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The Texas OBSERVER Vol. 71, No. 16 August 24, 1979 PUBLISHER, RONNIE DUGGER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1979 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Demo crat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate, MANAGING EDITOR Linda Rocavvich ASSOCIATE EDITOR Eric Hartman PRODUCTION MANAGER: Beth Epstein ASSISTANT EDITORS: Vicki Vaughan, Bob Sindermann Jr. STAFF ASSISTANTS: Lorraine Atherton, Jeannette. Garrett, Donna Ng, Anne Norman, Martha Owen, Karen White. Hams Worcester CONTRIBUTORS: Thomas D. Bleich, Ave Bonar, Berke Breathed, Warren’ Burnett, Bob Clare, Jo Clifton, Bruce Cory, Keith Dannemiller, Jeff Danziger, Chandler Davidson, John Henry Faulk, David Guarino, Roy Hamric, Doug Harlan, Dan Heard, Jack Hopper, Dan Hubig, Molly Ivins, Susan Lee,Tim Mahoney,Maury Maverick Jr., Kaye Northcott, Hans-Peter Otto, Alan Pogue, .Lois Rankin, Ray Reece, Susan Reid, Laura Richardson, Andrew Saldalia, Ben Sargent, John Spragens Jr., Sheila R. Taylor, Lawrence Walsh, Eje Wray, Ralph Yarborough A journal of free voices 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 011’n conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serl ,e 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 him. 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 he agrees with them because this is a journal of free voices. BUSINESS STAFF: Cliff Olofson, Joe Espinosa Jr. ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVE: Rhett Beard, The Texas Observer Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Publisher’s Address P.O. Box 6570, San Antonio, Texas 78209 Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except fora three-week interval between issues twice a year in January and July: 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. ISSN 0040-4519. years $40. Airmail. foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilmed by MCA, 1620 Hawkins Avenue, Box 10, Sanford, N.C. 27330 POSTMASTER: Send Rum 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. The past Austin If you haven’t already overdosed on John Connally, you’re about to. We at the Observer did long ago, but he keeps popping up, again and again, and we decided to remind the world \(or at man has held public office before and is not fit to hold it again. It isn’t that we suspect you Observer readers of being ready to rush out and stuff envelopes for him if we don’t tell you not to. We know better than that. It’s just that John Connally wants to be president and he too frequently gets what he wants. He has picked up a lot of support, including a goodly portion of corporate America’swhich is not a sector whose political preferences can be dismissed with a toss of the head and a giggle. His fundraising talents are the stuff of legend. And’ he seems to have captured the imagination of a large segment of the national media, if magazine covers and flattering color photographs are any measure. \(If I read one more time that he looks presidential I No one’s calling him a winner yet, mind you. Most polls show him running behind Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Howard Baker for the GOP nomination, and I haven’t yet seen an ifthe-election-were-held-today sort of voter sampling that has him beating either Jimmy Carter or Ted Kennedy. But today is not November 1980, and he knows it. The point is, John Connally is a political pro, he is being taken seriously as a candidate for president of the United States, and he’s not going to go away just because we want him to. Texans know him best, and Texans will just have to tell everyone they know all about him. So we’ve dug up a bunch of old Observers from the years when he was governor of Texas to let you read again and remember how he behaved the last time he held elective office. I have an idea Connally himself wouldn’t think much of this. In a 1971 U.S. Senate finance committee hearing on his nomination by President Richard Nixon to be secretary of the treasury; he was asked to confirm or deny a report that had appeared in these pages. According to the New York Times, he offered this non-response: “The last.thing I would want to do before this committeeor any responsible committeeis vouch for what appears in The Texas Observer.” But we’ll vouch for what appears here. It shows Connally to be the protector of big business at the expense of minorities, laborers, and all other “little people.” And, though we’re concentrating this issue on what he did as governor of Texas, we don’t think you should ignore the more recent past. After he returned triumphantly from his acquittal in the milk-fund bribery case, the Texas establishment turned out in droves for a “Salute to John Connally” dinner. Observer publisher Ronnie Dugger “saluted” him too. Here’s some of what he wrote, in the August 8, 1975, edition: “Salute! for supporting the Vietnam War without reservations, condemning protesters against it as unpatriotic, and concluding that the lesson of the war is that we should have won it. “Salute! for secretly helping Nixon in 1968 while publicly supporting Humphrey for President. “Salute! for heading up ‘Democrats for Nixon’ in 1972 and delivering a vicious attack on George McGovern over nationwide television, invoking the names of past Democratic presidents and the spirit of Joe McCarthy. Cover art: Jeff Danziger .