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H’ 4M11 ligrE0117 I WomPek WlitiT IT WoW-17 Cosr ro zEcoME KING or itiowAVA f’+’ MATT WUERKER advisers sat down July 7 in Dallas behind closed doors with 100 leaders from business, professions and other walks of life to develop policies that would pass muster on Sunday morning talk shows. Perot brought in heavyweight names from both major parties, including Paul Nitze, the former arms negotiator; Willie Nelson, the country singer and family farm activist; Calvin 0. Butts III, a Harlem pastor and civil rights advocate; John Hill, former Texas Supreme Court justice; Hollywood producer Martin Jurow; and Nobel Prize-winning medical researchers Michael S. Brown and Joseph L. Goldstein of Dallas. His top circle of advisers included Richard Fisher, a financier and chairman of the Dallas Council on Foreign Relations, on foreign policy; Ed Rollins, the former Reagan campaign adviser, on strategy; John P. White \(a former Jimmy Carter aide, but not the former Texas ag commissioner and developing Perot’s platform on the federal budget and the national economy; Thomas Barr, a New York City lawyer, on crime, civil rights and other legal issues; Marilyn Berger, a former journalist, on the Middle East; and Morton Meyerson, a longtime Perot associate, and Marti Meyerson, his daughter, on women’s issues, abortion and gay and lesbian issues. Perot got in trouble with gays in late June when he told ABC’s Barbara Walters he would not appoint homosexuals to high-level Cabinet positions because the controversy would distract from the job. Perot moderated his position with a statement saying he has always prohibited discrimination in his businesses and, if elected President, would make appointments on individual merit and “any discrimination based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation will not be tolerated,” although he deferred a decision on whether gays should be allowed in the military. He also said he would intensify AIDS research. He told TV Guide, “Have I ever had homosexuals working for me? Yes. They were bright, they were ‘talented, they were able…. I have said again and again that what people do in their private lives is their own business.” Perot also was quoted in a lengthy profile by Austin writer Lawrence Wright in the New York Times Magazine on June 28 saying he has never known a homosexual. On race, Perot was thought to be well-meaning, if clumsy and paternalistic, as shown in his performance at the NAACP convention July 11 in Nashville, where he drew catcalls when he referred to “you people” and “your people.” Perot’s work in education demonstrated a commitment to educating poor and minority children as well as the white middle class; he is passionate about rebuilding an industrial base that provides good jobs to be filled by people of all classes and ethnicities; and he has met with inner-city residents in Los Angeles. “He’s very good on race,” said Jesse Jackson, who has a relationship with Perot dating back to Jackson’s 1985 trip to Beirut in an attempt to secure the release of hostage CIA bureau chief William Buckley. Perot paid for the trip and the two have remained in touch. But minorities and women have a right to be skeptical of Perot. EDS had a poor record of promoting minorities and women when he was in charge. In 1986, when General Motors bought him out, only about 1.5 percent of the company’s managers and supervisors were black or Hispanic. EDS finally produced an affirmative action plan at the federal government’s insistence two years after Perot’s departure; last year the figure for minority managers and supervisors at EDS was nearly 10 percent. EDS also has increased the proportion of female supervisors from 5 percent under Perot to 31 percent today, an EDS spokesman said. The turbulence increased as Perot on July 13 dismissed adman Hal Riney, who had produced Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” ads in 1984 and had proposed image-building “soft and fuzzy” ads for Perot. Then Rollins who brought Riney into the campaign quit on July 15. Hamilton Jordan, former strategist for Jimmy Carter, also was said to be frustrated with Perot’s unwillingness to take advice. Nitze distanced himself after he learned 10 JULY 24, 1992