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Dialogue PRIMARY LESSONS There are a couple of factual errors in your article related to the Macias/ Casteel race [“Wrath of the Soccer Moms,” March 24]. Financial figures are also misreported in the “V for Voucher Vendetta” editorial. Total campaign contributions prior to the primary election were approximately $800,000 for Macias, and $400,000 for Casteel, not “about a million” for Macias and $300,000 for Casteel as you have reported. These figures are available to anyone so misreporting them is nothing less than an inexcusable failure to verify. Also, the Macias campaign did not have a “group of young men” or anyone for that matter from Oklahoma, and it is disturbing to our campaign that such things would be listed as fact without verifying them or making any attempt to do so. The statement is simply and completely false. I hope in the future you will give Nathan an opportunity to correct such errors or at least equal space for comment. Adam Bell Political Director Nathan Macias Campaign Dave Mann replies: Adam Bell is correct that state Rep. reported spending $400,000 before the election, not $300,000an error for which we printed a correction in our April 7 issue. As for Macias’ contributions, I reported in the story what many sources had told me: that Dr. James Leininger’s total contributions to Macias would be about $1 million. I haven’t seen any data to contradict that. Final campaign finance numbers are not yet available. I regret that I neglected to call Mr. Bell or the Macias campaign for comment on the allegation that Leininger had paid out-of-state activists to work on the campaign. Although it was a single line in a long story, they deserved a chance to respond. It was an oversight and I have apologized to the Macias campaign. In a subsequent phone conversation, Mr. Bell told me that out-of-state activists did aid the Macias campaign. When I asked if Leininger had paid the workers’ way, Bell said he didn’t know. Mr. Bell was adamant, however, that no one from Oklahoma worked on the campaign. The Casteel campaign claims to have met several young men from Oklahoma who block walked for Macias. Whether the workers are from Oklahoma or another state, however, it’s worth noting that the essence of our reportingthat Leininger paid for out-of-state activists to work on at least two House racesremains unchallenged. ‘TRUTH ABOUT THE MAN’ Dr. Jim Leininger is conservative and is a Republican but the usual dark motives assigned by The Texas Observer to such people just didn’t quite work in the recent piece describing the “Wrath of Soccer Moms.” The fact is, Jim Leininger’s passion in life is helping low-income minority children trapped in a generations-old poverty cycle. Once one understands this truth about the man, the usual menu of pejorative attacks against all things Republican or conservative seems especially inappropriate. His extraordinarily large contributions to challengers were, in his perspective, justified because of the extraordinarily lopsided influence of teacher’s unions on elected officials who, by all rights, should be leading the charge to rescue children from decades of failure by public schools in the poorest districts of Texas. The Texas Observer is, of course, free to argue with his goal of allowing poor parents some of the same educational opportunities for their children as those enjoyed by the wealthy but would better serve its readers by refraining from assigning him dark motives that are simply off the mark. His political contributions are, in reality, a fraction of the money he continued on page 20 44,4/1. APRIL 21, 2006 TheTexas Observer FEATURES THE BEST IDEA THEY WON’T 6 TALK ABOUT Why a state income tax might save you money and improve public schools. No, really. by Dave Mann SHARP IDEAS? 8 Gov. Rick Perry and John Sharp get down to business with a new tax plan. by Paul Sweeney DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE 2 EDITORIAL 3 Divine Intervention POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE 4 DATELINE 10 Corpus Christi Coastal Controversy by Tim Eaton MOLLY IVINS 14 WWTD: What Would Tom Do? JIM HIGHTOWER 15 Defense. com COMMENTARY 16 DeLay Ja Vu by Andrew Wheat BOOKS & CULTURE POETRY 21 by Robert Burlingame HE CANNES DO IT 22 by Josh Rosenblatt FAMILY SECRETS 24 by Rebecca Markovits WAL-MART TRILOGY 26 by Clay Smith AFTERWORD 30 Brokeback Island by James E. McWilliams Cover by Matt Omohundro 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER APRIL 21, 2006