This is Texas today. A state full of Sunbelt boosters, strident anti-unionists, oil and gas companies, nuclear weapons and power plants, political hucksters, underpaid workers and toxic wastes, to mention a few. I 4= % . A .,………v. ke vir . ti .ix wfAi 4 ., sisIlt.’s, 4 r ‘.t , . , VI. ..-“4-IP/A. li . .7,4T .t ,. 61ff . 04′, Au …A, c e. ;>,a,,.. IWO v VD SO SZ. BUT 7′ DO NOT g DESPAIR! -. r4 ,,,, THE TEXAS 1 op server TO SUBSCRIBE: Name Address City State Zip $32 enclosed for a one-year subscription. Bill me for $32. 307 West 7th, Austin, TX 78701 Advocates’ approach is cautious and pragmatic. Recognizing that labor has endorsed the Clinton-Gore ticket, Mazzocchi doesn’t argue with the endorsement or the ticket, saying that what he is about is the long-term building of a national democratic party. Withholding votes from the Democratic Party ticket, or not voting, is not a part of that strategy. But, he says, “the type of interventions needed [in the economy] aren’t being discussed by either party.” “People are hurting. And when people are hurting, they’ll entertain notions that they weren’t prepared to entertain before,” Mazzocchi said, arguing that a third party is already out there and that Perot only showed how quickly it could be organized when the resources are available. In all of this, there is something very exciting. Even if it’s a very subdued excitement. Tony Mazzocchi and associates are talking about creating a legitimate democratic institution in a political space dominated by a seductive illusion of democracy. There are no big names, no charismatic leaders, and Mazzocchi is talking, in the most sober fashion, of extending his organization’s base from California and the Upper Midwest, into the South and other regions. It is a model, he said, based upon low immediate expectations: “The only thing that we’re doing is recruiting people who share in the notion that we should have a labor party. It’s a long road, it’s a leap of faith, and also requires a lot of patience. Nothing will happen [immediately], you’ll get a newsletter six times a year, explaining to you what we’re doing. But it’s serious people putting a great deal of time in it. People who feel motivated, like myself. We’re working in serious fashion,” On September 26, Mazzocchi will speak to the Populist Alliance at their annual convention in San Antonio. Anyone interested in “a leap of faith” can contact the Labor Party Advocates at P.O. Box 1510, Highland Park, New Jersey 08904. L.D. Republicans Win in Redistricting Democratic state officials have retreated in the battle over Texas Senate redistricting after a federal court in Austin rejected Secretary of State John Hannah’s plan to use boundaries drawn by the Democratic Legislature rather than the lines drawn by the Republican-dominated court. Gov. Ann Richards, Attorney General Dan Morales and Hannah said they will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to allow Texas to use the Legislature’s plan in the November general election. That appears to clear the way for the Republican-inspired alternative, which is expected to give the GOP more than one-third of the Senate. Such a Republican gain could spell trouble for Richards appointees to state boards and commissions, who require confirmation by two-thirds of the Senate. Many appointments could be considered during a special lame duck session on school finance after the election. Republican party officials had accused the state officials of attempting to pervert the democratic process for “selfish, partisan purposes.” Democrats countered that the redistricting plan that the court ordered to stand for the general election will result in fewer minority lawmakers. “Let’s talk about disgusting partisan ploys! Let’s talk about fairness to voters! Let’s talk about the minority community once again being robbed of their right to vote because the white boys still don’t have enough power!” the San Antonio Express-News quoted from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which supported the legislative plan, known as Senate Bill 1, but was denied a role in the federal case. Under cover of the Voting Rights Act, panel of three Republican-appointed federal judges struck down the Legislature’s plan Christmas Eve 1991 with the secret help of a Republican legislator. Judge James Nowlin, chairman of the Austin court, later removed himself from the case after a reprimand from the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Another federal court in Washington in July found Senate Bill I met the requirements of the Voting Rights Act and would have elected at least one more Mexican-American senator than the Republican plan. Attorneys for minority plaintiffs, whose victory in the state courts was overruled by the federal courts, criticized the decision to lay off on the appeals. Jim Harrington of the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin said Morales and Richards appeared more interested in partisan politics than in protecting minority voting rights. Judith Sanders Castro, a MALDEF attorney, noted that in the past 30 years the Attorney General has “never thrown in the towel so fast. In fact, they have always fought us to the bitter end when they were on the wrong side. But this time, when we thought we were on the same side, they gave up 70 days before the election.” Meanwhile, Democratic Party officials said they will seek an expedited review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Although chances of restoring the Senate’s plan for use in the general election are slim, they want to make sure it is approved for the 1994 elections, when the entire Senate would be up for election again and the Democrats could restore their two-thirds supermajority. The state’s largest newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle and Post and the Dallas Morning News, generally welcomed the latest judicial intervention that upheld the court, ordered districts at least for the general election. The Austin American-Statesman declared redistricting a partisan mess, but proposed that the Legislature turn over redistricting to a nonpartisan agency that would produce a map according to the criteria set by statute. The Legislature then would vote the plan up or down without amendment. J.C. 4 SEPTEMBER 4, 1992
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