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Houston Breakthrough Special Election Issue, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1978
Page 25
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Houston Breakthrough Special Election Issue, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1978 - Page 25. April 1978. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 27, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/257/show/248.

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.

(April 1978). Houston Breakthrough Special Election Issue, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1978 - Page 25. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/257/show/248

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 Special Election Issue, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1978 - Page 25, April 1978, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 27, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/257/show/248.

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 Special Election Issue, Vol. 3, No. 4, April 1978
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date April 1978
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL 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 UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
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Title Page 25
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Transcript The Congressional races By Barbara Karkabi District 22 "Gammage knows he's in trouble," a Capitol Hill aide remarked recently to several members of the National Women's Political Caucus. "He knows he's lost liberal support." In spite of that, Bob Gammage still maintains he is a moderate Democrat who is fiscally conservative, but socially progressive. "I am a civil libertarian," he says, "but I believe in freedom—not paternalism." BOB GAMMAGE Disillusioned liberals point out that the man who calls himself a civil libertarian co-authored legislation to resurrect the old House Unamerican Activities Committee-the body that spawned McCarthyism in the fifties. They say Gammage has turned his back on the liberals who supported him when he ran for the state legislature,, and later in his 1976 Congressional race against the ultra- conservative Dr. Ron Paul. Now that Gammage has had his chance in Washington, these liberals point out that his voting record is nearly as conservative as Paul's was. Gammage vehemently disagrees with these allegations. "I was elected with a broad base of support," he says, "not by one political faction, and I didn't go to Congress to represent one group. This is a tough district. It's urban and suburban, agricultural and industrial, and I have tried to represent everyone. I have made mistakes and I apologize for them. But don't forget that what some people think is wrong, might be right in another person's eyes." The stand that's put Gammage in the most hot water with feminists is his support of the Hyde Amendment. He has consistently voted against federal funding of abortions. "I personally feel that abortion is an immoral act," he explains. "Whether it's illegal is another matter. I don't believe in a constitutional amendment to prohibit abortions, but I do believe there should be some restrictions within the Supreme Court decision. Some women have abortions in the ninth month, and I can't go along with that. A time limit should be set up. "I will only approve of federally funded abortions," Gammage adds, "when the mother's life is in danger." However, last December Gammage voted against the Michael Amendment, which allowed use of federal funds for abortion if the life of the mother was in danger, and in cases of rape or incest and long- lasting physical effects. That amendment did pass the house. Of Gammage's three Democratic primary opponents, only Gerald Liedtke is fully behind federal funding for abortions. Mike Richards is unequivically opposed to federal funding. "I know a compromise must be reached," he says, "but I would have to spend hours on my knees to make a decision." George Stewart agrees with Gammage's opinions on funding...but adds, "even though I am personally opposed to abortions, you can't legislate morality." Dr. Ron Paul, who's running unopposed in the Republican Primary, says, "I believe killing is illegal, and I believe pregnancy is a new life. As a gynecologist, I see these babies born crying and then they die. Yes, I think it's murder-what else can it be?" Even though the liberals, blacks, and women are angry at him, Gammage still says he will win the primary. And he's not threatened by any of his opponents. "Richards, of course, has the most money," Gammage says. "But I consider him to be a stalking horse for Ron Paul. He's no democrat. I'll bet if you checked his record, you'd find a Republican." Richards denied that, saying, "I'm not a closet Republican. What you see is what you get." Richards says he fills the vacuum between Ron Paul on the right, and Gammage, who's supported by labor, on the left. "People seem to respond to me as a person because of my character, honesty and integrity," says Richards. And Richards points out that he didn't enter this race to deal with women's issues, but to deal with inflation. Although he has no specific proposals in mind to do that, he says, "I have the broad concepts and will hire people to do the detail work." George Stewart claims to be neither conservative nor liberal. "I approach each issue with common sense," he says. "We have to stop throwing money at the symptoms of problems. Welfare is a good example. We need to provide these people with skills, not an incentive to avoid work." GERALD LIEDTKE Gerald Liedtke calls himself "a grassroots candidate out to beat big business." He says Gammage is a spokesman for the oil and gas industry, and charges, "He supports them down the line." Liedtke says deregulation is a rip-off, and feels the federal government should set a maximum price and regulate it. Liedtke pledges to get behind controversial issues in Congress. He says, "That's the only way people will realize you're not going to waffle. I would like to sponsor consumer legislation and utility rate reforms. But most of all, I want to push some of the IWY resolutions through, especially those relating to child care and pregnancy." Although Gammage insists he's confident he can beat all three primary challengers, he admits to being worried about the November election. He says it's going to be a tough race against "that demagogue" Ron Paul. Paul was in Congress for a year in 1976. He won the seat vacated by Bob Casey, beating Gammage in a special election. Gammage came back to beat Paul in a general election, by only 265 votes. Many observers say Gammage's fear of Paul is what's pushed him so far to the right. Both Liedtke and Gammage support the ERA and its extension, while Richards, Stewart, and Paul are opposed. Stewart says, "more women are against it than in favor. I still have not had anyone tell me where the advantages lie." Paul calls the ERA "economic interference and fundamentally unsound." He asks, "Why are women the only ones it's concerned with?" Revision of rape and homosexuality laws are state matters, according to Gammage and Paul. Stewart and Liedtke support rape law revision, and Liedtke says, "It's about time the laws on homosexuality were changed." Richards and Stewart both say they personally oppose homosexuality, but "don't feel morality should be legislated." However, Richards adds that homosexuality is "a sin and unnatural." Gammage and Liedtke both support strong standards in child care facilities, along with fees adjustable to family income. Gammage has voted in favor of child care legislation, but says it should be handled by the private sector. Paul is opposed to child care, and feels it should be a state issue. "Where does the money come from?" he asks. "It only hurts the people it's trying to help." Pregnancy should be treated like any other temporary illness, Gammage and Liedtke again agree. But Stewart feels, "Pregnancy leave should not be abused. Ten months is too much time to take off and it impedes the maximum production of every individual." Paul declares that pregnancy should be treated the way the individual employer wants to treat it, because "it is his life and his work. If the employees don't like it, they don't have to work there." And Richards says pregnancy is "a controlled factor, unlike cancer which is not planned. Insurance policies don't treat it the same either." Support of Title IX legislation is advocated by Liedtke and Stewart, though the latter adds, "if that's what women really want." Gammage feels the matter shoul "be approached with common sense." Paul and Richards oppose Title IX. "If I were a woman, " Richards says, "I wouldn't like it. Why can't women be happy to be what they are?" Black organizations are critical of Gammage because of the low representation of minorities on his staff. But Gammage says, "I have had three black staff members and two Mexican-Americans. Right now my staff is predominantly female, including one woman legislative aide, three case workers, and my office manager, who also doubles as my secretary." All the candidates have women on their campaign staffs, but only Liedtke has any minority staffers. When Paul served in Congress his staff had more women than men, and he says he even had "one Latin-American gentleman." He says all the salaries were equal, and points out that his campaign manager has always been a woman. Gammage agrees with Stewart and Richards, that there is a physical difference between women and men. "Viva la difference," says the Congressman "I'm glad women are different, but that does not mean that there should be discrimination, which there has been in salaries and job opportunities." "Women are different," Paul maintains. Some call his positions discriminatory, but Paul says, "Men are discriminated against too. That's the nature of a free society." Paul also says some jobs are earmarked for women, "especially topless waitresses and stewardesses." Stewart says, "I don't believe discrimination against women is as bad as some people say." He claims that he would be open about including women on his Congressional staff, "although they must be competent and perform as efficiently as anybody else. I object to being blackmailed into a quota system." Richards basically agrees with Stewart, although he does concede that women have been discriminated against in the areas of pay and credit ratings, and Richards adds: "Women are better suited to secretarial work." Gerald Liedtke is refreshingly different from his opponents. "It should be the goal of women's groups," Liedtke says, "to have a 50 percent parity rate in government jobs. If I'm elected, I will seek out the advice of women's groups in this matter. You only have to look at the number of women in government positions to see that there has been job discrimination, and that it stretches to all levels of society." Of all the District 22 candidates, Ron Paul is the most cynical about the IWY Conference. "Sure it was great to take $5 million in tax money to use for a women's conference," he says. "But why did I have to pay for it? Why don't we have a men's conference and a doctor's conference paid for by the federal government, too?" District 8 In the 8th Congressional District, which includes north and southeast Houston, Baytown, Pasadena and LaPorte, Joe Archer will be running against incumbent Congressman Bob Eckhardt in the Democratic primary. Nick Gearhart and Wynn Norris will be facing each other in the Republican primary. "That's an accusation typical of our opponent's tactics," said Ann Lower, Bob Eckhardt's campaign manager. She was referring to an accusation by Joe Archer's campaign staff that Eckhardt voted for the importation of foreign steel. "If it were true," she points out, "why would the United Steel Workers Association be supporting us?" Archer is running the most aggressive campaign to date to unseat the person who has represented District 8 in Congress for the last 12 years. Eckhardt, although he prefers not to use labels, is known as an old time populist who is progressive on economic issues. He has a political reputation as an environmentalist, consumer advocate and constitutional scholar. Archer, a partner in the labor law firm of Combs, Archer & Patterson, terms himself a moderate Democrat who is conservative on economic issues but liberal on civil rights issues. Billy Allen, his campaign manager, calls Archer a "new liberal." (continued on next page) 24 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH APRIL 1978