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VOLUME 89, NO. 14 A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or parry but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them we do not necessarily imply that we agree with them, because this is a journal of free voices. SINCE 1954 Founding Editor: Ronnie Dugger Publisher: Geoff Rips Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Michael King Production: Harrison Saunders Copy Editor: Mimi Bardagjy Poetry Editor: Naomi Shihab Nye Business Manager: Amanda Toering Circulation Assistant: Jeff Mandell Editorial Interns: Erica C. Barnett, Jeff Mandell Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Barbara Belejack, Betty Brink, Brett Campbell, Lars Eighner, James K. Galbraith, Dagoberto Gilb, James Harrington, Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins, Paul Jennings, Steven G. Kellman, Bryce Milligan, Debbie Nathan, Karen Olsson, John Ross, Carol Stall, Brad Tyer, James McCarty Yeager. Staff Photographer: Alan Pogue Contributing Photographers: Vic Hinterlang, Patricia Moore. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Valerie Fowler, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Ben Sargent, Gail Woods. Editorial Advisory Board: David Anderson, Austin; Elroy Bode, El Paso; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Arlington, Mass.; Bob Eckhardt, Austin; Sissy Farenthold, Houston; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick, Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Jackson, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Fort Worth; James Presley, Texarkana; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Development Consultant: Frances Barton In Memoriam: Cliff Olofson, 1931-1995 World Wide Web DownHome page: http://www.hyperweb.comitxobserver Periodicals postage paid at Austin, Texas. SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $32, two years $59, three years $84. Full-time students $18 per year; add $13/year for foreign subs. Back issues $3 prcpaid. Airmail, foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zech Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. INDEXES: The Texas Observer is indexed in Access: The Supplementary Index to Periodicals: Texas l o des and, for the years 1954 through 1981,The Texas Observer Index. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS Dialogue 2 Editorial Civil War 4 Bad Bills Roundup The Lege Winds Down 13 Molly Ivins Tax Cut Lies 14 Jim Hightower Dollar Champs, Pentagon Waste, 15 & Migreeters Political Intelligence 16 DIALOGUE SPREAD THE CREDIT I was flattered by your coverage of the 75th Legislative Session; however, I would like to clarify one statement. In the body of the article, Mr. King wrote, “Maxey also recited a long list of bills he wrote or co-sponsored…” \(“Austin Hot Sausage To Go,” by Michael King, June related to the successes of progressive forces in the House. My answer referred to our collective victories, and I do not wish to be seen as taking sole credit. Although I authored HB 196, which gives consumers a right to their contact lens prescriptions, and was co-sponsor of much of the legislation you cited, the lion’s share of the credit should go to my colleagues. Representatives Steve Wolens and Debra Danburg led the fight for the inclusion of consumer protections in the home equity legislation, HJR 31. Representative John Smithee and Senator David Sibley carried SB 386, which holds managed care plans responsible when they deny adequate medical care to patients. Representatives Leticia Van de Putte and Patricia Gray led a coalition of legislators who Dateline Texas Swamp Critters 19 75th Texas House Voter Chart 21 BOOKS AND THE CULTURE The Sound of Life 25 Poetry by Noel Hanlon Texas Nazi Gold 26 Book Review by Lars Eighner TAs Unite! 28 Book Review by Michael Erard Afterword 30 Holland and Disagreeable Texans by Kitty Felde Cover photo by Amelie L.Goodwin worked to pass managed care legislation that provides women with improved quality of care and expanded coverage. In a time when the very foundations of equality have been undermined by the Hopwood ruling, I was proud to be a joint author of Representative Irma Rangel’s open college enrollment bill, HB 588. Under HB 710, Representative Kip Averitt established a high risk insurance pool that will provide relief to individuals with preexisting conditions. Representative Hugo Berlanga, the author of House Bill 3, fought off conservative claims of “socialized medicine” in winning the passage of House Bill 3. The legislation will provide affordable health insurance to children of the working poor. It was also through the efforts of Representative Berlanga as well as Representative John Hirschi and Senator Judith Zaffirini that the Texas House and Senate approved some of the most comprehensive anti-tobacco legislation in the nation. Thank you for the opportunity to bring this to your attention. Glen Maxey State Representative, Travis County FEATURES The Way to Run a Railroad by Lucius Lomax Lone Star Gas insisted to the Railroad Commission that its “economic survival” required a $24.5 million rate increase. The Commissioners were skeptical. Looking for the Border by Barbara Ferry Photography by Amelie L. Goodwin 8 Ezequiel Herncindez was tending his family’s goats and minding his own business. He didn’t know that the U.S. Marines had decided his home is No Man’s Land. 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER . JULY 18, 1997