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Casso Loses in the Valley of blocs of votes all over town. But in Brand’s first four-year term as mayor, controversy within the city administration and the police department angered many within the city’s Mexican-American community. The mayor’s overbearing, sometimes bombastic style has alienated others. So Casso, a long time opponent of Brand’s, offered himself as an alternative. The doctor came from Laredo to McAllen over 30 years ago, and soon after his arrival he set up a clinic on the town’s poorer south side. For many years, he and Doctor Lauro Guerra have been healing the sick who could not afford McAllen’s more expensive doctors. Casso the kindly family doctor proved himself to be a rough campaigner. He authorized Spanish radio commercials that called Brand ” . .. a dictator . . . one who lets policemen beat up our children, and then does nothing about it.” When Brand used that commercial on the Anglo north side as an example of what he called “Casso’s racist campaign,” the doctor defended it, saying every word was true, that Brand was indeed a dictator. So bitter did the campaign become, even after it had ended the two men could not find anything good to say about each other. After the returns were in and the outcome was clear, Casso told his disappointed, but still enthusiastic supporters what he thought of the mayor and his campaign: “Any demagogue that invents a racial issue when it doesn’t exist is the scum of the earth . . . anybody that resorts to racial hatred to win an election again is the scum of the earth.” Brand chose not to talk about the doctor personally, but in referring to the one Casso candidate who did get elected, said only that he could work with Commissioner Salinas “almost” as well as he could anyone else. A new political machine has been created in McAllen, where before the Anglo businessmen controlled city government completely. For the moment, this infant machine treads carefully over the problems that destroyed a predecessor, La Raza Unida. Perhaps the Casso machine is too new to experience the bitter feuds that wrecked that instrument of chicano power. But the campaign workers, many who remember La Raza with varying degrees of fondness, say that won’t happen here. They say La Raza took on too many of the powerful too soon. Here in McAllen they focused on Brand alone and the way his personality has guided McAllen, for better and for worse, over the four years of his administration. The possibility that McAllen could have its first Mexican-American mayor in its 70-year history came as a shock to many who had not followed the campaign, but Casso and his ticket were no overnight miracle or fluke. This was the end of a 20-year rivalry between Casso and Brand, both of whom claimed to know how to best improve the lot of the poor in McAllen, who are almost always Mexican-American. Mean Things Happening in This Land H. L. Mitchell This book graphically tells of the life and times of H. L. Mitchell and of the Southern Tenant Farmers Union and its pioneering effort to organize Dixie sharecroppers. It covers 50 years of America’s farm labor and socialist movements. 44. . Mitchell talking as a tribal elder passing along tradition opens a window on a piece of Southern territory long gone and largely unsurveyed: a deeply-rooted native radicalism and that radicalism’s valuable contributions to the region and the whole nation . . . “The Whole Great Beast is here hair, hide and tallow . .”. Lyman Jones, The-Texas Observer Also recommended by J. K. Galbraith, Ray Marshall, Arthur Schlesinger, Michael Harrington For an inscribed and autographed copy of Mean Things Happening in This Land, send $10.95 to: H. L. Mitchell/STFU Association, Box 2617, Montgomery, Alabama 36105 NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP \(All profits go to the 37 surviving members 18 MAY 15, 1981 \(rte ,revra ot, ,V,,,,,,e-+.:..0