Page 19


i”,*. .,MV.V.;41SW:az ..mco to :,ips. ,:-:::,:,,,,,,,,r ,…e.. ,,,,,,,P,,, O’ she who seduces the younger man, Joan Cusack’s Jody is a perpetual innocent, utterly immune to irony when she declares sententiously: “I’m pretty good at helping people.” Forever speaking in a childish tone, Jody is partial to the puerile “we,” as when, after dragging a fully clad Beth into the shower, she warbles: “We’re going to need some warm clothes.” Men Don’t Leave needs more than Jody’s clinical care to keep it from degenerating into a smarmy formula. “Heartbreak,” says Beth, “is life educating us,” but, despite a bout of depression when she eats spaghetti out of a can, the education seems the product of Cliff s Notes more than Being and Nothingness. With the exception of a larcenous little boy who betrays Matt and an abusive employer who fires Beth, everyone in this movie oozes with benevolence. Beth erupts in a nosebleed when she tries to make love after the death of John. But she is fortunate in the first man she avant-garde musician who inhabits a nifty warehouse studio on the harbor and who is so sensitive and solicitous that he makes Alan Alda seem like Jack Palance. Men Don’t Leave is an amiable enough celebration of family, even if extended, distended or upended. But its virtues are all relative. POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE ARMANDO GUTIERREZ, a candidate for state treasurer, is claiming support from at least 19 statewide officials, including state Senator Rodney Ellis and U.S. Rep. Craig Washington. According to Gutierrez campaign literature, the candidate has been “endorsed by” such progressive officials as Corpus Christi Senator Carlos Truan. But two public officials and at least one statewide organization, all of whom are listed in campaign literature as endorsing Gutierrez, deny lending their formal support to the candidate. Both Washington and Ellis are listed in campaign literature as endorsing Gutierrez, but Washington and Ellis told the Observer they have not endorsed Gutierrez. “I have not endorsed anyone,” Washington said. Said Ellis: “Armando is a good guy. He’s a good friend of mine. So is [state treasurer candidate] Nikki Van Hightower. I have not endorsed anyone in any statewide races at this time.” Gutierrez, who did not return Observer phone calls, is also claiming support from organizations listed in his literature as “Building Trades” and “M.A.B.A.” “Building Trades” is an apparent reference to the Texas Building and Construction Trades Council. Gale Van Hoy, executive secretary of the building and trades council, said neither the council nor the dozen or so Texas building trades locals have endorsed Gutierrez. “The locals don’t have the authority to endorse,” he said. “And we [the council] didn’t endorse. I don’t know what he’s referring to.” It is not clear if “M.A.B.A.” is a reference to the Mexican American Bar Association, commonly referred to as “MABATexas.” The bar association does not include periods in its title. Berta A. Mejia, president of MABA-Texas, said her group has made no endorsement in the treasurer’s race. Gutierrez’s opponent, Van Hightower, was criticized in some circles last month for trying to portray Gutierrez as a Marxist \(TO, 2/9/ And it was Van Hightower campaign manager Joe Gorton who was the original the Van Hightower campaign of red-baiting and has strongly denied being, or ever labeling himself, a Marxist. Newspaper stories obtained independently ALAN POGUE Jim Mattox of the Van Hightower campaign appear to tell a different story. At least one article in The Daily Texan quotes Gutierrez as describing himself as a “neo-Marxist.” The Observer could not find any articles or letters in the Texan disputing that characterization. PHIL GRAMM has banked $6.1 million in campaign funds as of December 31. And the junior senator from Texas is planning on giving some of his top contributors a bonus for their money a day-long session to meet top Bush administration officials and other Republican leaders. Gramm Spokesman Larry Neal told The Dallas Morning News that the March 5 event should not be considered a fundraiser. Neal said the event was planned for contributors who have donated $1,000 or more to Gramm since 1985. Gramm’s invitation to the Washington session, as reported in the News, describes the entrance criteria this way: “We are requesting $1,000 from each member of the PAC [political action committee] community who will be joining us. An additional $1,000 would be requested for any guests.” According to the invitation, participants include Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp, Energy Secretary James Watkins, Republican National Committee Chair man Lee Atwater, and Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole. A JIM MATTOX campaign aide appeared eager to block Henry Cisneros’s endorsement of Ann Richards. The aide, Francisco Castillo, reportedly called Robin Rorapaugh, Dan Morales’s campaign manager, to see if Morales could intercede and help block the Cisneros endorsement. Morales, a San Antonio state representative and candidate for attorney general, is a close associate of Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio. After Cisneros endorsed Richards, Rorapaugh was widely quoted as saying Castillo again called the Morales campaign. “He was very upset,” Rorapaugh said. “He said, ‘We’re going to get Cisneros, Barbara Jordan, and all of them.’ ” Barbara Jordan, the former Houston Congresswoman, also has endorsed Richards. HOUSE SPEAKER Gib Lewis is employing the powers of the press. In the opening days of the current special session, Lewis said the House would be open to discussing an income tax to help meet staggering education costs. But he was sending a slightly different message to his hometown newspaper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Lewis told the Star-Telegram in an interview, “The votes [for a tax bill] are just not there. Let’s don’t kid ourselves and talk about anybody falling on their sword because nobody is going to do that.” Lewis said at a February 27 news conference: “We’re certainly not going to turn our backs on education … I’ve voted first on every tax bill that we’ve had on this floor ever since I’ve been speaker. If that’s the need, and it’s proven at that time, yes, I’ll vote for a tax.” STATE COMPTROLLER Bob Bullock is threatening to stop payments to public schools on May 1 if the Legislature fails to develop a plan to create a more equitable school system. The state Legislature is already under a May-Day court-imposed deadline to develop a more equitable system. Said Bullock: “I’m not going to defy the court order.” Bullock warned Texas would be the “laughingstock” of the nation if significant action is not taken. 22 MARCH 9, 1990