1 E Comptroller John Sharp invites you to a reception in honor of The Legislative Study Group Thursday, September 14, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Cafe Noche 2409 Montrose Boulevard Houston, Texas $1,000 Sponsor $500 Host $250 Patron $100 Friend $25 Individual J L tintinnabulating, singing with enough strength to crush encaging bars… I feel fortunate myself to have become mixed and rearranged by the simple fact of my coexistence within the circle of Ricardo the poet’s words, as the movement continues through El Paso, creating new possibilities through the spiraling of such self-invented dialogue. And so Ricardo has returned again with a new face, to an old place, to begin another cycle. ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 fit 2 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip Continued from p.5 when an invited group of black students from Alabama, who had hoped to address the conference on the problems of young people, were instead marched through the media room like a traveling exhibit; they complained to the press that rather than listening, the UWSA wanted only to show them off: “They don’t even want us to be heard.” So it was refreshing, on Saturday evening, to discover a small group of Dallas-area Hispanics vigorously protesting both the growing Republican attacks on immigration, as well as the blinding whiteness of UWSAPerot hadn’t bothered to invite even a single Hispanic speaker to address the conference. The protestors aimed especially at Pete Wilson \(whose conference speech was matched in unctuous hypocrisy only by the unspeakable wave of California’s Proposition 187, but they had little good to say for most of the participants, including “legal” immigration’s latest darling, Barbara Jordan. Except for a tiny herd of skulking smokers and a handful of reporters, their voices went unheard. But in that, they were hardly alone. The Dallas conference made most vividly apparent that except on the applause meter and the occasional Republican-frightening straw poll, rank-and-file UWSA members have little to say about how the national or ganization is run. In the lobby, members recalled with animation hometown victories concerning county appropriations, swing elections, campaign reforms. But within the arena these would-be activists were treated as the studio audience for a televised media circusRoss’ Celebrity Roundup and Right-Wing Rodeoand for the most part, they seemed all too eager at their appointed task, half-consciously flattered that these Washington Big Shots had condescended to tell them what they were supposed to want to hear. BUT IT LEFT A BAD TASTE. I bumped into two of the loneliest UWSA members in the hall on Sat urday afternoon \(sometime between the unbearable Pete Wilson and the inconceivEller, from Ypsilanti, were wearing large green buttons captioned “Democratic Populist Caucus”; the card for their janitorial business back home reads “Populist Contractors, Inc.” and is embossed with a picture of Andrew Johnson. They were among the very few present who would admit to being Democratsalthough, like apparently everybody else in the building, they loathed Clinton, who, they said, is “in the bankers’ pocket.” As for a third party, they thought it both too late and pointless: “You knock your balls off and end up with one percent of the vote.” Although disappointed by Perot’ s cornball drum-beating for his string of celebrity guests, they re mained convinced that Perot’s running \(“in the Democratic primaries, maybe with hope for their forlorn Party the country. “All this don’t mean shit,” said Wagner, “unless Perot runs.” And if he does, will it mean much more? The UWSA is not a political party not only because Perot doesn’t yet want one, but because it’s a pasted-together coalition of test-marketed, generic opinions which paper over differences in class, race, gender and political interest. To the extent that it is “populist” at all, it is a checkbook populism, relying entirely on the fact and promise of Perot’s enormous wealth to underwrite its entirely conventionaland class-boundreformism. It has no caucuses, no internal mechanisms of action and dissent, no continuing local institutions beyond the undeniable enthusiasm of its members, united primarily by their admiration for H. Ross Perot, the rube-next-doorwho-hit-the-jackpot. Yet among them are manybarely visible in Dallaswho might be the ground troops in a real populist alternative, if one existed. So in this at least, the Republicans are probably right; if Perot doesn’t run, the majority of “Perot voters” will bolt for the Republicans, and we’ll get Dole as Clinton, or Clinton as Dole. If that is, as the conference promised, “Preparing for the 21st Century,” it looks to be dreary millenium. 18 SEPTEMBER 1, 1995 ats!”….wfp ftwroe40+1.*ni. +.!*^..,
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