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A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them, because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: James Cullen Layout and Design: Peter Szymczak, Diana Paciocco Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Bad-Bills Girl: Mary O’Grady Editorial Intern: Carmen Garcia. Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Brett Campbell, Jo Clifton, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Ellen Hosmer, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Deborah Lutterbeck, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, Lawrence Walsh. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Cambridge, Mass; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, D.C.; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; Ruperto Garcia, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana; Susan Reid, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Poetry Consultant: Thomas B. Whitbread Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Michael Alexander, Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods, Matt Wuerker. Managing Publisher: Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager: Stefan Wanstrom Executive Assistant: Gail Woods Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year 532, two years 559, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time; no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because or the cost. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Suppkmentaty Index to Periodicals; Texas Index and, for the years 1954 through 198 I,The Texas Observer Index. copyrighted, 1992, is published biweekly except for a three-week interval 477-0746. Second-class postage paid at Austin, Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. HOLY DEBACLE, what an electoral massacre. Slaughter at the polls. A veritable rout. Well, there it is. I must admit to a sneaking admiration for Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the Breck Girl, as a female candidate. In the future, women who would be candidates would do well to study her nigh-flawless combination of sacharine and steel. Hutchison has always dressed in a style that is close to a parody of I-am-a-nice-girl fashion: sweet little flowered dresses with a small ruff and a little bow around the neck, white Puritan collars, Peter Pan collars, that sort of sugar-and-spice, perfect lady, 1950’s schoolgirl look. Good trial lawyers defending double murderesses make their clients dress like that. At the same time, in debate after debate against Krueger, whenever she was pressed, out came the steel, the edge to the voice, the don’ t-mess-with-me-you-despicable-worm-how-dare-you-suggest-that form. She was tough. Whew. Her campaign was also beautifully executed in that she was inoculated against negatives early by the Breck-girl ad campaign, so that when Krueger finally started bringing out the dirt, she could dismiss it with the Krueger’ sout-of-control line. Of course, if she does get indicted in the next few weeks, we will have a different kind of senator. I pass in tactful silence over Bob Krueger’ s already sufficiently maligned campaign. I find the referendum-on-Clinton interpretation of the race sill beyond permission. I think the parallel is Bob Abram’s New York Senate race last fall: If you have a lousy candidate who runs a lousy race, there’s nothing you can do about it. And when you get 20 percent turnout, the people who turn out tend to be well-todo white folks. The most depressing Larger Implication is that 20 percent will still buy into a campaign that consists of a pol endlessly parroting, “No new taxes, no new taxes.” Read my lips: We don’t get out of a $4 trillion debt without new taxes. The only question, after the free-the-rich ’80’s, is: Who pays them? And, of course, it’s hasta la vista, baby, to the super collider and the space station. No great tragedy by my lights still think they’re both bad pork and bad science. But Texas, despite the rhetoric of our politicians, has had its snout deep in the federal trough for generations. Be interesting to see us live up to our platitudes for a change. I did have to laugh at the reports that Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, chair of the Appropriations Committee, can’t wait to slice Texas pork because he so dislikes Phil Gramm. Byrd himself is the Pork Champion of the Universe; he’s just not a hypocrite about it the way Gramm is. Back at the Lege, here we are at the end of salute a few heroes. Those who think state government is a hopelessly bad joke need to be reminded that people of brains, principle and integrity put in killer hours and take abuse beyond all permission to serve in the Texas Legislature, all for the magnificent sum of $7,200 a year. For public service above and beyond the call of duty, special recognition to: Rep. Libby Linebarger, D-Manchaca, chair of the House Public Education Committee, who three times got 100 votes out of the House for constitutional school financing plans, when earlier leaders couldn’t even get in done once. Patient, open to all sides, firm when she needed to be. Onlookers were vastly amused one night when Rep. Mark “Bubba” Stiles was misbehaving to catch one stem look from Linebarger that caused Stiles to pull down a silly motion at once. Not for nothing has that woman raised six children. Even the occasionally obstreperous Stiles stiffened at the look and all but said, “Yes, ma’am!” Rep. Paul Sadler, D-Henderson, probably the pick of last session’s freshmen, now an oustanding sophomore. Bright, quick on his feet, cool head, friend of the common folks. Proof that the great East Texas populist tradition still lives. Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, long considered something of a joke in the House, for just standing up and saying what she thinks and being right most of the time.There is a steadfast quality about Thompson one comes to cherish. Rep. Brian McCall, R-Plano, one of our most thoughtful Republicans. Not sure he’ll be he grows up, but continually goes beyond kneejerk partisan posturing. Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, smart, hard worker, plus did public service by getting on the egregious Ashley Smith’s case and staying on it. That’ll teach him to patronize Davis. Rep. Barry Telford, D-DeKalb, one of the few people in either House who can actually change votes in debate. Not always right, but honest and a great story teller. On the Senate side, absolutely everybody was impressed by John Whitmire, D-Houston, this session, earlier cited for his work on penal code revision. And, as always, Carl Parker, D-Port Arthur. Few miles startin’ to show on Parker; he was draggin’ around more weight this session than usual this session, often tired, maybe cut too many deals behind closed doors. But, by George, if you can have only one other person on your side, Parker is the one you want. When he rears back to go freedom-fightin’, there is still nobody better and I’m not sure there ever was. Also, still has the best supply of dirty jokes in the Lege. MOLLY IVINS