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He’d fight for the reds Excerpt from one of Welch’s radio ads, presented as a conversation between two typical Houstonians: “They’ve got folks on the ballot here in Houston who say in advance that they won’t take a loyalty oath if they’re elected. One of them is even more specific. He says if there were war between the United States and Russia, he’d fight for the reds!” “Oh, you’re talking about that woman and those guys that call themselves socialists. Well, I don’t know how much of a threat they are. I’m more worried about Freddie, who beats around the bush when you ask him if he’s going to keep police Chief Short on the job.” “Um, seems to me there’s a real threat which ever way you look at it. Whether you’re a Marxist or you’re soft on law enforcement, it adds up to trouble. There’s no security for the citizens if you turn the city over to the radicals. But these guys who come up with the sweet talk about the police being too tough are equally bad in my book.” is an absurdly young city the casual observer would estimate possibly three people over 60 in the entire metropolitan area. But Hofheinz also comes on as somehow un-Texian, a sin that also plagued George Bush. For example, he goes on walking tours as a regular campaign feature. Shades of John Lindsay. Hofheinz is careful to point out that he got the idea from Florida’s Sen. Lawton Chiles, who trekked across his state in an election bid. Nonetheless, Houston is one Of the most car-oriented cities on earth. You can meet more people by getting stuck for one day in five o’clock traffic on the Gulf Freeway than you can in weeks of hiking around Houston. While Welch is trying to make Herman Short THE issue in the race, Hofheinz is trying to make ethics and clean government THE issue. The results occasionally startle Hofheinz’ old friends. They see him on television coming on like Mr. Clean and wonder what ever happened to of Fred, who always cussed like a top sergeant. “But never in polite company,” says Hofheinz with a grin. Hofheinz also managed to win himself a Barefoot and Pregnant Award from the Houston chapter of NOW \(National television reporter asked Elizabeth Hofheinz how she liked having a husband in politics. At which point Hofheinz stepped over, put a protective arm around 10 The Texas Observer the little woman and said, “I speak for my wife.” He’s been apologizing for it ever since. “Honestly, she asked me to talk for her,” Hofheinz claims. “She said she didn’t want to answer any questions.” The NOW women proceeded to tail Hofheinz around at his appearances, bugging him about the incident. He finally told them, “I’ll be glad to support Women’s Lib if you can get me a date with Germaine Greer.” They were not amused. On the other hand, Welch has probably never heard of Germaine Greer. Hofheinz is an ex-debating champion and it shows. He fields questions with a godawful earnestness “He’s so sincere, it’s depressing,” was the reaction of Mitch Green, Pacifica radio newsman. Hofheinz looks his auditor directly in the eye, leans forward when emphasizing, pokes his forefinger when. making a point, and fills the room with his unexpectedly deep voice. Articulatissimo, but not a whole lot of fun. Whereas Welch offers his own brand of joy for observers. Should he lose the run-off, reporters will miss his Monday morning press conferences, where: 1z= the favorite shuck is the wander-in. The :last wanderer-in was from the police officers’ association and he was terribly sorry, see, he didn’t even know there was a press conference going on, he hadn’t meant to interrupt, he just happened to have a Letter from the association with him, and, well, it sure wasn’t a letter of endorseillent, because the police can’t endorse, y’know, but it just said what a fine job they all thought Mayor Welch had done and, gosh, he sure hadn’t meant to interrupt. Vile canardwise, Welch is way out in Hofheinz was sleeping with all his Mafia. Now A. and B. have tended to cancel one another out, but the Mafia money rumor is fitting in nicely. You see, if Herman Short has kept the Mafia out of Houston and the Mafia wants to get into Houston then they’ve got to get rid of Herman Short and since Louie Welch won’t fire him, the Mafia has got to get rid of Louie Welch and here’s Freddie not saying if he will or if he won’t fire Short and … “Personally, I think the Mafia is into cost effectiveness and knows damn well it would be cheaper to just shoot Louie,” said one cynic. A recent visit to Welch’s morgue-like campaign headquarters provided intriguing evidence on Jim Edmonds’ contention that Welch’s campaign is being run primarily by the helping hands of volunteers, “little people,” who are grateful to the mayor for the splendid job he has done. The volunteers in the office on that afternoon were a very elderly gentleman who lives in a rest home and says he is for all incumbents, an employee of the city Aviation Department, who said he spends three to five hours a day working for Welch’s campaign, and four students from South Texas Junior College, who were offered a deal by a government teacher do a research paper or spend 12 hours working in a campaign. One of the students, a police science major, explained they had chosen to work for Welch because, “We don’t want a change of police chief.” Hofheinz’ office, by contrast, is a chaotic joint, reminiscent of Gene McCarthy’s headquarters during the height of the Children’s Crusade. The results of the Welch-Hofheinz run-off will be of statewide political interest. It is the first major election here in which the 18to 21-year-olds have participated and it is believed that the young vote was key in forcing a run-off. According to Countdown ’72, the voter registration outfit, 60,000 of the 90,000 eligible young voters in Harris County are now registered. Both Houston papers reported a heavy young-vote turnout on Nov. 20. And if Hofheinz wins the run-off, it will solidify the black-brown-white moderate-liberal coalition in the state’s largest city that was first seen in last year’s school board elections. In addition, this is the first time one of the many politicians connected with Frank Sharp has had to face the voters since the scandal broke. We shall see whether an ungrateful electorate is sharper than a serpent’s tooth. M.I. VISIT THE TRIO HAIR LTD. Barbara, Mr. Parker, Mr. Jim Award-winning expert hair stylists 2411 Richcreek 454-0984 Also specialists for hair singeing, for split ends and shag cuts