MISSING THE VOTE
When reporters write about the Ciro Rodriguez-Lyle Larson race in the 23rd Congressional District, one fact is always mentioned: George Bush carried the district with 54 percent of the vote in 2004. The more timely fact is that in 2006 Rodriguez beat the Republican incumbent with 54% of the vote.
The geometry of this race is simple. The winning candidate will be the one who turns out his base in Bexar County and at least splits the vote in the western counties.
Some insiders usually say that Rodriguez lost to Henry Cuellar in the 2004 primary because of voting irregularities in Webb and Zapata counties. I can testify that in Webb County, dead people voted, live people voted more than once, and imaginary people voted. This, however, was not the often-cited reason for Rodriguez’s loss. If all the living people in south Bexar County had gotten off their asses and voted just once for the candidate they loved (Rodriguez), he would have won handily. The same will be true in 2008.
David H. PlylarPosted at www.texasobserver.org
JUMPING ON THE TRAIN WAGON
I think I read that 65 percent of our energy use goes to transportation (“Pandering at the Pump,” June 27). I appreciate alternative energy sourcing from solar, wind, etc., but the most important energy savers are trains. We have foolishly fallen behind the rest of the developed world by dismantling our railroads. Create jobs by resurrecting this sensible form of transportation. Does the Teamster’s Union have a stranglehold on this country?
Emily Zermeno via e-mail
NUKES NO ANSWER
The Texas Observer‘s editors are wrong endorsing nuclear energy as one of the solutions to global warming (“Pandering at the Pump,” June 27). CPS Energy of San Antonio recently brought in Jeremy Rifkin, the renowned consultant on energy and economics, to speak on these subjects. Rifkin made clear that global warming is much worse than originally predicted and that we only have about 10 years to make substantial strides in reducing greenhouse gases. If humans don’t reverse current trends, we could be facing extinction as a species.
The good news is renewable energies are right under our noses. We are close to developing the technologies to allow each home and building to be its own power plant. We need the can-do entrepreneurial spirit of the U.S. to kick in-and quickly.
Nuclear energy, Rifkin said, is currently being debated all over the world, but he thinks it’s an outmoded technology. Plants take too long to build, and costs of construction and nuclear fuel are increasing. We should use up existing nuclear plants as efficiently as possible, but certainly not invest in more.
Rifkin mentioned only briefly the crime against future generations of nuclear waste, and the myriad other environmental consequences of the nuclear boondoggle. The Observer should devote more space to these problems, as we in San Antonio try to talk our city leaders out of a $20-billion expansion of the South Texas Nuclear Project.
Darby RileySan Antonio
I was so delighted to see Frankie Carter Randolph added to your masthead under “In Memoriam.” While liberals in Texas owe so much to a handful of fighters-Ronnie Dugger, Bob Eckhardt, Molly Ivins, Cliff Olofson among others-no one is due a greater debt of gratitude than Mrs. Randolph. Without her example of courage and her support for the Observer in its earliest, struggling days, Texas liberals might never have had such a vibrant gathering place.
Terri BurkeExecutive DirectorACLU of Texas