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THE TWO-STORY office building that houses the Mattox For Governor cam paign is not unlike most campaign headquarters. One of a dozen small storefronts that escaped the wave of renovation that complemented the Congress Avenue Beautification Project, the Mattox headquarters is as rough on its exterior as it is within, where unfinished sheetrock walls suggest the temporary nature of a political campaign. On the north wall of what serves as a waiting area are poster-size photographs of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. On the other walls are a number of plaques, each representing an award won by Mattox during almost 20 years in public office, and a copy of the East Dallas News, obviously a campaign tabloid touting a Mattox victory in the working-class Dallas district he represented in CongresS for three terms. The walls of a central hallway are covered with lists of directives and longer lists of volunteer coordinators. On a Friday morning in early February the place fairly buzzes, suggesting the sort of organization that Mattox counts on to deliver him from pollsters’ predictions that he will not even make it into a runoff. “We question those figures,” Mattox campaign political director Sergio Martinez said of a recent Dallas Morning News poll conducted by University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray. The poll showed Mattox with 10 percent, trailing both Treaslier Mason-Dixon poll gave White the lead but also had Mattox in third place with 13 percent. “That [10 percent] is not what you saw in Corpus Christi with Senator Truan and that is not what you saw at the labor convention,” Martinez said, proffering a December campaign poll that predicts Mattox winning without a runoff. BUT THE MATTOX campaign, though it is not evident here, is a campaign in trouble. Its basic strategy, to raise money early and to spend it late, surely did not anticipate Ann Richards’s numbers increasing to the point they now have before she even made her first media buy. It is a creaky, old-fashioned campaign, preoccupied with winning endorsements and organizing precincts. Kelly Fero, the Austin journalist and Mattox speech writer who recently replaced Steve Levine as campaign press secretary, insists that there are no plans for major changes in strategy or tactics. Fero, too, dismisses the Richard Murray poll, insisting that the Mattox campaign poll, conducted by Donilon & Petts of Washington, D.C., “polled the right people, registered voters who voted in the past three Democratic primary elections.” Fero also recollects that both the Mason-Dixon and the Murray polls predicted that Craig Washington would lose the congressional race that he handily won over the pollsters’ double-digit favorite, Anthony Hall. Mattox will catch on, Fero says, because Democratic primary voters will recognize the need for a candidate of substance to go up against Clayton Williams in November. So : the campaign will proceed as it was designed, the final month will include large media buys and rallies in different parts of the state. “We’re going to take Mattox’s message on the road,” Fero said, “we will be going to East Texas and South Texas, which is Mattox country.” Fero admitted that Richards is a difficult opponent. “It’s like running against a mist,” he said of the race against Richards. But, according to Fero, the Mattox campaign is beginning to detect a certain disenchantment with Richards’s superficial approach to the governor’s race. So the Mattox organization intends to respond to Richards’s carefully choreographed candidate-driven campaign with an issue-driven campaign. But it seems that the issues that they have selected are all wrong. At a time when there is an unprecedented consensus that education is the most important issue in the state, the Mattox TV spots turn to law and order. One features the Attorney General in a courtroom, where as an assistant district attorney he successfully prosecuted a rapist more than 20 years ago. Another has Mattox looking into the camera and reminding viewers that as Attorney General he presided over 32 executions. It seems an ad campaign aimed at the Democratic Party demographic that led Phil Gramm and Kent Hance into the Republican Party. All the while, Republican Clayton Williams is running a higher-education ad campaign \(failing to mention that to qualify for the free college education that he is proposing, he also proposes that each of those bright young students urinate in a jar to prove herJim Mattox is not a man type-cast for a candidate-driven campaign. But how is it that the man who as a state legislator helped create the Public Utilities Commission, as a Congressman competed with Henry B. Gonzalez for the highest ADA and Public 70T TEXAS server er FEBRUARY 9, 1990 VOLUME 82, No. 3 FEATURES Defining the Candidate Interview By Allan Freedman 4 Coping with Division By Allan Freedman 12 Funny Money By Dan Carney 16 From San Salvador By Vic Hinterlang 22 Books and the Culture Photography In The Global Village By Wendy Watriss 18 Silicon Sweatshops By Randy Hodson 20 Citizen ratings in the Texas delegation, and as attorney general earned a national reputation for his agency’s anti-trust litigation, is now featured in a media campaign that could have been designed by Republican Roger Ailes. “We’re just listening to Mattox,” Sergio Martinez said, when asked how the campaign was going to respond to the low numbers. And that might be the problem. Jim Mattox has always been a better elected official than he is a candidate. Perhaps someone other than Jim Mattox should be running the campaign. Media critic Todd Gitlin frequently repeats an anecdote in which CBS reporter Lesley Stahl took Ronald Reagan to task for budget cuts that reduced services to the mentally and physically handicapped. Stahl used a Reagan appearance at the Special Olympics as the visual for a voiceover asking if this President, surrounded by handicapped children and standing in front of the flag, looked like a man who would have cut budgets for programs affecting the mentally and physically handicapped. Then, as balloons drifted skyward and the Special Olympics event began, she enumerated the cuts. Stahl was worried about the White House response to the story, and later was bewildered when she heard the President was delighted. What you don’t understand, a White House staffer told her, is that it’s not what you say, it’s the image that counts. On the day I spent in the Mattox campaign headquarters, Ann Richards was out filming her first commercials. So, watch out. L.D. EDITORIAL Issues and Images THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3