New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 13, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
SA New Braunfels Herald-Ze/fi/ng Wednesday, July 13,1983
Dave Kraaaer, General Manager
Robert Johnson, Editor
James J. KilpatrickEPA hearings hunt prey like wild coyotes
WASHINGTON - A story is developing on Capitol Hill that might be amusing if it didn’t cone in so many disturbing elements. It involves skulduggery within the staff of one or more cubcommittees of the House, and if you haven’t heard of the story you’re not alone. Let me go over the story, and then let us talk about values in the news.
This is what happened: On July 21 and 22,1962, five subcommittees from three different House committees got together for hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency. The hearings were known as “EPA Oversight: A One-Year Review.” They were not friendly hearings.
A principal witness for the administration was EPA Administrator Anne M. Gorsuch. Opposition witnesses included members of
Congress, state officials and the leaders of major environmental groups who were dissatisfied, to put it mildly, with the agency’s performance. In years past, at least a nominal spirit of bipartisanship had been in evidence at EPA hearings. This time, as Joseph A. Davis reported in Congressional Quarterly, Democrats came to the hearings smelling blood: They saw the EPA’s record “as a choice target for campaign trail attacks” prior to the November elections.
The Democrats chose their witnesses accordingly. The minority Republicans complained bitterly that the majority had scheduled the hearings as a “witch hunt.” They said they were not given adequate notice, but such Democratic leaders as Toby Moffett of Connecticut and James H.
Conflict of interest
overwhelms record of senator
WASHINGTON - Not long after I reported on the legislative favors Sen. Malcolm Wallop, R-Wyo., had done for oil companies that appeared in his personal stock portfolio, he resigned as chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee.
Wallop says his departure from the Ethics Committee had nothing to do Witt) the apparent conflicts of interest Imported. He adamantly refused to concede that there had been any conflict at all.
But now that he’s no longer burdened with the chore of being the Senate’s ethical watchdog, the lanky, Yale-educated rancher seems to have redoubled his efforts on behalf of Big Oil’s interests — and, coincidentally, his own.
Wallop’s 1962 financial disclosure form shows he has between $35,000 and $115,000 invested in Exxon, Standard Oil of California and Standard of Indiana. He received $16,025 in oil royalties from a Getty subsididary, bringing his total income from that company since 1978 to nearly $100,000.
Big Oil also contributed $115,000 to Wallop’s successful re-election campaign last year.
My associate Jock Hatfield checked the senator’s recent legislative record and turned up some flagrant examples of Wallop’s penchant for giving the oil industry a helping hand:
— As chairman of a Finance subcommittee, Wallop introduced legislation that would give strip-mining companies an estimated $15 million tax break next year and $21 million more in 1965-1968. The bill would allow strip miners to write oft the future coat of land reclamation before the improvements are actually made. Getty, Exxon, Standard Oil of California and Standard of Indiana all have extensive strip-mining operations and stand to reap a windfall if their senatorial stockholder’s bill passes
Wallop’s Wyoming Wilderness Bill, passed by the Senate in April and now pending in the House, would open up 300,000 acres of proposed wilderness — including the pristine Gros Ventre area near Jackson Hole — to oil and gas drilling.
Getty has been battling in court for the right to develop an estimated $2 billion worth of gas and oil reserves in the Gros Ventre region. Wallop’s bill would hand them the drilling rights on splatter.
— As chairman of an Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee, Wallop introduced a bill that would have given the interior secretary blanket authority to sell off land administered by the Nstional Park Service — including coal and oil acreage coveted by the senator’s preferred oil companies. Wallop denied having tried to slip one by; when the implications of a the bill were pointed out by other committee
members. Wallop agreed to amend it.
Wallop led the successful floor
fight against a proposal to ban coal leasing on certain federal lands. The ban covered more than I billion tons of coal that Wallop’s four favorite oil companies has shown an interest in leasing the rights to over the next two years. Their hopes are still alive, thanks to Wallop's efforts.
Footnote: Wallop has refused to comment on these apparent conflicts of interest between his financial holdings and his legislative actions.
A real bummer
Amnesty International, the human rights organisation that tries to smooth over bitter political hatreds by asppealing to mankind’s better nature, may have gone a bit too far in a recent issue of its newsletter, Matchbox. Included in a graphic collage of "the important things in Georgia’s history” to mark Amnesty International’s annual meeting in Atlanta was a picture of the most hated damyankee of them all: Gen. William Techumseh Sherman. more
There was Uncle Billy’s grizzled mug staring out in such distinguished company as King George ll, for whom Georgia was named, the state bird (brown thrasher), flower (Cherokee rose), fruit (Georgia peach) and, of course, a suggestion of the Confederate Stars and Bars.
“We needed a graphic in a hurry, and the artist wanted a photo of someone who had had a hisotrical impact upon Georgia,” a chagrined editor Marcia Schwen told my reporter Kathy McDonald. The artist tried to find a picture of civil rights leader and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, but for some reason couldn't.
So they settled in haste on Gen. Sherman, whose impact on Georgia consisted of laying waste to the state "from Atlanta to the sea” — in the words of the old Union veterans’ song.
Scheuer of New York brushed the objection aside. The hearings went forward.
In accordance with congressional practice, the testimony was taken down by shorthand reporters, who then typed up a transcript of what had been said. After editing, the transcript went to the printers, and in April 1963 the official hearing record was published.
Last month Republican Judd Gregg of New Hampshire happened to thumb though the printed document. He was thunderstruck.
At the hearing on July 21, his colleague Robert S. Walker of Pennsylvania had said, as the official reporter had transcribed it: “Many members of the other party know that I am willing to take part in reasonable hearings.”
The printed version read: “Many members of the other party know that I am not willing to take part in reasonable hearings.”
John HUer of Indiana had said: “ ..
. a great disservice to the witnesses..
. to have very, very few people on the majority who called this particular hearing.”
The printed, official record read: “. . . very, very few people on the minority side in attendance, even though they...”
At some point between the typewritten transcript and the printers, a long and defensive paragraph by Moffet had been inserted — words that he had never spoken at all. During the hearings, Gregg had marveled at the number of “staff members on the majority side” who were present. The word
“majority” had been changed to “minority.”
1 Time after time, the printed record had been altered. Some of the changes might be explained in terms of mere editing, but when “majority”is changed to “minority,” skulduggery is afoot. Webster’s defines skulduggery as dishonest, underhanded, unfair and unscrupulous behavior or activity. It was all of that. The matter is important. Historians, teachers, judges and editors rely absolutely upon the printed records of congressional hearings. The EPA record was doctored. What else has been doctored.?
Next question: Who cares about this criminal act? One might have supposed that the speaker of the House, having been apprised of criminal conduct on a subcommittee staff
would have thundered for someone’s scalp. The speaker has thundered not. Have we heard cries of outrage from the three subcommittee chairmen? They have been very muted. Hie TV networks and The New York Times, what of them? They are silent as King Tut’sTomb.
The House voted unanimously on June 30 to authorize closed hearings on the matter in what is laughingly known as the Ethics Committee. Republicans had no choice; their plea for a select committee was rejected by the Democratic leadership. If the Ethics Committee identifies the dirty hands behind this business, and makes a definitive report by the end of the year, it will amaze everyone — and ft particularly will amaze the Ethics Committee.
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Remembering Jacqueline Smith
It’s not only in Central America and the Cribbean that the Soviets are outpointing the United States in student-exchange programs that could enhance the Kremlin’s longterm influence. A secret CIA study cited Soviet efforts in Tunisia and Jordan as “symptomatic of a worldwide phenomenon.”
The Soviets “doubled the number of Tunisian students receiving training in the USSR during 1978-1978 and again more than doubled that figure in 1979-1960.”
And in Jordan, where UJ. exchanges “are diminishing” the Soviets amd East Europeans “arc dramaticaly increasing their exchange activities.” One Soviet-Jordanian exchange agreement provided for an increase of 171 scholarships offered to Jordanian students during the last two years.
A populsr songwriter nsmed Jsckson Browne once wrote of the strange feelings one gets when trying to deal with death. Written after the death of a friend, “For A Dancer” explains life in a musical context. We all hear different melodies, Browne says, and we create patterns or “dances” to fit life’s music. These patterns are as unique to the individual as his fingerprints, since no two people hear the same tune.
They’re also difficult for anyone other than the individual to comprehend. When tragedy strikes, the only person who could have explained — or tried to explain — his pattern is gone. The survivors are left with fleeting memories of the melody, but they have no idea how that person interpreted it.
Browne explains his confusion as he tries to understand his friend’s life and death:
I don’t know what happens when people die.
Can’t seem to grasp it, as hard as I try.
It’s like a song I can hear
Playing right in my ear
And I can’t sing.
But I can’t help listening.
Re st the Hwotd-Zottung have had to
deal with these complex, confusing emotions since the death of staff writer Jacqueline Smith Monday night. Jackie had her own complex patterns she followed, and those who knew her were all the richer because of them.
Jackie was a private person, so even her co-workers rarely got a peek at her music sheet. But we sew the patterns she followed, and we liked what we saw. We don’t know why she was almost always cheerful, even when she had to crank out three complicated stories before deadline or cram too many interviews and phone calls into too-few hours.
We don't know where she got her sense of humor, but our offices were a little more pleasant as a result. We don't know what made her such a patient person, but she was, and it was a good thing. Jackie carried a heavy workload for us, and when you mix that with our computer system, which sometimes plays hide ’n seek with your stories, your patience is stretched thin on an almost daily
There are Iou of other adjectives which spply to her- dedicated, hardworking and professional, to name a few. We’U manage to All the void in
our news coverage that her death has left us, but that’s the least of our concerns right now. We have lost a special person. Her melody cannot be replaced. We will try to hang onto it as best we can.
• Journalists are drilled often about objectivity in college. Some grasp the concept, others don’t. But the best writers are those who learn to set personal feelings aside, report the facts, and let the readers form their own opinions.
Jacqueline Smith, “Jackie” to her friends, learned her lessons well. In her three years as a HoraktZmturg staff writer, she was fair, honest, and hard-working on and off the job.
Jackie was killed in a car-train collision Monday night on her way toe Garden Ridge City Council meeting. She was 24 years old.
As an editorial staff, we work in such close quarters that we get to know each other, even if we don’t want to. It was impassible to dislike Jackie. She was too special.
She always had a smile on her face, and a giggle tucked inside somewhere. If she couldn't say anything nice, she just didn’t speak, and when she got upset or mad about something — if she ever did — she’d
just get quiet.
It sounds almost saintly, but I doubt she ever uttered a negative word about anyone. I know I never heard one about her. The professional contacts she had admired her, trusted her, and she never let them down.
Her private life she kept private. She didn’t Ulk much about personal things, but she made others feel close to her without it.
She touched many people with her written word. Her face brightened the Comal County Commissioners Court meetings, and NBISD board of trustees meetings. In fact, the day Supt. Pete Hendricks retired, she felt like she was losing a friend.
She loved politics, and would always jump at those assignments The last story she wrote was published Sunday, July IO, about Rep Edmund Kuempel and a sketch of his first year in the Texas Legislature. She wrote about how his colleagues accepted him through their teasing, how he accepted criticism as part if the job, and about how he wanted to keep his position as long as he felt he could do the best possible job for District*.
Those same words tell the story of Jackie Smith...she will be missed aaa professional, and as a friend
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