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4 8 10 12 14 16 18 17 2 3 21 22 24 26 30 FEATURES DEPARTMENTS BOOKS & THE CULTURE JULY 19, 2002 Texas Observer No MORE SLOW BOATS TO MEXICO Resort owner Steve Smith advertises Lajitas as “The Ultimate Hideout.” Border Patrol gets the message, and takes it literally. by Brad Tiier TROUBLE AT PORVENIR CROSSING A recent trial in Pecos illustrates why it’s a bad idea to militarize the border. by Jake Bernstein DIALOGUE EDITORIAL “Recycled Stuf f DATELINE TEXAS De-Schooling in Luling by Rachel Proctor DATELINE TEXAS Got Manure? by Dave Mann POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE MOLLY IVINS Dubya Does Populism JIM HIGHTOWER Friends in All the Right Places LAS AMERICAS 1/1/ar on Terrorism Mexican Style by John Ross POETRY by Randy Koch and Nancy Kenney Connolly SHE WRITES LIKE AN ANGEL by Diana Anhalt BROWN LIKE US? by Russell Contreras YOUNG AND CRANKEE by Steven G. Kellman AFTERWORD Among the Scraps of Left-Over Notes by Elroy Bode Cover photo by Dan Keane. DIALOGUE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM I very much enjoyed your unvarnished look at the state conventions of the two tradition of the Observer in revealing the warts of the political parties. I must, however, take some exception with your characterization of the Republican party as a the home of racists in Texas.Yes, Republican voters did reject a “handpicked Hispanic” candidate for the Texas Supreme Courtbut not because of race. Republican voters selected two black candidates for the Supreme Courta feat completely unmatched by the Democratic Party in its entire history. And Republicans had previously selected Al Gonzales over an Anglo challenger for the Texas Supreme Court with 58 percent of the vote. The defeated candidate, with his call for taxpayer funding of judicial campaigns and the elimination of voters’ right to choose judges, was simply ideologically to the left of most Democrats \(though not, perhaps, most Observer licans. In contrast, the victor in that race, Steven Wayne Smith, campaigned as a populist conservative. This claim was an easy one for Smith to make. Not only was he not a pawn of big-money insurance interests, he was the successful plaintiff’s attorney in the Cheryl Hopwood v. Texas case that ended racial preferences in Texas university admissions. On top of that, Smith pledged half his salary to Enron employees’ relief, while advocating an end to the gag rules on judicial candidates that have since been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the defeated “handpicked” candidate defended Enron contributions and defended restrictions on free speech. David Rogers Campaign Manager Steven Wayne Smith for Supreme Court of Texas You mention that the Texas Libertarian Party is made up of disaffected Republicans. That is not necessarily true. There are a lot of disaffected Democrats there also. The last Demo crat I voted for was McGovern. After that time, my education as an economist suggested to me that the. national Democrat party had a failed policy set and their only option was more of the same. I am not a Libertarian, however; I am a Republican. John McCall Via e-mail SALTY DOG labeled “Political Intelligence.” Isn’t that an oxymoron? In his somewhat naive address in San Antonio, our governor spoke of a $208 million desal project. A plant that size wouldn’t supply Port Lavaca with enough desalinated watermuch less a demand center like San Antonio. Having been involved in industrial construction for most of my adult life I know that it would cost a minimum of $750 million for the plant and intake/output pipelines alone to make any real difference at all for San Antonio. Then there is the cost of the pipeline to San Antonio 150 or so miles to the north and 750 feet uphill. Properly done in the proper location, desal is a good idea, much better than depleting the groundwater resources of the Gulf Coast Aquifer. Much better than GBRAs’ Lower Guadalupe River Diversions Project which would destroy the bays and estuaries of the Guadalupe River Delta. San Antonio Bay is not the place to construct a desal project.The river delta has already been adversely affected by pollution from upstream industrial plants, a poorly designed and operated diversion darn and the generally poor stewardship of GBRA. We must also consider the pipeline and pumping stations travelling north some 150 miles, electricity to each pumping station, right of ways for the pipeline, roads to the pump stations and right of ways for the electrical supply. These are all problems that can be solvedwith some entity other than GBRA at the helm. GBRA lacks the credibility to be involved with such an undertaking. Kenneth Schustereit Victoria 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7/19/02