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Ralph Yarborough, of course Yes, we know Ralph Yarborough has faults And we know Barefoot Sanders is a very nice fellow. But what do you want? Good grammar or good statesmanship? Ralph Yarborough’s record simply is second to nobody’s; Barefoot Sanders’ record is that he used to work for Lyndon Johnson. Sanders is a moderate, a let-us-reason-together man. And this is 1972, not 1955. We too grow tired of apocalyptic talk, of contemplating the vast number of disasters we are on the brink of. But this country is on the verge of corporate fascism and the corporate Brontosaurus is urging us to devour our very planet. Damned if we want someone who’ll minuet politely off the edge of the cliff for the sake of “responsible” compromise. Ralph Yarborough gets mad. And he stays mad. And he knows those bastards in big business have lost their souls. The super-conglomerates are eating us up and Ralph Yarborough is not about to compromise with them. The Justice Department compromised with ITT and where did that get us? We don’t need any more compromisers. We need a senator again who is uncompromisingly on the side of life and people. If we ever needed populism, we need it now. And Ralph Yarborough is the real stuff. Sissy. We underestimated her. The others are so awful and she is so good that we got stuck on her goodness. And the way she comes on is deceptive. She looks like the lady in the Geritol ad before she’s had her Geritol: next to Bella Abzug, she’d look like Beth-of-Little-Women. So we didn’t precisely, entirely realize that Farenthold is so tough the Viet Cong should take lessons from her. She is easily the toughest candidate in the race. She’s hitting harder all the time. Her funny lines turn out to be gut punches. We have no doubt whatsoever that she will win if the people of this state get a chance to hear her: hear her compared to Ben Barnes, hear her compared to Dolph Briscoe. Her campaign is more like a movement than a campaign. She says, “The paper in Fort Worth calls it ‘the Farenthold phenomenon,’ but it’s really the people’s phenomenon.” When she was in Dallas a young man came up to her and said, “Ms. Farenthold, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m your campaign manager in Texarkana.” Farenthold, who had no idea she even had Easily the most specious of all the anti-Yarborough arguments is that “Ralph’s been around too long.” The problem is that he hasn’t been around long enough. His Senate career was severed while he was working on a crucial pile of legislation. We need Yarborough back in the Senate to pass the Big Thicket Bill, to a campaign in Texarkana, commented, “I think we’re setting new highs in local control.” Since the campaign is underfinanced, it has a distinctly zany flavor. She barnstorms around the state in a 20-year-old, pastel green DC-3 named “Marilyn.” By the end of a long day that would make the Perils of Pauline look tame, one feels compelled to observe only mildly, as the plane taxis down the runway, “Uh, someone forgot to close the door.” Her campaign aides spend most of their time worrying about the way her hair looks and the fact that she’s too honest. But Farenthold is not one to be made over into any image but her own. She has an unexpected, almost Machiavellian sense of how power is used to manipulate people. She understands that game, but she doesn’t play it. We have changed our mind about Sissy Farenthold. We once thought she was just a shining symbol of integrity, of everything we want for this state. We now think she’ll make the best governor Texas has ever had. get Texans a better break on health care, to open America’s college doors even wider and to get on with the numerous other projects he had to abandon. Ralph Yarborough is at a stage in his career where one almost has to define him in terms of the values he has created. “Raff” is just so Yarboroughian: that than which there is no whicher. Tyro Texas populists will be taking their measure against this man for a long time to come. Right now, we don’t have to worry about how close the copies come to the original: “Raff” is alive, well and loaded for John Tower. You’re not likely in your lifetime to get a chance to vote for a man who dreams better or fights harder. Christie for Lt. governor Perhaps the reason the Observer is soft on Joe Christie is because he has never been one of Texas’ liberal finks. He’s never been a liberal at all; so instead of being mad at him when he voted wrong in the Senate, we’ve been pleased with him when he voted right. And Christie has voted right in some important clinches. When Ben Barnes put a Heatly half nelson on the Senate to defeat the corporate income tax 16 to 15, Christie grat his teeth and stuck with the 15. The El ‘Paso senator, of course, is best known as the father of liquor-by-the-drink, a measure that not only brings a warm glow to many Texas voters but also pours a million and a half dollars a month into the state treasury. Christie is also the patron saint of the Texas horned toad. He got the critters declared an endangered species long before it became de rigueur to shelve one’s alligator shoes. He has a good record on environmental concerns. Education is one of Christie’s continuing interests. Last year he coaxed the Legislature into passing strict regulations for vocational schools one of the very few progressive laws that slipped through Barnes’ and Mutscher’s 62nd Legislature. Christie becomes downright inspiring when compared to his opposition. The biggest har-de-har-har of the past month was the Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of Wayne Connally for lieutenant governor. April 28, 1972 3 And for governor …