the Political Season" (10/21/98)
For those in favor of impeachment
proceedings against the President, this current lull in the process because
of the Congressional recess couldn't come at a worse time. Time is a great
healer because emotion and passion wane during its passage. In the interim,
Clinton attempts to broker an Israel-Palestine peace settlement while the
public renews its anti-Congressional feelings due to the wave of negative
campaigning before the November elections. Prediction: Impeachment will
be an old and tired idea as we swing into the 106th Congress that begins
in full on January 6, 1999.
Our local Sheriff first appeared
in the "God Bless Texas" country music video and now can be seen almost
every evening in the John Sharp political ad. I need his agent.
The most interesting political race
of the season may be for the Texas Attorney General position. No one has
more name recognition than Jim Mattox, but his opponent, Jim Cornyn, has
that funny "(R)" symbol by his name.
In the aftermath of the death of
Matthew Shepard, who was allegedly killed in Wyoming for being gay, the
cries for federal "hate-crime" legislation have fired up again. Despite
the fact it's a bad idea (do we have a lesser punishment for "love crimes"?),
Texas has had such a law since 1993. See Penal Code section 12.47.
I'm not sure what's more disturbing:
the fact that former Wise County
Attorney Stephen Hale pled guilty to the delivery or marijuana, or that
County's Judicial Web Server provides a listing of his (or any Defendant's)
home address and driver's license number.
The 105th Congress, at the last
moment, passes a 16 inch thick and 4,000+ pages long budget bill that no
one had time to possibly read. I'll bet the
$520 billion dollar budget throws money at some frightening causes
(How does $1 million for the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute grab you?)
Interesting note: Texas Senator Phil Gramm voted against the measure, while
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson voted in favor of it. They don't part ways
Finally, I'll admit that I have
no idea why the Clinton lawyers are trying to settle the Paula Jones case
which they have already won. I might understand $10,000 in order to contain
costs, but one million dollars? The only thing more confusing is why Jones
doesn't take the money and run.
Barry Green is the District Attorney
for the 271st Judicial District.
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