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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 1977
Pages 9 and 10
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 1977 - Pages 9 and 10. October 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 10, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2779/show/2771.

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 1977). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 1977 - Pages 9 and 10. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2779/show/2771

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, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 1977 - Pages 9 and 10, October 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 10, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/2779/show/2771.

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, Vol. 2, No. 9, October 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date October 1977
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.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Pages 9 and 10
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_532i.jpg
Transcript Mayoral candidates Class photos DIANE SARGE "I've never met a pay roll, but I've tried to live on one." A socialist, she'd fight corporate "rip-offs." LARRY ROBINSON A successful young entrepreneur, he'd run the city in a business-like manner. ALLEN VOGEL "Our position on human rights is well known." A libertarian, he'd boost freedom by dismantling the bureaucracy. MANUEL VELASCO He's a middle-aged Mexican- American with deep family roots in the state. NOBLE GINTHER "I'm not a politician," he says in the slick commercial prepared by the race's best professional staff. OVIDE DUNCANTELL "If I win, it'll be the last time the police department is an issue in the mayor's race." JIM McCONN He's running because he'll be Houston's next great mayor. But who's the last one? BETTE GRAHAM WHITE i She's running because "it's about time" the city had a woman mayor and to bring the churches into government. DICK GOTTLIEB He's running because he ran last time. "I'm going to do this thing until I do it right." Class of 77: Who's most likely tosucceed? FRANK BRISCOE He's running because he's convinced he'll win. He's spending more than $500,000 just to make it right. ARTHUR E. ABREGO God told him to run and gave him his position on the ballot . . . but didn't mention where he'll finish. DANA McNATT He's a Nazi. Enough said. PAGE 8 OCTOBER 1977 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH By Sam E.J. Akers It's enough to make you lose faith in democracy. The city's problems and differences are as abundant as ever. We've had a dash of good ol' Texas mud slinging. But the 1977 mayor's race is still somehow boring. Listening to the major candidates, you'd think the main . issue is who is really bankrupt. Why, the Chronicle didn't even bother to run its endorsement editorial on the front page. With 12 official candidates in the field, never before have so many offered so little. Few specific solutions to the real problems of the city have been suggested, much less debated. Even the virtual nonexistence of mass transportation has produced little more than platitudes about needing a "system." Only the police department, perhaps, has been a first-class campaign issue. The problem of insufficient citizen control has been difficult to ignore after several weeks of front page news about the Torres case. Former officers who had custody of a rowdy, young Joe Campos Torres the May night he was beaten and drowned in Buffalo Bayou, were convicted of a misdemeanor and now face federal indictments. But, as the master of reruns, Dick Gottlieb, pointed out, the gendarmes have been an issue in every city election in the last 20 years at least. And the answers are always the same. Citizen review boards, police commissioners, more training, higher pay, the beat system, more sub-stations. But nothing ever happens. Careful plodding, persistence and diligence seem to be the strategy of today's politicians. Never mind inspiration, creativity and substance. That may win votes, but the idea is not to lose any. Keep the rhetoric vague and general, avoid commitments. Noble Ginther, who has the most professionally polished campaign of the dozen, sums it up in a campaign brochure which says Hous- tonians want a mayor with "No axes to grind. No political ambitions to further. No commitments that would color his judgement." In short, a blank page. So it's not surprising that the front runner is the candidate who lies lowest of all. Or that the Chronicle would endorse him because he "has stayed free of the controversies." In fact, Frank Briscoe is maintaining such a low profile he's often mistaken for Tom Taylor's campaign manager. Tom Taylor is actually Briscoe's campaign manager, but he has been making far more speeches than his boss, even to the point of filling in for him at such prestigious candidate forums as the League of Women Voters' and the Junior Chamber of Commerce's. It's so bad Jane Ely, the Post's political reporter, could write in a front page story on Sunday that Taylor "always says he doesn't know where Briscoe is— just that he had a prior commitment." Frank Briscoe is a cousin of mild-mannered Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, and that may be good enough reason not to vote for him. While the other contestants haven't exactly zeroed in on nifty remedies for the city's woes, they do at least emphasize that we have some real problems-the police, disharmony in the fire department, inequitable taxation, streets in disrepair, pollution, crime, friction among the classes, races and sexes . . . Frank Briscoe's message is entirely different. Taylor says if elected he'll "maintain the quality of life we have now." Bad News For Women Briscoe's election would be bad news for women. He opposes having a city women's advocate. "The Council and the mayor represent all the women of an aide explained. And no one has ever accused Briscoe of being overzealous about affirmative action. Any way you slice it, this election is not one to boost the morale and optimism of feminists. Of the two other major candidates, Jim McConn also opposes continuing the women's advocate post, and Noble Ginther sounds like he can't decide. Only two of the candidates are women. Neither stands much of a chance. Briscoe did manage to make an appearance himself at one function Breakthrough attended — his official campaign kick-off at Bavarian Gardens Sept. 12. "The signs are extremely favorable that I will win this campaign," he told his subdued faithful followers. He told them he would be a good crime fighter as mayor, as he had been as Harris County district attorney from 1961 to 1966. Then he stepped down from the platform to mingle with his fans. No throngs pressed Frank Briscoe's flesh, though. People walked up a few at a time and politely shook hands. The men mostly wore coats and ties even though they were outside, many sitting at picnic tables. The women wore dresses or polyester pant suits. There were only a couple of blacks and no Mexican-Americans in the crowd. All the long hair was neatly styled. If one did not recognize Briscoe it would have been impossible to separate him from the clean-cut, executive-looking group. This may be both his strength and his weakness. He is a lot like the mass of conservative to moderate, upper middle class WASPs who almost snatched the mayor's seat for him from Fred Hofheinz two years ago. His television commercials show him going to church with his family, "taking time out from his busy schedule" to attend a son's football game, and burning the midnight oil to show what a hard working mayor he'll be. Houston is a city of great middle class prosperity and although nobody seems to be honestly excited about Briscoe (even Briscoe, apparently), he's the safe candidate for this formidable group. But he's also the Mr. Blah of a blah campaign, and the voters may just yawn and pass him by. But probably not without a run-off. Briscoe is convinced he will win. Asked how much the campaign will cost, an aide said, "It was originally budgeted at $500,000, and that's all we can say about that." If there must be a run-off, Briscoe wants to run against Noble Ginther. Noble Ginther wants to be the Jimmy Carter of Houston. He is a political novice and proud of it. "We've seen politics get in the way too often," he says. Few people had ever heard of him two months ago, when "Ginther Mayor" billboards began sprouting around town with a full color picture of the candidate leaning on a fence rail, wearing a plaid shirt with an open collar. (You suspect he was wearing jeans.) Taking a page out of Carter's book, Ginther began campaigning early. He held a news conference Sept. 2 to discuss the police department. "I think the macho trip has been part of our problem," he said. Like Carter, Ginther has put together a top-flight professional, media-wise crew including Bob Heller and campaign manager Bud Hadffeld, who has himself run for mayor. Ginther is a classic "unknown quantity." But, as with Carter, the came-from-nowhere theory is to a certain degree the naive product of mass media simplicity. Carter had been governor of a state (and crowned the epi tome of New South politics during his reign by a Time magazine cover story), a state senator, a school board member and so on when he "came from nowhere" to run for president. Ginther is a millionaire and a son of a millionaire, a lawyer and well acquainted in the oil and gas business (he admits his friends in oil are helping foot the bills). And in Houston, that's coming from somewhere. Ginther says his campaign will cost about $200,000 and that some $50,000 of it will be his own money. But he has reportedly borrowed heavily beyond that, more than he had planned. Despite his background, Ginther has emerged as the most liberal of the biggies. And he at least has tried to discuss specifics. But occasionally that has gotten him in trouble. He said he would seek a $500 million bond issue for street repair but backed off when some municipal finance experts doubted the city could float that big an issue, much less do it without a tax increase as Ginther claimed. And his proposal to place a ceiling on the amount a piece of property could be revalued for the tax rolls each year is illegal under the Texas constitution. But Ginther's real message is that he is not one of those nasty old politicians. "You're not supposed to mention other people's names," he said after uttering Briscoe's name at a news conference, "You see I'm still a novice at this." At the League of Women Voters' forum, he admitted he is now a politician but coyly corrected himself when he used the politician's royal "we." Ginther's official position is that he would retain the post of women's advocate and he tries to steer away from the topic by saying it's a shame we have to have one. Then he talks about other groups that could use an advocate, like the elderly. He openly admits he doesn't particularly like to talk about the women's advocate. The candidate with whom Ginther has locked horns the most for a run-off spot, Jim McConn, shares Briscoe's view that the City Council and mayor should be advocates for all citizens. In other words, no women's advocate in his administration. It becomes obvious that whichever major aspirant wins, the women's advocate post will certainly not enjoy the stature and power it did under Hofheinz, especially during his second (and last) term. continued on p. 10 HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH OCTOBER 1977 PAGE 9