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POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE v DEAR TEXAS, began the letter we recently received from the Ann Richards Committee \(we are on her mailing list as Texas Observer and a computer apparently the toughest political campaign of my career for just about the toughest political job in the country: Governor of Texas.” Richards’s letter discusses her achievements as state Treasurer and the goals she would set as governor. “We will build an agenda that allows us to shake off backward notions about our economy . . . about public education . . . about the stewardship of our resources . . . about the opportunities for our people,” Richards writes. She is soliciting contributors to her fund who will make monthly contributions to show “that you are with me for the long haul.” Richards is expected to officially announce after the Presidential election her intention to make the governor’s race. She and her certain Democratic opponent, Attorney General Jim Mattox, will have to put fundraising on hold in January because of a law that prohibits state campaign solicitation while the legislature is in session. V NOT ALL political activists have appreciated the long-range planning that early-bird candidates are showing. San Antonian Kathleen Voigt complains that fundraising appeals from statewide candidates have been a distraction from the campaign that matters most: Dukakis for President. In addition to the letters from the Richards and Mattox camps, she says she’s received a mailing from Waco insurance executive Bernard Rapoport, who is asking Democrats to consider supporting state Senator Chet Edwards of Duncanville in the 1990 lieutenant governor’s race, even though Comptroller Bob Bullock is staking that race out for himself. Voigt says she is not interested in the 1990 Lt. Gov.’s race. “Talk to me on November ninth,” she says. “[Right now] I don’t give a damn about either one of them.” V BUT AS FOR giving a damn, the League of Prayer does. The Montgomery, Alabama-based religious organization cares enough about the Presidential election to put out a “Dukakis Fact Sheet” that damns Dukakis as a “hardline pro-sodomistabortionist.” The fact sheet carries a cover letter from Mary Stewart Relfe that begins by quoting Jericho 4:19. “My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me. I cannot hold my peace.” With that, Relfe relieves herself of a prayer she has said time and again, she says, since the Democratic convention: “Lord, deliver us from an ‘ACLU’ presi dency. Lord, expose Dukakis’s background. Lord awaken your people to this sinister plot to slip a hardline pro-sodomist-abortionist in the White House.” Relfe’s eight-page screed \(which came to us by way of an Observer friend whose truly a masterpiece of its genre and is worth quoting at length. Besides hitting Dukakis for supporting gay rights and abortion and vetoing the pledge of allegiance, Relfe breaks new ground on the witchcraft question. She reveals that Dukakis as governor of Massachusetts “appointed Laurie Cabot of Salem as the state’s ‘official witch in residence.’ ” Recall Deuteronomy 18:10-12, she advises: “There shall not be found among you anyone that . . . useth devination or . . . an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter.” Letting Nancy Reagan and her astrologers off the hook, Relfe goes after Dukakis and one of his “closest friends and advisors,” Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, “who is heavily involved in witchcraft.” While advising her readers to “pray for the salvation of Dukakis” it is the bad company of the Democratic nominee that is most disturbing: “The `far-out’ elements of our society, ACLU, People for the American Way, gays and lesbians, the union bosses, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, and even the Communist Party USA have joined with the NEA who all see in Dukakis their rising star. This coalition is orchestrating one great push for the Democratic candidate November 8, 1988.” “If Christians do not wake up now, join hands, work, pray and inform others of this impending catastrophe,” Relfe continues, “I predict a Cultural Revolution, not unlike that imposed on the Chinese in the 1960s which saw 80 million Christians murdered, Bibles confiscated, and churches burned.” Of course, under the Reagan administration, such a group as the League of Prayer need not worry about its non-profit status being threatened by putting out such blatantly partisan propaganda. “My bowels, my bowels!” Indeed. McALLEN MAYOR Othal Brand made some interesting socio-biological observations in late September in a speech at Pan American University in Edinburg. “Mexico has a wealth of labor,” said the mayor, who also heads one of the largest agricultural companies in the Valley. “They have a tremendous labor force. Of course, you know that. These people have manual dexterity that on a scale of one to ten is about a ten. Well, that’s not true of many countries. Many peoples have thick fingers, heavy hands and are not good at that kind of work.” With that, Brand suggested that workers in the American Southeast rank low in manual skill. “If you tried to put through the same thing we’re doing here over in the Southeast, I’d have to say to you that labor on a scale of one to ten on manual dexterity would rank about three or four.” He did not go on to discuss the comparative thickness of people’s skulls. I AS CONGRESS prepared to adjourn before the elections, the Houston Post decided that Jim Wright’s one term as House Speaker was more than enough. In an October 9 editorial the Post likened Wright to Ed Meese and called for the Speaker’s resignation. It was not just Wright’s recent comments on the CIA’s role in destabilizing Nicaragua that angered the Post editorialists. Nor was it allegations of improper influence on behalf of Texas S&Ls, nor was it Wright’s “autocratic leadership style” that set the editorialists off. “At bottom, what is at stake here is Wright’s ability to do the job,” the newspaper said. “It is the Post’s judgement that he has fumbled it irretrievably.” In contrast, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ran a profile of Wright the same day that, while acknowledging the House ethics investigation of the Speaker, credited him with leading the way to legislative initiatives on housing, education, welfare, trade and other issues. “Wright’s Democratic-controlled House has completed the most ambitious agenda since the Great Society years of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency in the 1960’s,” wrote Dave Montgomery of the Star-Telegram’s Washington bureau. V MANY DEMOCRATS around the state were grumbling in October that Dukakis hadn’t stood up to Bush’s negative ad blitz with enough spine. Art Brender, a Democratic candidate for state Representative in Fort Worth, couldn’t help admiring wistfully the recent performance of one of 1988’s great non-candidates: Mario Cuomo. New York’s governor was in Fort Worth October 11 at a Jim Wright fundraiser. According to Brender, Cuomo “went right down the liberal agenda and said it’s nothing to be ashamed of.” People in the audience were “yellin’ and screamin’ ” with enthusiasm, Brender said. Cuomo in ’92, anyone? V ALSO AT THE WRIGHT fundraiser was Gov. Bill Clements, who praised the Speaker of the House as “a great American.” Anti-Wright Republicans in Washington were not pleased with Clements’s apparently faint heart in the war on Wright. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15