organizational base, unions may have to change as drastically as business groups have. The left-wing labor writer Jeremy Brecher has suggested organizing by geographic area instead of selected trades. Perhaps unions should concentrate on forging ties with the many community groups that have many of the same concerns. With unions and community groups united it might make sense to challenge corporate rights to shut down plants without regard for the social toll. Some unions, obviously, are facing these issues, and some. take progressive stands. Perhaps even the United Autoworkers can move beyond the “Unemployment Made in Japan” sentiment. The UAW magazine Solidarity, in discussing “the Reagan trade deficit,” says that the administration’s free trade rhetoric is “the ideological fiction it uses to hide the fact that it intervenes in world trade on behalf of corporations, not workers.” The UAW calls for Congressional hearings into a “cranked down” dollar, for a reduced budget deficit through lower military spending, and for restored taxes on corporations and the wealthy. But Solidarity goes out to very few Americans, and meanwhile there is Bob Hope and the unions and that TV audience of 88 million and those damned spots. Americans will once again be encouraged to see foreign devils where there are none, consumers will be asked to fix our problems by proper buying habits when in fact corporations are the ones with the real power over these issues, and once again an educational opportunity will be missed. Unions have the resources to address the trade crisis and unemployment in a truly educational manner. They should do so with renewed vigor and clear-headed thinking. If you don’t know where the problem comes from, you are powerless to solve it. D.D. Sen. Barrientos and the Governbr Austin TO ANY Observer reader, it’s obvious what happened. When Governor Mark White opened his October 25 Observer to read while eating breakfast on Saturday, October 26, he came across the piece in which we expressed our dismay with his rumored choice of David Young for Public Utility Commissioner. At that point, he must have turned to Linda Gale and said, “Maybe I should look for someone else. Maybe the Young appointment would hurt my re-election prospects.” And so, on October 31, White appointed then-Assistant Attorney General Jo Campbell to the commission. Soon thereafter, Commissioner Peggy Rosson was elected chair of the commission by Campbell and fellow commissioner Dennis Thomas, creating the first major state agency chaired and dominated by women. It also became that rarest of animals, a commission with a genuinely fair balance among consumer, industry, and government interests. We commend Governor White for his choice. In her first formal act, Campbell joined Rosson in voting to require Houston Lighting and Power and Central Power and Light of Corpus Christi to make public a document assessing a proposed $750 million settlement of a lawsuit by the partners director of the state Public Utility Counsel, has opposed the settlement and had been trying for months to obtain a copy of the document. The withholding of the document by the utility companies indicates that the assessment had probably concluded that the proposed $750 million was too low a settlement figure. With this one act, many of the state’s electricity consumers are already the better for Campbell’s appointment, as will be Mark White’s campaign. Early polls indicate that White’s greatest re-election weakness may lie with the Democratic constituency. Labor particularly has been voicing its disaffection. If the combat in the Republican primary becomes so heated that it attracts a number of conservative Democratic voters, then White could be vulnerable in the Democratic primary. There is speculation that, if White’s rating remains relatively low with Democrats close to the filing deadline, he may find a last-minute challenger. An aggressive Public early next year, can only help White’s Democratic chances. 4 NOVEMBER 22, 1985 MEANWHILE, the unsung hero of the PUC appointment has to be state Senator Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin. Barrientos effectively killed the attempted appointment of David Young by exercising his privilege as a state senator to block a gubernatorial appointment from his district. When David Young’s name surfaced as the likely nominee, Barrientos informed the Governor of the many reservations he and his constituents had about the appointment of an industry consultant on utilities. Barrientos was not just concerned about the interests of groups such as the Consumers Union. “After I’d seen some of his [Young’s] background, with whom he’d worked before, I started thinking how his decisions on STNP might affect the STNP settlement [to which Austin is a party],” Barrientos told the Observer. “I discussed those with the Governor, and he listened to them.” 0 C as 7gc 0 0 a_ Senator Gonzalo Barrientos f There were reports that Barrientos came under considerable pressure from White to agree to the Young appointment. The fact that the Young appointment was held up for several weeks was proving troublesome to White, particularly after the departure of PUC Commissioner Phil Rickets resulted in a one to one commission vote. But Barrientos does not admit to any major confrontations with the Governor. “I’m satisfied,” he said. “We had a real good talk. It wasn’t adversarial. As far as I’m concerned, he had the same concerns as I did in keeping utility rates lower for all of us.” Barrientos appointments, but these, he says, are not matters of substance. With these appointments he says they are just taking time to work out the lines of communication. It is rumored that White did not discuss the Young appointment with Barrientos before depositing it in his lap. He did, however, discuss the appointment of Campbell, an appointment Barrientos wholeheartedly supports. “She’s an impressive woman,” said Barrientos. “She wants to keep consumer rates down and not chase business out of Texas. I feel pretty decent about it.” G.R. r…… 6.0141111111.1117,34.1t’AP\(..40.i1414111111 41114111011.1Nlaik…..41INI.I.OGG
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The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.