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T T.. TEXAS 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 Albrecht, 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 527, two years 548. three years 569. Fulltime students 515 per year. Back issues 53 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl.. 300 N. Zeeb Road. Ann Arbor. MI 48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time: no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. 1990, 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 Galbraith Backs BentSen The Texas Observer does not like Lloyd Bentsen. I do. And I hope my friends among Texas liberals in whose number I now proudly count myself will bear with me while I explain why. I became Executive Director of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress in January 1981. \(It was, needless to say, a my mentor, was a liberal Congressman from Wisconsin, Henry Reuss. The outgoing Chairman was Lloyd Bentsen. Senator Bentsen’s accomplishment as Chairman had been to forge a bipartisan consensus on the Committee, around conservative and supply-side themes. My job, as I saw it, was to break up that consensus. Reuss and I sought to confront the Republicans. We hoped to build a new opposition among the Democrats. We therefore planned, in effect, to move the Committee to the left. This, at a time when the Democrats had just lost the Senate, when all of my four surviving Democratic Senators were up for reelection in 1982, and when none felt more threatened, at least potentially, than Lloyd Bentsen. As a former Chairman, Bentsen could have made my life miserable. A single word to the press, in the early days, would have damaged us. A single vote against our reports, given the even party split on the Committee at that time, would have destroyed us. And in the prevailing political climate such steps a form of declaration of support for the new President would have been popular in Texas. Bentsen did not do it. Quite to the contrary. From the early days we developed a tacit working relationship based, as I perceived it, on mutual confidence and trust. We would not embarrass him, nor he us; each would respect the political motivations and requirements of the other. When difficulties arose, back-channels opened up to resolve them. The Republicans did not take effective control of the Committee. And, interestingly, in all my contacts with Bentsen and his staff over four years, the subject of my father’s opposition to him in 1970 never once came up. In the large scheme of things, these personal experiences are unimportant. But they are useful in forming a valid perception of Bentsen as Senator. Certainly he is a conservative, certainly pro-business, certainly a man with whom liberals will often disagree. But he also understands \(as certain breadth of vision, a certain capacity for level dealing. Bentsen has these qualities; Bush evidently does not. And Bentsen may well be the strongest candidate the Democrats could nominate in 1992. It would be a pity if Texas liberals, motivated by an old urge for revenge, were to work to spoil his chances. James K. Galbraith Associate Professor LBJ School of Public Affairs A Subscriber’s Support I was all set to let my subscription to the Observer lapse. After all I’ve been gone from Texas nearly 30 years and what is going on there is of diminishing interest. Moreover, in nearing retirement I need to save all the nickels I can. Then, during research on an entirely different matter, I came across this little sentence about you in the Encyclopedia Britannica: “Austin’s Texas Observer has gained distinction through its dogged stabs at racial inequities, political dealings, and other injustices throughout the state.” That sentence reminded me of the reason I first subscribed to the Observer more than 30 years ago. It was delightful to see you tweak the noses of the powerful and pompous and expose their phony charades. There is a continuing need for such journalistic enterprise. So keep on tweaking and exposing. Your work is badly needed. My subscription renewal check is enclosed. Charles E. Webb Lilburn, Georgia A Reader’s Correction On page 19 of your December 15, 1989 issue you refer briefly to Dr. John Silber. It should interest you to know that for many years he has been President of Boston University which is a very much larger institution than Boston College. I am distressed that you do not check your facts. Hortense F. Sher Houston DIALOGUE 2 JANUARY 26, 1990