Archer decided to run, he says, when
he was approached by a committee that
thought he was the best candidate to beat
Eckhardt. "Most of the district has been
unhappy for some time," says Billy Allen.
"Eckhardt constantly votes against the
district. He votes against the oil and gas
industry and that is a vote against jobs for
Archer has accused Eckhardt of being
out of touch with his district and voting
with the Eastern states against the Sunbelt. "That is a ridiculous charge" Lower
replies. "This is a working person's district and Eckhardt has been a leader in
Congress in working persons' and con
sumer issues and job protection. His AFL-
CIO rating of 93% reflects that."
Lower says that Eckhardt is anti-
deregulation because Congress just won't
buy it. He continues to search for an alternate way of protecting Texas' oil.
Although Breakthrough made numerous attempts to find out Archer's position on women's issues, our calls to his
headquarters were never returned. Billy
Allen was unable to give any answers for
her candidate, even on such a basic issue
as the ERA.
Eckhardt has been a strong supporter
of women's issues. He is behind the ERA
and extension of the time limit for ratification, although his Republican opponents are not. Wynn Norris feels, "Women
are better protected under the constitution. I'm afraid that out of spite, women
will be made subject to the draft." Nick
Gearhart is "not satisfied with it in its
present form. I would like to see a revision."
Eckhardt believes that reform of rape
and homosexuality laws are state issues.
Gearhart aggrees with him on homosexuality, while Norris comments, "I don't believe anybody should be persecuted, but I
would want some restriction. I don't
think homosexuals should be able to
adopt children because their behavior is
not normal and shouldn't be allowed to
Both Republican candidates feel the
rape law should be revised but agree that
the vicitm's past sexual experience should
be admissable in court. "I feel it might be
restricting the individual's rights," says
Norris, not to allow such evidence.
"District 8 is made up of families who
must have two persons working to live,"
Lower points out. "That is why the Congressman has always supported child-care
with fees adjustable to the family income." Gearhart and Norris also support
child-care, which Gearhart calls "a must."
Norris adds, "it will overcome a definite
lack of opportunity that exists in society,
especially for single-parent families."
"I feel abortion, under most circumstances, should be an illegal act, because I
believe it is killing an individual," says
Norris. "The only time I think it's OK is
if a woman's life is in danger. With effective family planning and encouragement-
of vasectomies, we wouldn't need abortions."
Gearhart supports abortion in cases of
rape and incest but feels, "There are
many unanswered questions about abortion. If uncontrolled, it might contribute
to the dehumanization of women."
Eckhardt has voted in favor of federally-funded abortions for poor women and
Lower says he "supports the Supreme
Court decision and any legislation within
Both Gearhart and Eckhardt believe
that pregnancy should be treated as a
temporary illness. Norris says, "Women
should have job protection but not paid
leave, unless a woman was widowed while
she was pregnant."
All the candidates agree that women
have been discriminated against in jobs,
voting, wage reform and credit. Gearhart
points out that "the worst discrimination
of all is the arrest of prostitutes and not
Both Republicans believe that dangerous jobs and those which require physical
strength are more suited to men but add,
"it's up to the choice of the woman." ,
Most of Eckhardt's staff are women, in
including his administrative and legislative
aides. "He believes women can do any
job," says Lower, pointing out that
"throughout his structure, women occupy every position. For example, we have
one male caseworker and one female.
There is a good representation of minorities and salaries are equal."
Neither Norris nor Gearhart has a paid
staff, but Gearhart states that he "absolutely, positively will have women (on his
staff) although I don't want a quota system because I think it's degrading."
"I feel that women with equal qualifications have been relegated to clerical
positions in Congress," Norris says. "Statistically they make much less than the
men. I don't believe sex should enter into
qualifications. My staff will have women
in positions of authority with pay and
salary commensurate with males."
While Eckhardt would support implementation of the Title IX legislation,
Norris would not. "I feel girls would be
pushed into things they are not capable
of," he says. Gearhart doesn't see anything wrong with Title IX, but is concerned about sports. He told Breakthrough, "We shouldn't go overboard on
Of all the candidates polled, Gearhart
alone would agree to involuntary sterilization, "in the case of a 26-year-old woman with a ten year old mentality and
only if it was a court ruling."
Although Gearhart did not like the
National Women's Conference, "because
it was run in an elitist manner," Eckhardt
approved in principle. "He did feel that
the funding was too much for one faction," Lower says. "The Congressman
feels the very nature of federal funding
means all sides should have total representation."
Eckhardt's liberal voting record has
(continued on page 26)
FOR COUNTY JUDGE
It's an election year and Feminism is once again immensely popular.
You've surely noticed the large number of political candidates rushing
to join our ranks, eager to proclaim their support for women's rights,
vowing they've always cared. Unfortunately, when the political dust
settles, too often the rhetoric disappears, the token gestures cease,
and the concern evaporates.
Luckily, there is an exception this year in the race for County Judge.
Shawn Casey is a candidate whose commitment preceded his
campaign and whose present statements are backed by past
actions. Shawn's involvement with feminist activities goes back four
years. He has raised funds for and promoted issues that we all
Shawn's support is not an election-year phenomenon. For that
reason, those of us who support and work for women's rights, in every
year and all seasons, urge your support for Shawn Casey for County
Judge in the Democratic Primary, May 6.
Shawn Casey has earned that support.
Yours for equality,
Dr. Nikki Van Hightower
Pol adv pd for by Shawn Cotey tor County Judge Bob Co»ey Jr
urer P O Box 61171 Houston Tenos 77208 Labor Donated
Justice of the Peace
Precinct 5, Position 2
Democratic Primary Unopposed
• Native Houstonian
• Practicing Attorney
• Fully Certified & Commissioned
Law Enforcement Officer
Paid for by Michael D. Peck Campaign, 6107 Hummingbird, Houston, Tx 77096, Marvern D. Lusky, Treas.