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bse Till TIXAI rver NOVEMBER 22, 1990 VOLUME 82, No. 23 FEATURES A Democratic Conversation By Geoffrey Rips 4 Gospel Values By Mary Beth Rogers Ernesto Cortes By Linda Rocawich 9 One on One By Wendy Watriss 12 Agenda for the ’90s By Louis Dubose 15 State of Change By Louis Dubose 17 Gramm Strikes Out By Brett Campbell 18 DEPARTMENTS Election Journal 20 Books and the Culture Practical Visionaries By Ellen Hosmer 25 Organization Man By Dave Denison 26 And Not a Ray of Hope By Michael King 27 Glamour Killers By Steven Kellman 28 Afterword S&L Zombies By James McCarty Yeager 31 Fundraiser Update Thanks to the prompt and generous response of nearly 600 readers, the Observer’s 1990 fundraising campaign has passed the halfway mark. We’ve received $28,451 in money and pledges so far, plus many thoughtful suggestions and encouraging comments. It’s especially moving to receive notes and contributions from readers who themselves are struggling to pay their own bills. Thank you all, very much. The fundraising progress is so encouraging that we decided to proceed with our 32-page issue. But we still have a long ways to go before reaching the $56,000 total it will take to get us through this tight passage. We ‘llneed the help of al! of the Observer’s friends if we are going to make it. THERE WAS NO MANDATE. Ann Richards is a minority governor-elect; she won 49.6 percent of the popular vote in a three-way race. The third candidate, a Libertarian, took 3.3 percent of the vote. But Ann Richards won. And she won in a race against an opponent who outspent her two-to-one, spending $11 per vote. Considering that onethird of the voters in the state are registered Republicans, Clayton Williams paid a dear price for each swing voter his campaign purchased. And Ann Richards had skirttails, particularly in places like Travis County, where her presence on the ticket swept away incumbent Republican judges, House members, and even one justice of the peace. \(For some of us living here it is as if Bill Clements never existed. And if we look for proof in the public policy he initiated, his existence seems even have skirttails in Harris County, where incumbent Republican House members who won by narrow margins two years ago \(or Democratic challengers. It might even by argued that Richards’s presence on the ticket, along with Lieutenant Governor-elect Bob Bullock, returned Richard Smith to the real estate business where he might ultimately face indictment for his questionable dealings in Resolution Trust Corporation Properties at a time when he had a $460,000 S&L loan in foreclosure. Smith, the dour, uncompromising Republican representative from Bryan who carried the anti-workers’ compensation legislation through the last regular and special legislative sessions, had designs on the Senate seat vacated by Kent Caperton. Smith lost to Jim Turner, a former Democratic House member and mayor of Crockett, who became something of a foihole convert to progressive issues like insurance reform. Though there was no mandate in depth, there seems to have been one in breadth. At a morning-after press conference on November 8, Attorney General-elect Dan Morales talked about a Democratic executive team, which he predicts will end the adversarial stalemates that characterized the last two legislative sessions when a Governor with no agenda used the power of his office to obstruct progress in a divided Legislature. Democratic candidates won the most important statewide offices, and in a redistricting year they will hold all five positions on the Legislative Redistricting Board the body ultimately responsible for redrawing every legislative district in the state, based on shifts in population changes reflected in the cen sirs. The board, responsible for redistricting if the Legislature fails to come up with a plan, includes the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house, comptroller, attorney general, and land commissioner. On the new board, which only has any importance in those years that end with a one, the closest thing to a Republican will be House Speaker Gib Lewis. S0 WHAT WILL occur on January 15, then, is a changing of the guard. But if it is to be anything more than new faces moving into place to serve the interests of the corporate lobby, the public will somehow have to be involved. If Ann Richards’s New Texas agenda, if Bob Bullock’s school finance, ethics, and tax reform are to be implemented in the coming legislative sessions, somehow the public will have to enter a process which by both its own evolution and by the design of a professional lobby has become insulated from public control. Who then will represent the people? A number of groups, such as Public Citizen, Consumers Union, the Texas Consumers Association, and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, perform an invaluable service, writing bills, killing bills, following legislation through committees, attending hearings, pressuring legislators, and informing the public. They are the people’s lobby and when they win it is because they are smarter, work harder, and organize their information better than their well-funded adversaries. But a broad-based popular movement they are not. The only such organization in the state today is the Industrial Areas Foundation, the 10-member coalition of local churchand synagogue-based public-interest organizations directed by Ernesto Cortes Jr. They are, according to Duke University historian Larry Goodwyn, a student of popular movements, “the only group that can change politics in this country,” because, again according to Goodwyn, “they are changing the structure of power and the way people relate to power.” They are also one of the most poorly understood organizations in the state. Clayton Williams obviously didn’t get it. Meeting with a small group of IAF representatives in San Antonio a week before the election, he seemed to confuse them with Pat Robertson fundamentalists. “As I said during the primary, my doors will be open to all Christian groups,” Williams said. The IAF is churchbased, but their agenda is secular, issuespecific, and non-partisan. Williams, citing scheduling problems, declined to appear before the 10,000-member IAF convention EDITORIAL A People’s Agenda THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3 ,