Page 9


Mauro Faces June 5 Austin The Observer interviewed Democrat Garry Mauro, leader in the first Democratic primary race for land commissioner, at the Observer’s office on Austin’s West Seventh Street. Interviewers were Joe Holley, Lyman Jones and Ronnie Dugger. The Observer held open until press deadline an invitation for a similar interview with Pete Snelson, Mauro’s runoff opponent. Up to deadline, Snelson failed to set a definite hour for an interview, and thus, in effect, declined to be interviewed. Where did you run best? South Texas best, obviously, and then in the urban areas. I carried almost every urban area except Houston. . . . but the urban turnout was so low this year that it’s kind of scary. Why is that, Garry? I don’t know. I’m one to contend that we don’t have a low voter turnout, and in fact 1.2% is not a -bad turnout for a Democratic Party primary. Only 40 to 50% of the people consider themselves Democrats. And so 1.2% out of three, threeand-a-half million people is not bad. We are finally getting a true Democratic primary, and I’m glad to see it, and I get mad when people say nobody exercised his right to vote. Hell, not everybody’s supposed to vote in the Democratic primary. If you’re a Republican or if you consider yourself an independent, you haven’: got any business in the Democratic primary. The press will never Hannah .. . Hannah said he has never claimed to be a law school graduate and that he ordered printing of the brochure stopped as soon as he saw the mistake, which he said was made by the advertising agency that prepared the material. A spokesman for Futura Press said their records show a run of 20,000 brochures was printed on Dec. 17. On Jan. 7, Futura received a copy of a registered letter from Hannah to the advertising agency pointing out the mistake and requesting that no more of the brochures be printed. The Futura spokesman said no more were printed nor was a corrected version printed. Mattox says the brochure was being distributed as late as May 15. J.H. write it, but I’ve said that in the last two or three press conferences I’ve had in the last two weeks. But they won’t print it. It really surprised me that they won’t. I’da thought that would make some news. What did you mean earlier about the weird voting patterns? The urban areas, even if you consider that, the urban areas turned out in even smaller percentages than the rural areas. My guess is that we have more rural votes, percentage-wise [in the first primary]. I haven’t analyzed it, but did the various organizations, labor, LULAC, MAD, etc, get their people out? Well, MAD delivered its votes .. . people are going to have to realize it; probably the best organized vote in the state is the Mexican-American vote the liberal Mexican-American vote. I call it the MAD vote. The disturbing thing is that Houston and Dallas didn’t vote. Austin voted pretty good. Houston and Dallas didn’t vote at all. Does that say anything to you about Republican and Democratic interests? Oh, you know, I don’t know. One of the things I think politicians do too much of is speculate about things they haven’t really spent enough time thinking about. Most things in politics have very simple solutions. It’s just a matter of spending a little time usually simple solutions and good common sense will tell you what happened. And 1 think one of the things that’s happened is we’re going into our tenth year of single-member districts, yet we don’t have any true urban political machines yet. And that’s unusual, because normally urban political machines develop where you have single-member districts. You know, Austin’s got it, through the neighborhood associations, San Antonio’s starting to get it. But Dallas and Houston don’t appear to have anything. I don’t know what that means, I just know it’s an interesting phenomena to watch in our state’s development. What kind of interest do you find in the land commissioner’s race itself .. . who’s interested in that office? Nobody [laughter]. You know, nobody’s interested in the land comissioner’s office. Does anybody understand it? It sounds rural, it sounds agricultural. And then you talk about fire ants in that race, and it sounds even more rural . . It’s very interesting . . . basically, all the land commissioner really is, when you really get down past all the other malarkey, is that the land commissioner manages 22.5 million acres of public land. It’s like hiring a property manager. You know, the question is, that’s a lot of money and that’s a lot of economic bucks, and the reason it has a major impact is that it’s so tied to our school system and to our school development, to the education establishment. You’re talking about something that has very little sex. I’m convinced that statewide elected officials are supposed to get elected for more than just what their office what the constitution says their office does. They’re supposed to exercise a little leadership, participate in problems, provide moral leadership, that sort of thing. Because in the past most of our statewide officials have been governor’s appointees, we’ve had very little well, my personal opinion is that because they’ve been governor’s appointees, we have not had people come up and do the kind of job the constitution advised. Our state constitution, I think, is a pretty good instrument, and it had in mind that we’d have strong executives several strong members in the executive branch who would act as checks and balances, and who, because they have to go back to the people every two years now it’s every four years they would provide some strong leadership. But we haven’t had that. We’re seeing a real phenomena this year, when you’re getting an Ann Richards and a Jim Hightower, hopefully, myself .. . THE TEXAS OBSERVER