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DIALOGUE Continued from Page 2 It is to the credit of many of our .elected Texas officials that they are trying diligently to do something about the oil industry. Jim Wright’s concerned about this, and why shouldn’t he be? Hundreds of thousands of jobs of honest, hardworking Texans have been eliminated as a result of the decline of this industry. Well, I suppose some aspiring writer is going to find where Jim has brought out a bill to be helpful to the oil industry and will have a.great revelation that Jim is bought and controlled by the oil barons. Well, to be quite candid with you, it gets priAty disgusting, when you have had the kind of dedication and commitment that Jim Wright has had, to have the so-called liberal publication of Texas be the carrier of such tripe. say that I’m disappointed is putting it mildly.. I certainly should and always have expected better of your publication. Bernard Rapoport Waco The Batman and Robin View of Politics YoUr cover story about House Speaker Jim Wright’s involvement in the Texas S&L crisis was a simplistic reworking of previously published information with a guilt by association motif that would have made Joe McCarthy blush. Texas Observer contributing writer Bill Adler added no new angle on the story except an off-the-record tip that the Justice Department “might” be looking into Wright’s role in the S&L crisis. The closing ramble about the similarities bet ‘Ween Wright’s and Dixon’s characters is one Of the cheapest journalistic shots I’ve seen in years. Adler dismissed out of hand Wright’s stated aim of trying to avert a credit crash in Texas. In point of fact, Texas still faces an enormous credit crisis that, if handled poorly, could devastate the state’s economy. Why does Adler cynically refuse to believe that Speaker Wright might be concerned about the harm a credit crash would cause all Texans? Did he have his conclusion already neatly in hand before he wrote the article? A few calls to S&L industry sources would have confirmed Wright’s fear in spades. Why did Adler reject out of hand the charge that Texas is in fact being treated unfairly by regulators? The FDIC’s treatment of New York money center banks’ loans to Third World countries and the FSLIC’s approach to Texas S&Ls is one of the clearest cases Jim Wright Responds A letter from Rep. Jim Wright arrived at the Observer office shortly after our deadline for this issue. We will be publishing Wright’s response to Bill Adler’s “A Tale of TWO Texans” in our next issue. of selective regulatory enforcement I’ve ever seen. Adler was either ignorant of these fundamental injustices or he decided that real issues of equity would interfere with his neat conclusion. If Vernon Savings was known to be wildly beyond regulatory standards in August 1985, why did FSLIC chairman Edwin Gray fail to intervene? When the financial history of this period is written, Gray will undoubtedly emerge as one of the least capable regulators of all time. Did Gray have the decency to tell Wright how bad off Vernon was, or did he sandbag him, letting Wright go further out on a limb before he revealed to reporters the sorry state of Vernon’s books? Is Gray really the innocent bureaucrat Adler portrays him as or was it simply too convenient to lead the press down the Jim Wright rabbit trail instead of letting the focus of scrutiny fall on his own performance at FSLIC? Was the difficulty in passing the FSLIC recapitalization measure merely due to Wright’s planting his heel ” firmly on the throat of the nation’s financial system”? The fact of the matter is that FSLIC recap remains a hotly contested issue with the fulcrum of the debate being whether the thrift industry should come up with the funds or the U.S. taxpayers. You know, it is just one of those fiscal issues that Congress has such an easy time with. But as Adler shows, if you treat politics with all the complexity of a Batman and Robin comic book you can come up with clear-cut scenarios with villains galore. Adler obviously saw an easy . mark in rewriting The Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald stories on Dixon and adding innuendos about Wright in order to sell it to an East coast publication. Regardie’s editors probably thought they were getting some original stuff, and gutsy journalism to boot. The Texas Observer should have known better. Tim Richardson Austin Outlandish Equation Your recent feature on Jim Wright harms him none but demeans you mightily. Over the decades I have often disagreed with you, but until December 1987 I always felt that what I read in the Observer was an honest effort . at reliable journalism. No longer. ” . . perhaps they are not so different. Maybe it’s no coincidence that the Justice Department is trying to figure out what they were both up to.” Their despicable and criminal similarities? Both are from small North Central Texas towns, both knew what they wanted \(the one to achieve political power legally, the other their goals. Both allegedly resent the power Federal regulatory agencies exercise over Texans. Could there be a more outlandish equation? You accuse Mr. Wright of representing his constituency, even some who contributed to the Democratic Party, of attending a party thrown by a big-spending businessman at a time when no allegation of impropriety had been leveled against him. You quote as significant fact that Wright offended a Reagan bureaucrat who then accused him of becoming angry and uttering an expletive. He is accused of having a business partner, and should any reader still harbor a doubt that Mr. Wright’s sleaziness compares to that of Don Dixon’s you present, presumably as proof of his “passion for shady deals,” that between 1979 and 1986 the net worth of one of the world’s most influential lawmakers zoomed from $68,000 to $485,000. Positive proof of criminality? Just for good measure, you inform Texans that at one time Mr. Wright preferred $5 billion to the administration’s $15 billion S&L bail out; not for any budgetary reason but solely because with only $5 billion the Feds would find it impossible to close Vernon Savings and Loan. \(All that time I thought emasculating federal regulation was Reagan’s, I can take the occasional omission of relevant fact, bias in expression, even outright lying now and again, but never will I submit to such insults to my intelligence. ShaMe. As it should, the coup de grace came last. When I undertook to discover what type of hitman the Obserifer had engaged J .& this attempted character assassination, the ultimate insult was revealed. Editor Denison had neither the guts nor the intellectual honesty to ptiblish a lead article on . a matter of paramount interest \(the Northern presses’ Observer’s copyright. What and where in God’s name is “Regardie’s” magazine? I’ve had it! Eck G. Prud’homme Fort Worth What To Do About It? I don’t know what to do witItyourDecember 4 piece on Jim Wright. No sooner does Wright get lauded as an apostle for peace. in Nicaragua by the New York Times and Washington Post than he gets exposed as just another venal Texas politician by the Texas Observer. It seems to be going around. Reagan does 10,000 bad things and then makes up for a lot of them by signing an INF treaty with Gorbachev. What ever happened to consistency? Walter J. Ligon Petitwater, Michigan THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27