candidates statewide in order to stay on the Texas ballot for 2002 without the onerous requirement of petition drives. Universally, Nader is acknowledged as our Public Citizen No. 1. He has done more good out of office than most United States presidents do in. All his life he has worked full-time to live up to his mother’s definition of true patriotism to work to make your country more lovable and to embody something else she taught him, that “determination is what gives dreams wheels.” Nader, speaking to big-city rallies of 10,000 to 15,000 people in the northwest and east and to thousands at rallies in Texas \(for example, in Houston and Austin last spring and in Dallas, Austin, vocates national health insurance now; price controls on pharmaceuticals developed in part by publicly-funded research; an end to hundreds of billions of dollars worth of corporate welfare; a minimum wage of $10 an hour; the repeal of the Taft-Hartley law; opposition to the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund; public funding for public elections; an end to the 40 to Soothoto both Stwon As tr000factuiv of weilloown townetits brands that inciodt Cow CM, Mu Fair and Oil of Oily, ROM I GAME is irk to offit tutting Fatt-lime oppoituratin with: FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULES GOOD PAY OF $8,00 PER HOUR io PULL TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT Yaw& visit rdtg oinks to a/Wu ti reptoish roeittio *Wive rebtioslips with reit Insaget im IZ Yee oust to pcsoistiftWay of three full days pet week *lid AO ad hand *We. 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F4ual OPPortkmitY WOW SIVF PrOaerdtGarnble Visit os at ionvocN o com corporate concentration of the ownership of the major media; a Marshall plan to end poverty in the United States; solar power; tightening fuel-efficiency standards; vigorous prosecution of corporate crimes and abuse; an end to the war on drugs, transforming it into a public-health matter; the legalization of marijuana; the abolition of capital punishment; citizen control of what we own, such as pension funds and the airways and a third of the land in the country; sharp military spending reductions; proportional representation; same-day voter registration; re-escalation upward of the corporate tax rates and the retention of the inheritance tax; and ending the governing power of the large corporations and their allied billionaires. Not a single one of these proposals in Nader’s platform is supported by either Bush or Gore or by the political platforms of either party. \(In charity, quickly I record a necessary caveat concerning Gore’s absurd proposal last spring, which he hasn’t mentioned since, that people voluntarily contribute $7 billion, with no earmarking for candidates, to pay for our elections, contends, his proposals are “majoritarian” that is, majorities of the people favor them. The profundity of the disconnect between the people and the two major parties could hardly be clearer. Hightower, who stayed with the Democrats until this year, has gone Green, arguing that the two-party trap never ends, it goes on forever. Consider the historical irony. Had Richards appointed Hightower to the Senate from Texas he would probably be seeking reelection this year. Instead the Democrats are not seriously opposing Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and have given a pass to three other statewide Republican candidates, and Hightower is on the stump for Ralph Nader. Gary Dugger, speaking to the roughly 10,000 people who turned out for Nader’s four rallies in Texas, October 18-19, said, among other things, “I’m running against Bush lackeys in Texas. The Democrats haven’t got the cojones to do it, and the Green Party is doing it.” The way for the major parties to free themselves of worry about the votes third parties get, he argued, is for the legislature to pass instantrunoff voting, which allows voters to rank candidates according to their preference. Under that system, for example, if you voted for Nader as your first choice and Gore as your second choice, but Nader lost in the first vote-count \(and Bush did count for Gore. He said he would fight, if elected Railroad Commissioner for the six-year term, to raise the severance tax on oil and gas instead of abolishing it, and to make polluters pay to clean up their messes. Corporations “are running roughshod over our environment and polluting our aquifers. And the Railroad Commission is not fining them because they’re getting campaign contributions from these large companies.” The vitality of the Green campaign in Texas may surprise you, for the lack of attention it has attracted in the press has been remarkable even for Texas. “I’m doing all I can, I realize it may not be enough,” Gary Dugger says. When he ran as a Democrat in 1998 the Austin American-Statesman endorsed him, saying he “would be a refreshing voice on the commission, emphasizing sustainable energy, cleaning up and preventing pollution, pushing for more reliance on wind and solar power, and strengthening regulation of the railroad industry. Sometimes it takes a maverick to shake out the cobwebs and let in a little fresh air to a musty, hidebound agency.” But that was then. Perhaps the ferocity of the Green rebellion this year, or sheer embarrassment among traditional Texas Democrats over the default of their party, accounts for the blackout this time. In any case, it is the truth of this historical moment that the Texas Democratic Party has laid down in front of the Bush steamroller, and the Texas Green Party is fighting in the Democrats’ stead. Ronnie Dugger, founding editor of the Observer, is also a founder of the Alliance for Democracy. As a member of the Green Party and an unsuccessful Green candidate in New York State this year, he personally favors Nader for President. He is the father of Gary Dugger. Nader’s website is http://www.votenader.org ; Gary Dugger’s, linked with that of the Texas Green Party, is http://www.Greens2000.org . The Observer, dorse or oppose candidates for office. 12 n THE TEXAS OBSERVER NOVEMBER 3, 2000
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