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-t. . ii0 -… -714 ?I —-4-1101 -‘ ‘.1./.2. ‘ 1 171111 – r THE TEXAS 11P1 server A JOURNAL OF FREE 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. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Allan Freedman Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Editorial Intern: Karen Speed Calendar: Elisa Lyles Washington Correspondent: Mary Anne Reilly Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, John Henry Faulk, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, Bill Helmer, James Harrington, Amy Johnson, Michael King, Mary Lenz, Dana Loy, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Greg Moses, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, John Schwartz, Michael Ventura, Lawrence Walsh Editorial Advisory Board: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana; Susan Reid, Austin; Geoffrey Rips, Schmidt, Fredericksburg; Robert Sherrill, Tallahassee, Fla. Layout and Design: Layne Jackson Typesetter: Lana Kaupp Contributing Photographers: Bill Alkrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods. Managing Publisher: Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager: Stefan Wanstrom Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $27, two years $48, three years S69. Fulltime students $15 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zceb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Any current subscriber who fords the price a burden should say so at renewal time; no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. 1989, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval Texas Observer Publishing Co., 307 West 7th Street, Austin, paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, P.O. Box 49019, Austin, Texas 78765 Political Hatchet Job I was astonished to see the Observer stoop to the kind of shrill, one-sided, political hatchet job on Judge Bob Gammage that was contained in your last issue. You should be ashamed of yourselves. First, if you are going to talk about Judge Gammage in the context of his candidacy for the Texas Supreme Court you ought to exercise enough objectivity to say something about his judicial track record. For example, the Observer has been intensely interested in the Edgewood school finance litigation. You have articulately spoken out on the need for school-fmance equality. You expressed dismay when the 3rd Court of Appeals reversed Travis County District Judge Harley Clark’s initial decision declaring the school finance plan unconstitutional. Have you so soon forgotten that Judge Bob Gammage, as a member of the 3rd Court of Appeals, dissented from the majority opinion on that Court. Judge Gammage’s dissent is an eloquent cry for the constitutional right of every school child to equality in Texas. As pleased as the Observer was to see the Texas Supreme Court vindicate Judge Clark and Judge Gammage, one would have thought that Gammage’s stand meant something to you . Secondly, your article really smacked of an underhanded political smear job. I cannot believe that your new associate editor who authored the article, who is not from Texas, independently knew about votes that Bob Gammage cast in Congress 12 years back. Nor can I believe that your associate editor has already gone to the trouble to research the political track records of all Texas Supreme Court candidates to such an extent that he has already reached 12 years back. No, it is obvious that what happened was that a political opponent of Judge Gammage’s planted the story with you. For you to allow yourself to be such a vehicle without even attempting to place the matter in the context of Gammage’s track record as a judge since that time 12 years ago is really not worthy of the Observer’s standards. Thirdly, the Observer has been during the dismal last 10 years of right-wing ascendency a constant voice against the evils of single-issue politics. Does your dislike of single-issue politics go into effect only when you happen to disagree with the positions being advocated. I, too, disagree with those votes Bob Gammage cast in that congressional session 12 years ago. But I strongly support the Judge who had the courage to speak out for the constitutional rights of the children of the Rio Grande Valley to equal education, and I find your ignoring that fact and your stridentcy about 12-year-old votes which Gammage himself has admitted were wrong to be quite irresponsible. David Van Os Austin Mindless Sexism As a pro-choice, female Democrat, I was disgusted by the mindless sexism in Allan Freedman’s article on how the abortion issue will affect next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary \(Pro-Choice Posturing, For you to imply that Mattox “will have to concede the issue” to Ann Richards simply because she is a woman is absurd. Throughout his 20-year public service career, Mattox has fought to eliminate sexism in our society. And let me remind you that sexism cuts both ways. You go on to say that “The most obvious factor that separates the candidates on the issue is gender.” I must disagree. Loudly. The difference is that Jim Mattox has really done something. As a congressman and state legislator, Mattox cast more than 30 pro-choice votes. As Attorney General, he stopped a Fort Worth anti-abortion clinic from using false advertising to attract pregnant women. He issued a legal opinion that prevented the antiabortion movement from forcing unnecessary and expensive building requirements on abortion clinics. Just this year, Mattox was the only statewide elected official to file a pro-choice brief with the Supreme Court in the Webster case. Ann Richards, on the other hand, has done nothing but talk about the issue. Of course, there are some sexist men who say women are naturally better at that, too. Shawn L. Kramer Austin WRITE DIALOGUE The Observer welcomes letters from our readers. Please keep them short “Dialogue” The Texas Observer 307 West 7th St. Austin, TX 78701 Please send news of upcoming events 307 W. 7th, Austin, Texas, 78701. DIALOGUE 2 DECEMBER 15, 1989