Continued from pg. 32 him with the information. But the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the police detective, James Badey, now retired, said Perot called him “out of the clear” in early 1986, a few months after Badey had given the information to the FBI. Badey told the Journal Perot already knew much of what he had told the FBI. The Journal also discovered that when Perot was involved in a fight over the design of the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in March 1984, Perot’s attorney, Richard Shlakman, only hours after he denied in an interview that the billionaire had made “personal” allegations against the fund’s leaders, asked the GAO to investigate whether a woman, whom he identified as a possible mistress of a former Defense Department official, had received payments from the memorial fund. The GAO found no evidence of such payments, the Journal reported. Shlakman, still with EDS, said he has “zero recollection” of the incident. In April 1990, Perot settled a lawsuit in Texas with a former employee who accused him of threatening to expose alleged affairs. The complaint by Richard Salwen, a former Perot attorney and lobbyist, alleged that J. Patrick Horner, a top official at Perot Systems Corp., contacted Donald Collis, the chief financial officer at Dell Computer Corp. in Austin, which Salwen had joined. Collis said in an affidavit that Horner wanted Dell’s top management to be aware of hotel reservations and flowers ordered by Salwen, the Journal reported. The newspaper also reported Perot’s use of private investigators to dredge up information in connection with lawsuits that alleged improper behavior by competitors. In a lawsuit with California-based Systems Development Corp. over a Massachusetts state contract, Perot’s company, Electronic Data Systems, brought in Joseph Wells, a former FBI agent, from Austin. The newspaper said Wells sought to interview the longtime woman companion of a Systems Development executive. Perot also used negative information about a competitor in a successful attempt to get the Texas human resources board to reconsider its decision to replace EDS as the state’s Medicaid contractor. A team of EDS executives, lawyers and investigators provided dossiers on Bradford National Corp. In 1990, when Perot was in a dispute with his tenant in a neighboring house, he won a court order permitting him to use off-duty Dallas police to search the house three times daily. Perot also told David Frost a lie detector test was administered once to an EDS employee suspected of stealing. But the Journal reported that a senior EDS official said polygraph tests were administered to EDS employees “a couple of times a year.” The dispute with Richard Armitage and the Defense Department led to an unusual alliance with the Christic Institute, a left-wing think tank and law firm in Washington, D.C. which was pursuing allegations of a drug, arms and money ; laundering conspiracy by government officials. The Journal reported that Perot met at least twice with the institute’s general counsel, Daniel Sheehan, who later said Perot had offered to underwrite a trip to Southeast Asia to dig up information. Perot never gave the institute money, and the Christic lawsuit was thrown out of a Miami federal court, but Armitage was forced to withdraw his name as Army Secretarydesignate. Denis Don’t Dis Ross Former House Speaker Jim Wright, who has worked closely with Perot, reportedly counseled Clinton during a strategy session in New Orleans to treat Perot with respect. Democratic National Chairman Ron Brown reportedly outlined the same strategy during a closed meeting of the party’s executive committee in early May. The strategy may be working, Perot has trained most of his fire on Bush and his connection with the deregulation of banks and savings and loans, the Iran-contra arms-for-hostages scandal and the aid given to Saddam Hussein in the years before his invasion of Kuwait. Pass the Biscuits Perot Wright, in a May 24 column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, compared Perot’s campaign with that of “Pappy” Lee O’Daniel, a popular country music bandleader who successfully ran for governor of Texas in 1938 after inviting a draft movement on a radio program. He shortly receiving 68,000 cards and letters and said his platform would be the Ten Commandments. Pressed to satisfy more earthly concerns, O’Daniel also promised raises in old-age pensions. When reporters asked the folksy showman how he would pay for them, O’Daniel turned to his fiddler and said, “Play it pretty, Leon.” Cornered on another occasion, the candidate replied that he would get the money, “From them that’s got it.” He also played off the opposition of big-city newspapers, which brought him whoops and hollers on the stump. After he won beat a field of 13 candidates without a runoff, O’Daniel sought to finance his pension plan with a regressive transaction tax that would have hit the poor hardest. “He ran with the hares but hunted with the hounds,” Wright commented. Wright said he likes Perot, but he offered no forecast on how Perot’s campaign would wear through the summer as the Dallas billionaire fleshes out his positions. “Enough today that we acknowledge the enchanting appeal of an occasional nonpolitician’ who can manage to play that role credibly and with flourish,” Wright said. Jury Duty Perot backed the death penalty, denounced the criminal justice system as “ineffective,” compared psychiatry to faith healing and called Dallas “the crime capital of the United States” when he was polled for jury duty in 1988, the Houston Chronicle reported. The Chronicle found Perot’s responses to questions from prosecutors and defense attorneys when he was in the jury pool for the trial of a capital murder case in Dallas. Perot said he believed the death penalty was a deterrent to criminal acts and noted that he has “high security problems, personally.” Perot, whose home and office reportedly receive round-the-clock protection, has said he has not brought his wife, Margot, to public appearances because of concerns about her safety. He also has defended his membership in country clubs that exclude minorities. He belonged to the clubs, he said, because he wanted secure places for his family to play. On psychiatry, Perot said, “it is just as close to faith healing, as far as I’m concerned, so I don’t put a lot of stock in it.” He added, “I don’t place much credibility in psychiatric testimony or psychiatrist’s treatment.” . On the rights of criminals and victims, Perot said criminals often are back on the street before police finish the paperwork. “[I]nstead of the primary emphasis being on looking at the law-abiding citizens, the primary emphasis has become looking after the criminals, and that is the problem in our criminal justice system,” he said. If a burglar broke into his house and killed a member of his family, he said, the criminal “is going to get a lot more attention than my family does.” With so many murders in Dallas, Perot said, it was hard to recall the details of the crime in question. “We’re the crime capital of the United States, you know,” he said. In 1988 and 1989, the FBI ranked Dallas third in the country among large cities for crimes per capita. The judge excused Perot from jury duty in the case, the Chronicle reported. Other notes: ARMY FAVORS? The Associated Press recently upgrade U.S. Army manuals was abruptly canceled in 1986; congressional auditors later concluded the government had “improperly favored” EDS, which Perot had sold to General Motors but still headed. The audit concluded that EDS was wrongly allowed to lower its offer by $25 million by making corrections in its final bid, and that an Army major had increased the scores that technical evaluators had given to EDS, which allowed the company to win the printing contract. The government paid $10.95 million to reimburse the contractors, including $5 million to Perot’s company to settle a lawsuit that claimed EDS had been unfairly terminated. TRACK RECORD. If the early-summer poll numbers stand up, Perot could provide the biggest finish since Theodore Roosevelt, deprived of the Republican nomination for re-election, ran as a Progressive and got 27 percent of the nationwide vote in 1912. The Rough Rider finished with 9.45 percent of the Texas vote, a distant second to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, who carried Texas with 72.6 percent. The highest percentage ever gained by a thirdparty presidential candidate in Texas, the Texas Government Newsletter noted, was 23.5 percent by James B. Weaver in 1892 with the Populists, who called for agrarian reform, breaking up railroad and other industrial monopolies and expansion of the money supply. 30 JULY 4, 1992
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