The Texas Observer Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 Publisher’s Office P.O. Box 6570, San Antonio, Texas 78209 Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co.. biweekly except for a three-week interval between issues twice a year, in January and July: 25 issues per year. Second-class postage paid at Austin. Texas. years. $40. Airmail, foreign. group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilmed by MCA, 1620 Hawkins Avenue, Box 10, Sanford, N.C. 27330. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. Obsettations Issues for the ’80s San Antonio In the Observer’s 25th anniversary issue in December, we will be looking ahead to the next 25 years. As I shall be discussing only the Observer’s future in that issue, permit me to steal a march here by peering part of the way ahead to descry some of the issues that are likely to be occupying us here in Texas and the country in the 1980s. In the 1981 Legislature Governor Clements will be held accountable for his first three years as other politicians prepare for the campaign against his re-election. His educational policy of less money and more disciplineincluding more discipline for teacherswill have to stand the gaff of evaluation. Progressives in the Legislature, possibly bolstered by new consumer representation on the Texas Railroad Commission, will open up a fight for adequate taxes on natural resources, perhaps through a refinery tax, and may undertake to replace part of the retail sales tax. Pro-consumer structural reform of the utility and railroad commissions will be on that session’s agenda, too. Inflation and excessive regulation are legitimate concerns, and probably in the 1981 Legislature progressives will take a turn at shaping these questions into issues that benefit the people instead of reducing their protections against exploitation. For instance, as Sen. Lloyd Doggett of Austin points out, the sunset process will bring up for review state health care agencies that have been enhancing anti-competitive practices. As a sun-drenched state, Texas can become a laboratory for state-backed experimentation in decentralized energy technology, especially for solar power. In contrast, Clements and Sen. Peyton McKnight will be crusading to turn Texas into a radioactive garbage dump for the noxious wastes of nuclear power plants. Depending on how successfully the Legislature is drubbed clean of puppet-like servants of big business, the 1981 Legislature will be able to give a fairer hearing for the right of public employees to collective bargainingteachers, firefighters, police, other city, county, and state employees. Since Clements has stripped the Texas Department of Labor and Standards of its pro-union commissioner, Lynn Tate, the Legislature will be trying to shore up the department’s enforcement of the state prevailing wage law. Will Texas continue to beeven though a two-party statea Southern state in the ways we treat the poor? Will workers without jobs continue to receive inadequate benefits? Will percapita state spending on the whole range of state services continue to mark Texas off as a Southern rather than an industrial state? These are questions immediately ahead. I believe that in the 1980s Texas is going to send to Washington a lot more statesmen like Ralph Yarborough, Bob Eckhardt, Ben Reyes, Mickey Leland, and Sissy Farenthold. We have been sending plenty of the old-line reactionary type. This will continue, but probably most of them will become Republicans. A great deal more than what personality is president rides on the present Carter-Kennedy-Brown brouhaha. As Texas moderate-conservative Democrats like Lloyd Bentsen and John White line up for Carter, progressives should be asking whether Carter or Kennedy is likeliest, if president as the ’80s open, to advance the national programs that are already center-stage: national health insurance, controlling the major corporations’ market power and monopoly as these contribute to inflation, 2 NOVEMBER 30, 1979 The Texas OBSERVER PUBLISHER, RONNIE DUGGER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1979 Vol. 71, No. 19 November 30. Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. MANAGING EDITOR Linda Rocawich 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, Harris 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., Kay: Northcott, HansPeter Otto, Alan Pogue, Lois Rankin, Ray Reece, Susan Reid, Laura Richardson, Andrew Saldaria, 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 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 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 offree voices. BUSINESS MANAGER: Cliff Olofson ADVERTISING SALES REPRESENTATIVE Rhett Beard.