Having heard Tony Sanchez give the keynote address to the recent Johnson-Rayburn fundraiser for the Harris County Democratic Party, perhaps he should stay with his friend, George Bush. How could you in all seriousness present a cover story (“Tony the Tiger,” May 25) on this guy without even mentioning his main rival, a progressive Democrat, Marty Akins. Although Marty lacks a Hispanic surname and Tony’s oil money, he is definitely the best chance we have of winning back the governor’s seat in 2002. Articulate, personable, and progressive, this guy is the real thing. If Tony can spend a whole evening talking about education and never mention pay raise for teachers, why is he running as a Democrat? Marty’s opening sentence at a recent meet-the-candidate rally at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Houston was that we need more pay for teachers and to make sure our teachers are covered by an affordable heath care plan. Please spare me the kudos for Tony Sanchez. Having lived through Big John Connally, Bill Clements, and the Shrub, isn’t it time for a real change?

John Preston Houston

The article on Tony Sanchez and his bid for governor has most of the disturbing elements of recent media trends. There is not one mention of an issue, just empty prating about power and the phantom Hispanic voting bloc. The three pages of verbiage include lots of name-dropping. We see Ben Barnes (of Sharpstown scandal fame), John Sharp (who tried SO hard to jump onto G.W. Bush’s coattails), Karl Rove, G.W. Bush, Henry Cisneros, Dan Morales, and Rick Perry, not to mention a few of Sanchez’s hired consultants. As Thorpe points out, Sanchez is an unabashed supporter of George W. Bush. She shies away from mentioning his opposition to a woman’s right to control her own body. She doesn’t mention the Cuellar flap. She completely ignores the campaign of Marty Akins. In spite of the efforts of John Sharp and Bob Bullock to turn the Texas Democratic Party into the Other Texas Republican Party, there is still life in the old yellow dog.

James Sells Houston

Don’t we have enough politicians in Texas calling themselves Democrats and voting like Republicans? It’s a sad day when we have to reach out to someone who supported the worst governor Texas ever had and the thief who stole the White House. If we can’t find a real Democrat to run for governor, then we might as well keep Rick Perry–for a Republican, he is really not too bad.

Ben Larson The Last Liberal in the Texas Panhandle


I just wanted to say how great it is to know that there are people taking notice of the drug problems in rural America. (“Every Man a Kingpin,” May 11). I am a native of Megargel, about 15 miles south of Archer City. My brother has been a meth user and cook for the past four years; he is 23 years old. We grew up on a ranch in a very comfortable home and the pressures and dangers of the outside world never seemed to come near us. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. Even worse, many of the older generation are just now realizing that drugs are infiltrating their environment. They have been in denial, and are totally unequipped to deal with the problem they face.

My brother has been averaging a stint in county jail about once a month for the past year and a half. He’s been in on everything from grand theft auto, back child support, assault, possession of narcotics, and attempt to sell. Why doesn’t he stay in jail? Minimal bail, overcrowded jails, delayed court dates, and minimal fines for his offenses that his “friends” take care of. This is the true problem, weakness and inconsistencies in our judicial system (95 year sentencing!!). There are so many myths surrounding addicts and drug use. Until people get the facts about drugs and who becomes addicted and what an addict is really like, we are going to continue to lose those dear to us. Drug abuse is not a disease, it is a character weakness and it is a choice. We, the community, have to be there to show people the error of their ways, and help them make different choices.

Georgia Shawver via e-mail