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state who were able to march into the halls of power and get immediate results. Everyone else seemed to be trying to protect themselves from government cutbacks. And perhaps quite a few farmers didn’t miss the irony that while the agricultural industry was crumbling, the governor was lunching with the bankers. White subsequently enjoyed a $224,769 to $135,278 advantage over Clements in contributions from the banking industry. One thing that always got under the governor’s skin was when someone suggested that Clements would be better for business than White. He consistently opposed personal or corporate income taxes out of deference to the business climate, and he often touted his entire agenda as tailored for business, suggesting government under Clements would be less attractive. “Apparently Bill Clements doesn’t understand the role of good roads, good schools, and good water to attracting industry to this state,” White said often during his campaign. THE IDEA OF progress through business enterprise has been the central creed of the Republican party since the turn of the century. It is no coincidence that as this becomes more commonly the frame of political discussion, the GOP begins to do better and better. Taking up this theme, the Democratic party loses its ability to inspire the voters. And in Texas there is no mistaking the Republican drift. Bill Clements got more than 1.8 million votes this year, more than any Democratic candidate for governor, except John Connally in 1964, has ever receiVed, in a general election. Even more startling were the showings of three stooges who happened to be on the Republican ticket this year. David Davidson, a former minister from Austin, ran against Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby on the slogan “Texas needs a workhorse, not a Hobby horse.” Bill Powers; a 17-year poultry industry lobbyist, ran for agriculture commissioner in a farm depression, saying “What Bill Powers supports is free enterprise and free markets.” And Marion Dudley Anderson ran for land commissioner under the name M.D. Anderson, perhaps hoping the voters would think he founded the famous MORE ELECTION NEWS, PG. 16 cancer hospital of the same name. In fact, he is the owner of the Cedar Creek Plowboys Club, an East Texas dance hall. None of these Republicans had public support from the party organization. But all three cleared well over a million votes. The only serious Republican candidate for a top-of-the ballot race besides Clements was Roy Barrera, Jr., who came surprisingly close to defeating Attorney General Jim .Mattox. Mattox won with 51.5 percent to Barrera’s 47.2 percent. But Barrera, a candidate with little statewide name recognition and without the campaign funds to match the top Democrats, still got almost 1.6 million votes, nearly 5,000 more than Mark White. Republicans also won local races all, over the state, further changing the political landscape from the bottom up. And they won counties with Bill Clements that have always gone Democratic. In East Texas, Lamar County \(which includes Clements won traditionally Democratic East Texas by a 51 to 48 percent margin. In South Texas, White held only a 52 to 47 advantage. The Baptist Belt went more heavily Republican; 24,951 to 19,266. How will the Democratic party respond to the new strength of the Republicans? The only way is for them to give the mass of the independent and non-participating populace something to vote for. Candidates who put the interests of farmers, blue-collar workers, consumers, and the underserved before the interests of the bankers and the real estate developers , and the well-off have a real chance at generating enthusiasm. The Democrats must form the populist agenda. Now, under another Bill Clements administration, they will be presented with a clear demonstration of corporate-oriented management of the. government. The people will likely see their leverage diminished against the giant institutions which affect their lives and livelihoods. It is an open question to what extent the Republican administration will try to abandon those who depend on state government programs as a last resort. As always, the governor will look to the top business executives to set the direction of key programs. The Democrats should abandon such an approach. “Every time the Democrats come back to their traditional economic populist base, they wipe out the Republicans,” Victor Fingerhut, a Washington pollster, told the New Populist Forum recently. “The fact of the matter is, that economic populism is the strength of the Democratic party.” This theory explains why the Democrats were winning Senate seats nationally on the very night they were losing the governorship in Texas. Candidates like Tom Daschle in South Dakota, Kent Conrad in North Dakota, and Barbara Mikulski in Maryland spoke to the pressing economic issues. Mark White found himself with little to say to those who felt blown about by the vagaries of huge economic forces. A true populist agenda will come about only if historical forces bring forth a mass-based movement to support populist politics if there were by some fortunate turn a flourishing of democratic experimentation and participation. This year’s governor’s race showed only how far from the democratic ideal we have drifted, how hostile the world of electoral politics has become to the democratic spirit. Each year politics becomes more expensive, and thus becomes more in the domain of the moneyed interests. As both parties become indebted to corporate interests, anti-corporate themes become off limits. All the additional money spent on politics only ends up bringing shallower messages to the public. It becomes much easier to rail about the weaknesses of the opposing candidate than the evils of the power structure. With meaningful political ideas dropped from discussion, campaigns have become more negative and more personal. Perhaps the first order of business on the populist agenda should be for the people to reclaim some control over the election process. Campaigns could be publically financed, free television time could be made available, and stricter limits put on campaign spending. Choices must be widened, debate expanded, expectations raised. The alternative is a future line of business candidates, some more humane than others, but none standing against the priorities of the captains of commerce. Meanwhile democracy withers, and power is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. D.D. Pho to by Bill Le issner 4 NOVEMBER 21, 1986