Moses Wine, Richard Dreyfuss, at home one night watching a football game that he bet on is contacted by an old flame back from his radical days in collage Lila, Susan Anspach. Lila wants Moses to work for a candidate for governor of California, Milles Hawthorne. Moses goes along with Lila to the Hawthorne campaign headquarters even though Moses is apposed to his policies as well as having a low opinion of Hawthorne's intellect. Moses tells Lila about the person she want's to get elected. Told by Hawthorne's campaign manager Sam Sebastian, John Lithgow, that there's a flayer being distributed around the state with a doctored photo of Hawthorne and radical Howard Eppis, who's on the lamb from the police since he was convicted for inciting violence against the government. The flayer is telling everyone that Eppis is supporting Hawthorne for governor, which is not true, which will destroy Howthorne's chances for being elected.