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44 eV. 40 Sea oe,;,; 0 Horse Inn f a ji, I Kitchenettes Cable TV Heated Pool beside the Gni”‘ Mexii.0 Alushmg Island Av ailable for private parties Unique European Charm \( Atmosphere A FFOR DARLA’. R.VITS ti t JIM HIGHTOWER Saying No to Corruption The experts say there’s no way to pass real campaign-finance reform to stop Big Money from corrupting our political processsince Big Money also controls the legislative process that has to enact the reform. But as Yogi Berra once said: “Even Napoleon had his Watergate.” Well, Watergate, Waterloo, or whatever you call it, Big Money has met its match in a political force it can’t corrupt: the people themselves! As the old political joke puts it: The people are revolting! Indeed they are: fed up with Business As Usual, ordinary folks are leading the charge against the corrupting power of fat-cat contributors. Their weapon? The citizen’s initiative process. Though the establishment media gave it barely a whisper of coverage, the biggest progressive victory of the November elections was the fact that not one, not two, but three states enacted heavy-duty ‘limits on how much money the special interests can stuff in the pockets of politicians. In Missouri, Montana and Oregon, voters said that henceforth no political contributor can give more than $100 to state legislative candidates and no more than $500 to candidates for governor and other statewide offices. In each state, this astonishing reform initiative was put together by a coalition of Ralph Nader’s student groups, Ross Perot’s organization, League of Women Voters, Common Cause and other civic groups. Despite being opposed by political leaders, lobbyists and most media, and despite having almost no money, the citizens ran high-energy, grassroots campaigns that simply overran The Powers That Be, winning 63 percent in Montana, 72 percent in Oregon and 77 percent in Missouri. Working people won’t get good policies from government until we get Big Money out of governmentbut that’s a clean-up job we can do ourselves, as the good folks of Missouri, Montana and Oregon have just shown. Trouble Brewing I’m an exercise buff. No, none of that jogging, swimming or bicycling stuff. Jim Hightower, a former Observer editor and Texas agriculture commissioner, does daily radio commentary and a weekend call-in talk show on the ABC Radio Network. I do the full, rigorous regimen of daily “beer exercises.” You know: repetitive walking, stretching, lifting, and bending walk from the La-Z-Boy to the refrigerator; stretch waaaay back to the back of the fridge and grab a brewski; lift it out in one fluid motion, employing your leg muscles, lower back and arm; and then that up-lifting series of 12-ounce elbow bends. But instead of hoisting just another Bud or Miller, make mine a Shiner Bock, a Sierra Nevada Porter, a Genesee 12-Horse Ale or any of the other heartier brews of the small, local breweries popping up all across America today. Ten years ago, there were only 29 small breweries; today, there are nearly 500 of them, each with its own unique, local taste. But beware, beer lovers! The industry giants are now moving in on the microbreweries, trying to tap into their success. Some are marketing their own, fake microbeers with catchy-sounding names to make them seem like local products, such as Elk Mountain Amber Ale and Red Wolf Lagerboth made by Budweiser. They’re also buying out the genuine locals: Miller has already swallowed Wisconsin’s venerable Leinenkugle and Milwaukee’s Augsburger, and Anheiser-Busch is quaffing Seattle’s Redhook Ale. It’s a case of sheer market muscle trying to squeeze the locals off the shelf. The Big Four, which already control 85 percent of all beer sales, want it all. So they’re using their market clout to pressure beer distributors and retailers to carry only their “imitation” brands of microbrews, and leave the real ones out in the cold. This is Jim Hightower saying to you lovers of local beer: Heads up! Demand the real thingthe brew you lose could be your own. Smoke Out the Tobacco Companies James Johnson, top dog of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, was recently asked how many smokers die each year from cancer. “I do not know how many,” he snapped, adding that estimates of such deaths are “generated by computers and are only statistical.” Yeah, statistics like Bob, Nora, Charlotte, Larry and a good 400,000 other fleshand-blood Americans who die each year thanks to being hooked on the tobacco industry’s coffin nails. To recruit “replacement smokers” for those who quit or die, tobacco companies spend $11 million every day on advertising and promotional gimmicksmuch of it targeting our children. Why? Because children are their profitable future. After all, the vast majority of smokers don’t get hooked as adults, but as teens, or younger. Every day, another 3,000 U.S. minorschildren as young as 10 or 11take their first puffs. Half of them will become addicted and ultimately die, nastily and prematurely, of cancer, emphysema or other illness brought on by “smoke-smokesmoking those cigarettes.” Each of them another of Mr. Johnson’s statistics. American children are not alone as tobacco targets: In Eastern Europe, young women in “cowgirl” outfits hand out Marlboros to teens at rock concerts, giving free Marlboro sunglasses to those who light up on the spot; Outside Brazilian high schools, young women in safari gear hand out free Camels to 15and 16-year-olds on their lunch break; In Taiwan, RJR Nabisco sponsored a concert by a teen rock idol; to get in, each kid presented five empty packs of RJR’s Winston cigarettes. Millions of Americans try to quit smoking every year as part of the “Great American Smokeout.” That’s a good thing, but if you really want to smoke out the tobacco companiesand make them quit trying to hook the world’s children on their addictive drugcontact the consumer group INFACT on 617-742-4583. Pets Welcome /Caw ‘ Port Aransas, TX 78373 Q8 Sfor Rcscruit ions ,,I re, …lime.% A ILN, *4441.;6 1110 5-woo. a, THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15 s.’Or dro .”*.400.,,t08.1,4,