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up in every speech. There is reason to be suspicious of politicians who are effusively pious in public. That’s not cynicism. That’s just looking at history and using common sense. There is a political tradition, and particularly a Southern political tradition that has permitted some dreadful rascals and hypocrites to go about cloaking themselves in piety, talking about the Lord and glossing over the record. Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon used to get religious on us every time they went into a fresh spell of bombing in Nam. There is a real and/or potential problem with a politician like Carter who is into religion. Carter’s religion is part of, perhaps the largest part of his enormous self-confidence. Carter has said, and we are prepared to believe, that he doesn’t think the Lord is guiding him to political victory or that it’s God’s will that he be President or any such. We don’t know Jimmy Carter personallythe only person we know who does, Reg Murphy, the newspaper editor considers Carter a 24-carat phony. But if Carter were in the. Texas Legislature, that notoriously tacky body, we guarantee what the analysis would be. They’d say, “He thinks ‘his poo-poo don’t stink.” Politicians This has been a hard decision to make. Texans don’t get much practice choosing between two good candidates, much less good candidates for the Railroad Commission. Lane Denton has an excellent record in the Texas Legislature, and that record alone would usually be enough to warrant the Observer’s endorsement. But the editor is having an attack of pragmatism and believes that Terence O’Rourke is better equipped to deal with the arcane and complex regulations that the oil industry has used for so many years to its own advantage. O’Rourke is a sharp young lawyer who knows how to use the law to get things done. While Denton, a school teacher, has been going around the state saying, “Me, Liberal,” O’Rourke has been briefing the commission regs. It was O’Rourke who saved Texas consumers $130,000 a day by goading the RRC to take action on Lo-Vaca’s scandalous banking agreements with Amoco and others. We have heard the argument that O’Rourke’s ambitions might lead him to kowtow to the traditional oil industry interests. Well, even an idiot could see the lay of the political land today. The secret of political success is not to be a toady of the oil industry but rather the friend of the consumer. The basic question is: Which candidate would be most effective on the commission? The editor thinks O’Rourke knows how to make waves for consumers. He says he who suffer from that particular illusion are not just self-righteous: they are prone to believe that those who attack them are evildoers who should be smited. This is not the paranoia of a Richard Nixon. Nixon just assumed that everyone else was as big a skunk as he was, so he had Dan Schorr investigated and Morton Halperin wiretapped and Ellsberg’s shrink burgled and all the rest. It’s not bigotry to worry about what a fundamentalist mind-set will do with power. We don’t trust Jimmy Carter even as far as we can throw a six-pack of Lone Star. That doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t work for or support him if he commits himself on some issues. Billie Carr, that pluperfect liberal pragmatist, warns that if liberals refuse to deal with Carter and he’s elected, libs will be shut out. Carter, the unknown quantity and quintessential fuzzy-on-the-issues man, at least has the potential for turning out to be more attuned-to the times than Jackson or Humphrey. . Harold Hughes of Iowa has proved that at least some listeners-to-theLord feel called upon to go out and raise holy hell in behalf of social justice. But in the Texas presidential primary, we’re going to vote uncommitted. If and when Carter commits himself, then we might commit to him. K.N., M.I. doesn’t want to be the Nicholas Johnson of the Railroad Commission. That is, he doesn’t want to be simply an eloquent, isolated minority of one, casting a futile negative vote and then making high-flying speeches about the moral purity of his position. Judging from Denton’s past record, this writer thinks Denton would be a Nicholas Johnson type. That’s fine, if that’s all we can get, but we need more from a railroad commissioner. We need an individual who can force the commission into action. As a legislator, Denton had his staff do lots of good research but all too often he didn’t follow up that research with meaningful action on the House floor. Liberals can, if they know how, get legislation passed. One way is to surf to victory on a high crest of public indignation. You only keep your balance, however, as long as the surf’s up. The other way is to beat the bastards at their own game, with the rules and the law. That’s the way Bob Eckhardt does it, and that’s the way the editor hopes Terry O’Rourke will do it too. K.N. ,/\\\\ The co-editor of the Observer endorses State Rep. Lane Denton of Waco for Rail road Commissioner. Denton, who has been in the Legislature since 1971, has made for Roberts The Observer endorses Judge Truman Roberts for the Court of Criminal Appeals. As far as anyone knows, there are no judicial liberals on any of the high courts of Texas, no William Douglases lurking on any of our benches. However, Roberts seems to know that there is a Constitution and that it is to be taken seriously. That has gotten him into trouble with the likes of Dallas D.A. Henry Wade, who doesn’t seem to think defendants have any rights. Roberts’ opposition is Jerome Chamberlain of Dallas. Chamberlain once had a chicano removed from a grand jury on the grounds that a chicano couldn’t possibly “represent the thinking of Dallas County.” Another time, when he had a case in which a black was accused of raping a white woman, Chamberlain refused to let the prospective jurors be questioned about their racial attitudes. It’s bad enough that all those screwy things go on in the courts of Dallasthe 5,000-year sentences, the no-cripples-onjuries , guidelines, the incredible leeway granted to prosecutors. There is no point in letting the infection spread statewide. Vote for Truman Roberts and keep a decent judge on the bench. 111 April 23, 1976 23 Bob and Sara Roebuck Anchor National Financial Services 1524 E. Anderson Lane, Austin bonds stocks insurance mutual funds optional retirement program MARTIN ELFANT SUN LIFE OF CANADA LIFE HEALTH DENTAL 600 JEFFERSON SUITE 430 HOUSTON, TEXAS 224-0686 Two views on the RRC