Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
Download Folder

0 items

Houston Breakthrough 1979-10
Page 6
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
Houston Breakthrough 1979-10 - Page 6. October 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 12, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3062.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(October 1979). Houston Breakthrough 1979-10 - Page 6. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3062

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1979-10 - Page 6, October 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 12, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/3084/show/3062.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title Houston Breakthrough 1979-10
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date October 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 28 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 6
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_554af.jpg
Transcript CLASS OF 79 Who's most likely to succeed? LOUIS MACEY by Gabrielle Cosgriff A patient goes to a doctor complaining of memory lapses. "When did you first notice this problem?" asks the doctor. "What problem?" asks the patient. As Nixon reassured Eisenhower, on the recently-released White House tapes, "people's memories are very short." Which works out fine for politicians, not so fine for voters. Last summer's gas crunch, for example (remember last summer's gas crunch?) was manna from heaven for Houston Mayor Jim McConn. In May, with his image badly tarnished by the Las Vegas gambling fiasco antf the Jack Key kickback allegations, McConn said he would not undertake an "unwinnable" re-election campaign. (That's a startling admission for a politician to make several months before an election. Most of them have a hard time conceding even after all the votes are counted.) But then our attention was diverted from the scandal at City Hall to the scramble for gas. Today, the gas crisis has evaporated, temporarily anyway, and we can drive down the freeway without anxiously scanning the horizon for green flags. Which gives us time to read the billboards, which remind us: "We already have a good mayor—Jim McConn." Politicans, particularly the incumbents, rely heavily on the short memories of the voters. This makes for campaigns which are dictated by events rather than issues. "Improving the quality of life" is the most popular campaign promise this year. When pressed for specifics, this boils down, most frequently, to fixing the potholes. As McConn said last May, "Unless the water-main breaks and the potholes are fixed come November, there'll be somebody new in that chair. . ." Well, it's November and the potholes aren't fixed. Jack Woods, political commentator and gadfly, explained it this way: "You know why a dog has fleas? It's for the same reason that politicians leave potholes in the streets. A dog has fleas to keep its mind off being a dog. Politicians leave these potholes in the streets to keep the people's minds off all the corruption and stealing that's going on . . ." Jim McConn This brings us to The Dark Cloud Over City Hall, which, like all clouds, is rather murky and difficult to grasp. Charges of possible bribery, extortion and campaign expenditure violations are being investigated by a federal grand jury. McConn and incumbent council members have testified in the investigation, which was triggered by extortion charges filed against Jack Key, the city's former purchasing agent. U. S. Attorney J. A. "Tony" Canales has come under fire for allegedly suspending the investigation until after the election. (Canales did not suspend the investigation. He announced that the investigation would continue except for appearances by witnesses.) Noble Ginther, who withdrew from the mayoral race because of health reasons, accused Canales of "ill-considered political actions" and of casting "a dark cloud over our entire city election procedure." He fired off a letter to President Carter and U.S. Attorney Benjamin Civiletti, calling Canales' action "totally reprehensible," and last week filed a suit against Canales. McConn and council member Louis Macey, also a candidate for mayor, agreed with Ginther. McConn said Canales should "either indict or clear" those under investigation, while Macey accused Canales of "a terrible disservice" to the city council and the people of Houston. Leonel Castillo, who resigned his job as Immigration and Naturalization Commissioner to run for mayor, was more reserved in his assessment. "I do not want to interfere with any decision by the U.S. attorney," he said, "since I do not know the facts upon which he based his decision." He did remark, however, that "the matter stinks." State Rep. Lance Lalor, who is running for city council, feels that Canales and the F.B.I, are "absolutely convinced there has been a lot of shady dealings in the city, but they're very frustrated because they can't prove what they know to be true." Ginther speculated that McConn, if re-elected, would not serve out a full term. "My hunch is we'll be having a special election," he said. "It's like Watergate," said Billie Carr, "godmother" of Texas liberals. "We're not going to know until after the election." But some things we do know. One of which is that McConn has done little to inspire confidence that he has been "the women's advocate" he promised when he took office. "McConn has done for women what paint-by-numbers did for art," said Houston feminist Barbara Cigainero. Jo Stewart, social worker, felt McConn "didn't do a damn thing for women." "As a women's advocate, a potato farmer from Idaho would have been more effective," claimed Renee Rabb, a former NOW chapter president. Macario Ramirez, a leader in the Mexican-American community, gave McConn about the same rating as did feminists. "His performance has been very poor in the Mexican-American community," said Ramirez. "He has a horrendous insensi- tivity to the community in terms of services, political appointments. . . It's just lip service, nothing of substance." Lance Lalor, in his assessment, damned McConn with faint praise. "He's a nice, well-meaning person who hasn't seriously hurt the city," he said. "He's excellent at kissing babies. If we had a weak mayor form of government, McConn would be excellent for the job." But we have a strong mayor form of government, which explains to a large extent the support that McConn still has from the black community, at least from the leadership. It is a fact of political life in Houston that black support is necessary to be elected mayor. Hofheinz had it. Briscoe didn't. McConn has it for several reasons. "Black folks in part want to vote for a winner," said Varee Shields, editor of the Forward Times, "and they don't feel Castillo can win." "McConn will get more black votes than he deserves," Billie Carr predicted. The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) has endorsed McConn. The Harris County Council of Organizations (HCCO) did not. BOLD supported McConn in 1977 and was rewarded by city contracts channeled through Community Development. HCCO, which appears seriously divided, split three ways on the mayor's endorsement. McConn apparently got the most votes, Macey next and Castillo a distant third. Popular wisdom has it that McConn, in spite of his well-publicized adversities, still has the "big money" support. In a generally low-spending campaign, he has a budget of about $400,000-more than any other candidate. He is keeping a low profile, tending to affairs of state, while his son, Jim Jr., represents him at most screenings and forums. Louis Macey But no one can accuse contender Louis Macey of keeping a low profile. The self-styled Lone Ranger and maverick on city council has galloped into the race. His Halloween-colored billboards promise a "better quality Houston" if we elect him mayor. Macey's campaign budget is slightly lower than McConn's, about $350,000, and he plans to spend half of that on media advertising. (His TV ads use the William Tell Overture to complement the Lone Ranger theme.) Always adept at using the media, Macey lost no time in garnering free headlines by engaging in a mud-slinging match with McConn. {Macey demands proof or apology from mayor. Macey gives McConn ultimatum on apology. McConn, Macey disagree on probe. Mayor says Macey lying; Macey calls mayor 'sick.') But Macey is throwing more than mud as he swims against the tide. He has a very real chance of unseating McConn, particularly if he can force a run-off. Macey, a Republican, has a strong constituency among conservatives. On a KHOU-TV newscast recently, Bill Balleza called Macey "a political powerhouse for suburban housewives—they know they can depend on him to show up at their civic clubs." He has some popularity with blacks because of his fundraising for the United Negro College Fund, and has also done well with blacks in his past city council races. But, as Joe Nolan of the Chronicle pointed out, that support doesn't automatically transfer over to him in the mayor's race. Macey thinks of himself as a minority. "I came from a difficult background," he told Breakthrough. "You don't know what a minority is until you've got big ears, are dark-complected and don't speak Spanish. You're the guy with the big nose on the block, skinny . . . When I said my parents came from Lebanon, they said what is that? "I guess my ego it the thing that drives me (to hold public office)" said Macey. "I heard a preacher say once that you can't serve god until you learn to serve your fellow man." Asked how, as mayor, he intended to serve his fellow women, Macey said: "Without promising any specifics, I think you'd be wonderfully surprised if I could tell you all the good things I have for women—starting with the top of the ticket on a bunch of departments, O.K.?" When pressed for specifics, Macey replied that it is against the law to promise "any employment or thing." But he did assert, "There's no question that I have at least four department heads picked out for women." Leonel Castillo Back home and running for office again, Leonel Castillo is in many ways the candidate to watch. A Mexican-American, Castillo was city controller for two years before taking a Washington appointment to head up the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1977. He resigned that job to run for mayor of Houston. Some observers feel that his absence from Houston could hurt him in terms of name recognition and building a solid base of support. He has had only two months in which to campaign. Nevertheless, he has a respectable $250,000 in campaign funds, due in large part to support from organized labor, who have pledged both people and finances. Liberals, in particular, hold him in high esteem. The Harris County Democrats endorsed him unanimously, as did the Harris County Women's Political Caucus and the Gay Political Caucus. Billie Carr called him "the progressive in the race." "Leonel is the only intelligent, capable, foresighted, scrupulously honest of the major candidates for mayor," said Lance Lalor. But there are problems. Some liberals feel that Castillo is trying to go it alone, seldom asking for advice or taking any. "He's never been a team-player type," said Carr. Some who gave him advice urged him to wait it out two years or run for an at-large seat. "Leonel had to take the chance," said HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH OCTOBER 1979