling
nt Gary Hail om one election to the next. For
foseph Bide! contributions in 1974 and
liam Proxmiit ^8 for Precinct 2 county commis-
nd Claibon oner candidates totaled $1,830 and
1,586, respectively. That’s almost a
1,000 difference.
County attorney candidates also
es went to a j 0 { 0 f money. Records of
' e r ns , e *' le 1976 and 1978 primaries involv-
n p >S Aat position show $4,508 and
r lam kd len S9,360 were contributed.
Urhs, Net y s a 100 percent j ump .
, perce: SO me of the dollars
Vi ' , r r] P erceI me from other areas, most of the
one ' °dginated from pockets in
l ®’ ' razos County. What’s inspiring
, ’ ai 11 lese generous residents? Besides
“ P ercent >rsonal friendship with a particular
mdidate or official, many people
e making political contact through
leir membership in various organi-
The Bryan-College Station
ycees often extend equal offers to
iposing political candidates to
leak to the group.
"We like to keep well informed
.. although we stay as neutral as
issible as an organization,” said
HlpE enny Mallard, president of the
"ycees. “We d6 stay abreast of cur-
mt events.”
Bob Roepke, president of the
lorning Lions Club, said that the
lub invites candidates to address
members and that there is good
embership turnout for such
r ents.
Newton Ellis, president of the
Noon Lions Club, said, “in my ten
years as a member, the club has
never been addressed by a candi
date strictly for campaign purposes.
But we do normally invite the local
state representative and senator to
speak, usually to vive a wrap-up at
the end of a legislative session.”
Typically, service organizations
don’t officially endorse or contribute
to political candidates. However, of
11 representatives contacted, most
agreed that their fellow members
take the opportunity of meeting to
gether to informally discuss their
political opinions.
The president of the League of
Women Voters, Penny Beaumont,
said she more organizations will
begin taking on political objectives
and getting involved in politics pub
What’s inspiring these gener
ous residents in the county? Be
sides personal friendship with a
particular candidate or official,
many people are making politi
cal contact through their mem
bership in various organiza
The League of Women Voters
never actually supports candidates,
though it may support issues.
“We have a national reputation,
so we re not as free to move, said
Beaumont. “The league basically
works for informed citizen participa
tion. That’s what the league is ab
out,” she said.
To fulfill that job, the league
provide a voter service, which is
also coordinated with the league’s
various study and action groups.
Two young organizations with
similar purposes are the Brazos Val
ley Black Caucus and the Brazos
County Mexican American Demo
crats. Although they are more out
wardly active, their leaders say that
communication of information is
their primary function.
The caucus is almost two years
old. Before the last primary, it
hosted local, state and national of
fice seekers in its first candidate’s
“We don’t endorse candidates.
Whenever we extend an invitation,
we extend it to everyone,” said
Rosetta Keaton, president of the
Brazos Valley Black Caucus.
“Support for candidates isn’t
talked about within the realm of the
caucus meetings, but politicking is
conducted on an individual basis.
United support would be difficult
because the minority communities
aren’t homogenous,” she said.
Keaton thinks community in
volvement in government is increas
ing “because it’s becoming an on
going process, rather than being
reactionary, as in the past. There’s
more follow through. It’s very im
portant that there’s a continuity
throughout the year. ”
“Support for candidates isn’t
talked about within the realm of
the caucus meetings, but poli
ticking is conducted on an in
dividual basis,’’ said Rosetta
Keaton, president of the Brazos
Valley Black Caucus. “United
support would be difficult be
cause the minority communities
aren’t homogenous.’’
That kind of continuous involve
ment will definitely be promoted by
the Brazos County Mexican Ameri
can Democrats (MAD). Right now
the local chapter is planning a series
of seminars called “Leadership
Brazos County to prepare its
members for more active roles in
the community. The seminars will
cover areas of local concern as well
as different facet of government op
Daniel Hernandez, one of the
MAD founders and its chairman,
said a local chapter was started “out
of a desire to become more politi
cally aware and to give some politi
cal leverage to Mexican Americans
here. We thought a state related or
ganization would help us do this.”
Membership in MAD is not re
stricted to Mexican Americans, but
the four-month-old group is de
signed toward addressing Mexican
American concerns and relating
those concerns to Democrats, Her
nandez said.
Such representation will be taken
advantage of, said Pete Ramirez,
president of the local council of the
League of United Latin American
Citizens (LULAC). “We ll probably
be going through MAD so we ll be
able to get involved more directly.
We re (Mexican Americans) working
as a unit now,” he said.
Ramirez said the past political ef
fects of LULAC were indirect since
Texas at Villa Maria
M-F 10-8:30 Sat. 10-6
the LULAC constitution doesn’t
allow official endorsements.
“There’s no ax to grind, we’re not
forming to intimidate anyone,
Hernandez said. “We’re just going
to hold politicians accountable for
what they say and do. That’s what an
ideal citizen should be like.”
The emergence of MAD and the
Black Caucus, as well as the efforts
of several organizations to become
familiar with issues and candidates
are indications to Neeley Lewis that
the community’s political awareness
is broadening.
Lewis is the chairman of the
Brazos County Democratic Party.
He said this political awareness re
sults in part from the fact that local
politic are becoming more interest
ing. It also stems from the growth of
the community itself.
As far as politics becoming more
interesting, N.A. McNiel, chairman
of the Brazos County Republican
Party agrees.
“Since 1968, Democrats have
controlled all the local offices and 1
furnished most of the candidates,
McNiel said. “Yet, in presidential
elections, the voters have gone Re
publican. Because of this record,
Brazos County is receiving some at
tention as a place for viable Repub
lican efforts,” he said.
“This year the local party is offer
ing Republican candidates equal in
stature to the Democratic candi
dates. This hasn’t been true in
Brazos County before, McNiel
Just seeing candidates in pairs
should make politics more interest
ing in a county where candidates
have historically run unopposed.
However, as Brazos Coutny Clerk
Frank Boriskie said, the excitement
of county politics this year is unique
since several appointments and va
cated positions left an unusual
number of positions open.
Considering the number of aspir
ing politicians who rose to the occa
sion, though, Boriskie said, “you
can’t tell, they may come back again
next time and fight like dogs.”
And the new breed of aspiring
citizens will be watching them all
the way.
And remember we give 20% more in trade for used
Northgate - Across from the Post Office
sponsored by
Gay Student Services
M-TH 7:00-10:00 P.M.
Pick up your Spirits at
606 Holleman, C.S.
NOVEMBER 10TH, 5:30 P.M.
1 ST PRIZE - $25 & “Champion” Denver’s T-Shirt
2ND PRIZE $15for your organization fund
3RD PRIZE $10and FREE Frisbees
1) All the Danver s 1/3 pound Hamburger's You Can Eat in 15 min.
2) All Hamburgers should be consumed before attempting another.
3) No “Help from Your Friends” - (Seconds Allowed)
4) Winning Contestant must not get sick on premises.
5) Accurate scales and weighing of remains to determine winners.
6) Judges results will be final.
(Return Entry Blank to Danver s Restaurant)
Environmentalism—will it muddy the job pool?
Some people think America will have to spend a trillion
dollars by the mid-1980s on more pollution control. Could
this hurt your chance of getting a job you want? We hope
not —but it’s a possibility.
America simply doesn’t have a trillion dollars to spare.
Shifting so vast an amount from other uses will disrupt
nearly every other national goal.
Adding costly environmental equipment doesn’t increase
industrial production. So once the equipment is in place,
the handful of new jobs created for pollution control is more
than offset by production jobs that don’t appear. Spending
large sums on unnecessary extra pollution control means
companies can’t spend that money on some-
thing else —like new jobs.
We’re going to need another 17,000,000
jobs in this country by 1985. These days the
average jobs costs $45,300 to create. So a trillion dollars is
more than the total current cost of creating 17,000,000jobs.
Even if we had a trillion dollars, America couldn’t
satisfy its most extreme environmental demands
already on the books. Air quality rules now lock
important areas of the country out of any new indus
trial development. And water quality standards
being applied to all bodies of water, no
matter how they're used, will stymie even
population growth in many parts of the U.S.
We all want clean air and water. We’ve
been sensitized to pollution’s dangers for
years. But the fact is: America’s air and
water have been getting cleaner lately. We’ve
obviously still got a lot to do. But as we do
it, we need to study carefully the costs and
benefits, to keep environmentalism from
tying America up in knots.
Plain talk about POLLUTION CONTROL.
So far, Armco has spent $260,000,000 for pollution control
systems. Running that equipment costs us another
$50,000,000 or more a year. We’ve slashed our air emissions
95% and are a leader in water improvement. But now we’ve
passed the point of diminishing returns. Cutting into that
final 5% costs more—and wastes more electrical energy—
than it took to stop the entire 95%. What’s worse, gen
erating the electricity to operate equipment to reduce
emissions further often creates more pollution at power
plants than we remove. As a nation, we need to balance en
vironmentalist demands against their consequences.
Next time somebody says American industry ought to
I start cleaning up its act, you might like to
point out that the clean-up is well on its way.
The more extra environmental costs pile on,
the fewer new jobs there may be.
Let us hear YOUR plain talk about jobs!
We’ll send you a free booklet if you do
Does our message make sense to you? We d like
\ to know what you think. Your personal experi
ences. Facts to prove or disprove our point.
Drop us a line. We d like your plain talk. For telling
us your thoughts, we’ll send you more information
on issues affecting jobs. Plus Armco’s famous
handbook. How to Get a Job. It answers
50 key questions you’ll need to know.
Use it to set yourself apart, above
the crowd.
Write Armco, Educational Rela
tions Dept. U-3, General Offices,
Middletown, Ohio 45043. Be sure to
include a stamped, self-addressed
business-size envelope.