New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 23, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
dave KRAMER, Editor and Publisher jim WE BRE, Managing Editor
Herald-Zeifung New Braunfels Texas
Tuesday. June 23. 1987
The HeraldZeitung welcomes correspondence. All letters should be signed and include an address or telephone number The newspaper reserves the right to edit
Letters should be sent to Forum New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P O Drawer 311328. New Braunfels. Texas 78131-1328, or brought to our offices at 707 Landa
Comments not justified
The charge that “lack of planning by past councils and city staff” is the cause of the present funding problems is not justified. This has been said repeatedly, most recently by council members Chapa and Arnold Either these two are trying to undermine confidence in our city staff and to disparage past councils’ good efforts or they don’t know
what they are talking about.
Politics should not play a part in the problem which the economy has placed on our city. It is lower sales tax revenues and higher costs that are the reason for New Braunfels’ problems. These have hit every city in our area.
When you look at your tax bill, please note how much you pay in city taxes compared to school taxes. Which is the best bargain?
Sincerely, Edna Voigt
‘There ain’t no smoking gun’ - President Reagan
By W. DALE NELSON Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AF) - When President Reagan says there is no smoking gun in the Iran-Contra affair, he is echoing a phrase from a Sherlock Holmes yarn that haunted Richard M. Nixon during his last days in the White House.
In Watergate days the words used were usually “smoking pistol," the same phrase employed in the Sherlock Holmes passage.
Reagan said "smoking gun,” a variation that was also used at times in the Watergate era.
Either way it means the same thing. If you find somebody with a smoking weapon in his hand, it looks like he’s the culprit.
Watergate investigators were looking for the culprit in a White House coverup of administration involvement in the 1972 burglary at the offices of the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee.
Iran-Contra investigators are trying to determine, among other things, what Reagan knew about the diversion of funds from secret Iranian arms sales to aid rebels in Nicaragua
Reagan says he didn t know anything about it.
"There ain’t no smoking gun," he told an inquiring reporter Tuesday as he walked down a hallway in the Capitol before having lunch with Republican senators.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the phrase Reagan was echoing was first used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "Sherlock Holmes" in 1894
The exact words were: "The chaplain stood with a smoking pistol in his hand."
Nobody seems to remember who first applied the phrase to Watergate.
"I remember what it became,” says Howard Liebengood, then an aide to Sen Howard H. Baker Jr., a member of the Watergate committee and now White House chief of staff.
Use of the phrase became common as evidence from Watergate reached ever closer to Nixon Finally, on Aug. 5, 1974, in response to a court order, the White House released tape recordings of Oval Office conversations by Nixon and his aides.
In a conversation on June 23. 1972, six days after the Watergate break-in, Nixon and his chief of staff, H R Haldeman, had agreed to order the FBI "not to go any further into this case."
The revelation contradicted Nixon s previous statements that he did not know of White House involvement in the Watergate coverup until White House counsel John Dean told him of it on March 21,
"Here was the smoking pistol’ the investigators had been looking for — the direct, undeniable evidence that from the very beginning Nixon had been in on, had approved, had condoned and supported the attempt to bury the Watergate mess out of sight of the prosecutors, the courts, the Congress and the public," U S District Judge John J. Sirica wrote in his memoirs.
On Aug. 9, 1974, four days after release of the tapes, Nixon resigned.
In the Iran-Contra case, no such dramatic evidence has surfaced.
Much of the investigation has focused, however, on an undated memorandum that fired National Security Council aide Oliver L.
North has said he drafted. It included a proposal to divert $12 million from the arms sales to aid the rebels.
The memo called for a presidential decision, but Reagan says he never saw it.
Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., chairman of the House committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair, was asked what would happen if the committee found that Reagan had approved the diversion. He replied, "If that occurred — and let us emphasize the ‘if — that if it occurred, you would have a demand for impeachment proceedings.”
State Sen. Judith Zaffirim Capitol Station P O Box 12068 Austin. Texas 78711
State Rep Edmund Kuempel Texas House of Representatives P O Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769
U S Rep Mac Sweeney (Guadalupe County)
United States House of Representatives 1713 Long worth House Office Bldg Washington, O C 20515
Ronald Reagan President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington, O C. 20500
U S Rep Lamar Smith United States House of Representatives 509 Cannon House Washington, D C 20515
State. Sen. William Sims Capitol Station P.O.Box 12068 Austin, Texas 78711
U S Sen. Phil Gramm United States Senate 370 Russell Senate Bldg Washington, D C 20510
U S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen United States Senate 703 Hart Senate Bldg. Washington, D C. 20510
Gov. Bill Clements Gover nor’s Office State Capitol Austin, Texas 78711
The splendor of our nation’s capital
Everyone should come to Washington, D C., every few years just to see what they’re doing with our money. I was invited to speak at a reception for a large group of congressmen and. while I dislike speaking, it seemed like an invitation one doesn’t turn down. I am back home now after fewer than 24 hours in the nation’s capital. Herewith some notes
— The scene of the event was the caucus room of the Cannon Office Building. There are eight such buildings, three for senators, five for representatives. They are all magnificent. They were built from huge slabs and blocks of marble. They have monumental spiral staircases, even though no one uses them much, and the high-ceilinged halls are interrupted by huge, heavy and beautiful doors leading to the congressmen’s offices.
The buildings all cost a fortune, but they are one-time expenses and our capital should have great buildings.
— Congressman Allan Swift introduced himself. "Hi,” he said. ‘Tm Allan Swift from Washington state.”
"Hi,” I said, and we shook hands. Does that bother you?" I asked. "I mean, having to say ‘ Wa*Amylon itat*’ all the time?”
"Drives me crazy," he said. And then I’ll be
listening to the radio and they’ll say, Three people were murdered early this morning in Northeast Washington.’ You know, that’s where I come from and I’m startled, but then I realize where I am and that they’re talking about Washington, D C., not my state.”
— The best-looking woman I saw was the wife of Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, Ann Simpson. She could play the part of a distinguished-looking wife a senator in a movie.
— Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts is a friend I d met through my daughter and son-in-law in Boston. He’s an immensely attractive and ambitious person. He says he’s in a lot of trouble with the news divisions of the networks over the hearings he called looking into their operations. He had expressed concern, for example, over the effect General Electric’s ownership of NBC might have on the NBC News coverage of Defense Department activities because General Electric is also one of the major Defense Department contractors.
Even people rn the news business who are worried about it objected to the suggestion the hearing gave of government interference.
Markey's a good congressman. He must suspect he may have been wrong, but he doesn’t admit it. Congressmen don't.
— I’m always impressed with how well politicians get along with other congressmen even though they may have fought with them all day on the floor of the House. It’s a lesson in civility for the rest of us.
— If my speech had been graded by a teacher, I'd have failed. I had good material but my delivery was halting and uneven. The acoustics were poor, the lights were rn my eyes and there was a lot of movement in and out the door facing me. I felt badly about failing in front of so distinguished an audience.
— There was plenty of good food and drink at the reception, but I’m always too nervous to eat if I’m going to speak and by the time I’ve finished speaking, they’ve taken it away.
— NYNEX, the host, used be called just "the telephone company” in much of the East, but it changed to that high-tech name. I talked with the chairman who is known simply as "Bud Staley." You’d expect the top executives of big corporations to be stiff and formal but they’re always smart, charming and easy to talk to. You can see why they got where they were going.
— A lot of the congressmen didn’t stay long. They made an appearance and left. There were other parties, I guess, but it isn’t clear to me why they come at all. I enjoy Washington, but I wouldn’t walk for Congress, let alone run for it.
A promise of better things through Du Pont
Pierre Samuel du Pont IV, "Pete" to his friends, turned up in this pre-revolutionary village the other day. His campaign fund had just topped the 82 million mark and he hopes to raise another big chunk from his friends in the hunt country. He will need every dime he can get.
In pursuing the Republican presidential nomination, du Pont is embarked upon the toughest steeplechase of his political life. He has to get past a couple of hurdles named George Bush and Bob Dole.
He has to overcome the handicap of a name that is universally familiar but politically unknown. His biggest obstacle is the kind of recklessness identified with riders who break records or break legs, one or the other. The gentleman has ideas, and he has no caution about expressing them.
For example, du Pont wants to do something drastic about Social Security. He wants to preserve full benefits for those workers already rn the system, but he wants to create an alternative plan for young people just entering the work force. He proposes individual retirement accounts, to be financed by mandatory contributions from both employers and employees.
The plan makes good sense. It makes such very good sense that members of Congress are scared to death of it. Hie thought of such an alternative strikes terror into political hearts. No committee of the House or Senate will even conduct hearings on the idea. Yet here is du Pont pushing the concept anyhow.
Du Pont looks at farm subsidies amounting to $26 billion and year and says, "This has to stop." Lots of people say the program has to stop. The cost is monstrous and the results are nil. Du Pont proposes to phase out the payments over a five-year period. The com grower who gets a subsidy of 810,000 this year would get only $8,000 next year, $6,000 the following year and so forth. Where is he trying to sell this plan? In Iowa, that’s where.
He looks at public welfare. Over the past IO years, as he said in his announcement speech, the present system has poured $300 billion into grants to families with dependent children, but "today more of our citizens live in poverty than IO years ago.” He would mount a comprehensive program to train recipients for jobs, but if some persons still can’t find work in private industry, he would put them to work for the government at 90 percent of minimum wage. At the very least, welfare mothers could manage day-care centers. One way or another, we would tie welfare to workfare.
What would du Pont do about federal deficits? He would not raise federal taxes; he would not permit reinflation; and he would stop adding to it. Like Ronald Reagan, he would ask Congress to get rid of non-essential programs. Getting a rein on deficiency payments to farmers would have a high priority.
As a successful! governor of Delaware (1977* 85) he believes in the old-fashioned values of federalism. "I would push as many decisions as
possible back to the states and localities.’’ At the same time, for programs that truly are national in character, he would use "leverage” to compel state governments to fall in line. "If Congress is providing the money, Congress has a right to say what the states must do to get it.”
Du Pont is not much on constitutional amendments. He would like an amendment to provide presidents a line-item veto on appropriations bills. As governor, he used his veto sparingly, but he found the threat of such a veto often was effective. Otherwise, his inclination is to leave the Constitution alone. At 52, Pete du Pont feels he has the experience — as a businessman, as a lawyer, as governor, and as a two-term member of the House of Representatives — that qualifies him for the White house. He stands 6 feet, 2 inches; he weighs in at a trim 185 pounds. He finds he thinks best and works best early in the day. He hasn’t smoked since he tried a few cigarettes as a teen-ager. He drinks straight blended whiskey in winter, gin and tonic in summer. Nothing against cats, but he's a dog man. In recent weeks, along with a few spy thrillers, he’s read Paul Johnson’s Modern Times and Winston Churchill’s Wilderness Years . He plays tennis, though not well, and Ukes ice hockey. Married; one grown daughter, three grown sons. Net worth: about $6 million.
Can du Pont make it to glory at the RepubUcan convention next year? At present, the bookies would place him on the low end of long odds, but he has a good track record. Don’t count him out.