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Then the campaign really began to get colorful. It began with an election-night exchange between the mayor and the councilman broadcast for the city’s edification. “Get ready, baby, get ready, McConn snarled. “Have you been drinking, mayor?” Macey responded. It was all downhill from there. Although both candidates promised to address the issues in the ensuing two weeks, it proved to be a long, tiresome fortnight for Houstonians. Macey and McConn paid scant attention to the pressing issues of a sky-rocketing crime rate, mass transit, inadequate city services and police protection, annexation, and flooding. The issue they addressed was mainly whose ad campaign maligned the other. In a nonpartisan municipal election, McConn’s people pushed cards in black precincts saying a Republican would close the doors to city hall. McConn, a self-styled middle-of-the-road Democrat took exception to one of Macey’s direct mailouts to Republicans, in which the word “Republican” appeared 11 times. Macey claimed his ad showing McConn at a cash register spending taxpayers’ money carelessly was just that; McConn said it was a one-armed bandit and was dirty pool. Macey said his ad with dice coming up nake-eyes every time was a comment on Houston’s dicey condition under McConn’s mismanagement; McConn saw it as a comment on his Las Vegas gambling trip. When the two of them actually avoided personal attacks on one occasion, it made headlines in the. Houston Chronicle: “McConn, Macey stick to election issues during radio debate.” During all this, Leonel Castillo steadfastly refused to endorse either of them. “After that [election night] performance, I don’t feel I can ask my people to support either one of them,” he said. Castillo does plan to stay active in local politics, and early on said he would run again for mayor in 1981. But he has recently answered questions about running again more circumspectly. “Oh, I might do that, but I realize now that it’ll take more money and time.” He may not have to wait two years, if Noble Ginther’s hunch proves correct. Ginther, who announced early for the mayor’s race this year but then withdrew for health reasons, speculated just before the election that McConn, if re-elected, would not serve out a full term. Referring to the grand jury and FBI investigations, Ginther said, “My hunch is we’ll be having a special election.” And, as the Observer goes to press, things are heating up again. Jack Key, McConn’s indicted aide, testified before the grand jury on December 3 and then agreed to plead guilty to one of the extortion charges against him. He was sentenced December 10 to a term of seven years, but Canales has not spelled out the terms of the plea bargain. It’s been reported, though, that Key has passed a lie detector test of his allegations of wrongdoing by others at city hall. Now, the new city council By Janice Blue Houston This was supposed to be Year I on the calendar of Houston politics, with the big event dividing before from after being the advent of single-member city council districts. Well. Now that the first elections under the new rules are over and de-, cided, there is some important change to report and even some evidence that incumbency is not sacred. A 20-year incumbent was defeated, and a 22-year incumbent was forced into the first run-off of his career. Three blacks, the first Mexican-American, and the first women ever were elected to Houston’s city council. But the downtown political establishment that has controlled things for years managed to hold the damage to a minimum. It won the first battle last summer when, seeing that it would have to give minorities, liberals, and other outsiders some access to power via single-member districts ordered by a federal court, it slipped in a plan for electing the council from nine geographic districts and five at-large placesnot nearly as farreaching a change as the outsiders had in mind. This plan still scatters minority voting strength and assures the continued underrepresentation of blacks and browns in city politics, and, though a broad-based outsiders’ coalition fought it hard, they lost out to the establishment in an August referendum \(Obs., July 27 Then the campaigns for the November 6 general election began, and most of the outsiders saw themselves losing another battle, the one for money. Even with single-member districts, it still takes money to winmaybe not as muchbut the outcome of the elections proves one thing. Money elects. On November 5 the Houston dailies pUblished the campaign expense reports of the candidates, and it didn’t take a genius to note the prominence of the establishment’s political action committees in the campaign funds of the incumbents and certain anointed newcomers. These published disclosures on election eve eliminated nearly all element of surprise at how things would go the next day. The PACs called the winner or named the front-runner in all but three of the 14 races. In general, the PACs stuck by the incumbents or targeted the safe bets in the new districts. Here’s a rundown. At-large seat 1: An easy victory came to incumbent Jim Westmoreland, who took all the PAC money in this race and 71 percent of the vote. His nearest challenger was Ginia Wright, who had the Harris County Democrats’ endorsement and won a 22 percent share. Wright raised and spent about $5,000 \(compared wasn’t surprised to see big business go along with the incumbent. But she was astounded to see the incumbent endorsed by the labor unions and minority groups. “On their questionnaires, these groups seemed to be looking for the change candidates. Yet they backed the old order,” she says with disappointment. At-large seat 2: This seat was the big win for the outsiders. Eleanor Tinsley, former president of the Houston Independent School District, ousted 70 year-old incumbent Frank Mann in the nastiest of the council contests, but she didn’t do it without money. Mann took the PAC money and raised a total of about $26,000 before November 6, but Tinsley managed to raise more than double that, mostly in relatively small amounts. A third candidate took just enough votes to force Tinsley into a run-off with Mann, who has served on the council since 1959not “since the 1930’s,” as a Chronicle typo suggested. is beyond the time of Frank Mann,” Tinsley said. “After 20 years Mann should be a leader. Instead, he either reacts to crises or puts things off for weeks or months.” Or years. Mann, a former fire commissioner, counts the city ordinance banning wood shingles among his proudest achievements. But he admitted in his own ads that it took him from 1940 to 1979 to get, the council to enact it, and then only after last spring’s Woodway Square Apartments fire, the worst in the city’s history. She was the strongest candidate ever to take on Frank Mann, and she got the endorsements of HCD, the Women’s Political Caucus, and black and Hispanic groupsthough not that of the AFL-CIO \(which endorsed not only Mann, but all Tinsley made good political use of Mann’s shortcomings, including his involvement in the city hall scandals. In late October, she charged that Mann had “falsified” the record of a $3,500 campaign expenditure, which actually went to pay his attorneys in a federal grand jury investigation of a $1,000 gift from THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11