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Haan International Headquarters Come Visit us for LUNCH! In addition to our organic coffee, pizzas, empanadas, pastries and pies, we now prepare made to order sandwiches, salads, and even black bean gazpacho. 3601 S_ Congress off E. Alpine Penn Field under the water tower check our site for monthly calendar Daily news, history, and lifeways on the bend of the Rio Grande www.borclerhotline coin Box 184 Alpine TX, 79831-0184 432-837-2828 Looking for writers/reporters contact [email protected] KLRU-TV, Austin PBS, creates innovative tetevision that inspires and educates not just in Austin, but throughout all of Texas. KLRU explores politics with Texas Monthly Talks; makes learning fun with The Biscuit Brothers and Central Texas Gardener; and showcases live music with Austin City Limits. Look for these KLRU programs on your local PBS stations. klieu tv and beyond Pis, continued from page 5 Austin conference in early September, he prefaced his remarks by saying, “I am John Sharp. I am from Victoria, Texas, and I’ve been scared of you ever since I met you.” Sharp isn’t on the ballot this election cycle, and that wasn’t the only departure from the IAF’s usual practices. Organizers billed the event not as an accountability session, but as a “legislative issues conference.” Nonetheless, the four main gubernatorial candidates were invited to give short speeches and answer questions. Only Democrat Chris Bell and independent Carole Keeton Strayhorn agreed to run the IAF gauntlet. When Strayhorn, the self-styled, tough-talking grandma, appeared before the group, she promised to support IAF issues ranging from raising the minimum wage, to universal health care for Texas children, to a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Carried away with enthusiasm, Rev. John Bowie of True Light Baptist Church in Houston even gave grandma a hug. After the session, Strayhorn presented a different face when she met with reporters; she criticized the state practice of offering in-state tuition at state colleges to illegal immigrant residents. Bowie’s fellow leaders insisted that he also hug Bell, who appeared the day after Strayhorn. As one said, “Once you hug one, you have to hug them all.” Though the IAF doesn’t endorse candidates, in order to win Bell needs strong support from its roughly 300,000 members, and he embraced their agenda. “You’re my favorite kind of nonpartisan organization,” he told them. When it came to the questions, Bell had all the right answers. Asked whether the immigration debate should involve more than just securing the borders, Bell made a pitch for a. more comprehensive approach. “People talk about building a 20-foot wall,” he said. “Well, all that will do is create an incredible market for 21foot ladders.” The crowd responded by giving Bell a warm reception, and then he was told his time was up. SEPTEMBER 22, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19