New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 2, 1995, New Braunfels, Texas
Tuesday, May 2, 1995 ■ Herald-Zeitung ■ 3
Weapons bill wins House passage
AUSTIN (AP) — Legislation that would fillow Texans to carry concealed handguns has won tentative House approval after lawmakers narrowly adopted a proposal to allow citizens to vote on the issue.
The vote, which would take place in November, would have no effect on the bill should it become law. But Sen. Jerry Patterson, author of the gun bill, was quick to condemn it.
“It is a deceitful attempt to put us in court and challenge the constitutionality of the bill, even if it’s nonbinding,” Patterson, R-Pasadena, said Monday after the vote.
Patterson said he would seek to remove the referendum once the bill reaches a House-Senate conference committee. If he fails, he said he would kill the entire bill.
“We will have no bill that has a referendum in it,” he said.
Supporters of the referendum, approved on a 74-70 vote, said they believe Texans should have the chance to vote on such an important issue.
“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with letting the people send us a message about whether or not we should
have concealed weapons in this state,” said Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston.
“If you believe in the people in your district ... then why don’t you believe in them enough to allow them the right to vote on this decision?” Turner said.
Rep. Ron Wilson, House sponsor of the gun bill, said voters already decided the question in November when they elected Republican Gov. George W. Bush over incumbent Democrat Ann Richards.
Richards two years ago vetoed a bill that would have allowed Texans to vote on the issue. Bush has said he would sign a concealed handgun bill.
“I don’t know where y’all were Nov. 8, 1994, but there was a referendum on this issue,” said Wilson, D-Houston. “The people have spoken. Let us go ahead and put the issue to rest.”
After an eight-hour debate, the overall bill won tentative House approval on a 98-40 vote. It faces another vote of the House before heading to conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate versions.
U.S. sends ‘unmistakable message’ to Iran
(gutting remaining U.S. economic ties with Iran sends an “unmistakable message to friend and foe alike” of U.S. determination to halt Tehran’s backing for terrorism and pursuit of nuclear weapons, Secretary of State Warren Christopher said today.
“We are determined to stop them,” Christopher said, describing the presidential decision as an effort to persuade U.S. allies to cut back their economic ties to the radical regime.
Foremost on the U.S. agenda is the campaign to persuade Russia to cancel its plan to sell nuclear reactors to Iran, a subject certain to be a touchy issue when President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin meet in Moscow next week.
“Iran is a major proliferation threat and is pursuing a determined course to acquire nuclear weapons,” Christopher said.
He described the Tehran regime as “the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
The secretary of state said the U.S. decision, which could cost thousands of U.S. jobs and millions of dollars in revenue for American companies, was designed to counter the arguments from other countries that the United States continues to do business with Tehran.
“They’ve pointed to that to justify their broad-based commercial relationships,” said Christopher. “Now the
president’s decision totally eliminates that excuse for their going ahead.” Clinton announced his decision in a speech Sunday to the World Jewish Congress in New York, on a day designed to show his resolve against terrorism and foster his ties to Jewish voters. He called Iran an “inspiration and paymaster to terrorists.”
Aides said stiffened sanctions against Iran will hurt U.S. businesses, primarily in the oil industry. But, the president explained, “lf we are to succeed in getting other nations to make sacrifices in order to change Iran’s conduct, we, too, must be willing to sacrifice and lead the way.”
“Increased international pressure must be applied to Iran to bring about a change in its policies,” said Christopher. “That is exactly the goal of the president’s executive order. It sends an unmistakable message to friend and foe alike. We view Iran’s action as a major threat to United States interests and international security, and we’re determined to stop them.”
State-run Tehran Radio called Clinton’s action “disgraceful,” but said it would not succeed in throttling the country’s economy. Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi told the English-language Iran News Daily: “The United States, and not the Islamic republic, will be the loser.”
Oil futures prices rose early today in
response to Clinton’s decision. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light sweet crude oil for delivery in June was trading at $20.65 today, up 27 cents from its close Friday.
Clinton’s and Christopher’s comments previewed a potential trouble spot at the May IO summit with Yeltsin.
Clinton and his diplomats have tried without success to get Russia to abandon a contract to help Iran in the construction of a nuclear reactor complex near the Persian Gulf. China is considering a similar arrangement with Tehran.
In a related development, the CIA has informed Congress that Iran recently received at least four ballistic missile launchers from North Korea. The trade publication Defense Week reported in today’s edition that the transaction nearly doubles the estimated number of missile launchers in Iran’s possession.
White House aides were not counting on Yeltsin to scrap the deal in time for the summit and harbored even lower expectations that China will heed Clinton’s call.
Clinton said he will sign an executive order this week to forbid U.S. compa
nies and their subsidiaries from trading! with Iran or investing in the nation | The order will take effect 30 days after; his signature, in part to help companies; make the transition. But the White; House conceded that “a few thousand ’* jobs would be lost as a result of the* order. The order, which aides said! could produce a slight short-term! increase in fuel prices, also will clum-; nate U.S. exports, which totaled $326; million in 1994.
Jim Goodbread Gil Lindsey
2 A&M Officials Plead No Contest
BRYAN, Texas (AP) — Two Texas A&M employees have entered no-contest pleas to charges accusing them of falsifying government records by disguising the purchase of alcoholic beverages for school functions as food, soft drinks and ice.
John Wotmuth, an oceanography professor, and Ron Carter, business manager of the chemistry department, entered no-contest pleas on Monday to charges of falsifying government records.
Each received three months deferred adjudication, which means no conviction will appear on their records if they comply with terms of probation. Carter was fined $500 and Wormuth $150.
Protesters Say McNamara’s Message Is Too Little, Too Late
AUSTIN (AP) — Remembering the 170 Marines in his rifle company who died in Vietnam, Jerry Lindauer says former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s new book acknowledging that the war was a mistake is heartbreaking.
Lindauer said his company arrived in Vietnam in July 1965 with six officers and 200 Marines. Eight months later, it had one officer and less than 40 Marines.
Given the chance, he would tell his fellow Marines, “Your secretary of defense has written a book that has taken away every geopolitical rationale for the war and any contribution you may have made to win the Cold War,’” Lindauer told McNamara Monday.
McNamara was at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library to discuss his book, “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam,” in which he ends a 26-year silence by calling U.S. policy on the war “terribly wrong.”
Bush signs emissions testing bill
RE-ELECT "BUTCH" BENITEZ
CHY COUNCIL, DISTRICT I A VOICE, NOT AN ECHO
AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. George W. Bush has signed into law a bill resuming last year’s vehicle emissions testing procedures in regions of the state with poor air quality.
The measure, signed late Monday, does away with a centralized program that took effect in January and immediately sparked criticism from drivers who called it too inconvenient and costly. That program was suspended while lawmakers considered changes.
The bill, which passed the Senate 28-3 on Monday, also gives Bush the power to negotiate further testing changes with federal regulators in light of changing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency policy.
Bush spokeswoman Karen Hughes said the governor had two concerns about the legislation.
“The bill had to be consumer-friendly. It had to allow people to get the
tests at a convenient neighborhood service station as opposed to an inconvenient central location,” she said.
“Second, it gave him the flexibility to deal with the EPA and its everchanging rules, to make sure if EPA grants additional flexibility to another state, Texas can adjust its program to take advantage of that flexibility,” Ms. Hughes said.
An EPA spokesman didn’t have an immediate comment.
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, called the measure a “common-sense approach to clean air.” He said it would return emissions testing to methods that were “working so well” before the centralized program began in January.
Testing will resume June I in the Dallas-Fort Worth, El Paso County and Houston-Galveston areas under the measure.
But Sen. John Lccdom said the previous program, which used a different type of emissions testing process, already has been found wanting by the federal government.
He said the state risks losing hundreds of millions of dollars in federal highway funding if it doesn’t come up with a clean air plan that will satisfy the EPA.
“It’s no question ifs a reaction against the government telling us what to do.... I don’t think that’s the issue here,” said Leedom, R-Dallas. “We’re just going back to a system that already has been declared not satisfactory for cleaning the air.”
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