Page 5


ENDORSEMENTS ’41\\ Texas Senate THERE ARE some heated Democratic senate primaries to replace longtime Democratic incumbents. The easiest endorsement we have to make is for state Rep. Jesse Oliver, running for the senate seat vacated by Oscar Mauzy. If the word “politician” can still connote anything good, Jesse Oliver is a good politician. He is principled, a hard worker, smart, and sweated blood to help bring the diverse elements of the legislature together to pass the indigent health care legislation during the last session. Oliver should be Lieutenant Governor some day, so it’s important to start him on his way with a state senate seat. The problem is that he faces Eddie Bernice Johnson, who did some good work in the legislature in the ’70s and some less good work in Dallas politics later, and Dr. Jesse Jones, who ran against Mauzy last time as head of an outdated political years ago as an important means of organizing black voters has become little more than a shakedown operation for the projects of PVL leaders. A number of Democratic campaign workers, all of whom asked not to be identified, told the Observer that, while the PVL has always asked for endorsed candidates to fund the campaign material it distributes in black Dallas neighborhoods, it is impossible to tell how much money actually goes toward the printing of those materials. One source said that several statewide Democratic candidates in 1982 Jesse Oliver during indigent healthcare fight. 8 APRIL 18, 1986 agreed among themselves not to pay PVL, but some of these got cold feet and ended up throwing in money for PVL pushcards, door-to-door workers, and candidate pamphlets. It is said the PVL leader John Wiley Price, a Dallas county commissioner, has designs on a Congressional seat from a Dallas district redrawn so as to provide a black Congress seat and two likely Republican seats where there are now two progressive Democrats. Jesse Jones is running, it is said, so as to be in the state senate when the new Congressional districts are drawn, thereby aiding PVL ally Price. Jesse Oliver is a good bet to uphold Oscar Mauzy’s progressive tradition as state senator from Dallas. Tommy Adkisson is the best candidate to occupy the long-dormant San Antonio seat. There is some question as to whether in the days of television the PVL pushcards will have much effect. Mauzy’s district is 16 percent Hispanic, 50 percent black, and 34 percent Anglo \(mostly in Grand Prairie, which is having a tight Democratic do not ensure a Jesse Jones victory. There will, no doubt, be a runoff for the seat. The interests of the PVL do not exactly coincide with the best interests of the citizens of the district. Those interests would be better served by Jesse Oliver. In Bexar County’s District 19 race, we endorse Tommy Adkisson for Glenn Kothmann’s old senate seat. State Rep. Adkisson and his chief opponent, state Rep. Frank Tejeda, were political allies from San Antonio’s south side until Kothmann startled all those people who thought he’d been dead for years by announcing that he was not seeking reelection. Adkisson, who lost to Kothmann by a handful of votes in 1982, is far more accessible on public interest issues than Tejeda and more sympathetic on farmworker and labor issues. The chief rap on Tejeda is that he has made public interest advocates beg and plead for his support on major issues and that he supported Kent Hance in the Democratic runoff for U.S. Senate against Lloyd Doggett. Said one public interest lobbyist, Tejeda is not someone you want to see getting a lot more power. In the race to replace Sen. John Traeger in District 21, stretching from Laredo to Seguin and biting off some of Bexar County, state Rep. Billy Hall seems to offer a continuation of the policies, if not the wit, of Traeger, which means conservative Democratic politics with a few humane gestures, such as indigent health care, thrown in for a district that includes major areas of poverty and unemployment. His chief opponent, Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, is influential in the state Democratic party and has been identified with a few progressive causes. But even her supporters say that her positions on key issues are largely functions of her ambitions. She’s the Mark White of South Texas, said one. No endorsement here. In District 27, state Sen. Hector Uribe of Brownsville gets our endorsement. He is opposed by a former coach in the employ of McAllen Mayor Othal Brand. Need we say more? Pho to by Ala n Pog ue