In Remembrance, Jim Mattox (1943 - 2008)

Posted in Around The State, Commentary at 9:08 am by wcnews

I personally met Jim Mattox in early February. He had a powerful and commanding presence without being intimidating. He was speaking at the Clinton Headquarters in South Austin and he talked about submarine Democrats…the kind that would “show up every few years, vote…charge their batteries and then disappear”, he then, quite forcefully said that there was no place for submarine Democrats in Texas. The man inspired me.

He pushed for more with everything he did. Many of the ethics rules that we follow today were started by Mattox. Labeled the Big Five…then State Representative Mattox pushed open meetings, open records, full financial disclosure, campaign finance reform and lobby registration. He push to make Texas a more ethical state and to ensure that the people were well represented. This attitude pushed him as Attorney General to the title of the “peoples lawyer”.

As recently as last week General Mattox stood with and for the people. At the caucus hearings he stood proudly and declared the two-step primary an embarrassment to the party.

I was proud to stand with General Mattox as former President Bill Clinton spoke at the University of Texas earlier this year. Then after the March 4th primary, I worked out of General Mattox’s second home in East Austin. Every time we met he was upbeat, inspirational and a proud Texas Democrat. He will be remembered as one of the Greatest Attorney Generals Texas has ever seen. His legacy is already written and we stand as Texas Democrats as the crown jewel in his career.

Rest well my friend. Your work is done here.

-Braden Frame

I only met Jim Mattox one time. He came to A WCDP meeting during the 2004 election cycle and spoke on grassroots organizing. He talked about how he organized for his first election with a shoe box and the index cards with the names of voters on them, before the days of data bases. He also gave a rousing oratory that left us all wanting more. His passing, along with other former Texas Democratic state leaders and the example they set should remind us all why we need to elect Democrats statewide again. Thanks for the example Jim, you are missed.

Please feel free to leave any thoughts or remembrances you have of Jim Mattox in the comments.

1 Comment »

  1. gregry17 said,

    November 21, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I worked for Ann Richards and helped her campaign against Jim Mattox.
    From my old IBM word processor, I helped Ann paint Mr Mattox as a woman-hating, back-slapping political insider. To some degree, he started the negative attacks and brought the campaign into the mud, where we liked it. Mattox was not always cordial but he loved Democrats. He helped me with a referernce and I landed my first job out of college with Dan Morales and The OAG. Mr Mattox knew I had worked for Ann and the University Dems during the primary and general election.
    With his tools, the Attorney General was able to collect more child support than ever before. He was an innovator and the backbone of the OAG child support division. Moms all across this state were able to squeeze support from what would have been a deadbeat. He will be missed.

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