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Horatio Humphrey, though not in reference to slaughtering species. Ray Rogers quotes the illustrious Minnesotan to justify P-9’s cheeky stand against Hormel. An independent labor organizer based in New York, Rogers is hired by the P-9 executive committee to rally its members and plan the campaign against their employer. A vegetarian himself, the charismatic Rogers studies the meat industry before devising a plan of action that will restore Hormel’s original pay scale. He exudes and spreads enthusiasm, but Rogers is a classic “outside agitator” bitterly resented not only by corporate executives but by the labor establishment as well. “The strategyor the research I should sayhad as much depth as piss on a flat rock” is Anderson’s assessment. John Morrison, leader of a dissident faction within P-9 that comes to call itself P-10, dismisses Rogers as a “maniac.” “They say in Harlan County, there are no neutrals there,” according to the lyrics of a famous labor anthem: “You’ll either be a union man or a thug for Sheriff Blair.” The song, “Which Side Are You On?,” was sung during Harlan County, ,U.S.A., Kopple’s riveting documentary of a 1973 Kentucky coal strike. The Hormel dispute is the first strike in Austin in 52 years, and, less violent, it is also less diametrical than the strife in Harlan County. American Dream offers many sides, and its harsh geometry ensures heartbreak. “Solidarity Forever” is the song performed over the final credits, an ironic commentary on a labor movement that, during the 1980s, became fragmented and demoralized. P-9′ s campaign to maintain its wage structure transformed Austin into a fratricidal battlefield, and Kopple in fact shows us brothers torn apart by one’s decision to cross the picket line. Kopple’s camera accompanies weeping men as they abandon their comrades and, desperate for income and, more importantly, selfesteem, return to work. It is privy to the acrimonious arguments of those who champion intransigence and those who support the accommodationist policy of the international union. It is present when the wife of a Hormel executive asks a striker: “Aren’t you happy working at the Hormel plant? Why do you stay if you’re not happy? Do you know how many people would love to have your job at $8.75 an hour with all those nice benefits?” Koppel is there at the beginning of the strike, and she is there 25 weeks later when Hormel announces that all jobs have been filled with permanent replacements. The slaughter resumes. She is there when the international union piqued when Austin workers travel to other Hormel towns and hundreds of additional workers lose their jobs for refusing to cross a P-9 picketpadlocks P-9 headquarters and purges the local leaders. We awaken from American Dream with the announcement that in 1989 Hormel leased half of its Austin plant to a new company that pays its workers $6.50 an hour. The film bears dramatic witness to the complexities of economic injustice and to the truth of Whitman’s dictum: “As soon as histories are properly told, there is no more need of romances.” Continued from pg. 24 ers are people like Betsy Lake, chair of the Harris County Republican Party; and Don Fitch, of Clean Houstori, a volunteer group that will spend 10 weeks getting the city cleaned up for the convention. “Is it coming here? When’s it coming here?” one bus rider said, adding that she is “sick of politics.” “The only people who will benefit are rich people,” another commuter offered. APPALLING APPEALS and bad metaphors. There’s nothing quite like the sharp sound of the crack of a bat against a baked potato. That’s the way the old metaphor bounces, though, when it’s tossed out by Bill Price of the Texans United for Life an anti-abortion lobbying organization. “It’s kind of a cowardly move by the AG politically,” said Price, taking a swing at Atty. Gen. Dan Morales. “He’s got a political hot potato on his hands, and he doesn’t want to step up to the plate and hit,” Price told the Texas Lawyer. Morales has decided to appeal a court decision overturning the state’s sodomy law, but is uncertain about jurisdiction, so he has filed appeals with the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court. Although Price, for some reason, doesn’t like the dual appeal, some are wondering why Morales filed an appeal in any court. The decision in question, written by Third Court of Appeals Chief Justice Jimmy Carroll, said, in part: “[Vi]e can think of nothing more fundamentally private and deserving of protection than sexual behavior between consenting adults in private.” Morales says he is appealing because a case of such importance should be heard in a court of statewide jurisdiction. “I’m a little sad that Morales felt he had to appeal it in the first place,” said J. Patrick Wiseman, the Austin attorney who successfully represented four Texans appealing the sodomy law. The law held unconstitutional in district and appeals courts,in Austin declared it a Class C misdemeanor for a person to engage “in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual Continued from pg. 13 26 he appeared to clear the decks for a full scale campaign as he turned over management of Perot Systems to Meyerson, who had been working on the campaign. In his book Mason said Perot was driven neither by power nor money nor glory. “Rather it’s the siren song of challenge and the sweet taste of victory. He wants results,” Mason wrote. “He can’t compromise. He sees bureaucracy as maddeningly slow and ineffective at best and wrongheaded and corrupt at its, worst. His defeats at its hands in New York, Detroit, Washington and Dallas appear to have convinced him that he can’t work inside the system.” But Mason also noted that Perot, even in his funk, was always waiting for the next telephone call “that will cause him to saddle up once more and ride to the defense. If he is the last hope of the beleaguered group, and the odds are impossible, so much the better.” In this case, the call came from John Jay Hooker. of the same sex.” Price said the same privacy arguments attorneys successfully used against sodomy laws could be applied to turn-of-thecentury anti-abortion laws still on the books and presumably applicable if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade. WATER RIGHTS OR FIGHT. Medina County Commissioners Court, among others, does not recognize the Texas Water Commission’s authority to regulate the Edwards Aquifer. In a resolution, the county commission decreed that the state commission’s actions in declaring the aquifer an underground river and subject to regulation “was without legal authority and hereby recognize the Medina County Underground Water Conservation District as the authority to regulate the Edwards aquifer as prescribed under the law of Senate Bill No. 1058.” The resolution referred to a law passed in 1991 which gives local water conservation districts the authority to regulate the size and spacing of wells. As reported in the San Antonio Express-News, Water Commission Chairman John Hall said the lawsuits by Medina County, as well as lawsuits by San Antonio and a group of Bexar County industrial water users do not address the need for a management plan for the underground water. The courts likely will sort out the dispute, although Rep. Ron Lewis, D-Mauriceville, the House Natural Resources Committee chairman, reportedly aims to legislate a reversal of the Water Commission action at the next opportunity. PER DIEM PAYMENTS came back to haunt two Republican state Senate candidates. Rep. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio was removed as the Republican nominee for Senate District 26 when GOP officials decided he was ineligible because he accepted pay for attending meetings of the Texas State University Board of Regents in 1987-88. Although he quit the board in 1988 to run for the House, the Texas Continued on pg. 22 Bibliography: For more information on Perot, see Perot: An Unauthorized Biography by Todd Mason, published in 1990 by Dow Jones-Irwin; and Irreconcilable Differences: Ross Perot Versus General Motors by Doron P. Levin, published in 1989 by Little, Brown. ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19 6.1`,,,,,,…rit,,,ent