Jim Mattox Pho to by Sa br in a Ber m ing ha m POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE t/ Speaking at a friendly forum, and saying that “history does not reflect the action of timid souls,” Attorney General Mattox launched into a courthousesquare speech before a group of Mexican American Democrats at Austin’s Guest Quarters Hotel in late October. Mattox’s pulpit-pounding speech could not be characterized as timid. He stressed that it will take $14 million to run for governor in 1990. “I’ve heard Garry Mauro make that silly statement of his: ‘It’s too early to be involved in 1990 politics.’ Well to hell with that,” Mattox roared. “And I’m going to tell him that the first time I see him too. “And I don’t care if Ann Richards says she’s going to run. And I don’t care if Garry Mauro says he’s going to run. . . . The fact is that I’m out here walking around, trying to find out if the troops are going to be with me. . . . We’re asking that, we’re talking to you and saying, ‘If I decide to run for governor, are you going to be with me?’ That’s the issue!” Not so, according to MAD chairman Norberto Salinas. At least not yet. “To talk about the 1990 gubernatorial race is irrelevant. We need to first deal with the Presidential endorsements and don’t plan to do that until January of next year,” Salinas soberly reminded the same group that had heard Mattox’s speech. Salinas, a Hidalgo County Commissioner, who has been trying to Mattox Speaks V Two years is a long time in politics, but as of now it looks as though Attorney General Jim Mattox and State Treasurer Ann Richards will both run for governor of Texas starting two years from now. In addition to her public statements, Richards has told friends she is definitely running. During the course of an Observer interview on another matter, Mattox said he would definitely run if Richards does and outlined his strategy in such a race on women’s issues. On October 2 Mattox held a press conference at the Capitol to report on the progress of his office’s program to help collect child support from mates who are delinquent in their payments. Flanked on one side by a white mother and her young son and on the other by a black mother and her two young children \(who attested to the success of his program tions under the program have gone from $18 million a year in 1983 to $70 million now. “When child support is not paid, it is a form of child abuse,” Mattox declared. He complained that the legislature would not provide his office the resources needed to conduct the program more effectively and attributed the fault for this to Republicans who dislike and oppose him personally. During subsequent interviewing it became apparent that Mattox’s child support collection program fits into his strategy for his governor’s campaign as a champion of women’s issues, most pointedly so if Richards runs. He \(and his press secretary, Ron ment in the Attorney General’s department showing as of September 2 Mattox had 39 percent women and 61 percent men assistant attorneys to the fact that nationally 18.2 percent of all lawyers are women. The charts and graphs also showed that overall in his department Mattox has 64 percent female employees, compared to 36 percent male. \(Department-wide, the department has 64 percent white employees, 22 percent Hispanic, and 14 percent black. As for assistant attorneys general, there are 77 percent white, 14 percent Hispanic, and 9 percent black, compared, according to the figures provided, to the facts that 2.3 percent of lawyers nationally are “In 1972 when I was in the legislature I campaigned around the state for ERA,” Mattox said. “Although I was running for the House, I campaigned for Sissy Farenthold . [when she ran for governor]. I endorsed the ERA amendment. In the House I fought to keep the ERA when Phyllis Schlafly challenged it. I was selected by the Women’s Political Caucus in Dallas as the outstanding member of the legislature at that time. I had a perfect voting record in four years in the [Texas] House on women’s issues. “When I went to the U.S. Congress,” Mattox continued, “I supported the extension of the time for ERA. I was very outspoken on women’s issues, such as legislation on displaced homemakers. “I was very outspoken in the legislature, before Ann Richards ever came along, with the battered women’s centers. I toured them all as Attorney General and held press conferences with them just to be helpful. I brought this child support program really on stream. “I was selected,” Mattox wound up, “by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the real champions.” In the March 1987 issue of the magazine, he said, he was chosen as one of two members of Congress “who were a hero of the women’s movement.” \(An article in Cosmopolitan that Anti-Abortion ‘Clinic,’ ” by Jacqueline Austin, was accompanied, in its presentation, by a short item entitled, “Heroes of the Pro-Choice Movement, listing nine people, including Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Oregon, and Mattox. On Mattox the magazine said: “In the fall of 1986, this exCongressman won a landmark case against a bogus clinic under the Deceptive Trade Practices Law. From now on, in Texas at least, the only clinics allowed to advertise 18 NOVEMBER 6, 1987
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