Vietnam Reunion Army, Navy, Marine, Air Force . . . commissioned, non-com, enlistee, draftee . . . one-one bravo rifleman, full-bird Special Forces colonel . . . mortarman, Phantom navigator, door gunner, medevac crewman, B-52 pilot . . . bitter veteran, proud vet . . . right-wing, left-wing, center . . . rich man, poor man . . . Protestant, Catholic, Jew, atheist . . . black, white, brown, yellow .. . If you served in Vietnam, saw combat in the air, on the ground or on the water in-country \(and, especially, if any part of your tour involved action against NVA troop movements on the Ho Chi Minh that, for better or worse, cannot get the terrain of battle the hills, jungles, paddies and rubber plantations out of your mind; if you’ve held on to some basic, gut-level respect for the men on the other side; if you’ve ever thought of going back to Eye Corps, or Hue, or the Delta, or the Central Highlands on peaceful business .. . If any of this sounds like you If you think you might like to take part in a combat veterans’ trip to Vietnam this fall and figure in a film and a feature story in a prominent, mainstream national magazine; if you might be able to break away from work and family responsibilities for about three weeks and can see an extraordinary opportunity for what it is .. . AND IF YOU THINK YOU COULD SPEND A PEACEFUL, PURPOSEFUL, AND MAYBE EVEN PLEASURABLE TWO WEEKS IN THE COMPANY OF YOUR FORMER ENEMY ON A TEN-TO-FOURTEEN-DAY HIKE DOWN THE HO CHI MINH TRAIL . . . We want to hear from you. We are the M16/AK47 Organiz ing Committee, a non-profit, non j political group of veterans and former combat journalists who have long wanted to think about the war now ten years behind us the way the other guy saw it .. . We have met with Vietnamese diplomats in New York. They, too, seem to be attracted to our proposal to give veterans from both sides a chance to share their thoughts and experiences, to spend time together at ground level on one of the most challenging, least seen battlefields of the war. They understand, as well, that we will take pains to assemble a truly representative group of American veterans, men of all military, political, educational, racial and economic backgrounds, united by one thing: curiosity curiosity to see just what the NVA went through year after year, coming down that trail with men and materiel. For an application and more details, write to us, enclosing a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. Send your letter and SASE to either of these addresses: Lawrence Walsh 409 East Main Street Madison, WI 53703 John Spragens, Jr. P.O. Box 2433 Berkeley, CA 94702 P.S. Don’t let money worries hold you up. If you are selected for this expedition, we will find a way to get you there. “Because the attorney general’s office was so highly visibile when that statute was passed, most Texans think of that office when they have a problem.” His answer is a referral service within the office that would send individuals to private attorneys who agreed to take the suits. He doesn’t say how some of the more economically disadvantaged citizens might pay for these services. “I know that there are lawyers within this state who will protect citizens’ rights if you can just get the citizens together with the lawyers,” he said. Mattox, by contrast, has proposed beefing up the AG’s consumer duties, saying it’s a division that all but disappeared during the last four years. Mattox has also proposed setting up a task force to investigate abuse in nursing homes. While Meier hasn’t responded directly to that proposal, he has received contributions from a PAC formed by nursing home administrators. But he insists he isn’t a candidate of special interests, claiming there are always two sides or there wouldn’t be a fight. “You don’t have a fight if one side can just bowl the other one over,” he said. True enough, and in most cases the skirmishes between the consumers and lobbyists have been characterized by gargantuan efforts by a few legislators, and then an overwhelming vote for the lobby’s position. A money-market bill Meier tried to slip through last session even incurred the wrath of archconservative Sen. Walter Mengden. The bill, which protected banks and savings and loans from competition with money markets, was attacked by Mengden as “anticompetitive.” Meier’s law firm was responsible for helping the First City Bank of Euless get its charter, though he was a senator at the time and state law prohibits legislators from benefiting from their position. Meier owns about 5% of the bank’s stock. The Meier campaign has been based on bland assertions about serving the state The Texas Way and negative attacks on Mattox, who has responded in kind. Meier hasn’t commented on Mattox’s proposals that the attorney general make independent studies for consumers before the Public Utility Commission in rate cases, or that the AG assist farmers in dealing with federal agencies. Mattox also commended Mark White for filing a lawsuit on behalf of the Texas Vietnam veterans against the Veterans’ Administration. Instead, Meier diverts attention by saying Mattox would “staff the AG’s officc with liberals.” He kept himself in the news for a week in September by filing a lawsuit claiming Mattox’s campaign material violated state law. Meier sort of won in that the judge ruled the material violated the law; but he also said the law was unconstitutional. In effect, Mattox broke a law that doesn’t mean anything, though Meier sees it differently. Bill Meier would like very much to win this race, but the popular perception is that he doesn’t have the name identification to carry areas where Democrats might split their ticket to vote for Gov. Clements. The attorney general’s race is the highest up of the so-called “downballot” contests where Democrats are running liberals such as Mattox, Jim Hightower and Ann Richards. But it’s still in the fifth slot, following such left wing luminaries as Lloyd Bentsen, Mark White and Bill Hobby. Given that Meier has done little to distinguish himself from other Republicans other than use the “incompetent liberal” line against Mattox, it’s likely that his claim will fall on deaf ears. And, since lobbyists seem to be running the state anyway, that has to be good news. What we don’t need is soneone enforcing the laws who would tilt the balance even further. Bill Meier’s record speaks for itself on that score. Jon Weist is associate editor for The Shorthorn, UT-Arlington’s student newspaper. 4 OCTOBER 29, 1982
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