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Community Radio Program:m.14%g Diversite For A Cultural-0 Diverse etto P.O.Box 2116 Austin, Texas 78768-2116 Visit Us On The Web @ Radio De La Comunidad Texarkana Public Library Utopia Memorial Library Weatherford Public Library Wichita Falls Public Library Texas CityMoore Memorial Public UvaldeEl Progreso Memorial Library Weimar Public Library Wingo Public Library Library Valley Mills Public Library WellingtonCollingsworth Public WilmerGilliam Memorial Public Texline Public Library Van Alstyne Public Library Library Library The Colony Public Library Van Horn City County Library WellsRube Sessions Memorial WinnsboroGilbreath Memorial The Depot Public Library VegaOldham County Public Library Library Library Tornillo Media Center VenusJoe A. Hall Community Library Weslaco Public Library Winters Public Library TrinityBlanche K. Werner Public VernonCarnegie City-County Library West Public Library Wolfe City Public Library Library Victoria Public Library Wharton County Library City of Wolfforth Library TroupCameron-Jarvis Troup Vidor Public Library Wheeler Public Library WoodvilleAllan Shivers Library Municipal Library Village MillsWildwood Civic Library White Oak School Community Library WylieRita & Truett Smith Public TuliaSwisher County Library Waelder Public Library White Settlement Public Library Library Turkey Public Library WallisAustin County Library System Whitehouse Community Library YoakumCarl & Mary Welhausen Tyler Public Library Watauga Public Library Whitesboro Public Library Library Universal City Public Library WaxahachieNicholas P. Sims Library Whitewright Public Library Yorktown Public Library University Park Public Library & Lyceum WhitneyLake Whitney Public Library Zapata County Public Library Lewis, continued from page 12 Investing In Democracy: Public Financing of Campaigns Cutting off the corporate spigot is an important step toward restoring Texas democracy, but it is not sufficient. We ultimately need to remove private money completely from our elections and adopt full public financing. Arizona and Maine have adopted full public financing for all their state elections and the results are impressive. The power of voters and turnout has increased, while the power of special interests has dwindled. The candidates actually have to spend time with and listen to the voters, rather than a few rich donors and their hired guns. More diverse folks, including more women and minorities, run for office, providing voters with real choices and competition. Candidates can run competitive races without themselves being rich or catering to wealthy special interests for contributions \(unlike with To learn more about public financing, please see The cost for real democracy in Texas is minuscule in the grand scheme of things. Full public financing for Texas legislative races would cost, based on the experience of Maine and Arizona, 4/100ths of 1 percent of the state’s n’t we invest in democracy and stop short-changing the voters with limited choices and with even less power? Texans pay a lot more than this amount in “special interest taxes”indeed we pay billions of dollars annually in tax loopholes for businesses and in increased costs from insurance companies, utilities, and other industries that use their big bucks to skew the state’s laws to gouge Texas consumers. Wouldn’t you rather pay a small democracy fee than huge “specialinterest taxes”? Wouldn’t you rather have voter-owned elections than special-interest owned elections? Isn’t it time that we had true democracy in Texas? Fred Lewis is an attorney and is president of Campaigns for People, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that supports state campaign finance reform. Food, continued from page 25 trigger the production of unwanted genesdoes not deserve a propaganda war remains unclear. Instead, Pringleperhaps overly inspired by Beyer and Potrykusdecides to trust the producer’s intentions. He ends his yellow bean chapter with a suggestive non-sequitur about an Ethiopian grain called tef. An American biologist named Wayne Carlson brought tef to the United States after working for the Ethiopian government in the 1970s. He currently grows it in Idaho and Oregon to sell to the Ethiopian community in America. Many predict that tef will one day take off due to its effectiveness as a wheat flour substitute for those who are allergic to wheat. And if it does? “Carlson,” Pringle writes, “says he has no plans to use his tef plant certificate to challenge the Ethiopians if there should suddenly be an international teffad.”The implication is a long shot, but it’s evident what Pringle is trying to say: The potential is there for biotechnology, plant hunting, genetic modification, and agribusinessall this stuff that we’ve always distrustedto serve both humanitarian and profitmaking interests. Nice idea but, for now at least, it’s just too much to swallow. James McWilliams is busy trying to think of a title for his book about early American food. 8/29/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 27