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v v CHAPTER 27 The First Lady Comes to Boys Ranch I n 1990, I was in one of the toughest campaigns in my career. State Representative Dick Waterfield and the Republican Party were determined to unseat me. Waterfield had defeated former congressman Bob Price in the Republican primary by a landslide. He had a big ego and a lot of money. Governor Bill Clements was doing everything he could to help Waterfield. He told the press that I didn’t grow up at Boys Ranch and that I was a staff member’s son. When the press called me about his remarks, I told them to call Boys Ranch. Dirty politics. I managed my campaign the same as I always had: I carried signs in the back of my car and stapled them to poles, visited each town and business in my district as often as possible, and attended all the local sports events as often as possible. One day a Dalhart newspaper reporter was in a local coffee shop, and one of the county deputies told the reporter he had seen Dick Waterfield ’s wife get out of her Lexus “dressed to the nines in her high heels” and tear down one of my signs off a utility pole. The reporter called Waterfield’s wife to ask her why she had done that. She replied, “It was for safety.” She said the signs were distracting the drivers on the highway . The reporter called to ask me what I thought about her comment. I responded that I was glad my campaign signs were getting so much attention and appreciated Mrs. Waterfield’s help. The story was picked up by other newspapers, and it went statewide. The First Lady Comes to Boys Ranch • 279 The main issues in this campaign were guns, abortion, jobs, and programs to benefit farmers and ranchers. Nobody in my district cared at all about Lithuania, the Soviet Union, or the Baltic states. Two weeks before the election, someone dropped off an audiotape to radio and TV stations and newspaper offices. On it were several telephone conversations I’d had with a woman I had dated where I allegedly offered to find her a federal job. It was clear the tape had been spliced to combine several different conversations into one. I was single at the time. I immediately contacted the FBI. Someone had tapped my mobile phone. Some of those recordings involved federal business and constituent issues. The FBI got a copy of the tape and investigated. I had chaired the Agriculture Subcommittee for eight years in the Texas Senate and served on the Agriculture Committee in the US Congress for four years at the time. I worked hard to help the Cattle Feeders Association. My district produced 28 percent of all the grain fed to cattle in the US. Over the years, I sponsored legislation that was very beneficial to them. Waterfield was a rancher and raised cattle, and the Cattle Feeders Association, the largest cattle producer in the United States, decided to support him instead of me. They gave him thousands of dollars. I was not happy. The Texas Cattle Feeders Association got a lot of criticism from many of their members. Paul Engler, who was one of my biggest supporters for years, withdrew his membership from the association. Every year, the Texas Cattle Feeders Associations would send a box of prime steaks to each member of the Texas delegation, but the Texas delegation refused to accept their steaks. A week before the election, someone sent an unmarked envelope to my campaign headquarters. The blank envelope contained several revealing photographs of Dick Waterfield with his arms around a woman at a party, and it wasn’t his wife. Members of my campaign team were ready to film a commercial using the picture that would put Waterfield away. I told them no, that I’d think of a way to use the pictures, but I would not embarrass him publicly. Mudslinging and dirty politics had become commonplace in campaigns, particularly in the last three or four days before Election Day. I knew that was Waterfield’s plan, but it wasn’t mine. That is not how I was going to get elected. 280 • The Grand Duke from Boys Ranch In Wichita Falls, there was a African American preacher who was elected as a county commissioner. If he told the members of his church to vote for a specific candidate, they followed his lead. He...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781623496586
Related ISBN
9781623496579
MARC Record
OCLC
1031090706
Pages
336
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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