Mandate, mandate, who’s got the mandate? Austin Look, there’s a military junta in Portugal that changed the country’s politics overnight. Willy Brandt has just resigned as chancellor of West Germany. Trudeau got a vote of no confidence in Canada today. There are riots in India and famine in Ethiopia, constant crisis in Cambodia, student demonstrations and terrorist bombings in Spain. That’s not even to mention Northern Ireland, or England, or France, or Rhodesia, or Vietnam, or China. .. . Even Gerald Ford’s old district has caught the anti-incumbent fever, but Gov. Dolph Briscoe took 67 percent of the Democratic vote to win nomination for the first four-year gubernatorial term in Texas history. If Jim Granberry or Ramsey Muniz is going to beat Dynamic Dolph he’d better be busier than a cranberry merchant between now and November. Before the primary, underdogs were insisting that voters’ sourness on Watergate would be revealed in a “throw the rascals out” sentiment in state elections. It didn’t. The minority who bothered to vote in Texas seemed content with incumbents. The low turnout May 4 may itself be a sign of disgust with politics in general, but then it’s hard to explain why people don’t do something. What the voters did was reinforce the conclusion that in Texas the best way to get elected to a position is to hold it. For the second election year in a row, “Sharpstown” was the subdivision most often mentioned by analysts. This time around, it was for purposes of contrast only. Two years ago Sissy Farenthold ran Dolph Briscoe a good race. This time she polled 429,182 votes to the governor’s 1,033,451. A million and a half of the state’s five million voters participated in the primary. A number of wire service and capitol bureau stories interpreted Farenthold’s surprisingly bad showing to mean that liberals no longer have a state leader. The analysts, however, did not take into account the fact that liberals are quite used to losing. Farenthold probably will be considered a liberal leader until she chooses to stop leading. Election night she told a disheartened gaggle of campaign workers that she is not defeated, only delayed. “The campaign was not a futile gesture of dissent,” she said. “The health of our government is served best when public officials are held accountable to the people for their actions,” That night Briscoe said he was “delighted” with the election results. “I look upon this victory as a solemn pledge to each man and woman in Texas to continue the task of restoring public confidence in state government,” he said solemnly. pledge to work with each man and woman in this state toward the realization of our solemn dream: the building of a better Texas and a better way of life for each Texan.” The Farenthold debacle was on the order of Sen. George McGovern’s two years ago. Her Massachusetts and ,District of Columbia were Brooks and Jim Hogg . . …ammtwilmoophsowelpirwnvivirams,..rm,ovr? 013 SERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South May 24, 1974 500
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