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–1=-=-7 =-7.— ts FOE HE PEOPt — A ,..1t $ _ % _ i ‘C-7.-.11.1,4, _ …-, _ .111.0141 . __ . CIIS C -1 [III p i ii WI 1 , W. il ” I I .:: I II 1 I ‘ i II a lign Hill Pli1E14 Ism I 441 — —-…._-____ -…-…_…-..—-_____:_ _ _iiimp — _ TETx0BsERvER The Texas Observer Publishing Co.. 1987 14t7.1 –, June 12, 1987 Vol. 79, No. 12*-,,….._,- Copyright 1987 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. PUBLISHER Ronnie Dugger EDITOR Dave Denison ASSOCIATE EDITOR Louis Dubose EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Kathleen Fitzgerald LAYOUT AND DESIGN: Valerie Fowler CALENDAR: Kathleen Fitzgerald WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Richard Ryan EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Rupert Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, 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 Schwartz. Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg, Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Craig Clifford, John Henry Faulk. Terry FitzPatrick, Bill Helmer, James Harrington, Jack Hopper, Amy Johnson, Michael King, Dana Loy, Rick Piltz, Gary Pomerantz. Susan Raleigh. John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence . Walsh. CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Vic Hinterlang, Bill Leissner, Alan Pogue. CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Carlos Lowry, Miles Mathis, Ben Sargent. Dan Thibodeau. A free journal of 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 Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager Stefan Wanstrom Office Manager Joe Espinosa Jr. Publishing Consultant Frances Barton Development Consultant Hanno T. Beck 600 The Texas Observer paid 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 1987 by Texas Observer Publishing Company. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send form 3579 to: 600 West 28th Street, #105, Austin, Texas 78705. EDITORIAL Stand Up to the Governor NOTHING BRINGS OUT the demons like the last days of a legislative session. Ill will runs freely in the halls between the House and the Senate. Diabolical schemes are hatched to even up old scores. The ticking clock plays hob with legislators’ long-held hopes and dreams. Otherwise normal citizens work feverishly, as if possessed. More than a few apparitions and phantasms have been reported. This session, Rep. Alex Moreno swore he saw the ghost of Mark White roaming the halls. It was because of White’s inaction, explained Moreno, that the budget mess had become so hellish. The language of death seems to govern the place. When a bugler was playing taps in the Capitol rotunda at a memorial service for the U.S.S. Stark’s fallen sailors,’ a lobbyist looked over the second floor railing and asked another, “Is this taps for all the dead bills?” Governor Clements’s budget, which had months ago been pronounced dead on arrival, nevertheless seemed to be ever-present in the chambers, like a rotting corpse that was never quite embalmed. The drama of the final day was in whether someone would try to put a dagger in the stepchild called “tort reform” and finally Senator Craig Washington stepped in at 20 minutes ’til midnight to do the deed. One could hardly wonder why the emphasis in the expression “sine die” always falls so heavily on the last word. Perhaps the morbidity was a sign ‘that, given the twin inevitabilities of death and taxes, legislators found death the more palatable subject. For as far as taxes went, the 70th session never got far beyond the phase of denial the earliest stage in the process of facing up to something difficult. The Legislature let the clock run out without passing a tax bill to cover the nearly $6 billion the government needs for a balanced budget. Yet the inevitability remains. When they come back into a special session June 22 they will have to pass a tax bill. The blame for the session’s utter failure has been liberally assigned. “Let’s not make a mistake about where the blame lies,” said Senator Hugh Farmer on the floor of the Senate May 27. “It’s right down the hall, in the governor’s office.” Clements, for his part, was blasting away at Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, who he said was “just as stubborn as he can be.” “Hobby is the problem,” said the governor. And those who were seeing the ghost of Mark White point out that the lack of solutions under the former governor’s watch has come back to haunt them. But putting blame aside, there is another dynamic that explains the unsuccessful outcome of the session. Just as Mark White faced the state’s fiscal crisis without a wellreasoned and well-articulated plan, the same can be said of Democrats in the House of Representatives, the body that bears the responsibility of writing a tax bill. Mark White left a vacuum where a leader was supposed to be and so does Speaker of the House Gib Lewis, but more to the point, so does what ought to be the progressive wing of Democrats in the House. And as everyone knows, a vacuum creates an opportunity 2