Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The Jim Wright Fan Club, better known to the Federal Election Committee as the Jim Wright Majority Congress Committee, held a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser Tuesday night.
Its namesake, however, wasn't the beneficiary.
"I haven't decided yet who will decided who gets the money," said Wright, the Texas Democrat who is majority leader of the House and as such, according to "tradition," dispenses funds from the dinner to collegues seeking reelection.
Wright arriverd with a retinue of people who always seem to follow people in power. And he seemed a little embarrassed to find his fans lined up on the stairs at the Madison Hotel, waiting to pay $1,000 in order to say hello and eat Texas barbecue.
In a prepared statement, Common Cause Vice Priesdent Fred Wertheimer said the Washington fundraiser "ought to be done away with but it won't be until the system for financing congressional races is changed."
In a prepared statement of his own, Wright said that he agreed with Wertheimer but that in the absence of such legislation, Democrats have to "redress the gaping imbalance" between Republican campaign funds and their own.
So, of course, there were lobbyists present, making up what Wright called "a heterogeneous group of labor and business." And oil?
"Well, the oil industry is not dominant in my support," said Wright "Maninly I'm a Democrat and the people who support me are just people."
Tuesday night, anyway, they included at least one oil company president (who didn't mind identifying himself), Jack Warren of the Gold King Production Company in Houston.
"I'm one of the very few (oil) people who supported Jimmy Carter," said Warren.
There was a heavy sprinkling of members of Congress in the crowd, including one senator, Alan Cranston of California. When Frank Moore, Jimmy Carter's mana on The Hill, arrived, Cranston jumped up from the table and took him out into the hall.
"Alan always has the next count in his pocket," said Barney Rapoport of Waco, Tex., Cranston's national finance chairman.
"We traded notes," Cranston confirmed. "I told him it (the Panama Canal vote) looked good."