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JESSE HERRERA White was defeated for re-election and the new governor had no commitment to education reform.” While Perot returned to private life, the education reformers were left to beat off attempts at watering down the reforms. Cole said he does not hold that against Perot, who helped deflect attempts to increase class sizes. “I don’t know that it was his responsibility to follow through” Cole said. While his national organization, the American Federation of Teachers, endorsed Clinton,Cole said, “How I vote is my business.” He said he would expect Perot to bring “a lot of fresh new approaches to government … As for whether he will be an effective president, I couldn’t say…. He certainly brings skill, expertise, energy and intelligence that you don’t ordinarily find in the run-of-the-mill politician.” The Common Touch Perot has been portrayed as a workaholic who runs his company like a military outfit with strict ideas about dress and morals. He shops at Target and K Mart, but he also patronizes ritzy jewelry stores for his wife and daughters. Perot dislikes stuffy people and has maintained a sense of humor. In 1968, when he was interviewing investment bankers to take EDS public, he took the executives to barbecue joints to observe their reactions. Perot became a millionaire after EDS went public, but his son, Ross Jr., told the Morning News the senior Perot told the family the money he made was not important. But Perot recently said for 30 years he was a member of a Dallas country club that did not admit blacks or Jews because he felt it was the only place he could send his children to swim and play and not have to worry about security. Perot said he would resign “if it bothers anybody.” Perot has appealed to labor with his criticism of corporate management and his opposition to free-trade agreements that he fears would result in the wholesale moving of blue-collar jobs south of the border. He told United Auto Workers Vice President Donald Ephlin, “If I worked on an assembly line and was treated as you are, I would get together with my fellow workers for collective action.” But when EDS took over management of Medicare claims in California in 1969, he closed a branch office in Concord, Calif., near Oakland, when its workers voted to organize. He required employees to promise to pay back any training costs, up to $9,000, if they resigned or were fired, the Detroit News reported. Michigan officials investigated the practice after receiving complaints in 1988 and 1989 andthe Michigan attorney general’s office pressured EDS to change its policies in 1990, the newspaper reported. Morton Meyerson, former EDS president, said Perot in the late 1960s approved the program that required new employees to sign the promissory notes. As Mason noted in his book, stockbroker trainees at duPont Glore Forgan were required to work off as much as $25,000 in training costs. Perot’s concern over his public image is illustrated in the control he exerted over the publication of On Wings of Eagles, the account by Ken Follett of the 1979 rescue of the EDS executives in Iran. Perot retained the right to suppress the completed book if Follett did not agree to changes. In fact, Follett told the Times, Perot only noted for factual errors. The book, published in 1984, portrayed Perot as a hero; a movie based on the bestseller was broadcast by NBC in 1986. Perot also has been criticized for a penchant for investigating rivals and compiling dossiers on competitors. Fort Worth StarTelegram publisher Richard L. Connor recently wrote that in July 1989 Perot, who was angered by the newspaper’s coverage of negotiations over who would manage the new Alliance Airport, suggested to Connor that he had pictures showing an affair between a newspaper employee and a city official. Perot, whose son ended up with the management con’ tract, has said Connor’s account is incorrect. The Washington Post recently reported that while Perot was trying to force a search for soldiers still missing in Vietnam, he pulled from his office safe a picture of a top Pentagon official and an Asian woman, and said that it “completely compromised” the Pentagon. Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., recently complained that his privacy had been invaded when his background apparently was investigated without Rudman’s authorization as a possible running mate. Perot apologized and denied he had ordered the investigation, Rudman said. The Philanthropist Perot is an impulsive giver who said he would put most of the $2.5 billion he made from the sale of EDS into civic causes and a charitable foundation bearing his name. He gave the Boy Scouts of America $2 million to expand programs for minority children. In 1976 Perot gave $50,000 to the New York City Police Department to by horses and saddles for the mounted police during the city’s financial crisis. He offered $70 million to move the Museum of the American Indian from New York to Dallas. He donated $10 million to help build the new Dallas Symphony hall, with the stipulation that it be named after his long time associate, Morton Meyerson, and that its design be world-class. He pledged $8 million for the Dallas Arboretum in 1985 and later withdrew the pledge when the City Council scaled down the plans. Perot threatened a lawsuit to recover his first $2 million installment. Perot’s largess sometimes results in a financial return. In 1988 he presented the City of Fort Worth with the 414-acre Alliance Airport, an industrial airport designed solely for cargo shipment, which he and his son, Ross Jr., have been building for the past five years with $150 million in federal, state and local money. The grants included $34 million from the FAA, a subsidy financed mostly from the airport passenger tax. Perot has complained that because of his potential presidential campaign the Bush administration is holding up $120 million the FAA had promised to expand the airport. The Perots own a 4,200-acre industrial park and another 16,386 acres that surround the airport. The Fort Worth StarTelegram estimated that the Perots could profit by as much as $1 billion from development of the airport and surrounding properties. With the help of then-House Speaker Jim Wright, the proposal to expand Alliance from a small executive jet park to a full THE TEXAS OBSERVER 11