POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE MIRE A NUMBER of publications have requested interviews with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ann Richards in recent weeks, The New York Times seems to have had unusually good luck. Richards granted the Times an hour-long interview that appeared cleverly aimed at attracting more out-of-state liberal dollars to her campaign. The story, written by Times writer Roberto Suro, appeared on May 6 and contained more puff than punch. Richards was described as a woman who expressed “easy confidence about her ability to withstand personal attacks and even turn them in her favor.” Richards, who the national press has widely painted as badly damaged by the bitter Democratic primary, told Suro that Attorney General Jim Mattox’s use of the drug issue worked in her favor. “I think people respected me because I live by my creed, and I was not going to allow politics to shake those principles,” Richards told the Times. \(Richards defeated Mattox in the April 10 The most interesting point raised in the story was Richards’s perspective on the abortion issue. Richards said abortion could draw “less attention in this race because she is a woman.” She told the Times that the abortion issue played a larger role in races between two men. She said: “When Doug Wilder [the governor of Virginia] gets up and says he thinks the women of Virginia are wise enough to make their own decisions, him saying that as a man has a different impact than Ann Richards saying it as a woman. People know I am going to say that. They expect me to say that.” CLAYTON WILLIAMS seems a bit touchy these days. On May 3, he cut short a news conference in Galveston before reporters had time to ask the him questions about legislation for crime victims. The Dallas Morning News reports that since late March Williams has declined to discuss his views on six recent proposals concerning sexualassault crimes. As a reporter started to ask Williams about the crime issue, Williams began walking out of the conference room at a Galveston convention center, the News reported. “I don’t get my paycheck from you,” Williams told a reporter who had asked whether Williams was leaving. SAM DONALDSON has had his hands full. The “honey hunt” rumor that has dogged the Clayton Williams campaign in recent months has surfaced in the national press. Newsweek reported in its May 7 issue that crews from ABC’s “Prime Time Live” made a visit to Texas in an attempt to confirm the rumor. The crew from the news hour hosted by Donaldson apparently came up empty-handed. The rumor itself has taken various forms, but each version seems to involve prostitutes and ranchers or other Williams associates. According to Newsweek, “In one version of the story, it’s a form of entertainment favored by GOP candidate Clayton Williams and his chums, who strip to their underwear at his ranch and shoot water pistols at nymphs dancing in the nude.” WILUUNS COULD receive more substantial assistance in his political campaign from former Governor Mark White. White’s support is being fictively pursued by the Williams campaign. Williams disclosed on April 26 that he had asked White to lead Democrats for Williams. Williams quoted White as saying: “Claytie that’s going a long way, but let’s keep talking.” White did say after his defeat in the March 13 Democratic primary that he would never vote for Democratic nominee Ann Richards. Williams wants more. WIUJAMS MOM HAVE his problems with women, but Austin AmericanStatesman columnist Jesse Trevino suggests that women might not be the only group that Williams has alienated. According to Trevino, Williams called back one day after an interview with the paper’s editorial board to rectify a statement made in the course of the interview. The statement pertained to singlemember judicial districts and is quoted below: judicial retention under these current circumstances. But what I really am bothered about is that the Southern states are treated different from the rest of the states in the country under the Civil Rights Act, and I worry about one other thing from the minority standpoint: You have single-member districts and you have a minority, if you get a guy or a woman that’s maybe a racist in reverse, and really starts handing down some bad stuff, some unfair stuff, then that very community that is seeking to improve itself may backfire as business say I want to get my businesses out of there. So, I see as a businessman some negative things …” Trevino published the column several months after the interview occurred, writing that: “In retrospect, Williams’ comments that day seem even more disturbing. It seems apparent that he does view women differently, as something other than equal partners in society. Therefore, it does not seem surprising that he would also view with some apprehension the arrival of minorities and women to the bench.” Trevino also wrote that from the nature of the telephone conversation on the day after the interview he suspected that Williams had taped the interview with the editorial board. Trevino did not seem to take issue with the possible taping the American-Statesman had also taped the session but he wrote that “maybe the crafty multimillionaire from Midland might have tape recorded the session and may have sensed that he had done himself some damage …” Williams taping the session would, of course, suggest that he is becoming a more sophisticated campaigner than his shoot-fromthe-lip style suggests. GEORGE BUSH could receive a cool reception at the May 19 University of Texas at Austin graduation ceremony, where Bush is scheduled to deliver the 107th spring commencement address. The Daily Texan reports that the May issue of the Polemicist, a campus magazine, has asked students to donate extra graduation admission tickets to the magazine. The magazine has guaranteed that “We’ll get them into the right hands.” Tom Philpott, an editor of the Polemicist, told the Texan: “We’re getting people to send as many tickets as possible. We’re going to give them to people who are loud and will scream their heads off.” The April edition of the monthly had called for students to protest the visit. According to campus police, the graduation has been moved from UT’s south mall to the Frank Erwin Special Events Center to beef up security. Because of the move, seating is limited and the administration has limited degree candidates to two guest tickets each. THE TEXAS TRIAL lawyers association is, to say the least, on the defensive. The defeat of Brownsville state Senator Hector Uribe in the April 10 runoff is only the most visible example. On April 16, just days after Uribe’s defeat, the association sent its members a survey. The cover letter that accompanied the survey warns that the “Texas political scene changes constantly and rapidly. TTLA must adapt to those changes or become irrelevant … The last few years have produced the most challenging legislative circumstances for trial lawyers. In order to meet this challenge, we must put forth renewed efforts, individually and organizationally. We need your help.” But the survey is fairly general and includes questions on political affiliation, legislative representation, and make up of individual practices. BOLE at the crossroads? The political right is eagerly declaring the demise of the state’s trial lawyers association as a major player in the Legislature. A recent edition of the conservative Quorum Report proclaimed that “No political group in recent years has been so damaged by the extremists within.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13
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