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Austin E BELIEVE,” says the Texas Popu list Alliance, “that too few people control too much money and power in our country, and that the first priority of our politics is to redress this imbalance of wealth and power.” With that outcry, the Alliance opened its “declaration of populism” last summer. The statement continued, in part: “We affirm our faith in a populist democracy, one that gives people real power over economic, education, environmental, and health matters so as to improve their lives and contribute to society…. “We seek to form an alliance of the middleand working-class people of all races, based on our mutual economic interests….Among the issues that we intend to pursue are: Opening up the political process so that the people rather than special interests control the political system…. The reform of health care, child care, housing and educational systems so that all people have access to these services. An economy that works for all people, of all races, with tax equitability and economic conversion from a militarized economy; and, The right to a clean and healthy environment.” The fledgling Texas Populist Alliance now has roughly 300 paid-up members and a mailing list of about 1,000, according to its staff person, Sandra Haverlah. About 400 Texans attended the first meeting of the Alliance in 1990 in Austin, at which Congressmen Craig Washington of Houston and John Bryant of Dallas, Jim Hightower, and Molly Ivins spoke. \(See tember about 250 people from around the state attended the second convention, again in Austin, and listened to talks by the historian Lawrence Goodwyn, Hightower, and Ron Hampton, a representative of the National Black Police Officers’ Association. Setting out to create again a truly Populist movement in the state where Populism took hold dramatically once before, in the late 1880s and early 1890s, who are these folks? Well, here are the identities of their board members. Les Breeding, the president-elect, with Cindy Bleeding used to run the Peace Farm at the Pantex nuclear bombs plant outside Amarillo, but the Breedings are in Austin now, and Les is legislative assistant to State Rep. John Hirschi, D-Wichita Falls \(himself the ex-head of the Texas Nuclear Freeze ing Alliance president, is a faculty member at North Texas University. The treasurer is Jim Marston, Austin, executive director of the Environmental Defense Fund in Texas and the president of Texas Citizen Action. Then there are Patrick Barkman, Killeen, a gra&ate student at Baylor; Ken Chastain, Portland, with the Corpus Christi Housing Authority, and active also in the Native Americans movement; Fredia Dunlap-Dabney, president of the Progressive Democrats of San Antonio, and Paul Pipkin and Denise White from that organization; Domingo Gonzalez, Brownsville, with the Texas Center for .Policy Studies and the Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras; Drew Brown, Fort Worth, the staffer of the first chapter of the Alliance there; Leslie Jarmon, Corpus, with the South Texas Coalition for Peace in the Middle East and the Ad Hoc Committee for Environmental Concerns of the Free Trade Agreement with Mexico; Jesse Oliver, Dallas, a candidate for the Texas Senate and a former deputy Attorney General; Sam Biscoe, Austin, a Travis County commissioner; Maria Jimenez, Houston, a former labor organizer who is now with the American Friends Service Committee; Paul Shen, Austin, on the board of the Texas Alliance for Human Needs and CWA’s Texas. State Employees’ Union; Eddy Etheredge, San Marcos, a Hays County judge; Eliseo Solis, Lubbock, a Lubbock County commissioner; Diane Wilson, Seadrift, Calhoun County Resource Watch; Christopher Cook, Austin, a former reporter now dealing with the press for the Texas AFL-CIO; Jo McCall, of the San Antonio Democratic League; Jimmy Herrington, Beaumont, of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers union; David Brown, president of the Austin Central Labor Council; and David Zwick, Houston, executive director of Clean Water Action. So far the Alliance’s only funding comes from memberships and individual contributions, although its board meets in a room provided by the Texas AFL-CIO at state union headquarters in Austin. The Alliance hopes to establish a research center. It is also trying to form a Populist Coordinating Council, which is intended to be composed of representatives of interested organizations, but that is going slowly. Fifty organizations were invited to attend the council’s first meeting on Oct. 26, but representatives appeared frotri only seven, the Texas AFLCIO, the Texas Alliance for Human Needs, the Texas State Employees Union, the Nuclear r i ft TN! ‘filial’ 11 qp rver DECEMBER 27, 1991 VOLUME 83, No. 25 FEATURES The American Coup of 1963 By Jim Marrs 5 Five for the Valley By Gary Moune 8 Middle Class Jumper Cables By Deborah Lutterheck ’11 DEPARTMENTS Observations 3 Editor’s Forum 4 Environmental Observer Loop Highways & the Environment By Robert Bryce 15 Media Observer The Newspaper Blues By James Cullen 17 Books & the Culture Kennedy Crossfire By Ronnie Dugger 19 Afterword An Epitaph for the Times . Herald By Molly Ivins 22 Political Intelligence 21 Cover illustration by Richard Bartholomew. Responsibility Network, the Texas Campaign for Global Security, and the two San Antonio groups that now have members on the board. To join the Texas Populist Alliance and receive its quarterly newsletter, send $10 to the Alliance at 1205 Nueces St., Austin,TX 78705. The telephone number is 512-482-8724. Feeling Bought… or Disloyal Glenn Kothmann and I went to high school together in San Antonio. As a state representative and state senator from San Antonio he kept a low profile and worked to be a representative of his fellow citizens in a literal sense. “I sent OBSERVATIONS Populists on the March THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3