Title: "ERA Backers Plot State Strategy" article in The Independent Florida Alligator
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Title: "ERA Backers Plot State Strategy" article in The Independent Florida Alligator
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Creator: Willson, Elizabeth
Publisher: The Independent Florida Alligator
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Bibliographic ID: UF00086036
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the

independent

florida 'I


Published by Campus Communications, Inc. Gamesville,Florldo,


monday

october 9, 1978

volume 72, no. 11
Not officially associated with the University of Florida


ERA backers plot



state strategy


By Elizabeth Willson
Alligator Staff Writer
Without a clear-cut majority of votes in
the Florida Senate, Equal Rights Amend-
ment proponents are taking their campaign
to all Florida voters in an attempt to gain
passage of a state constitutional amendment
favoring equal rights for women.
If the campaign were successful and
Florida voters took a positive stand backing
the rights of women, proponents argue,
passage of the Equal Rights Amendment
would follow.
Dubbed "Yes on Two," the campaign
seeks passage of Proposition Two, one of nine
constitutional amendments which Florida
voters will decide Nov. 7. The amendment
reads: "Basic rights shall not be deprived on
account of sex."
Wilma Felder, statewide ERA coordinator
for the League of Women Voters said she
thinks the proposition has a good chance of
passing if enough voters are reached.
"I think that our campaign will have a lot
to do with people voting on number two. We
can begin to get the ball rolling again," said
Felder from Miami Sunday.
Galen Jonas, 'EBRA-Gainesville director,
said Florida would ratify the ERA by the end
of the year if Proposition Two passes.
"The way this referendum goes is the way
ERA will go," Jonas said.
The "Yes on Two" campaign follows the
success of women's rights proponents in
gaining a U.S. Senate victory last week.
The Sehate voted 60-36 Friday to extend
the March 22, 1979, deadline for ratification
of the Equal Rights Amendment three years
and three months.
The Senate vote followed a similar vote in
the U.S. House of Representatives in August.
The bill now goes to President Carter, who
has indicated his support of it.
With national legislative momentum in
their favor, the proponents see their hope in


the potential passage of the state constitu-
tional amendment.
If the amendment passes Nov. 7, state
legislators would realize that voters support
equal rights for women and would be more
willing to vote for state ratification of the
ERA, proponents argue. Florida senators
have voted twice against the ERA.
In Thursday's runoff election, state ERA
proponents gained one vote but lost another
they were counting on. They need 21 votes in
the Senate to ratify the amendment.
Democrat George Stuart of Orlando was
added to the pro-ERA ranks Thursday when
he beat Bill Fulford in the Democratic runoff
for the District 14 Senate seat.
But ERA opponent Dick Anderson of
Miami beat ERA supporter John Spottswood
in the District 40 Senate Democratic runoff.
A United Press International ERA analysis
calculates 20 "yes" votes and 17 "no" votes.
Three races are still up for grabs in the Nov.
7 general election.
ERA was defeated in the Florida Senate
last year 21-19.
Seemingly doomed before the U.S. Senate
approved the deadline extension, the ERA
now must be ratified by three states for the
amendment to become the 27th amendment
to the Constitution. --
If ratified by the 1982 deadline, the 27th
amendment to the Constitution would read,
"Equality of the laws shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or any state on
account of sex."
One of the 20 "yes" votes, which was cast
by Lake City Sen. Pete Skinner, may have
changed. Skinner said he would oppose ERA
if Congress extended the deadline without
granting previously ratified states the option
of rescinding their votes. Skinner was not
available for comment Sunday.
"Yes on Two" workers have 28 days to

See "ERA"
next page


sandy felsenthal
All wrapped up
While the crowd tried to keep warm in the stadium Saturday night at the UF-LSU
game, so did Laura Craven, a freshman in the UF flag corps. She found her flag
served a dual purpose. See related weather story, page three.


Shevin's attacks fouled campaign machine


By Robert Rives
Alligator Staff Writer
A two-year-old myth was shattered Thursday night when
statewide election returns showed former state Sen. Bob
Graham had won the Democratic nomination for governor.
It was the myth of invincibility surrounding Florida -
Attorney General Robert Shevin, whose name invariably
had been tied to the words "front-runner" or "apparent
front-runner" since the contest began.
Shevin, the aggressive, 44-year-old two-term attorney
general, had more than big name recognition to give him
that image he also had a statewide organization that
many seasoned political observers termed the best in Florida
history.
Until it broke down Thursday.
The Shevin "machine," likened by many to a Florida
version of old-style get-out-the-vote machines in giant
Northeastern industrial cities, delivered him a voting
majority in only eight Florida counties in last week's runoff.
The machine also stunned Shevin with a 470,000- to
408,000-vote loss to Graham statewide, and disappointingly


small margins of victory in Shevin's stronghold along the
Gold Coast.
Although most of the state was stunned by Graham's 54
percent margin of victory, at least one man was not John
Buckley, one of Graham's statewide organizers. Buckley was

'Shevin came on in debate and in other
matters as pressing too hard, whereas
Graham was cool and collected and
possessed a great mastery of the
issues'
Manning Dauer

in charge of setting up Graham's effective rural
"machinery" in the state's small counties.
"We put together the damnedest statewide organization
you've ever seen in your life," said Buckely, 57, a political
operative all his life. "We put emphasis on get-out-the vote-


drives."
Buckley insisted he was not the least bit surprised by
Graham's showing, and laughed at those who said Shevin
had a statewide "machine." Shevin los because his camp
did not do its "homework" in the rural counties Graham
swept, Buckely contended.
"What machinery?" Buckley said of Shevin's
organization. "If they'd done their homework in those
(smaller) counties, we might have been in trouble."
In the first primary, Graham trailed front-runner Shevin
by more than 103,000 votes. In the runoff, Graham, 41, a
12-veteran lawmaker, made Florida history by closing the
biggest gap ever and winning by 62,000 votes.
Graham swept 59 of 67 Florida counties. He took seven of
the 10 most populous counties. And he picked up 207,000
more votes than he polled on Sept. 12, while Shevin picked
up only 44,000 new votes.
Shevin, who listened to returns in a downtown Miami
hotel Thursday night, had prepared a victory message but
See election "
next page


" 4.+ ,






2, alligator, nronday, october 9,1978
I I


ERA
continued
from page one
convince voters of the need to pass Proposi-
tion Two. Proponents waited until the
Democratic runoff was over so as not to con-
fuse voters, Felder said.
"Number two does not give Floridians the
same kind of protection ERA does. It protects
Floridians from future discrimination,"
Felder said.
Syndicated columnist Erma Bombeck and
Liz Carpenter, former press secretary to
Lady Bird Johnson and ERA of America
member, came to Florida Friday to gear up
the "Yes on Two" campaign, Felder said.
Bombeck and Carpenter traveled with
state ERA leaders visiting Florida cities "to
support ERA as well as Proposition Two as a
vehicle for Florida to show support," Felder
said.
-At least 4,000 volunteers and ERA sup-
porters plan to work from 17 storefront of-
fices throughout the state, telephoning voters
in an attempt to "get the vote out."
"All of the polls done for years, even the
most recent ones, show that the majority of
Floridians are in favor of this constitutional
revision as well as ERA," Felder said.
Despite poll findings, Florida voters may
overlook or misinterpret Proposition Two
because the November ballot is crowded
with both local and statewide amendments,
Felder said.
"To pass proposition number two in.
Florida would be the sanest thing to do in the
world because it would secure constitutional
protection of women in Florida," Felder
said.
Passage of Proposition Two would
discourage state legislators from flip-
flopping on the ERA vote, Felder said.


ERA SUPPORTERS ""...'. u"yns
S. (clockwise from left) Linda Basshaw, Jennifer Parrmore, Sallie
Ann Hurrison, Rosalee Miller, Betsy Walker, Joan Hurrison meet to
discuss local Proposition Two campaign


Gov. Reubin Askew and legislators have
said they are considering a special legislative
session in December. Ratification of the ERA
would be a prime target of the session if
enough legislators back the amendment.
President of the Alachua County Women's
Political Caucus Sallie Ann Hurrison said she
does not think Florida legislators can con-
tinue to deny the rights of 51 percent of their.
voters.
"Nationally the policy of the caucus is to
throw the rascals out and that's what we're
doing," Hurrison said in reference to ERA
group'attempts to elect pro-ERA legislators.


'To pass proposi-
tion number two in
Florida would be
the sanest thing to
do in the world
because it would
secure constitu-
tion protection of
women in Florida'
Wilma Felder




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