11 1 . 11,1, 11111111111 I 11 111111111 ‘I 111 1111 11 Itt=- 11111111f Nil 1111 WHIP 1I I TEXAS The Texas Observer Publishing Co.. 1985 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher Vol. 77, No. 3 February 8, 1985 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. EDITOR Geoffrey Rips ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Denison EDITOR AT LARGE Ronnie Dugger CALENDAR EDITOR Chula Sims EDITORIAL INTERNS: Terri Langford, Roger Williams WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Al Watkins LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Alicia Daniel EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin,; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson. Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy bridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn. Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Dallas; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris. Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Fred Schmidt, Tehachapi, Cal., Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Warren Burnett. Nina Butts, Jo Clifton, Craig Clifford, John Henry Faulk, Ed Garcia, Bill Helmer, Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Laurence Jolidon, Mary Lenz, Matt Lyon, Rick Piltz, Susan Raleigh, John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue, Russell Lee, Scott Van Osdol, Alicia Daniel. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Mark Antonuccio, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein. Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneek, Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Joe McDermott, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau. 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. Writers’are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal of free voices. Managing Publisher Advertising & Development Director Subscription Manager Circulation Assistant Consultant Cliff Olofson Dana Loy Alicia Daniel Stefan Wanstrom Frances Barton Editorial and Business Office 600 West 7th Street; Austin, Texas 78701 The Texas Observer at Austin, Texas. Subscription rates, including 5 1/8% sales tax: one year $23, two years $42, three years $59. One year rate for full-time students, $15. Back issues $2 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl.. 300 N. Zeeb Road. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Copyright 1985 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 2 FEBRUARY 8, 1985 PAGE TWO LOTTERY WHAT YOU have running throughout the political rhetoric of the lottery issue is a Puritanism of convenience. The rhetoric is loaded with the kind of selective moralizing that is the cornerstone of our political life, playing to public sentiment while masking the special interests behind the scenes. Not that there aren’t legitimate moral concerns and consistent moral positions being taken on the issue. The Baptist Christian Life Commission, for one, is consistent. It opposes pari-mutuel gambling and a state lottery and has supported social measures such as increased funding for Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Weston Ware of the Commission believes that the funding of state programs by means of a lottery is “government by jackpot. Lotteries are not just harmless games,” says Ware, “they are institutions that attempt to collect revenue from the citizenship as a regressive tax. It is not entirely voluntary in its appeal to the poor as the only opportunity to break out of a cycle of poverty. The state becomes a peddler of unrealistic dreams. It turns the state government into merchandising hucksters perpetrating a swindle on our own people. Ct . . . it’s much easier to devise a scheme for a legal gambling corporation than to face up to the huge lobbies which pro tect and maintain the tax loopholes . . .” Wright Patman “What is unfortunate,” says Ware, “in the case of horse racing and the lottery, is that people are proposing it in response to the deficit. We agree that the state has a financial problem. We don’t agree that a lottery or pari-mutuel betting is a just or fair answer to that problem. It is bad public policy for the state to base its financial survival on a weakness people have and abuse that weakness in terms of marketing public dreams and hopes. The lottery is more morally reprehensible than horse racing partly because the track cannot be marketed in the same way as the lottery dream.” Ware likes to quote Wright Patman on the subject of government-run gambling: “Gambling,” Patman said, “is actually the most regressive form of taxation that can be devised. It is designed to pick the pockets of the poor .. . while the rich continue to enjoy low tax rates. Obviously it’s much easier to devise a scheme for a legal gambling corporation than to face up to the huge lobbies which protect and maintain the tax loopholes for the corporations and the wealthy.” But opposing state-sanctioned gambling is actually the furthest thing from the minds of most of the opponents of the lottery, the religious organizations aside. It turns out that most of the political opposition to the idea of a state lottery is being run by advocates of pari-mutuel betting, Gib Lewis included. Not many tears shed among that crowd for the poor lured to the track by a $2 bet. “Why this sudden outcry of the people who had no concern for the poor until now?” Rep. Evans asked. “That’s not their
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