Page 2


races long-overdue start toward progressive government in Texas, and he looks like a man we can work with. The Observer strongly urges you not only to vote for Hill, but to go door-to-door in your precinct flushing out others to do the same. Joe Christie is the obvious choice for the U.S. Senate nomination, and Price Daniel just as clearly is the better man in the attorney general’s race. As pointed out in our endorsements of Christie and Daniel in the April 14 issue, both would be strong progressives in office, men we could expect to side with the people against the vested interests when it matters. The high bench Judicial races are too often overlooked by voters, and it’s unfortunate. Justices of the state’s two highest courts make decisions on a routine basis that affect many Texans profoundly \(sending them ally \(their judgments alter, for better or men and women canand regularly domake a greater difference in our lives than 99 percent of the other state officials who are the center of political attention. Please take note of two judicial candidates who could help make Texas justice a term of honorSam Houston Clinton, Court of CriMinal Appeals, and Franklin Spears, a candidate for justice your ballots for both of them, and you’ll be proud you did in the months to come. The best man Lieutenant Governor Bill Hobby had the good sense to be born into a wellknown and well-heeled Houston family, and his origins haven’t hurt his political career a bit. He now stands on the brink of an easy renomination over three Democratic challengers. But he is not the best of the lot. That distinction belongs to John Hill Westbrookan intelligent, articulate, issue-oriented populist from Tyler who is a former Baylor University football star. Hopelessly underfinanced, Westbrook’s campaign has been a wellkept secret, but wherever he has been, he has won ovations for his thoughtful, straightforward stands for the little people of Texas. In the bargain, he’s won a loyal following from those who crossed his path and were both grateful and amazed to hear a politician speak the truth. Westbrook will not win this time around, but he is the best man running in 1978 for any statewide office, and he’ll be heard from again. Hobby has done nothing of significance in office since 1973 to gladden a progressive’s heart \(is a decade of Bill much better than a decade paigned honestly and vigorously in a way that warrants our readers’ support. You’ll not be backing the eventual winner by voting for Westbrook on May 6, but you’ll be doing the right thing, and it will help you come out of the booth with your head held high. The Railroad Commission There’s a real chance here to win one, and if lightning strikes, two good people could end up on this extremely powerful and important three-member body. This is another of those offices way down on the ballot that gets overlooked by voters in a busy year like this one, but a solid vote by. Observer readers can make a big difference in the outcome. Two seats on the commission are up for grabs. Our candidate for an unexpired term is Jake Johnson, the former-legislator from San Antonio, who not only is campaigning against the oil and gas industry’s stranglehold on this regulatory commission, but who also has a real chance of winning. Johnson has the endorsements of the AFL-CIO, the Harris County Council of Organizations, and similar groups, and he has traveled the state extensively in the campaign. Your vote for Johnson could put him in the run-off. Our other choice for the commissionJohn Thomas Hendersonhas a steeper hill to climb. He’s trying to knock off Mack Wallace, the RRC’s incumbent chairman. The two are complete oppositesWallace toadies to the big oil refiners, while Henderson speaks for the utility consumers who foot the bill for the commission’s pro-industry decisions. Henderson not only refuses to take campaign contributions from the companies he would ********************** THE TEXAS OBSERVER