New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 9, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
A ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ Sunday, April 9.1995ingrich says he’ll set the national agenda
WASHINGTON (AP) — The :h bore all the earmarks of a pres-ntial address. And in case anyone ssed the point, House Speaker Newt ingrich drove it home in an inter-ew afterward: He and die Republican ongress, not President Clinton, will ntrol die national agenda.
“JJelt like a leader,” Gingrich told BS after thelnetwork televised his O-minute speech on the Republican genda.
Gingrich, R-Ga., delivered his look ck on the first three months of the OP-led Congress and look ahead to he rest of the year while seated casu-lly on the edge of his office desk.
It was a presentation much like what ne would expect from a president, 'e outlined proposals, countered polecat foes, and said his party, having ept its “Contract With America,” was oithy of voter dust.
And while Gingrich disclaimed any hite House ambitions, he frankly dmitted in the post-speech interview hat he proposes to set the national
“I just see it as a healthy, peacetime redistribution of power from the White House to the Capitol and from there to the states,” Gingrich said.
For the moment, President Clinton left die national stage to Gingrich. During the speech, Clinton was flying aboard Air Force One from Dallas to Sacramento, Calif., and read.rather than tune into the talk from the plane.
Earlier, Clinton said Gingrich would “claim a lot of credit for what he has done, and he should.” He promised to search for common ground with the GOP but said he would veto some measures if they are not modified in the Senate.
In his speech, Gingrich unveiled no new blockbuster proposals. He said Republicans would simplify the tax code, leave Social Security untouched and give the elderly more choices in their govemment-ftmded health care.
He promised that the rest of the federal government, including the mili-taiy, would be subject to budget cuts.
The result, he said, would be a balanced budget in seven years “to free our children from the burdens upon their prosperity and their lives.”
Democratic leaders used their television response time to accuse Gingrich and the Republican majority as having no sympathy for the poor while handing out tax breaks to the rich.
But the evening had much less to do with substantive debate and much more to do with image.
Casting himself as a break from the tradition of stuffy, untelegenic congressional leaders, Gingrich brought along a bag full of props designed to show him as, at once, human and modem.
He showed viewers a “Dear Mr. Newt ...” letter from a Georgia first grader.
He held up one of the “Contract With America Bills,” stamped “PASSED.”
He showed the card House members use to cast votes electronically, calling it, “the most expensive credit
card in die world,” for all the debt it has mn up.
He juxtaposed an old-fashioned radio vacuum tube with a high-tech microchip that could bring the equipment used by federal air traffic controllers up to date, and compared a fat copper telephone trunk line with a barely visible fiber-optic cable.
The message was that smaller—as in smaller government — is better, and Republicans want to make government more modem even as they shrink it.
Throughout the speech, Gingrich stressed the simplicity of the Republican program, and sought to put voter fears to rest.
“Our goals are simple,” he said. “We don’t want our children to drown in debt. We want baby boomers to be able to retire with the same security as their parents. We want our senior Americans to be able to rely on Medicare without fear.”
The letter from the first grader, it turned out, was a pre-emptive public relations strike against the two Democ
State plans to audit drug rehab programs
DALLAS (AP) — The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse is recommending in-depth audits of nearly a third of its taxpayer-funded chemical dependency programs because of problems found at the substance-abuse facilities.
The Dallas Morning News reported Saturday that the agency also is recommending a less-detailed review of 209 other facilities it fimdc
The on-site inspections of 368 of the agency’s substance-abuse providers were made after some state leaders admonished the agency for not keeping a closer watch on its programs.
Commission vice chairman Michael Hull of Austin said he is “concerned” with the findings and said the agency has been lax in regulating its providers in the past.
“I think there are some potential problems out there,” he said.
The Morning News obtained a copy of the commission’s report on the reviews, which is expected to be made
public at its board meeting next week. In the report, commission staffers said they found problems serious enough at 107 of the facilities they visited to warrant audits.
Dallas topped the list with 19 centers, while Houston had 17 facilities recommended for audits.
Recently, one of the Dallas facilities had its funding suspended.
Problems at the centers ranged from minor paperwork violations to more serious allegations, such as excessive salaries and undocumented expenditures.
The report has been turned over to the Senate General Investigating Committee.
Hull said it is up to the committee whether to proceed with the proposed audits.
Meanwhile, a private accounting firm is currently auditing the commission’s 52 largest providers.
Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, who earlier this year forced the resignation of the
commission’s executive director, Ben Bynum, is the driving force behind the investigation.
Bynum stepped down after Bullock criticized him following reports of misuse of public funds at two facilities in
Austin and Corpus Christi.
Those facilities are under investigation by the county district attorneys in those cities. One of the facilities, Austin Rehabilitation Center, has agreed to reimburse the state $1 million.
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Report: Fan club president became Selena’s worst enemy
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — The founder of Selena’s fan club turned into her worst enemy, driving a wedge between the Tejano singer and others close to her, an associate says.
Yolanda Saldivar now stands accused of shooting the Grammy-win-ning star in the back, cutting short a career that some say was destined to make her the next Gloria Estefan.
“She was manipulative. She was mean. She was evil,” said Martin Gomez, who helped Selena Quintanilla Perez design her clothing line and worked alongside Ms. Saldivar before the March 31 shooting.
In an interview with “Dateline NBC,” aired Friday, Gomez said that Ms. Saldivar, 34, seemed to exert an influence on Selena.
‘ There was a time when everybody trusted her (Saldivar), you know,” said Selena’s husband, Chris Perez. “Anyway, for her to work her way in and then start to be pushed out, I don’t think she could handle it.”
Selena’s father and manager, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., said he had uncovered evidence that Ms. Saldivar was skimming money from the Selena Fan Club.
The 34-year-old San Antonio nurse is accused of killing Selena at a budget motel in the star’s hometown of Corpus Christi.
A Nueces County grand jury took less than a day to return a murder indictment, to which Ms. Saldivar has pleaded innocent through her court-appointed attorney.
Ms. Saldivar, who became the fan club president in 1991, was hired to help run Selena’s boutique eight months ago. She began lavishing attention on the star, buying her a ring and other gifts.
Birthday Kevin Wuest
A month ago, Ms. Saldivar disappeared to Mexico, taking with her the boutique’s financial records. She resurfaced about two weeks ago and told Selena in a phone conversation that she had been raped.
Police and family sources told NBC that Selena drove Ms. Saldivar to a hospital, where she admitted during an examination that she had fabricated the rape story.
A confrontation between the two women followed at the motel, with Selena removing the ring. A maid said she saw the pair emerging from a room, with Selena yelling for help before she was shot.
The singer, bleeding to death from a severed artery, was found clutching the ring Ms. Saldivar had given her, according to police.
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rats given television time to respond to Gingrich. House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and his Senate counterpart, Tom Daschle, D-S.D., spoke from an elementary school in suburban Arlington, Va.
Appropriately, both led off by telling viewers that Gingrich and the Republicans want to take school lunches away from kids. Just as Gingrich sought to assuage fear, Gingrich and Daschle sought to instill it.
“Many of Speaker Gingrich’s ideas are so extreme, so unfair and so wrong that even the Republican-controlled Senate will refuse to pass them,” said Daschle, who delivered his remarks in shirtsleeves.
Gingrich got in the last word. In an interview on CNN, he said that while Clinton is willing to at least listen to the Republican point of view, “The Democratic leadership (in Congress) is trapped in some kind of small leftwing clique.”
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