OLLIE NORTH’S COCAINE CONNECTION Pg. 14 JUNE 17, 1994 $1.75 A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES BY JAMES CULLEN Fort Worth LL THAT WAS MISSING was the balloon drop. Richard Fisher, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, appeared to borrow more from Ronald Reagan than past Democrats as he took the stage at the state Democratic convention on the evening of June 3 while Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” swelled over the public address. Fisher’s speech was supposed to introduce him to the party faithful and to convince progressive Democrats and particularly Jim Mattox partisans that the Dallas financier was worth supporting in the general election. Fisher gave no offense to the convention, which was a relief to the party regulars over whom he had flown in his primary campaign. He showed off the Spanish he polished as a child in Mexico. He also produced his wife, Nancy, whose Screen Actors Guild card family a union connection, and the four Fisher kids who look like they came straight out of central casting. His speech touched on his family values \(He was late arriving at the convention because his 14-year-old daughter was graduating from middle school the afterseemed intent on restoring the national character with buzzwords that have become the hallmarks of the conservative Democratic Leadership Council. Fisher pledged to take to the U.S. Senate the cause of innovation and reform, as practiced by Texas Democrats such as Dan Morales and Garry Mauro. “I don’t have the answersI’ve never claimed to. But this much I know: It is time to change the course of the Federal government that our administration inherited,” Fisher said. He invoked the names of such venerable Democrats as Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Bobby Kennedy, as well as Republican icons Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, but he offered little to substantiate the allegation that he is now, or ever has been, a Democrat. “America is sick of the divisive partisanship…Our job is to put an end to the politics of obstruction and sheer partisanship,” he said. In January 1993, after he had served as an adviser to independent presidential candidate H. Ross Perot but before Fisher launched his first Senate bid, he told a newspaper “the Democratic Party is dead in this state.” After the Republicans placed that quotation on a billboard outside the Tarrant County Convention Center in a jibe at the Democrats assembled there, Fisher explained that his election showed a New Democratic Party was alive in Texas and it stood for: Change. \(As long as it doesn’t interfere That new Democratic Party champions “economic growth, not just redistribution,” he told the convention. It also champions “civic responsibility, not just entitlement” and working men and womenas well as those entrepreneurs who create jobs. And he cedes to no one the platform to speak for the family. “We must recapture our role as the advocate for the basic American values of hard work and personal responsibility,” he said. In the end, Fisher went so far as to quote Helen Keller, who once said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” He did come out in favor of choice on abortion rights. If Fisher’s speech lacked what party poopers might call substance, he nev . Continued on pg. 2 Transforming the Democrats
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