Sissy Farenthold

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Frances Farenthold

Template:TOCnestleft Frances (Sissy) Farenthold is a Texas activist and politician.

Rapoport support

Bernard Rapoport was a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party, starting with Homer Rainey's gubernatorial campaign in 1946. He later supported Ralph Yarborough, Frances Farenthold, Ted Kennedy, Alan Cranston, and George McGovern, during whose campaign in 1972 Bernard met Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham. From 1974 onward, Rapoport donated to every one of Bill Clinton's campaigns and served as fundraiser for both presidential bids.[1]

Cablegram to Portugese Socialists and the M.F.A.

In 1974, after a pro-communist military coup in Portugal;

More than eighty Americans, all identified with opposition to the Vietnamese war and with various radical and liberal causes, sent on August 9 a cablegram to to the Portugese Armed Forces Movement, to Portugese president francisco da Costa Gomes and to portugese socialist leader Mario soares expressing the hope that "democratic freedoms"...will continue to grow in Portugal".

Michael Harrington, the national chairman of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, organized the effort with help from 5 "Initiators" - Lawrence Birns (writer), Sissy Farenthold (past president National Women's Political Caucus), Congressman Michael J. Harrington, Martin Peretz (chairman, editorial board New Republic), Cleveland Robinson (vice president, Distributive Workers of America), Leonard Woodcock (president United Auto Workers, Jerry Wurf (president AFSME).

Elected officials who signed the cablegram included: Julian Bond, Willie Brown, Jr., John Conyers, Jr., Don Edwards, William Gluba, Edward J. Koch, Parren J. Mitchell, Henry S. Reuss, Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Louis Stokes.[2]

Under FBI surveillance

At the same time he was selling U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union, former FBI special agent Robert Hanssen was a key supervisor in a 1980s domestic-spying program questioning the loyalty of American citizens and monitoring their activities, FBI documents have shown.

Under this program, federal agents filed reports on teachers, clerics and political activists who primarily were affiliated with liberal causes.

For instance, one document included is the entire list of U.S. delegates to the 1987 World Congress of Women convention in Moscow. They ranged from the likes of former Texas legislator and human rights activist Frances "Sissy" Farenthold to the Rev. Nan Brown, a Baptist minister from Palmyra, Va. Brown said she went to Moscow simply because she wanted to look at the Soviet education system.

"I'm astounded, really," she said when informed that her name was in the files. "I only went because I wanted to go to the conference." [3]

In Geneva with Gorbachev

In 1985 Robert Borosage, Sissy Farenthold and Rev. Jesse Jackson as members of delegation who met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, at the Reagan/Gorbachev Summit.

"Dirty Thirty"

A vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, Bill Aleshire applied for, and got, conscientious objector status, an issue that he says caused more than a little conflict with his military officer father. Part of the work he did as community service in lieu of military service was to work in the Texas Legislature. He worked as a volunteer for The Dirty 30, a group of reformist legislators that included Reps. Sissy Farenthold and Lloyd Doggett, among others.[4]

Institute for Policy Studies

Frances Farenthold is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Policy Studies. She is an attorney and a former member, of the Texas legislature.[5]

Soviet Union


Sissy Farenthold with Institute for Policy Studies delegation to Soviet Union, 1980s.

Women for a Meaningful Summit

In 1989 Sissy Farenthold served on the Board of Directors of Women for a Meaningful Summit.

Texas radical meeting


Rev. James Caldwell (third from left) at a 2012 meeting which included Texas Organizing Project members, Tennessee Communist Party USA member Dennis Laumann, fourth from left, and Rep. Al Green (9th from left) and Sissy Farenthold, 11th from left.



  1. [1]
  2. Democratic Left, Sep. 1975, page 2
  3. [2] At FBI, a Traitor Helped in Search for Subversives, Jonathan Dann and J. Michael Kennedy, July 29, 2001 Los Angeles Times
  4. The Austin Chronicle, Aleshire the Agitator Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Limelight BY ROBERT BRYCE, FRI., AUG. 28, 1998