Mike Smith is campaigning vigorously, but his effort is like that of a small business up against a multinational corporation. Big-time politics runs on money, primarily for television advertising. Steelman doesn’t have it. He has not attracted the million dollars he originally hoped to have, nor will he raise the scaled-down budget of $800,000 he said on Sept. 30 would be just enough to “wage a winning campaign.” They now think they will have run through about $650,000 by the campaign’s end. The reality is gloomier for Steelman than that figure indicates. His campaign had spent some $500,000 by mid-October, mostly on organizational work, and it expects to have only about $120,000 to buy television time. There are 18 major television markets in Texas, and $120,000 spread across those markets can buy only minimal exposureway short of the heavy media inundation needed to make Alan Steelman a household word and U.S. senator. In contrast, Bentsen is spending $300,000or 60 percent of his total campaign budgeton media that will reinforce his name identification. The rich get richer. Steelman is a nonentity to most voters. They might have heard his name, but they don’t know what he stands for. Even if there is a wide undercurrent of disgruntlement with Bentsen, as the Steelman campaign claims, the Republican is not widely perceived by voters as a realistic alternative. This situation has left the Steelman campaign grasping at tiny bits of good news and speculating on pockets of hidden Steelman support. Anson Franklin, Steelman’s well regarded campaign manager, issued a press release on the results of a Southwestern University straw poll showing students there favoring Steelman over Bentsen by 200 votes to 61. Franklin also took heart in a San Antonio Express poll that showed Bentsen ahead of Steelman in Bexar County by only two-to-one. “We’re intrigued by that,” said Franklin, postulating that Bentsen should be drubbing Steelman even worse in this Democratic stronghold. Franklin also said they are getting encouraging reports from around the state of “a lot of Carter-Steelman voters.” Well, maybe. Steelman’s basic pitch is that he’s an independent-minded cuss, willing to take on big business, big labor, big government, and just by-God anything that gets in the way of average Texans. It’s pretty good stuff, but it’s not selling all that well, both because it doesn’t ring quite true coming from Steelman and because he hasn’t had the necessary advertising budget. Where is the Steelman support? Republicans, of course, though Steelman is not your ordinary Texas Tory Republican, and that has cost him some enthusiasm, money, and workers within his own party. He has natural Republican strength in Houston, Midland-Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, and Dallas, with the last being home base and his best shot. Steelman hardly harps on his Republicanism. In fact, he has castigated his party for being too narrowly based and too often serving as mouthpiece for big business. “The trouble with many Republicans,” he says, is that “they talk about what they hear at the country club. It’s not Jeffersonian conservatism; it’s status quo conservatism.” That kind of talk has not warmed the hearts of Texas mainstream Republicans. For example, John Connallya bastion of the Republican country club set has been distinctly cool toward the Steelman candidacy: He has not been asked to campaign for Steelman, nor has he offered. Texas campusesharboring some 700,000 voting age Texanshave been favored haunts of the Steelman campaign. He hopes to get a majority of the student vote in Texas, though Franklin admits that student turnout is disproportionately poor, and he knows of no reason that his year will be different. In addition, Steelman has made a special effort to project his relatively strong environmental record, hoping to pull the THE TEXAS OBSERVER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1976 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher A window to the South A journal of free voices Vol. LXVIII, No. 21 Oct. 29, 1976 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Tex. 78701. Telephone EDITOR Kaye Northcott CO-EDITOR Jim Hightower EDITOR-AT-LARGE Ronnie Dugger Contributing Editors: Steve Barthelme, Bill Brammer, Gary Cartwright, Joe Frantz, Larry Goodwyn, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Molly Ivins, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Dave McNeely, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, Bill Porterfield,, James Presley, Buck Ramsey, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Edwin Shrake, Dan Strawn, John P. Sullivan, Tom Sutherland. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has ‘exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with her. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that she agrees with them because this is a journal of free voices. BUSINESS STAFF Joe Espinosa Jr. C. R. Olofson Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three week interval between issues twice a year, in July and January; 25 issues per year. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single copy \(current or back years, $18; three years, $25. \(These rates cept APO/FPO, $1 additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. Change of Address: Please give old and new addresses, including zip codes, and allow two weeks. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Tex. 78701.