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FEATURE The Law West of the Pecos by Nate Blakeslee 8 For sixteen years, Gary Painter has been the state’s most flamboyant drug warrior. Is his star beginning to dim? Looking for Real Enemies by Michael King 12 Austin’s KOOP Radio began in dreams of cooperation, hip music, and progressive politics. Now it’s a station at war with itself THIS ISSUE 1 DEPARTMENTS Editorial Our Readers by Observer Staff Dialogue Left Field The Bush Beat, Petro Retro & That Jesse Look Political Intelligence James K. Galbraith Relative Theories 17 19 Molly Ivins Farewell to a Fighter 4 6 3 20 Jim Hightower Bank Theft, Fascist Food & Job Futures BOOKS AND THE CULTURE The Knowledge 22 Poetry by Angela Merta Adios, Doug Sahm 23 Elegy by Geoff Rips Testing Limits 24 Book Review by Jeff Mandell La Raza Memoir 27 Book Review by Dick J. Reavis 21 Afterword 30 By the Book by Michael Erard Cover Art by Ben Sargent The Books & the Culture section is partially funded through grants from the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission, and the Austin Writers’ League, both in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. EDITORIAL The Support of Our Readers Forty-five years ago, a small group of progressives led by the late Frankie Randolph of Houston marshaled their creative energy and a small amount of money and put together a business staff and editorial staff to publish the Texas Observer. Since 1954, the Observer has been a solitary, statewide outlet for independent journalism focused on politics and the political economy. That our progressive editorial agenda has never appealed to advertisers is no secret, nor is the fact that we have depended, and continue to depend, on our readers, and several supporters, for sustained financial support. That’s not unusual for journals of politics and culture. Whether they are on the left or the right of this country’s fairly narrow political spectrum, none makes a profit. The venerable and vital Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive, In These Times, all depend on foundations, subscribers, and large donors to keep them in business. As do The National Review and The Weekly Standard on the right, and the American Spectator on the extreme, Clinton-hating right. Right-wing publications are easier to fund because they rarely challenge corporate interests. And because big right-wing giver’s far outnumber the beleaguered supporters of publications on the political left, the publications of the politi cal right are usually flush. Flush we are not, and never have been. But what is unique about the Observer is the populist nature of our support base. No publication is as financially dependent upon the support of its readers as we are. So we are back, to ask you once again for your financial support. If you believe that the Observer like public radio, community radio, and public television is a public good, we hope you will support us. If you do, we will invest your contribution in the sort of stories that won us national awards and the attention of the national media last year for compelling stories of the lives of workers in the state, coverage of the environment, and a prolonged, critical examination of the presidential campaign that George W. Bush began shortly after defeating Ann Richards in 1994. We would also like to invest part of your contributions in something else: a longterm growth program that will get the publication into the hands of new readers and ensure that we continue to be an independent voice in journalism \(and a graduate school for some of the best young next century. To that end, Bernard Rapoport, who has supported the Observer since it began publishing, has pledged $50,000 this year as a matching grant if we are able to raise $50,000 from our supporters. Former Observer editor Molly Ivins has herself funded a part-time development director to help us pursue the sort of foundation and individual grants that we hope will sustain the Observer for another forty-five years. Consider your gift a twofor-one contribution: an opportunity to separate Bernard Rapoport from some of his money and to collaborate with Molly Ivins. The Observer is published by the Foundation, so your contribution is tax-deductible. We will put it to use in the best interests of independent journalism and progressive politics in Texas. The Observer Staff DECEMBER 10, 1999 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3 46110isommessolooll.110111111.00r ,-