Copperas Cove Leader-Press (Copperas Cove, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 80, Ed. 1 Tuesday, July 9, 2013 Page: 4 of 10
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or round 2
AUSTIN —Texas lawmakers on July 1 reported to
their respective Capitol chambers for the opening of a
second 30-day special session of the 83rd Texas Legis-
lature. The House and the Senate scheduled floor action
for July 9.
Gov. Perry, on June 26, in-
vited them to take a second op-
portunity to craft and pass leg-
islation relating to:
■ Regulation of abortion
procedures, providers, and fa-
■ Funding of transporta-
tion infrastructure projects; and
■ Establishing a mandato-
ry sentence of life with parole
for a capital felony committed
by a 17-year-old offender.
Those items were on the
call for the first special session
that ended on June 25. Senate
Democrats opposed to the
abortion-regulating bill out-
flanked a Republican majority
by skillful use of parliamentary
procedure. Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, exercised
the option to filibuster the abortion bill on the final day
of the special session. While the filibuster stopped the
bill from final passage, other bills on the calendar be-
came ineligible for further consideration at the stroke of
On June 26, Gov. Perry called another special ses-
sion to have the same matters addressed. On opening
day, Democratic caucus leaders suggested that because
of constitutional concerns and the high level of interest
in the subject, regional hearings should be held before
abortion-regulating legislation votes are called. An-
swers came. Such decisions are at the discretion of com-
mittee chairs. The chairs in this case, Rep. Byron Cook,
House State Affairs, and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower
Mound, Senate Health and Human Services, chose to
conduct their committees’ hearings at the Capitol.
On July 2, more than 3,000 citizens registered to
testify on, for or against HB 2, the abortion bill, but on-
ly a small percentage of them were allowed to testify
before the bill was called to a vote. The House State Af-
fairs Committee approved HB 2 on a vote of 8 to 3.
Also on July 2, the Senate Finance Committee ten-
tatively approved Senate Joint Resolution 1, a proposed
constitutional amendment relating to the transfer of cer-
tain general revenue to the state highway fund and the
economic stabilization fund and to authorize the pay-
ment for principal and interest on certain highway im-
provement bonds. And, the Senate Criminal Justice
Committee tentatively approved SB 2, legislation relat-
ing to the punishment for a capital felony committed by
an individual under 18 years of age. The bill is the same
as SB 23 in the previous special session, requiring 40
years of time served before parole eligibility.
Governor raises question
Gov. Perry on July 2 hinted that he would have “ex-
citing future news” to announce on July 8. This hint
brought on speculation that Perry might launch his sec-
ond run for the presidency in 2016, or perhaps seek yet
another term as governor in 2014.
In late December 2000, then president-elect George
W. Bush resigned as governor, and Perry, then serving
as lieutenant governor, became governor. Perry com-
pleted Bush’s unexpired term, was elected in 2002 and
reelected in 2006 and 2010. With more than 12 years in
office, Perry is the longest-serving governor in the his-
tory of the state.
Who is running in 2014?
It is early in the game, but if Gov. Perry does not
run for an unprecedented third consecutive four-year
term as governor in 2014, Texas Attorney General Greg
Abbott has said he will run to succeed Perry.
If Perry does not complete his current term, howev-
er, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst would be promoted to gov-
ernor. If that scenario develops, Dewhurst would have
the advantage of incumbency with Abbott, and possibly
others, mounting challenges.
While Dewhurst has not declared his intentions,
state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land
Commissioner Jerry Patterson, both Republicans, have
filed paperwork to run for lieutenant governor in 2014.
Also, Senate Education Committee Chair Dan Patrick,
R-Houston, on June 27 announced his plan to run for
As for who might succeed Abbott as attorney gener-
al, Texas Railroad Commission Chair Barry Smitherman
has said he will seek the office contingent on Abbott’s
seeking another office. House Higher Education Com-
mittee Chair Dan Branch, R-Dallas, has been mentioned
as a possible candidate for attorney general or lieutenant
State Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, has announced
plans to run for comptroller. State Comptroller Susan
Combs has said she will not seek another term as the
state’s chief accountant or for any other statewide office
Democrats have kept their aspirations muted, so far,
as to statewide races in 2014.
Want To Write?
The Copperas Cove Leader-Press welcomes
letters to the editor.
Letters may be edited for style and grammar,
and must be signed and include a phone num-
ber for verification.
Send your letter to Letter to the Editor, Cop-
peras Cove Leader-Press, PO. Box 370, Cop-
peras Cove, Texas 76522, or drop it by 2210
East Highway 190, Suite 1, Copperas Cove.
Letters may also be e-mailed to
I like burnt marshmallows
You've heard the com-
mercial slogan, “You never
get a second chance to
make a first impression,”
and I'm sure in many ways
this is true. We're always
making judgment calls
based on what we know
about someone, even if it's
very little. The human
brain, the best supercom-
puter in all of creation,
likes to make sense of what
it sees and likes to put peo-
ple into categories.
This isn't always a bad
thing, because we like to
know what to expect when
we deal with a friend or
coworker. It's much easier to
sort through our brain's la-
bels of friends and family that way.
However, there are times when someone
comes across our path, and within sec-
onds we've decided we don't like them
For me, one of those is the know-it-
all. You know, the one who
always has to chime in about
what they've seen or done. If
you've been to Europe before,
well, they've been to the Arc-
tic AND Europe, and what
you know is all wrong.
Or then there's the person
with perpetual Eeyore syn-
drome. Nothing good has
happened, is currently hap-
pening, or will ever happen
in the future for anyone. If
something good happens to
you, they're quick to remind
you that gloom and disaster
are right around the corner
“Good times just don't last,”
Of course, we all know the
“grouch,” who loves to snarl.
You'd think that they're the most miser-
able people in the world. Cranky, obsti-
nate, often sarcastic. When you start a
conversation with them, you're not quite
sure what will happen. So if you're like
me, you tend to tread softly with these
critters and avoid if possible.
There are some people who are
acidic to the core. After less than five
minutes in their presence, our stomachs
are sour from their negativity. They
can’t be happy for your happiness and
are quick to spew their acid in your di-
rection. They’re jealous, unsettled and
can’t tolerate anyone being happy.
I've learned, though, that I do have
a favorite of these challenging kinds of
people, the one that my brain will in-
stantly classify as “not my favorite per-
son” with a first impression. How can I
have a favorite un-favorite? I'm con-
vinced that these grouchy people can ac-
tually be burnt marshmallows.
Sitting around a campfire, I never
understood why some people love to
turn marshmallows into flaming lumps
of sugar on the end of a stick, then eat
the thing, ashes and all. I won't specu-
late on any carcinogens present in the
ashes, or how someone can stomach the
charred taste. Because I’ve learned to
See SOWELL, Page 5
Lift a glass to Franz, TGPA
No doubt more than a
few glasses were lifted at the
75th anniversary convention
of the Texas Gulf Coast Press
Association in May in Galve-
As far as I know there is
no one still around who at-
tended that very first conven-
tion of this regional newspa-
per group. Actually, I was
bom just about the time that
However, my ties are
strong and run deep.
My very first press asso-
ciation convention ever was
Gulf Coast and it was held in
Houston in 1963 at Dick Mae-
gle’s Tidelands Inn. Maegle is the former
Rice All-American running back, famous
for setting a Cotton Bowl rushing yardage
record assisted by an off-the-bench tackle
by Alabama’s Tommy Lewis on a TD-
bound mn by Maegle.
At that meeting, of course, I met a lot
of my fellow newspaper editors and pub-
lishers and most became lifelong friends.
One couple became my lifetime best friends
in the business, Bill and Peggy Cooke from
Rockdale. Now, they’re “mostly” retired
and daughter Kathy publishes the Reporter.
Son Ken is the publisher of The Fredericks-
Gulf Coast Press’s founding president
was John H. Manthey, publisher of the
Cleveland Advocate. In 1968 I succeeded
John as publisher at Cleveland when my
partners, the Owen family from Conroe,
and I purchased the Advocate.
Manthey earlier had some
pretty impressive partners him-
self, the Price Daniel family
from Liberty. I had some earlier
contact with the former Texas
governor, during his term in of-
fice. Gov. Daniel came to my
hometown Teague in 1958 to
speak to the Methodist Men’s
Club. I covered that meeting as
the 20-year-old news editor of
The Teague Chronicle.
After the meeting, I was
part of a two-man press contin-
gent interviewing the Governor.
The other press rep was from
the Dallas Morning News and
after a few questions for Gov.
Daniel, rushed off to phone in his
I suppose I just stood there gawking,
but the Governor put an understanding arm
around my shoulder, steered me to a sofa
where we started talking about the newspa-
per business. He was a part owner of the
Liberty Vindicator and several other news-
papers and told me that his grandfather had
once owned and published The Teague
Chronicle. He kept several high muckety-
mucks, including the just-retired president
of the American Petroleum Institute, wait-
ing for 10 minutes while we talked “news-
Thereafter, if anyone ever made a dis-
paraging remark about Gov. Daniel, they
had to contend with me. I’ve always regard-
ed him as a great man and an outstanding
public servant. His daughter, Jean Murph, is
publisher of The Coppell Advocate.
Guff Coast Press has produced any
number of interesting people.
Franz Zeiske, for instance.
Franz was the longtime publisher of
The Bellville Times. He was, I believe, sec-
ond generation of his family in this country.
Franz printed a fine newspaper and took
great pride in it.
A regular visitor to Franz’s office was a
then-reporter-columnist for The Houston
Post, Leon Hale, who now (at age 91)
writes a weekly column for The Houston
My hero and friend, Leon, used to
roam about the rural areas and small towns
for the Post and later the Chronicle and is
now a weekly columnist with elder states-
man status. One of Leon’s frequent stops
was Bellville and Franz’s office.
One of my favorite stories was related
about Franz. Leon said Franz used to drive
him around the area and they always went
to a certain bridge over the Brazos River.
They would stop and Franz would produce
a half pint of whiskey. They’d have a drink
or two and Franz would toss the bottle over
the bridge railing into the river.
After Franz died, Leon wrote about go-
ing to a liquor store in Bellville, buying a
half pint of whiskey and driving out to that
bridge. He stopped as he and Franz had a
number of times. Leon got out of the car,
opened the half pint, toasted Franz’s memo-
ry, took a swig and tossed the bottle over
the railing as had his friend.
It was a fitting tribute. Guff Coast Press
needs to remember Franz in a proper way.
Willis Webb is a retired community
newspaper editor-publisher of more than 50
years experience. He can be reached by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Copperas Cove Leader-Press (Copperas Cove, Tex.), Vol. 118, No. 80, Ed. 1 Tuesday, July 9, 2013, newspaper, July 9, 2013; Copperas Cove, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth630043/m1/4/?q=stolen%20land: accessed September 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .