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CONSUMERS PAY 50% MORE FOR FOOD TODAY THAN IN 1972 BUT FAMILY FARMERS SEE A LOSS UNEQUALED SINCE 1933 Inflation keeps up … Farm prices keep going down. THE COST PRICE WE’D LIKE TO CHANGE THAT TO KEEP EVERYBODY EATING Texas C,11111 Farmers L ATi gi i Union M. A Reminder.. . Don’t neglect the 416 public and county libraries in Texaslisted in the January 14th issuethat are not now subscribing to the Texas Observer. The communities served by those libraries need the Observer, and we need your help in getting them started with a gift subscription. Most libraries simply don’t have the funds to test the demand for serious magazines by subscribing to everything that is available. They have to rely on your generosity, and they genuinely appreciate contributions made in the form of gift subscriptions. \(When renewal time comes, the librarian will have a justification for making room in the budget for the We appreciate it, too, of course. And there’s a potential financial advantage for you, in that gift subscriptions to libraries are taxdeductible. Thanks for considering it. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 600 W. 7th Austin, Texas 78701 SO I JOS’ DON’T BELIEVE THAT WE’RE GONNA ALLOW YOU -uvi-TO ER-. COULD y’ HOW THOSE CARDS A UTTlE NIGER, PLEASE? 977 en eat hearings to let business interests explain the wisdom of it. The vote was 87 to 53. The whole thing took less than thirty minutes. The Evans bill has been given the kind of heavy-handed push that usually comes at the end of a session, but business interests are hungry this time around. The last two legislative go-arounds were not all that friendly to them, and they see a chance this time to get their way. As Jim Boyle put it, “Those lobbyists think they haven’t had their cut for quite a while. They think it’s their turn now, and they think they have the boys to do it this time.” They surprised themselves The set-back of big business forces on this bill hardly signals a complete turnaround from the expected conservative slant of this 65th gathering. It doesn’t even signal the defeat of this billone analyst expects it to be back up in a month or two, after there has been another litmus test or two of corporate strength \(Evans says his bill may need some revision in order to make it more palatable to the House, suggesting that he intends to bring it back in a prettier secure in the governorship, businessoriented Clayton still holding a tight rein on the House, and major committees stacked with conservatives, there still is no question who is in charge. But the vote is a signal to the corporate lobby and to the legislative leadership. It says, at a minimum, “you can’t shove horrible bills down our throats.” It draws the boundaries a little tighter than conservative forces had hoped, and it makes compromise more likely. But the vote on HB 592 says as much about House progressives as it does about the business lobby. The early assumption by them was that they were beaten before they startedthat the House is so conservative this session that the only thing left is to take a few pot shots, leaving the real fighting to the Senate. But once they got down to work, they surprised themselvesnot to mention Speaker Clayton, big business lobbyists, and conservative legislators. Moreover, it was not merely a band of liberals in oppositionplenty of moderates saw the flaws in HB 592, and they were prepared to take a leadership role in fighting it. One of them was Rep. views indicate the kind of progressive coalition that not only is possible in the House, but that actually came together to beat back this bill: “I didn’t make up my mind until Monday morning. My first impression was that this federal law allowing the attorney general to sue was antibusiness, and I’m certainly not antibusiness. But the more I thought about it, it’s not antibusiness, it’s antitrust. Small business really gets hurt by these trusts that fix prices, and there’s nothing in my district but small business; we don’t have any of these big corporations. So I decided to vote for it. They asked me if I would say a few words at the mike that afternoon when the bill came up, and I told them that since I was going to vote against it I sure didn’t mind telling people why.” J.H. Postmaster: If undeliverable, send Form 3579 to The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th, Austin, Tex. 78701