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SEPTEMBER 16, 1994 VOLUME 86, No. 18 FEATURES Sizing up Congressional and Legislative Races By James Cullen 8 All the News Gives Keller Fits By Richard L Fricker 10 DEPARTMENTS Editorial Looking at George W. Bush Health Care: Call Kevorkian 6 3 Jim Hightower A Nod to Labor; Family Leave; Baby Think It Over; Execution Games 1 Molly Ivins Jerk? That’s Nothing 13 Journal Censorship Abounds By James Cullen 14 Books and the Culture Alligator Dance Book review by Sarah Stevenson 16 Roommates Book review by Steven G. Kellman 18 Castro, Cuba and the Cold War Book reviews by Robert Kahn 19 Afterword Pri-Ordained in Mexico By Char Miller Political Intelligence 24 22 Cover art by Kevin Kreneck l T ill TEXAS server Correction An article in the August 2 Observer incorrectly stated that 7 percent of California prisoners were in privately run prisons. Actually, California has seven private prisons, with less than 7 percent of the state’s prison population. COME MEN, we are told, see what is aPthere and ask, “Why?” Others see what is not there and ask, “Why not?” But it takes a different sort of man to see what is not there and then ask, “Why not run a political campaign that will convince voters that what is not there is there?” For that, if nothing else, George W. Bush, and political consultants Karl Rove and Don Sipple deserve ample credit. If not for vision, then for sheer creative genius. And it is a genius that has made a dead heat of a race, according to the most recent Texas Poll, after the Governor was considered a strong favorite to win even as she emerged from a difficult legislative session last winter. What has been the winning Republican formula thus far? According to what Austin political consultant Rove told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, it is Bush’s vision. To win, George Bush “needs to continue doing what we have been doing, which is share his vision for the future of Texas.” Rove added that Bush’s vision which is really a Marshal Dillon, let’scleanup-Dodge pitch and not vision needs to be shared with certain segments of the voting public. But the voters Rove described “Democrats, especially East Texas Democrats…and South Texas Hispanic voters, middle-class Hispanics”are not the prime demographic targets of the Bush/Rove/Sipple campaign. The voters this campaign is after live outside Loop 410 in San Antonio, outside Loop 610 in Houston and outside Loop 12 in Dallas. They are conservative Democrats, and Republicans who were caught fleeing Clayton Williams and tentatively embracing Ann Richards four years ago. They are voters who read a daily newspaper in the morning and watch the local “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” newscast every night. And what is more important, there are a lot more of them now than there were in 1990, when Richards narrowly defeated Clayton Williams. In a labor-intensive story published on August 19, Austin American-Statesman reporters Jeff South and David Elliot documented the growth of suburban voters who are more inclined to vote for Republicans than Democrats. “In the Texas counties now considered suburban, the number of registered voters increased 27 perceht from November 1990 to April 1994. That compares with a 7-percent increase in rural counties and 18 percent in urban counties,” the Statesman reported, adding that “in 1990, against Republican Clayton Williams, Richards got 45 percent of the vote in suburban counties, compared with 47 percent . in rural counties and 51 percent in urban counties.” In other words, the real boom, both in population growth and voter registration, has occurred in the areas where Richards fared worst against Williams. Some of the new suburban voters are recent arrivals in Texas, drawn to the state, ironically, by the economic expansion that has been underway while Ann Richards has held office. Others, as Rove describes them, “moved to the suburbs so their kids could get into the Eanes school district, the Plano school district…” They also moved directly into the path of the increasing ad valorem school taxes, which are blamed on Richards, though she had far less to do with them than did Republican House members. Bush is a Dallas businessman, which might help Republicans win back Dallas, which Richards won in 1990. \(And it is unlikely that Bush will make jokes about rape, talk about “getting serviced” by Mexican prostitutes, admit that he paid no income tax, or be caught unaware of the content of a ballot initiative, as Williams did during the 1990 gubernatorial camRepublican election consultants didn’t have to spend too much time studying voter-registration printouts from the Secretary of State’s office to determine that the road to the Governor’s Mansion runs straight through the suburbs. And once that was clear, all that was needed was a message that would “resonate” in the ‘burbs. Education, of course, is a big issue there, but not everyone has children in public school \(George W. doesn’t; his two cation, as Bush is beginning to understand, is complex, even if it is in need of reform, and he may be onto something when he suggests that reform should begin at the doors of the Texas Education Agency. Roughing up welfare recipients, even though in Texas they are mostly children, is always good for a few votes. But most of those votes Bush already had and the issue is at best a reassuring drumbeat for the party faithful. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3 EDITORIALS George W’s ‘Vision’