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Is the bad boy of Texas politics a) corrupt; b) a guileless megalomaniac; c) the establishment’s whipping boy; d) a vicious campaigner with an eye for the jugular; and e)-GULP-the next governor of Texas?
By Brad Bailey |

HOT NOONDAY SUNLIGHT TRICKLES THROUGH THE leaves of the live oaks down onto the Austin edition of Attorney General Jim Mattox, Populist Jim. Jim as Jim sees himself. ■ The dark blue-suited good-guy Man of the People is standing near the steps of the State Capitol, not far from the house at l0l0 Colorado that he hopes will be his new home come 1991. ■ Populist Jim is sweating. It is hot. ■ For Mattox, who wants to be the next governor of Texas, it will get a whole lot hotter before November 1990. He faces a bruising primary battle against his main Democratic opponent. State Treasurer Ann Richards. If he gets past her. the Republicans will be eager to drag his already-soggy name through the mud. ■ But Populist Jim Mattox has had a very good day today. His pulpit-pounding speech to the AFL-CIO state convention, introduced by no less than Ron Brown, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, had the labor boys and girls on their feet stomping and clapping their heartfelt approval of his populist message: “We the people are gonna give the fat cats hell” by shaking the oligarchs, plutocrats, slimeballs, sleazolas, and sundry other permutations of Republican life forms off the state teat once he takes office.

This is vintage, Veteran Stumper Jim, a presentation of a persona so baldfaced in its favor-currying that it is almost painful to behold. The only problem with it is that it usually works.

Backstage, just seconds before mounting the lectern, another Jim, Calculating Jim, leans against a stack of folding chairs putting the finishing touches on the speech, crossing out (his and writing in that with his gold pen.

One cannot help but wonder, what is the criteria for what gets cut and what stays in? Is it a matter of what he wants to say? What he thinks they want to hear? Or is it a matter of simply telling the truth as he sees it?

“You make me feel great.” Mattox beams to his audience in Austin’s venerable Palmer Auditorium on Town Lake. “When I’m gathered with you, I know I’m with my friends. When I’m gathered with you, it’s like a family reunion.” Gush, gush.

And now on to the good stuff.

“Brothers and sisters,” he solemnly tells the assembled labor leaders, “I come before you this morning to ask you to join me in an important struggle, When we put aside the rhetoric, roll away the smoke, and take a clear look at the governor’s race, what we see is a struggle over basic beliefs. ..

“When I look over our struggles and victories, I realize something awfully important. We may not be show horses, but we are workhorses, hitched all to the same wagon, all pulling the same direction.. .”

And then: “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no river deep enough to keep us from reaching the promised land.”

Mattox’s speeches, both public and private, fairly bristle with martial metaphors of “struggles” and “battles” and wars and scars and victories. In Mattox’s world view, politics is not a peaceful process, it’s a war. When people greet him on the street, they naturally and unconsciously say, “Mornin’, General,” somehow sensing he’s on yet another commando mission.

Mattox also steals for his speeches a rhetorical tune or two from such diverse models as Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, activists of the Sixties, and Martin Luther King Jr.

“I think you know what that promised land includes,” says Martin Luther Jim. “It includes that white house at 1010 Colorado, the governor’s mansion, that’s what it includes.”

Mattox pauses for emphasis and then intones, “I want you to elect the first governor in modern times that has really represented the working men and women of this state. You’ve got the chance this time.”

If you like spooky parallels and you want to advance the hypothesis of Messiah-Complex Jim, you could couple that forgoing quote with what he said way back on election night 1976, when his first term in Congress was assured.

He reminded his own election workers, at a victory party, that. “In the history of Dallas County we’ve never had a congressman who represented the people.” Which of course raises the question: what kind of creatures voted for Earl Cabell, or Allan Steelman?

Cockroaches? Crawdads? Conservatives?

Today, Mattox tells his AFL-CIO listeners. “For those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a couple of things.

“I started out in politics during the age of Camelot, under the challenges of Kennedy and the peaceful marches of Martin Luther King Jr. I came from a generation that believed we could cause change, not just talk about it.”

Now here comes Log Cabin Jim: “My mother was a waitress, my father was a sheet-metal worker. I started out in politics picketing to integrate restaurants in Dallas. I worked my way through Baylor and SMU as a member of Local 745, the Teamsters. I know what it’s like to come home after a sixteen-hour double shift so tired and dirty you think you’re gonna drop.

“I know what it’s like to walk around in the mud of a construction site worrying about something hitting you and electrocuting you. I know what it’s like to work putting in airconditioning ducts for someone else. I don’t need to hire a public pollster to tell me about it. I understand it. I’m one of ya!”

To much applause.

“What we want is a government that belongs to us, not a government of the Ex-xons for the Nissans and by the Frank Loren-zos of this world.”

These Mattoxian soliloquies are usually delivered in a style befitting a Baptist preacher, which Mattox aspired to be back in the old days in East Dallas, Even when working the crowds and officially “at ease,” he adopts the demeanor of small-town clergy, hands clasped behind his back, shoulders squared, solemnly greeting folks like the preacher at the door after services, urging them to come back next Sunday and making them feel guilty for not being there the Sunday before.

Slowly and deliberately. Preacher Jim moves through the crowd after his speech at Palmer Auditorium, his gait, expression, and bearing as perfectly measured and precise as a funeral director’s.

Snapshot No. 1: Jim Atchley, “state legislative director” (read “lobbyist”) for the United Transportation Union, moves up to Mattox and hands him an envelope.

Mattox smiles and becomes considerably more personable and effusive, rounding up the photographer from the AG’s office to take a picture of him and Atchley and friends as they shake hands with him and smile.

In the envelope there is a $1,000 check, a campaign contribution.

This fits the picture of Diamond Jim, the man who once said, as a congressman. “I’ll take money from anybody” and “Anytime someone gives me money, I feel influenced. I can’t help it, but I do.”

Mattox has already raised $4 million for the gubernatorial campaign.

Then there’s Snapshot No. 2.

Outside the auditorium, someone hands Mattox a folded piece of paper. He unfolds it. It is a blank deposit slip, on which someone has written. “Since you’re doing so well, we hope you’ll share your good fortune.”

Mattox does not smile.

And now, on the Capitol steps, state employees. labor people. and just plain folks are going way out of their way to greet the AG and give him their good wishes. Their smiles and solicitations and “Mornin’, Generals” are genuine, right out of Mr. Smith Goes to Austin.

It’s surprising for people from Dallas to witness just how popular this roosterish politician is in Austin. In Austin, he seems to be the man of the people that he has always said he is, as opposed to Dallas, where most folks see only the headlines. And they’re usually negative.

Dallas Jim. Diamond Jim. is perceived to be a grasping, greedy, and, in some not-quite-provable way, a crooked and manipulative politician, a modern-day ward boss and machine politico who blatantly rewards heavy campaign contributors with friendly official intervention into their legal affairs and uses his office to beat political enemies into submission; the friend of fat cats Clinton Manges and Shearn Moody Jr. and Danny Faulkner; a man who influence-peddled his way to both power and wealth and somehow managed not to get caught.

His enemies characterize him as a man whose reputed income and assets have removed him from the ranks of the Little People and Common Men he callously pretends to represent, and an extortionate shake-down artist when it comes time for special interest groups to pay him for some favor he’s about to do for them.

And then there is Austin Jim, Populist Jim, a seemingly forthright, direct, and unapologetic man who will tell you unsway-ingly that his only interest is the just use of power to benefit the people of this state. He will tell you eve-to-eye and in no uncertain terms that he is not motivated by money. He will unwaveringly and uncategorically state that never, in his entire career, has he done anything wrong, and add that he’s about ready to “bust in the mouth” the next reporter who accuses him of lacking integrity.

In photographs and on television, Mattox gives the impression of a dyspeptic and irritable man who has indigestion because he has just swallowed a live squirrel. In person, however, he is another matter altogether. There is a kind of raw, ugly power there. It’s not what you’d call charisma and it sure as hell isn’t charm, but whatever it is, you don’t want to screw around with it. Mattox is like a bare high-voltage wire; he gives the impression he could knock you flat, but only if you grab him the wrong way. For some, this comes across as pure, snapping-turtle pugnacity, and it has made him many enemies.

If anyone should love Jim Mattox for his leftward populist politics, for example, it ought to be the Dallas Times Herald’s liberal pundit. Molly lvins-except his personality keeps getting in her way. “If ever a man’s problems stemmed from his personality, Jim Maltox is the case. If having a large streak of obnoxious bully in you were an indictable offense, the AG would be spending the rest of his life in court,” Ivins wrote.

Even Mattox’s close friends don’t deny the man’s hobnailed-boots approach to life. Says U.S. Representative John Bryant, a longtime compadre who decided to run for Mattox’s AG job after having been assured that Mattox no longer wanted it: “He is a very good and compassionate person, wrapped up in a rough exterior.”

Jerry Hughes, a Dallas real estate attorney and a Democrat of the yellowest-dog variety who will pull the lever for Mattox, agrees. Sort of. Says Hughes, “Mattox is a prick, pure and simple-but he’s our prick.”

And those are his friends. His enemies are legion. East Dallas conservative Tom Pau-ken. who twice ran against Mattox for Congress, speaks for the AG’s severest critics: “The man is a sociopath. He scares me. He may be the most dangerous man in Texas.”

JAMES ALBON MATTOX IS ONE OF THOSE Horatio Algers who’ll never let you forget it. The Mama Was A Waitress and Daddy Was A Sheet Metal Man speech wears thin and may someday backfire on him; it sometimes sounds as if Mattox just cannot quite comprehend how one so wonderful as he could possibly have arisen from such disgustingly mundane and average roots.

His father, Norman, and mother, Mary Kathryn, quarreled a lot, and young Mattox spent much of his time with his grandmother in South Dallas.

Mattox’s parents finally gave up on their relationship and separated when he was thirteen. His mother worked double shifts at Campisi’s, where she died of a heart attack on the job in 1970. Says longtime local restaurateur Joe Campisi of Mattox, “He’s been like a son to me, His mother died almost in my arms.”

Mattox worked after school as a busboy and cook at the Circle Grill and the Sands Motel coffee shop, all the while attending Woodrow Wilson High. In 1961, he graduated in the bottom half of his class, and a counselor advised him to forget trying for college. So Mattox took a job selling Bibles door to door, selling so many that he won a trip to Washington, DC. There, a priest told him he should try college after all.

Mattox had always done well in economics and government; his shortcoming was English. But after a friend of the family helped get him into Baylor University, he began considering a career as a minister. He found himself rooming with some bright students who helped him overcome his academic shortcomings, and suddenly Mattox began to get very good grades.

He won an academic scholarship after his first year, and in the summer worked on the freight docks in Dallas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, graduating magna cum laude in 1965. and entered SMU Law School in the fall.

That same year, Mattox got his first dose of politics, running for precinct chairman and losing by four votes. It*s the only race he’s ever lost.

MATTOX IS SHOUTING, “I LOVE ANN R1CH-ards!” to the crowd at Palmer Auditorium. And he pauses slyly to add, “. . .and Dave Richards, too.” Mattox knows full well that the couple has recently split. It’s about the worst he’s done to Richards so far-publicly, at least.

Afterwards, Mattox says, “If you believe her campaign pledge, she’s gonna run a straightforward, non-mudslinging campaign. But if you look at the first four press releases, all four were negative cuts at me, and not one positive one. Her staff is doing the dirty work. You don’t hire the people she’s hired, Mark McKinnon, George Shipley, and those guys, if you’re gonna run a clean campaign. I’ve heard what Shipley and Ann Richards and all those guys have said. We’ve got enough mutual friends who have indicated to me their desire to try to put together certain negatives and to inspire coverage. And they are getting (hat done. And The Dallas Morning News has played right into their hands. And, for that matter, D Magazine’’

As anyone who can read a newspaper already knows, when it comes time to string up Jim Mattox, finding the rope is incredibly easy. The only problem you’ll run into is getting all that ink off your hands.

Mattox has been tied by nasty innuendo or outright implication to scandals involving West Texas oilman Clinton Manges and Galveston bad boy Shearn Moody Jr. Most recently, there have been allegations that Mattox was bribed by Dallas lawyers Gail Cooper and John Landis. In each of these situations the question arises: did Mattox broker his influence? Is the AG for sale?

There has been a great deal of smoke, raised mainly by The Dallas Morning News. But much of the time they’ve had difficulty following it to an actual fire, And it’s at the doorstep of the News where Mattox lays most the blame for his bad PR. “If it weren’t for protection under the Sullivan doctrine, many, many times, I would already own that newspaper,” says Mattox.

“They’ve opposed me in every race I’ve ever been in. They do it now as a matter of business philosophy. They believe they represent the political feelings of a great majority of people in the Dallas area. They do it as a matter of generating business.

“You know how you can write a sentence that says ’Mattox alleged’ rather than simply ’Mattox said.’ That’s the normal way they’ve followed stuff over the years. They’ve always tried to write about me in the worst light they can, and have had that long, long vendetta.”

Says Mattox, with some satisfaction, “Yet they investigated me up one side and down the other and never found doodly squat.”

So why does Ann Richards, who has pledged to run on the Nicey-Wicey Ticket, have her plumbers out scouring the sewers? Here are some real good reasons: Sam Coats. Wes Wise. Nancy Judy. John Hannah. And most especially, Tom Pauken.

Mattox, you see, didn’t like the taste of that first precinct defeat. And he vowed not to lose again.

When Sam Coats, who had made many of the “best state legislators” lists at the conclusion of his first term in Austin, seemed assured of reelection in 1971, Mattox painted him as the Establishment’s boy and walked away with the race in a breeze. Friends of Coats say they never had seen such nasty tactics in a local political campaign.

Wes Wise squared off with Mattox in 1976, convinced that his popularity as a three-term Dallas mayor would sweep him into Congress. Mattox made him spend more time explaining what he did for a living than what he would do as a congressman.

Granted, Tom Rauken is politically about as far to the right as you can get and remain in the real world. But among this pleasant, soft-spoken attorney’s many pluses is his ability to remain personal friends with political enemies. But you will not find him socializing with Jim Mattox. Not after the brutal races he lost to him in 1978 and 1980.

Pauken is Catholic. His wife is Hispanic. In the ’78 race for Congress, according to Pauken, “We caught him taking ’polls,’ floating around in the district asking ’would you vote for an Anglo who was married to a Mexican?’ and ’would you vote for a Catholic?’ One of his campaign workers had become disaffected and left the campaign. He told us it was designed to drop some third-party attacks around the district. We confirmed they were doing it. They finally admitted they were doing it. but wouldn’t release the poll or actually say what the questions were.”

Pauken confronted Mattox personally. “I told him I didn’t mind him attacking me, but I told him, ’Leave my wife out of it or I’ll punch you in the mouth.’ He got all puffed up and said, ’You’re using the fact I’m a Baptist against me.’ My mind reeled; that’s a 55 percent Baptist district. I think he’s a sociopath. He has no connection with the truth or interest in it.”

When reporters asked Mattox about the poll, Pauken recalls, “he completely blew up. He shifted the issue by calling me a Nazi. It was crazy, but it worked.”

John Hannah is by most accounts ranked among the most competent lawyers in the state. Well known and well liked in East Texas, Hannah was good enough to get appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District in the late Seventies. During his tenure there he ran an aggressive and effective team of prosecutors.

Once upon a time in the state of Texas, however, it was not required that a person complete law school to be a lawyer. If you gained sufficient experience as, say. a clerk for a judge, you could take the bar exam and obtain a law license. Hannah, many years ago. had entered law this way, passing the bar after completing all but one semester of the required three years of law school. When the two ran for attorney general in 1982 Mattox twisted this to portray Hannah as something less than a “real lawyer.” Mattox won. Hannah will vote for Ann Richards.

In every case, Pauken says, Mattox’s opponents have made the mistake of underestimating just how rough the man is willing to play, while vastly overestimating the voting public’s knowledge of-and outrage over-his past peccadilloes. That’s why Richards is arming herself to the teeth.

The nastiest rumor floating-so nasty that Shipley and company refuse to be publicly associated with it-concerns the forty-five-year-old lifelong bachelor’s um, sexual, ah, orientation. This may become a no-win situation for Mattox, of course. He can be painted either as not liking women enough or as liking them way too much. But the tactic is as likely to trap the trapper as the prey.

Mattox says he likes women, without committing about how much. “That happens to be my preference.” he says. A Mattox aide adds, “If they try to pin anything else on him, I’m ready to fill up a good-sized room with women who can prove it.”

Other potential skeletons rattle their bones in Mattox’s closet, and Ann Richards’s dirty tricksters will keep trying to give them a fresh airing. This is, after all, Texas politics.

MATTOX WORKED IN THE DEMOCRAT ic trenches when Mike McKool ran for county chairman, and alter Congressman Joe Poole’s death in 1969, Mattox spearheaded Judge Robert Hughes’s losing bid against Jim Collins in the ensuing special election. He later served two years as a prosecutor under legendary DA Henry Wade.

Mattox decided to run for the state legislature in 1971. The timing was good, since ’71 was the year of the Sharpstown loan scandal. Mattox, running for House District 33-K. as a reform candidate, was endorsed by the “Dirty Thirty” group that brought thenSpeaker of the House Gus Mutscher down. Mattox beat Sam Coats in a runoff.

In addition to gaining a reputation in the house for his energy, his intelligence, his pugnacity, and his just-plain-loudness (he once screamed “Liar!” at Speaker Price Daniel Jr.), Mattox also was highly instrumental in reducing the penalties for possession of marijuana. At the time he described his involvement as “politically risky.” There are indications that his enemies are well prepared to use those votes against him, lo these nearly twenty years later.

During his second term, Mattox got tired of the Lege and tossed his hat into the Fifth District congressional race. Wes Wise, a popular mayor and sportscaster, was surprised to find himself quickly trounced in the Democratic primaries by Mattox’s knowledge of grass-roots politics and his door-to-door, block-by-block campaign machine.

A memorable moment in the evolution of Street Fightin’ Jim came that fall, when Mattox squared off against Republican Nancy Judy (now a county commissioner) in the general election. One night, on the Channel 13 show ’’Newsroom,’” Mattox lost control. Someone made a reference to his “lady” opponent, and Mattox snapped, “She may be a woman, but she’s no lady.”

He beat the “woman” 68,000 to 58,000, and the seat was his for three terms, 1976-82. IF MATTOX IS VULNERABLE AS HE REACH-es for the state’s highest office, it is because of Danny Faulkner. By 1978, Faulkner was making campaign contributions to Mattox, and by the early Eighties, Mattox was describing Danny Faulkner as “a friend and business partner.” But it was not until 1983. with Faulkner under federal investigation for a conspiracy that flat-near ruined the economy of the state of Texas, that the full extent of the business relationship came to light.

Both Mattox and his brother and sister had purchased real estate from Faulkner, and there have been all kinds of allegations of money and land passing between them. One such suspicious tithe involved a $50,000 legal retainer paid to Mattox’s sister, Janice, by the Rowlett title company that “handled real estate closings for virtually all of the hundreds of land transactions now under investigation,” according to a Morning News report. And it was revealed that Mattox had received some $200,000 on a land deal that apparently neither Mattox nor his family had any investment interest in. When asked in a deposition what Mattox had done to earn the 200 grand, Faulkner replied, “I don’t recall him doing anything.”

But Mattox’s propensity for troublesome friendships doesn’t end with Danny Faulkner. Some folks were absolutely deboned by the news of Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim’s $40,000 thank-you note after Mattox’s office settled a case to the chicken king’s satisfaction. But that is no less mind-boggling than Mattox’s dealings with Clinton Manges, a West Texas oilman who also has not been shy about filling Mattox’s campaign treasury. Mattox reported receiving $50,000 from three different Manges PACs on April 8, 1982.

Before the ’82 election, in which Mattox was elected attorney general, Manges was having a great deal of trouble servicing his debts. Three loans from Seattle-First National Bank totaling more than $35 million temporarily solved Manges’s cash shortage. To pay his long-term debts, Manges planned to file suits cashing in on some irregularities in Mobil Oil’s drilling lease on his Duval County land. But Manges had signed papers releasing Mobil from all damages that might be owed him under the lease.

Ironically, the land Mobil was leasing from Manges included mineral rights owned by the state, and the state, not a party to any of the previous settlements, was free to challenge the lease.

In November 1982, Mattox was able to convince outgoing AG Mark White that it was in the state’s interest to take a hard-line stance and to join in a suit with Manges. In February 1983, Manges also found irregularities in Exxon’s lease on the same ranch. He convinced land commissioner Garry Mauro, who had accepted $65,000 in Manges contributions, to sue.

Exxon eventually agreed to settle for $4 million in damages, but Mattox was unhappy with the settlement. If it were called damages, rather than royalties, Manges would be cut out of the deal. If it were paid as royalties. Manges, as the surface owner, would be entitled to a share. When Exxon refused to give in. Mattox saw that Manges got a nice chunk anyway. Exxon turned over the $4 million, and the state promptly handed $1.38 million to friend Manges.

Mattox, munching fried fish and potatoes in the cafeteria of the Texas Employment Commission, sees nothing improper in the Manges affair. “Manges is the one that brought the case to us. We didn’t go to him. He’s the one that did the research and found the information and uncovered the ability of the state to be able to get anything. It was aboveboard, fair, quid pro quo”

Mattox’s relationship with Manges led to a dispute with Fulbright & Jaworski partner Tom McDade. who was representing Mobil. That dispute, which Mattox has always referred to as merely “table-pounding between lawyers,” resulted in Mattox’s darkest hour, his indictment for commercial bribery.

On June 18, 1983. the front page of The Dallas Morning News carried a story that questioned the propriety of two 1982 loans: one to Janice and Jerry Mattox from Seattle-First National Bank and one to the Mattox campaign from the candidate himself.

Mattox’s brother Jerry and sister Janice took out an unsecured loan for $125,000 from Seafirst on May 25, 1982, for “oil and gas investment.” The Seafirst loans were approved by John R. Boyd- the same loan officer who arranged $35 million in credit for Clinton Manges.

In the summer of 1983, Mattox reportedly loaned his campaign $125,000. The Mattox campaign repaid Mattox on November 18-interest and principal totaling $133,797.57. The very next day, Janice and Jerry Mattox repaid their Seafirst loan with exactly the same sum, to the penny.

The story got the undivided attention of lawyer McDade. who promptly subpoenaed Janice Mattox for a deposition to find out the extent of Mattox’s business connections with Manges and Seafirst. When the AG found out that McDade wanted to depose his sister, he exchanged several angry phone calls with McDade and other Fulbright & Jaworski partners.

On July 21, McDade publicly accused Mattox of threatening to cut off the the firm’s bond business if McDade did not drop Janice’s subpoena. On September 13, the grand jury indicted Mattox on a felony charge of commercial bribery, based on the charge that Mattox had threatened to cut off Fulbright & Jaworski’s bond business.

Transcripts of recorded conversations between Mattox and Fulbright & Jaworski were presented as evidence in the trial.

“The only way you’re going to work something out with me is to drop this deposition,” Mattox told McDade. ’We’re not going to get out of this trap unless you agree to it.”

The charges came to trial in February 1985. On March 14, Mattox was acquitted. Typically, once again. Cagey Jim was able to snatch political victory from the jaws of defeat. Mattox told reporters, “I can remember back in Texas history when a fellow used to be able to whip the socks off another fellow that insulted or offended his family or wife or something, and as a matter of fact even go to the point of killing him at times. I don’t know what Texas has come to.”

MATTOX IS .ACUTELY AWARE OF WHO owes whom what-or, to put a positive spin on it, he has what friends describe as an intense and unvarying loyalty. Says Ken Benson, a Dallas political consultant and former Mattox aide, “He’s the most loyal man I know.”

Perhaps this is why. despite the deluge of bad publicity that his connections to Faulkner has earned him, Mattox still acknowledges the friendship. “I’m still friends with Faulkner. I think Danny Faulkner is a real decent human being. I’ve seen him reach out and help people that didn’t know his name or who he was. Danny Faulkner has never asked me for one single thing, from a governmental perspective. Never once. Never once. And would not.”

Now, he is really warming up. “I get a sense of consolation from the fact that if you go back and look at the people who have made a significant contribution to the world of representing the common folks out there, invariably the press has been after them time and time again. You look at Harry Truman, or any of these people. Most of the lime they’ve been unpopular with the press both in editorial comments and with cartoonists and reporters. They have had that kind of relationship.I don’t feel bad about that.

“You judge a guy by the enemies he makes. There’s an old parable about the pecan tree. When I was a kid, I’d walk under the pecan tree and find an old shoe, a brick, rocks, everything in the world. I said, ’Dad- dy, how come all this stuff is under the pecan tree, and not any of these other trees?” He said, ’Those other trees don’t bear any fruit. Nobody’s chunked at it. They only chunk when they’re trying to get at the fruit.’”

So now we’ve got all these Jims.

Street Fightin’ Jim? Tug-at-the-Heartstrings Jim? Diamond Jim? Or Populist Jim? Mattox the Just and Incorruptible? Mattox Then? Mattox Now?

Only God truly knows which one is real.

And, of course, Jim Mattox.

The voters? They can only guess.

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