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demonstrated that a relatively unknown candidate can run a sophisticated liberal campaign and win big. In this campaign, we saw the emergence of a new coalition between liberals and moderates under the banner of Democratic unity. This coalition could alter the entire balance of Central Texas politics. The days when the right wing could count on carrying moderates because of their fears of radical liberals would be over. The issues of consumer protection, urban planning, the energy crisis, and Watergate may have washed away the Democratic factionalism for as far as one can see into the future which is about as far as the May primaries. It may well be that one of the fundamental changes which has taken place in Central Texas, and in other places as well, is that the voters have become too sophisticated for campaigns based on labels alone. They are more concerned with a candidate’s position on the issues, and even there the voters are more sophisticated. It is possible, though, that polling is even more sophisticated. The ethical question for a poller is whether to give a candidate the benefit of in-depth issue surveys, whether to give a candidate the opportunity to tailor or even distort his stand on “important” questions. To date, liberal candidates have not used issue surveys for such nefarious purposes. In fact, a more important problem for pollers who wish to work for liberal politicians in Texas has been to convince them that such applied social science is fair or even useful. The liberal tends to believe his direct contact with the people is more valuable, not to mention more honorable, in a truly progressive campaign. The poller is still regarded as an adjunct to a manipulative campaign, a “selling” of a candidate. A short special-election campaign is no basis for definite conclusions, but it is at least possible that information from valid surveys can be used for the opposite purpose, to defeat attempts to manipulate voters and to appeal to them on the basis of the issues that matter to therm Texas women politic San Antonio The members of the Texas Women’s Political Caucus got together in San Antonio in mid-August and got it together. The TWPC was born amid factious anarchy in November, 1971. The growing pains of the baby organization continued to show themselves at the Mesquite convention in March, 1972. There was much shrieking and weeping, interminable debates and lots of satisfactorily idiotic scenes. Every beginning political organization suffers from the same kind of shakedown problems, but it’s only when women get together that the press calls such political differences catfights rather than power struggles. BUT NOW THE BABY is showing some phenomenal signs of maturity, and it continues to grow like a snowball headed downhill. “They’re coming out of the woodwork,” marvelled Helen Cassady of Houston. “Women are hungry for this kind of thing.” Depending on who you listen to, and trying to get the optimistic inflation out of the number, membership is now around 1500: up from 150 in two years. There were 503 women registered for the San Antonio convention and about 800 were there for Sissy Farenthold’s keynote address. Differences among caucus members have been partly a matter of style. “I was afraid at the beginning that we were going to be a little too well-dressed and that our minds would be a little buttoned-down too,” said Cassady. Cassady, an activist with the National Women’s Organization, is the antonym of buttoned down. She is a cheerful, raucous person with the gall of a Dick Tuck. “I decided at the first convention that I’d stick with it if they supported the Equal Rights Amendment and woman’s right to control her own body. They okayed the E.R.A. because most of them didn’t know what it meant and we won on the abortion resolution after a bitter fight.” Other differences generally stem from the length of time a woman has been in the feminist movement. \(Five or six years now example, most feminists have no qualms about accepting lesbians as sisters in the movement. But many women new to the movement, even if they have no personal misconceptions about the humanity and rights of lesbians, tend to fret over the public relations impact of supporting them. Two resolutions concerning lesbians were passed in San Antonio. One was a general statement of support and sisterhood, the other a declaration of moral and financial support for a lesbian mother involved in a legal test case to keep her child. The only discussion on the second resolution centered on whether the caucus could afford the financial support and it was decided that the caucus could. One woman did rise to make a somewhat incoherent speech concerning Dean Corll, the Houston mass murderer, and asserting that lesbians might someday molest little girls. A member of the lesbian caucus calmly replied that Dean Corll was a psychopathic maniac who simply happened to be homosexual. Almost no one seemed much interested in the exchange. THERE WERE only two points of serious division. The first was a successful attempt to change the by-laws of the organization so that male members could vote. The change was carried by a narrow margin, but many of the members direfully predicted that men would try to take over the organization as soon as it proved its political power. “I feel sorry for the man who tries,” said Cassady. Those opposed to the measure pointed to the example of black organizations taken over by white liberals in the ’60’s. At present, men are a miniscule minority of the caucus membership. The second battle focused on a resolution to impeach Richard Nixon, which was narrowly defeated. Republicans in the caucus are in a distinct minority \(although a Republican was elected to the majority of the members are liberal or left in their political thinking. In fact, there was probably majority sentiment for impeachment, but the wording of the resolution was unacceptable to many. “Tacky,” sniffed one member. “It was divisive and abusive,” said Jane Wells, member of the State Board of Education. “It used the same kind of rhetoric we have been accusing Nixon of using. I worked the floor against it.” Floor work and some parliamentary maneuvering defeated the resolution and it was interesting to watch the women on both sides of the question learn as they went along about parliamentary procedure and convention politicking. The press coverage given the San Antonio convention was one indication of the kind of progress the TWPC has made. The convention was front-page news in most major state dailies and made the first news section in all of them. That’s a quantum jump from the women’s sections, where TWPC news has resided heretofore. Most of the major dailies sent reporters to cover the doings: the notable exception was the Houston Chronicle, which decided to leave the story to the wires despite the hometown angle in Helen Cassady who has been chairperson since the Mesquite convention. The improved coverage was no accident: considerable skill and energy went into it. Professional public relations women in the caucus donated their time to preparing press kits and setting up facilities. They wooed press honchos in San Antonio and wound up with editorial endorsement from the San Antonio Express. The race for the chairperson post was exemplary and almost pleasant. Jane Hickie, 24, of Austin, defeated Lorey September 7, 1973 5