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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - April 12, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas > Page 4A ■ Wednesday, April 12, 1995 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Doug Loveday about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, ext. 21Opinion 'v k I ft I I I I t.. ( ¥ E_ L i\ i: QUOTA B L E "The general theme of the press Is that all business is greedy... But there are a lot of business leaders who are very sensitive and compassionate." — Sidney Topol, business executive, 1994 E I) I I I O R I I A L Operation Tri-Star Crackdown on illegal immigration shows the size of the problem The just-completed crackdown on illegal immigration at the Tfcxas-Mex- ico border was a success as U.S. Customs and the Border Patrol agents arrested more than 17,000 illegals. But officials also made arrests for other charges — namely drug trafficking. More than 10,000 pounds of marijuana, some cocaine and other assorted illegal drugs were seized in the two-week sweep of the border between Brownsville and Del Rio. Law enforcement agents (some coming from as far away as North Dakota) also grabbed IO weapons and 236 vehicles in the crackdown named “Operation Tri-Star.” Twenty-six of those vehicles were stolen. Operation Tri-Star is just a temporary measure, being paid for in part by $375,(XX) provided by the Border Patrol and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Other crackdowns on the Texas-Mexico border, including “Hold The Line” in El Paso and “Gatekeeper” south of San Diego, Calif., arc long-term programs involving permanent increases in Border Patrol staff. What “Operation Tri-Star” revealed to Texas officials is the high incidence of other crimes being perpetrated on the border. It seems the smugglers of undocumented workers have diversified their operations and are moving narcotics by some of the same routes as those taken by illegal immigrants. Those sneaking in this country are avoiding Border Patrol checkpoints—many walking miles out of their way instead of trying to sprint past other checkpoints at traditional “crossing” points. As the U.S. continues to beef up its presence and resolve on the U.S.-Mexican border, more drugs and guns will surely be confiscated. Violence will also increase, and it’s likely casualties on both sides—illegal immigrants and Border Patrol agents—will rise. 'This country has truly been a nation of open borders, but the burden to our human and financial resources dictates we take stronger measures to stem the flow of illegal immigration. We should not ever forget, though, the real economic misery from which most of the undocumented workers arc trying to flee. In their shoes, many of us would make the same trip to do anything that might improve the well being of our families. Hut, unfortunately, economic misery can be found right here, and the United States can no longer lend to the needs of the world if it ever hopes to address the needs of its own. (Today's editorial was written by Managing Editor Doug Loveday)Write us The New Braunfels He raid-Ze it u ag welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserves the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to 260 words. We publish only original mail addressed to The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung bearing the writer's signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Preference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor do The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (210) 625-1224 t New BraunfelsHerald -Zeitung Editor and Publisher............................................................David    Sultans General Manager...........................................................Cheryl    Duvall Managing Editor............................................................Doug    Loveday Advertising Director............................................................Paul    Davis Circulation Director....................................................Carol Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman...................................................Douglas Brandt Classified Manager...................................................Karen Reininger City Editor.....................................................................Roger    Croteau Published un Sunday mornings and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald /eiiunff (LISPS 377-880) 7U7 Landa Si., or P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx 78131-1328 Second class postage paid by the New Braun fel\ Herald Zeiiunff in New Braunfels, Iexas Carrier delivered in Comal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $19; six months, $34; one year, $60 Senior Citizen Discounts by earner delivery only: six months, $30; one year, $56 Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas: three months, $28.80; six months, $52; one year, $97 50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $75; one year. $112.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 p.m. Tuesday throu^i Friday or by 7:30 a rn on Sunday may call (210) 625-9144 or by 7 p.m. weekdays or by 11 a.m on Sunday. POSTMAS’Ttti Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeiiung, P O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels.Tx.78131-1328.White House avoids drug use questions Cal Thomas There was some interesting testimony on Monday, March 27, before a Senate appropriations subcommittee looking into drug testing. The director of the White House Office of Administration, Patsy Thomasson— who, with Hillary Rodham Clinton, picked many of the senior people in the Administration— admitted under sharp questioning by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) that 11 White House staff members have been enrolled in a special random drug-testing program because of concerns about “recent drug use.” She had previously mentioned the figure in a written response to the inquiries of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) but this was the first time details were mentioned at a public hearing. Thomasson did not elaborate on what she meant by recent drug use. And she revealed that volunteers without adequate security clearances have been given access to sensitive areas in both the East and West Wings of the White House. Who are these volunteers? One can only speculate. It’s safe to say they aren’t from the traditional values-promoting Family Research Council. Such access contradicts testimony Thomasson gave to the subcommittee last year. At that time, she denied that any volunteers had access to the West Wing where the Oval Office is located. Under the White House’s color-coded security system, blue passes allow access to both the President’s and Vice President’s offices. Now Thomasson has acknowledged that some blue passes had been issued to volunteers. Even those with short-term memories may recall that last December, while Newt Gingrich was the Speaker-in-waiting, he suggested that the reason so many people working in the White House had delayed getting their official access passes was because they had used illegal drugs. For such persons to submit to the background checks required of all pass applicants would have meant divulging that drug use, possible denial of a security clearance and the passes, and bad publicity for the Administration. So they were given temporary passes instead. Gingrich quoted a “senior law enforcement official’’ as saying that up to 25 percent of White House staff members had used drugs as recently as within “four or five years” of joining the Clinton staff. The media and the Democrats outbid each other in outrage. Editorials spoke of character assassination and worse. White House Chief of Staff Leon Panet-ta said of Gingrich, “His charges are absolutely false. There is no one in the White House who uses drugs. If Newt Gingrich has evidence to the contrary, he ought to tell me about it, he ought to make it public, and I’ll fire them.” Does being enrolled in the random drug-testing program because of recent drug use meet Panetta’s test? One eagerly waits to see if heads will roll. When Rep. Wolf raised questions about the delay in finishing security clearances for all White House staffers, the Administration stonewalled. Wolfs investigation of some staff members uncovered cases of past drug use and drug convictions, years of unpaid taxes, unpaid debts and financial irregularities. All of these could have been grounds for denial by the Secret Service of a permanent pass. The right pass allows the holder full access to the White House, including the President and Vice President and any papers one might see lying around. Such access ought not to be provided to “volunteers” who have not received the proper clearances. Neither should it be granted to people who have not cleared the usual FBI background checks. Wolfs office requested a General Accounting Office investigation into the pass matter last year. It is ongoing. A congressional source, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the investigation was hampered because of the “slow and painful response of the White House.” Things picked up, the source says, after the November election, and White House compliance is said to have improved. How many White House staffers who ought to have permanent passes still don’t have them, and why not? What’s holding up their clearances? Have they submitted the required paperwork? These and other questions should be answered immediately. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) t . S '< Iff j jf ■; 4 Mi Freshmen help move GOP agenda WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Jon Christensen, on the first day of the 104th Congress, exhorted fellow Republican freshmen to “remember that the American people sent us to do change.” Despite some setbacks and divisions within this loosely knit “Class of *94” of 73 first-term Republican members, Christensen’s challenge was largely heeded by his colleagues. These Capitol Hill novices, most of whom had signed the GOP’s defining “Contract With America” last fall, essentially kept their pledge to help bring about fundamental change in the way Congress operates. “We’ve been pushing the leadership in the right direction,” Christensen, a Nebraskan, said in an interview as the 100-day mark was drawing near. “We’ve been together. There’s power in numbers.” The first-term Republicans have proved to be ideal soldiers in House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s revolution; as a group they have been staunchly conservative, adamant in supporting the balanced-budget amendment and term limits, and inherently anti-Wash-ington. “We are the least likely group to have our knees buckle when it comes to reducing the deficit,” said Rep.Today in history By The Associated Press Today is Wednesday, April 12, the 102nd day of 1995. There are 263 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History; Fifty years ago, on April 12, 1945, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63. Vice President Harry S. Truman became the nation’s 33rd chief executive.Analysis Roger Wicker of Mississippi, president of the freshman class. And Gingrich awarded his troops by giving them unprecedented influence in a system where seniority still counts for a lot. He asked freshmen to be floor managers of the bundle of bills passed on the opening day of the session. Seven freshmen were given seats on the Appropriations Committee, and three got seats on the tax-writing Ways and Means panel. And for the first time in decades, first-termers were named chairmen of subcommittees — three of them, in fact. “Some of the senior members were not sure it was a good idea to give us that much responsibility,” said Rep. David McIntosh, R-Ind., who heads a regulatory affairs pane) of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. Rep. Tom Davis, a freshman Republican from Virginia, was named chairman of a subcommittee on District of Columbia affairs and Rep. Linda Smith of Washington got the helm of a House Small Business tax panel. Said Wicker: “The speaker understands that we created the majority, and we are entitled to a front-row seat On this date: In 1606, England adopted as its flag the original version of the Union Jack. In 1861, the Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. In 1862, Union volunteers led by James J. Andrews stole a Confederate train near Marietta, Ga., but were later caught. (This episode inspired the Buster Keaton comedy “The General”) In 1877, the catcher’s mask was first from the very beginning.” But freshman recalcitrance on some issues gave Gingrich major headaches. A larger number of first-term Republicans, for instance, demanded that the balanced-budget amendment contain a provision requiring a three-fifths majority to pass tax increases. That almost sank the amendment. They eventually agreed to support the amendment, but only after Gingrich agreed to take up their tax measure next year. The legislation that was probably closest to the hearts of the new GOP lawmakers — a proposed constitutional amendment to limit the time lawmakers can serve in Congress — went down to defeat, partly because of party divisions over how tough the term limits should be. Most freshmen thought the leadership-backed bill, which allowed House members to serve 12 years, was a cop-out. Two freshmen, Greg Ganske of Iowa and Bill Martini of New Jersey, led mini-rebellions against the Republican tax-cut bill, and put its passage in jeopardy, when they urged that benefits for the rich be reduced and that deficit reduction come first. If there’s anything that unites the Class of ’94, Wicker said, it’s a sense of urgency. “We have a two-year win- used in a baseball game. In 1934, the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘Tender Is the Night” was first published by Scribner’s in New York. In 1955, the Salk vaccine against polio was declared safe and effective. In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space, orbiting the Earth once before making a safe landing. In 1981, the space shuttle Columbia, carrying astronauts Robert L. Crippen and John W. Young, blasted off from dow of opportunity to turn this federal government around. If we blow this chance, I don’t know when America will ever get another one,” he said. Christensen said: “It would be an understatement to say we are a little disappointed with the speed of the Senate,” where the balanced-budget amendment went down to defeat and other House-passed items on the GOP agenda may be months away from consideration. Freshmen also know that with the “contract” behind them and major social issues ahead, it’s going to be harder to maintain the unity of purpose that has given them such a say. “lf the issues are guns and abortion, ifs going to depend more on where you are from, sometimes, than your party,” said Davis. And there’s always the danger that the men and women who came to Washington determined to revolutionize the system*will, as time passes, become a part of it. The American people know this group is “not made out of the same ilk” as past first-term House members, Christensen said. “I love this job. It’s the greatest honor in the world to serve in this body,” he said. Cape Canaveral, Fla., on its first test flight. In 1983, Chicagoans went to the polls to elect Harold Washington the city’s first black mayor. In 1988, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Harvard University for a genetically engineered mouse, the first time a patent was granted for an animal life form. Ten yean ago: Sen. Jake Gam of Utah became the first senator to fly in space. ;