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The Texas Observer in the Classroom Six $ Issues For orders of ten or more copies of each issue sent to a single address the cost for the semester is just $1.00 per person, sales tax included. Classroom subscriptions will begin with the issue published in mid September and extend into December. Six fortnightly issues in all. That’s about 14 an issue . . . 34 less than the single copy price. To place your order, please indicate the number of students who will be subscribing, your needs regarding a free desk copy, and the mailing address we should use. To place your order, please indicate the name of students who will be subscribing, your needs regarding a free desk copy, and the mailing address we should use. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 600 West 7 Austin Tx 78701 4 The Texas Observer the anti-busing movement. It’s just that “putting your baby on a bus and sending her clear across town is wrong.” Renfroe says that she puts busing “over here” \(motioning to one side of an “over there.” Working against busing is fulltime, all the time, any way she can help. After that comes everything else. Political observers in Dallas are currently having a debate over whether Renfroe needs to tone down her anti-busing stance or keep it up in order to go on to Higher office. Ron Calhoun is having a fine time promoting a race between Renfroe and County Commissioner Roy Orr. Calhoun thinks Renfroe could be over-identified with anti-busing and become a one-issue politician like L. D. Hicks. Conventional wisdom has it that a politician needs to broaden his or her base in order to advance. But Dr. Melvin Bradford, a Wallace supporter and former SDEC member who is one of Renfroe’s advisers, favors the opposite tack. He thinks people are fed up with politicians who modify and mollify and waffle, and that they want a politician who will remain outspoken. RENFROE herself is mum on whether she plans to challenge Orr, but she obviously relishes making him nervous about the possibility. She also appears to favor the Bradford line. “I’ve always felt strongly about busing and worked with Kathy Carter. I speak on it as a mother of three children, not as a city councilwoman, but as a mother who has done a lot of research and knows how the political system works. I don’t like to see politicians exploit issues. I just feel like the kids are getting a bad deal. We have to make the political officials accountable. When I introduced my anti-busing resolution last week, all the grey suits [her words for the Downtown Establishment types] came down to say, ‘Don’t introduce it.’ But we’re making progress. At the first anti-busing rally I was the only elected official. But at the last one [see story this issue] there were several others. You can force them to take a stand.” Of course, there is nothing your average politician loathes more than being forced to take a stand on a touchy issue, although this one clearly carries some political gold. Renfroe stands in interesting and rather refreshing contrast to your average politician. But as Gary Wills points out in an article in the current issue of Harper’s a good deal of comment, your average politician’s well-known jello qualities have their up side. And zealots, true-believers, non-wafflers, and pols who do things because they are right have their down side. Renfroe is careful to point out that her anti-busing speeches always include a strong pitch for obeying the law. “They say that I’m just stirring people up, but I think that’s the way to respond positively, is to get ’em stirred up and let ’em know that they can change things.” But people who get overstirred about busing tend to. produce South Bostons, a fact Renfroe ignores on the grounds that she would never behave like that. The way she has been behaving has confounded Dallas liberals. Because of her anti-busing efforts and her strong admiration for George Wallace, it was at first widely assumed that she was racist. She has tangled frequently with George Allen, Dallas’ black mayor pro tem. But, she has also formed odd alliances with Al “the Lip” Lipscomb, a black activist who shows up regularly to raise hell at city council meetings. Lipscomb got off one day on the filthy conditions in nursing homes in Dallas. Renfroe, suddenly volunteering that her father had died in a nursing home and that she thought he hadn’t gotten good care, seconded Lipscomb’s demands for an investigation in a voice that quavered near tears. She also introduced a Lipscomb-inspired resolution praising several black leaders besides Allen who had been instrumental in calming the black community after an inter-racial shooting. Renfroe has an excellent populist rap. “I don’t think the council understands the busing issue. They voted down my anti-busing resolution 8-3. There’s only one besides me that lives in an integrated area. My critics are from the segregated, affluent neighborhoods. Look at the people on the council. One is worth $8.2 million, another is worth $800,000, another $500,000, and two are worth $250,000. I don’t think the people want to listen to a lot of double-talk from politicians who don’t even understand the problem, these idealistic liberals with their children grown or in private schools. I don’t ever want to become like a politician. I hope I’m always sort of an outsider, taking the people’s point of view. I look at things the way the people do, not the way politicians do, not the way the Establishment does.” Rose Renfroe has a whole lot of fans. For years Dallas has been famous for its very own brand of Establishment conservatism. Renfroe could make it just as famous for her own brand of anti-Establishment conservatism. M.I.