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JULY 30, 2004 DIALOGUE FEATURES DEPARTMENTS BOOKS 6 THE CULTURE Texas Observer BANKROLLING BELTWAY BADGES 4 Meet the Law Enforcement Alliance that violates the law with IRS impunity by Frank Smyth DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 Got Frame? OPEN FORUM 8 Three Campaign Reform Myths by Fred Lewis OPEN FORUM 9 Is the Party Over? by Susan Hays POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 12 MOLLY IVINS 14 Molly’s Fans and Foes Weigh In JIM HIGHTOWER 15 Just Because They Could LAS AMERICAS 16 Haiti After the Coup by Alan Pogue POETRY 21 by Susan F Bash by Jack Ridl SHOUT OUT 22 by Char Miller THE VIEW FROM DOHA 24 by David Theis DO YOU SPRECHEN SPANGLISH? 26 by Steven G. Kellman AFTERWORD 31 Bushword Puzzle by Jim Hightower \(From Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush Cover Illustration by Doug Potter COMEBACK.ORG? What a beautifully written article. I clicked a link to Molly Ivins, and found this. Wow!! Just an incredibly comprehensive, informative, and even take on post2000 Al Gore. A surprise to find, and a pleasure to read. John Demarest San Francisco, CA Regarding your “Deconstructing Al” thought it was a BRILLIANT piece of writing! Wow. William Benware Miami, FL Thank you for this thoughtfully written editorial. This is the Al Gore that I saw and heard when I listened to his entire speeches on C-Span. I was always amazed by the media spin and was often left wondering if they heard the same speech. How could my reaction be so totally different? It became apparent throughout the election that Al Gore was being bullied by the media. I still tear up when I think about the 2000 “election” and what should have been. People are saying that election 2004 is the most important election in our lifetime. I wholeheartedly disagree. Election 2000 was the most important. If Al Gore were in the White House as the people intended, then we wouldn’t be in this mess \(internationally and at I cannot vote for Kerry; nor can I vote for Bush. Kerry put his rubber stamp of approval on so many of Bush’s policies. How can he be part of the solution when he’s part of the problem? Furthermore, we needed one senator to step-up-to-the-plate and sign House members’ request for an investigation into the election, and the votes would not have been certified. Instead, Kerry told us to “move on” and “quit crying in our teacups.” Al Gore chose not to run in 2004, and I’ve had to accept that. But, when I vote for president, I want to know that I’ve chosen someone whom I have full faith could take us out of this mess. My vote is still with Al Gore, and I intend to put my pen to the ballot and do just that. Mavis Kelley Grand Forks, ND REAGAN ESQUE I think you forgot to mention how Reagan intentionally started the downslide of the middle class by eliminating PATCO, the airline traffic controllers sure if Reagan weakened the penalties, which basically legalize firing people who try to unionize workplaces. You also forgot to give him credit for the savings and loan debacle. Peter Turowski Via e-mail FINALLY, CLARITY The article titled “Vouchers Beached” in the June 4 issue of your magazine really touched a soft spot. I have been trying to explain to my colleagues about the positive and negative sides to vouchers without success. However, this article finally discussed use of minority organizations as a front for a broader business goal. Thank you and keep up the good work. Erika Davila Via e-mail BUSHWHACKED IS TERRIFYING I have just finished reading Bushwhacked. I must say that I am scared as hell. Given the material that the authors have presented in the book and what I have read since its publication, the implications are enormous. This current administration will stop at nothing to remain in power, and I fear that our next election could be in grave danger of an even bigger travesty than what we saw in 2000. I don’t know what else to say other than I am doing all I can to get people that I know fired up and involved and planning to show up November 2 to cast a vote for John Kerry. If the Republicans win the White House and retain control of both houses, in four years we will not recognize this country. Thank you for putting all this information together in one book. I will pass continued on page 30 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7/30/04