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Houston Breakthrough 1980-05
Page 12
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-05 - Page 12. May 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 22, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5514.

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.

(May 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-05 - Page 12. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5514

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 1980-05 - Page 12, May 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 22, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/5534/show/5514.

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.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-05
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 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 12
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_560ak.jpg
Transcript CAMPAIGN '80 THE PRESIDENCY The Democrats BEAUTY CONTEST Who's the fairest of them all? BY VICTORIA SMITH Texas takes its turn in the long-playing national Democratic primaries on Saturday, May 3. But the best-kept secret in town is that the main event is not going to take place in the voting booth, even though voters will have a chance to cast a preference for: James Earl Carter Edward M. Kennedy Uncommitted Rather, it's all happening at the precinct conventions Saturday night after the polls close. At seven-fifteen sharp! Like Florida and its straw poll, Texas will stage a non-binding presidential preference poll, thanks to a surprise move by the State Democratic Executive Committee on March 11. There was no other purpose to that vote, in the opinion of one astute Democratic leader "except to confuse people." The May 3 primary and the parade to the polls is more like a beauty pageant with voters deciding who looks best to them: Senator Ted Kennedy or President Jimmy Carter. The outcome does not affect the selection of delegates and alternates to the August Democratic National Convention, so both Carter and Kennedy camps are setting their sights on those precinct conventions, the first stage of the delegate selection process. "We view the battle to be a precinct convention battle, and we will be fighting for every single delegate in Texas," says Fred Hofheinz, state chair of the Kennedy for President campaign. Billie Carr, progressive liberal leader, Democratic National Committee member and a strong Kennedy backer, calls the May 3 primary or beauty contest "irrelevant. It doesn't win you one single delegate, and the name of the game is to win as many delegates as you can," she says. In Carr's opinion, a primary preference poll, binding or not, doesn't accurately reflect the will of the people. Most voters go to the polls blind, without having discussed issues and candidates with others in their precinct, she feels. "Real grass roots democracy begins at the precinct conventions. [It's] the very basic unit of government where politics start," she says. "Where people get together with their neighbors and hash out the hot issues." (See full text of Carr interview, page 15.) Binding or not, President Carter is expected to be the hands-down winner in the poll, by a 70 to 75 per cent margin, says political analyst Dr. Richard Murray. Still, even Carter supporters express a lack of enthusiasm over a preference poll. "It's of no importance, none whatsoever," Carter organizer Clydia Davenport admits. Davenport runs the Carter/Mon- dale headquarters here and feels the poll could be "downright damaging, since many will think once they've cast their vote in the election booth, that's all they have to do." She says the Carter organization is attempting to educate the electorate on the importance of attending precinct conven tions, "although we're having some difficulty in getting the word out, we have so little money to buy radio time and all." Explaining how democracy-in-action really works Carr says bluntly, "The truth is that everyone is going to fish in the pond where the most fish are, and we're all going to work the hell out of the precincts we think we can win. In predominantly conservative areas, we're going to tip-toe around and hope that the opposition doesn't know where the conventions are, and that we turn our folks out." As committed party Democrats, "we want to know what 'the people' think in November when we have the general election, when the majority of the people vote, but the primary is different," she says. Carr explains that the precinct convention and delegate selection process are "interparty matters, not something that every man, woman and child on the street can participate in unless they are willing to make a commitment to the party." This year Texas Democrats will select 152 delegates and 77 alternates to the Democratic National Convention in August through the convention process not by the primary election ballot (beauty contest). The convention process begins at the precinct conventions the evening of May 3. Here's a brief outline of what to do to participate in your precinct convention: Vote in the Democratic primary (to participate in the convention, you must be a registered voter in your precinct and must vote in the Democratic primary) Be at your polling site by 7:15 p.m., Saturday May 3 Upon arrival, sign in and state your presidential preference (you may also register non- committed) After the election judge calls the meeting to order, a permanent chair and secretary will be elected by a majority vote. The sign-ins are then counted. Any candidate (or uncommitted) receiving 15% of the total sign-ins, may elect delegates to that precinct's senatorial district (or county) convention Saturday May 10. Next, the presidential preference groups will break up into caucuses to elect delegates and alternates for the May 10 convention. On May 10, delegates and alternates will select delegates to the state convention on Friday, June 19 in San Antonio. On June 19, 152 delegates and 77 alternates will be chosen to represent Texas at the Democratic National Convention, August 11-14, at Madison Square Garden in New York. For more detailed information contact Kennedy-for-President headquarters, 4600 Main, 520-0232, or Billie Carr and Associates, 524-5080, or Carter/Mondale headquarters, 2712 S.W. Freeway, 523-3895. That commitment involves going to precinct conventions, participating in debate, exchanging ideas, opinions and gripes with your neighbors, passing resolutions, electing delegates, maybe even serving as a delegate-in short, becoming an activist. Murray sees Houston as a city short on activists. In fact, he says, "the average person in Houston is not even a voter." He predicts a voter turnout of perhaps 120,000 for the Democratic primary, with 6,000 to 10,000 returning for the precinct conventions. Sixty people would constitute a large convention, Murray says. The role of the activists or the shock troops at this point is to dream up popular support for President Carter and Sen. Kennedy in Harris County. Hofheinz says Kennedy has "a great deal of support in the Mexican-American community and we will continue to direct our efforts there." He calls attention to the endorsements Kennedy has received from locals of some key labor organizations-the United Steel Workers, the Machinists and the United Auto Workers. "The labor unions and the Chicanos are the biggest groups we have going for us, besides your run-of-the-mill liberals like me," Carr says. But Scott Pool, Harris County Coordinator for the Carter/Mondale campaign, takes exception to Carr's statement. "If it's true that Kennedy has strong labor support, / haven't seen it," he says, pointing out that the union locals that have endorsed Carter include the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, the Communications Workers of America, the Seafarers, the Operating Engineers, the Carpenters, the Plasterers, the Asbestos Workers and the Marble Workers. "The president's support here is very broad—based," Pool says. "It cuts across the lines of all minority groups, groups which logically would be Kennedy's natur- Victoria Smith is a free lance writer in Houston and former co-editor of Space City newspaper. 12 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH