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_…_ ,….-_ …… ….-N …..-AS Fl. _ .CIE PEOPt …, Ili p I a /01 ,, PRIE144 /…, . / ………..-_-_, —= —_=-= er _-_. ,, 0,,,i, 11.-,_ ‘ 1 I HI: ; I, ‘ l ‘Il lM y!” intim ,” “”’.141 i 1’1 ‘I 11 I I i , -1:— = _ TETXDB SERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co., 1985 Vol. 77, No. 25 7,-.”‘.i:F: December 20, 1985 Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin Forum-Advocate. PUBLISHER Ronnie Dugger EDITOR Geoffrey Rips ASSOCIATE EDITOR Dave Denison CALENDAR EDITOR Chula Sims EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Kathleen Fitzgerald EDITORIAL INTERNS: Hanno T. Beck. Richard Kallus, Jeff Ruoff EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode. Kerr ville; Chandler Davidson, Houston: Bob Eckhardt. Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia. Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith. Cam 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, Louis Dubose, John Henry Faulk, Ed Garcia. Bill Helmer, James Harr ington, Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Rick Piltz, Susan Raleigh, John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Alan Pogue. Russell Lee. Scott Van Osdol, Alicia Daniel. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Mark Antonucci, EricAveiy. Tom Ballenger. Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein. Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Keyin Kreneck. Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Joe McDermott. Ben Sargent. D . an Thihodeau. A of free voices journal 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.cotiscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerfitl 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 Cliff Olofson Advertising & Development Director Dana Loy Subscription Manager Stefan Wanstrom Consultant Frances Barton Editorial and Business Office 600 West 28th Street, #105, Austin, Texas 78705 The Texas Observer \(ISSN paid at Austin. Texas. Subscription rates, including 5 1/8% sales tax: one year $23. two years S42. three years S59. One year rate for full-time students. S15. Back issues S2 prepaid. Airmail. foreign, group. and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. 7cch Road. Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Co .priiht 1985 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not he reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 28th Street. #105. Austin. Texas 78705. EDITORIAL Carrying Water for the Big Boys FIVE YEARS INTO the Reagan era, it’s not considered news when big business trounces organized labor in the hallowed halls of Congress. Nor is anyone surprised when another victory for the business sector comes with the help of conservative House Democrats, voting under the inebriating influence of Reaganism. But the latest installment in this sorry saga is an especially unpleasant one. The business lobby rose up in late November to finally smite a bill that has been supported in various forms by labor advocates for more than a decade. By a five-vote margin the House rejected a bill that would have required companies to give employees 90 days advance notice before closing shop and leaving workers in the lurch. The opposition was coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Business Roundtable, three groups that started planning their strategy last February. A lobbyist for the AFL-CIO said the business groups “went batshit. They opposed this bill as vigorously as I’ve ever seen,” he said, adding that he has been lobbying in Washington since 1973. NAM claims to have sent more than 20,000 letters to its membership, which includes 13,500 manufacturing companies across the land. Together, the business groups say they generated about 17,000 letters from their members to various representatives. in the House. Cooper Industries, a Houston-based manufacturing firm, participated in the effort, having plant managers from many of its 150 American factories write to members of Congress urging them not to pass the plant closing bill. “We felt the bill would put excessive restrictions on all manufacturers,” said Denton Langsford, a spokesman for Cooper. Pete Lunni, a lobbyist for NAM, said the bill would not only be “onerous” for business, but bad economic policy. , Six Texas Democrats voted with the Republicans. A change in the votes of Jake Pickle, Jim Chapman, and, say, Marvin Leath of Waco would have changed the outcome of the bill. \(Andrews of Houston, Hall of Rockwall, and Stenholm of Especially shocking is the stand that the newest Texas Congressman, Jim Chapman of the East Texas town of Sulphur Springs, has taken against the plant closing bill. Chapman admits that “working people are a major part of my constituency,” yet in his defense of his vote he echoes the business lobby nearly point by point. His slim margin of victory over Republican Edd Hargett in the runoff election August 3 came’ not only with the solid backing of the average working voter,’ but ‘with the organizational resources of the labor unions and the Democratic Party. Now he seems to believe that the only way to stay in office and there will surely be another well-financed Republican run at him again in 1986 is to curry favor with the Republican-oriented business groups. Rep. William Ford D-Mich., has been the leading advocate 2 DECEMBER 20, 1985