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4 ea 4 …AA, %to Horse 0n Kitchenettes Cable TV a p p 41 Heated Pool o r beside the Gulf of Mexico 0 41,.. On Mustang Ishuld / Available for private parties 1.1 Oak Unique European Charm I i c.:: Almosphere t I Fconomical Fall and Winter Rates 04 Inn j MOLLY IVINS a Molly Ivins, a former Observer editor, is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. o Man of the People This is a horse-race column, so those of you don’t like inside political skinny can go read something elevating on Bosnia. The betting line on the morning after the primary election is that Jim Mattox is toast. He needed 45 percent and a 10-point lead; he got neither, in part because Mike Andrews drew so well in Houston 17 points when some were speculating that he wouldn’t get into double digits, and most of that’s an anybody-but-Mattox vote. No one is willing to count out a campaigner like Mattox, but ‘great gobs of money, some of it rumored to have been held out to this point at the request of Gov. Ann Richards, is about to descend on Richard Fisher’s head, while Mattox has none. Look at this Senate runoff. Here’s Richard Fisher proudly declaring that he’s “not a politician” he’s a “small businessman.” What he is, is an investment banker who makes a living making money for people who are already rich, period. You have to have a minimum of $2 million to sign up with his firm. Fisher may not have held public office before, but believe me, he has the “politician” drill down perfectly: He can not-answer a question as well or better than people who’ve been in politics for 30 years. He can talk longer and say less than that old character of John Henry Faulk’s who used to go on about motherhood. Fisher is like a parody of what’s wrong with politics he’s Bob Roberts, he’s Bob Forehead he doesn’t stand for anything, he doesn’t believe in anything, he just goes around saying buzzwords like “job creation” and “the future.” There’s no there there with Fisher. Jim Mattox is the best-qualified candidate in the Senate race by experience, by record, by 20 years of standing up and fighting for what’s right. He’s made some good enemies over the years, and he’s also made some enemies he didn’t need to by fighting like a junkyard dog. Maybe that makes him unelectable, but we are taught to put principles above personalities, and I believe we should. I am so tired of these slippery candidates whose stands are based on the latest polls, who will tell people anything they want to hear except the truth. Mattox sure ain’t perfect, but boy, is he ever a real person. I’ve seen him take on the insurance industry, manufacturers of shoddy products, corporate polluters, greedy bankers and the Dallas Establishment. Talk about someone who has never forgotten where he came from: Mattox’s mama was a waitress who died from a heart attack she had while carrying a tray of pizzas at Campisi’ s on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas. Mattox is a working folks’ Democrat, and in case you haven’t noticed, working folks in this country are in dire need of someone who will stand up and .fight for them. Meanwhile, a star was born in Texas politics to wit, Robin Rorapaugh, who managed Fisher’s campaign. Her proud political parents in the world of campaign consulting were aglow on March 9 “I was the first to recognize her ability,” claims George Shipley. “She’s the best grassroots organizer I ever saw.” “She the best goddamn field organizer I ever ran across,” says Jerry Hall. “She’s somethin’ one of the secret treasures sures of the party,” says James Carville. And a round of applause to Rorapaugh, who, like most victims of instant stardom, has been around for years. She ran Raul Gonzalez’s first campaign and Dan Morales’ last campaign and did Texas for Bill Clinton, bringing him within 3 points in George Bush’s home state with no money. She messed around in Washington and then helped bring Jim Florio back to within a point in Now Jersey. She comes from a small town in Indiana like something out of Hoosiers, Hall says and came to Texas as a labor skate, picking up her skills as an organizer for CWA Then Shipley, Dr. Dirt, found her in ’85 and the rest is, as they say, history. Fisher is, according to Shipley himself, just what the Democrats need on their ticket: a Republican. “We’ve got women, we’ve got Gonzalez and Morales. Hey, this has always been a big-tent party; this is just what we need someone to bring us social credentials a country-club Democrat,” he said. Great when the richies are tipping the help at the country club, they can say, “You know, I’m really with you people I voted for Richard Fisher,” The one thing that Fisher brought to his campaign is the most fluent Spanish that anyone in South Texas has ever heard from an Anglo pol although if the ability to speak Spanish were sufficient, Bob Krueger would be a senator today. I have to admit that Ann Richards told me in December that this race was going to be won by someone who wasn’t even in it yet, nd I didn’t believe her. But if Richards is o smart, how come her primary opponent, No-Name Espinosa, got 200,000 votes withut spending any money? What was that vote? Craig Washington is gone, amid a general feeling that it’s a shame but that he deserved to lose; Gene Green is back; and Charlie Wilson gets to run against Donna Peterson in East Texas yet again. The most interesting court race, Place 1 on the Supremes, landed in a runoff between Raul Gonzalez and Rene Haas that should be worth watching. Gonzalez says it’s “the bitterest, most cynical campaign ever” and “sets a new low for judicial politics.” Whiner. Merely `a spirited contest, sports fans, with lots of unlovely undertones: a MexicanAmerican vs. a woman; a pro-lifer vs. a law’n’-order macho female. Whoopee. The best strategic move of the primary may have been an anti-Fisher ad that Andrews put up about two weeks out your basic attack ad. No one noticed the Andrews tag in the first frame, they got to the end, there’s no “Paid for by … ” and apparently most of the people who saw it assumed it was a Mattox ad. And that’s pretty much the story of how Mattox killed himself over the years people see an attack ad and think of Mattox. Meanwhile, ol’ Texas Tough’s first runoff move was to promptly challenge Fisher to a debate in the ballroom of the Dallas Country Club. And here’s the single most amazing piece of news out of the plebiscite: Doyle Willis of Fort Worth, who entered the Texas House of Representatives while the pyramids were still being built, is in a runoff. Pets Welcome ;A te 1423 11th Street.* 0 Port Aransas, TX 78373 1 call fur Reservations a ,r .. sl…..k A 0%, …et” No lics wail… THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19