Thursday AM October 14th, 2010
by: Ed Mayberry, October 13, 2010 10:10:00 pm
William Hobby spent 18 years as the state's lieutenant governor, serving under Governors Dolph Briscoe, Bill Clements and Ann Richards. His new book is called How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics. His advice to legislators is themed mostly on "just say no" to most things not related to the budget. And Hobby says every nickel you don't spend on education now will cost dollars in the future, for welfare and prisons.
"The legislature will meet here in a couple of months and it will consider thousands of bills and pass hundreds of them. The most important bill, of course, is the general appropriations act. That determines how well all the functions of government will work. Somebody will always think they're getting tough on crime. They're creating a new crime. What they're doing is getting tough on taxpayers. In my view, education is the most important function."
Lieutenant Governor Hobby was president of the family newspaper, the old Houston Post, for 20 years. His family sold the paper in 1983, and it was absorbed by the Houston Chronicle.
"Pixels have been replacing pine trees for a long time. When I was growing up in the business, television evening news basically put evening papers out of business. The number of newspapers and the size of newspapers, of course, is again being reduced by pixels. This time they're on the internet instead of on the television screen. And it's the same in books, incidentally—Amazon now sells more electronic books than they do printed books."
The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History gets proceeds from his book sales. The conversation and book signing is set for this evening at the Hilton at the University of Houston.