Page 2


Wi ll VET ERANS LAND SCAND/kl. ……—7-. C oMMl5Sloti 1 ….. :….y.”P..rS’t … .6 , , . .. .. .. ri..1,.. Al, 01.,,,,,,,,,,. , 1 Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art. JEFFERSON 5he Scancla4 This newspaper has no desire to foster scandals. They depress us terribly. We love our fellow man, and . in the failings of those now implicated, we see our own carried but a few steps along. And we see the present and forthcoming mortification of the wives and children of those who have wronged the public good. But we must print what we find. No newspaper worthy of the profession can do less than that. We are very sorry to say that, although we may be wrong about it, the scandals appear merely to have begun. We urge and caution all our friends and readers to exercise maximum mental care about these matters ; to remember that a newspaper’s facilities for research and publication are limited and may lead to errors and injustices, even with every effort to be fair; and to reach no fast conclusiOns until all the facts have emerged, have been debated by persons of the various political dispositions, and have been submitted to and judged by the orderly processes of justice in cases where the law may have been violated. The purpose of printing information about public men which may raise questions about their official conduct is not properly to give vent to personal or political antagonisms. The only proper reason for such publication is the dedication of a newspaper to print all facts of public concern, and, editorially speaking, to a correction of the custom among some of our officials of using their status in the commonwealth for private gain. Let us think clearly, too, about the difference between asking that a matter be “expedited” for a frienda thing deplorable but common in a democracy of representatives and the deliberate abuse of public policy and public trust for private gain. The one is contrary to the spirit of fair play, and therefore very serious. The other is criminal. Wherever the truth leads, the press must follow. It is a dark time in Austin, and we are not happy to be in the storm; but we will not go indoors until it is over. g ileJ in the Ciear Bascom Giles may have already been granted legislative immunity from any court suit in Texas in connection with the veterans’ land scandals. He invoked the Texas Fifth Amendment behind the closed doors of the Haldeman Committee, but they questioned him for several hours, anyway. They should have told him they were not interested in anything he had to say if he would not tell them. everything but they did not. The real fear is abroad among lawyers around the Austin Club and the Austin Hotel lobby that by insisting that the former Land Commissioner answer questions after he had once invoked his constitutional immunity, the Senate committee may have granted him immunity from court prosecution in fact, though not by formal vote. Section 3 of Article 5429a of Texas law says that if a man is required by a legislative committee to testify over his objections after having invoked his ‘constitutional immunity, he “shall not be subject to indictment or prosecution for any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he truthfully testified or produces evidence.” In Ferrantello v. State, it was held that this law could be the basis for a defense against charges covered in questions answered truthfully before a legislativecommittee under that committee’s insistence. Verbal insistence can mean almost anything. We know it sounds incredible. It may be denied. But only time will tell. A lot of Austin lawyers are betting that were a court suit brought against Giles, the first plea would be that he has been granted legislative immunity in fact. One such lawyer is retained by Bascom Giles, and his name is Clint Small. We will read the secret Senate testimony with interest to see who, if anyone, “insisted” that Giles answer questions. With _A p olo g ieJ to Morae Now that Senator Morse has joined the Democratic Party, maybe Governor Shivers will find it in his heart to save the Republicans from lacklustre by announcing that he is one of them. atexas Mbstrurr Incorporating The State Observer, combined with the East Texas Democrat February 21, 1955 Published one* a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 5c each. Quantity orders available. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1987, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the act of Marsh 8, 1879. SAILING ADDRESS : Drawer F, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas. OFFICE OF PrBLICA.TION: 504 W. 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone: 70746. Ronnie Dugger Dell Sackett nt erZ+Sar, 3 Editor Business Maanger We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy ; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit ‘I Don’t Know What’s Goin’ on Upstairs! Only Play the Piano Here Once a Year’ PLUTO REPORTS King of Lobbyists; Duck Hunt , Distant View AUSTIN King of the Lobbyists is a much debated title in many legislative sessions, but not this one. For several years this distinction was claimed by many for Austin Attorney Ed Clark, but now he’s being challenged by former Speaker Claud Gilmer of Rock Springs. Ramsey was elected lieutenant gov as Allred’s secretary and as Secre being near the great and near great. Ben Ramsey and Clark are both from San Augustine, and when Capitol and Texas Politics by former Governor \(now Federal tary of State. This gave him a taste of politics, and he learned to enjoy Clark was brought to the State to retire or seek different offices. when all “old friends” are expected lation, and others interested in be interesting to observe the fight among the lobbyists next year loan and finance companies deeply concerned about “corrective” legisportant “single shop” legislation. Thus the battle goes on. It will PLUTO ernor in 1950. Clark’s star began to rise. Clark now looks after the legislative interests of Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., South Texas Utilities, Southland Life Insurance Co.. Southwestern Life Insurance Co., Brown & Root, Texas Power and Light Co., and others. Clark’s partner, Everett Looney, has appeared as counsel for several of the witnesses before the Senate Committee investigating the Veterans’ Land Board scandal. Claud Gilmer was speaker of the House of Representatives in 1945 and served in the House in 1947. His good friend, Durwood Manford of Smiley, became Speaker in 1949 and was succeeded by Reuben Senterfitt, also from Gilmer’s hill country. Senterfitt served in 1951 and 1953. Gilmer is now reported to be “close” to Speaker Jim Lindsey. Clark is known to be an intimate friend of the presiding officer of the Senate; Gilmer has a widely known affection for Speakers. Up to that point they are even. The real edge which Gilmer apparently has on Clark is his friendship with the Governor. Clark has never been a Shivers man, and that fact is well known among politicians and folks interested in State Government. On the other hand, Gilmer helped Shivers carry Texas for the Republicans through “Democrats for Eisenhower” and has busied himself in Shivers’s interest whenever there was need. The Clark supporters for “king of the lobbyists” point to his impressive list of clients, but the Gilmer people claim that Gilmer has the real “plums.” Samples of the Gilmer legislative clients are the Interstate Theatres, the toll road people, gas producerswho are making an all-out effort to get price fixing authority on natural gas for the Railroad Commission Texas at Large Shivers Gone, And Maurice Misses Him Governor Allan Shivers seems to have lost interest in the Legislature this year. In previous sessions he has been on the job keeping a watchful eye on his program, with a well-trained crew working with legislators to keep his team out front. …. Now, while the Legislature is up late with water bills \(the number one problem according to Shivtrying to find out who is to blame for the mess in the Veterans’ Land Board \(of which the Governor is a tax to pay for the Governor’s multimillion dollar recommendations, struggling with numerous labor bills advocated to “correct” the Port Arthur labor difficulty \(anShivers is getting in a little golf at Palm Springs, Calif. …. Maurice Acers, a Shivers secretary, is missing the warm hand of the boss. Senator Kilmer Corbin keeps asking questions about Acers and his business dealings, and Attorney General John Ben Shepperd has sued Acers’ third . cousin in the land board cleanup. …. Observers at the hearings at the Senate Investigating Committee think Senator Jimmy Phillips has forgotten that there are others on the three man Veterans’ Land Board. His shots are all aimed at Shepperd, with hardly any mention of Shivers or former Land Commissioner Bascom Giles, neither of whom have testified freely before the committee. Does the Senator really “just want the facts”? …. Grand juries in Texas are expected to get in the land cleanup soon with some indictments against the law violators. This may bring about more action than have the debates in the Legislature. …. Speaker Jim Liirdc:27 seems very attentive to the Governor’s wishes. Oldtimers say he had better hear former Speaker Reuben Senterfitt’s story of “always a bridesmaid but never a bride.” …. New cars are in evidence in great numbers in the Legislature. Prices may be better now that the automobile dealers are in a battle before the lawmakers. …. Lightning seems to have struck Senator Dorsey Hardeman now that he has been Governor for a day and addressed the Tennessee Legislature. He may be a candidate for Governor, but it’s not clear yet whether it will be in Texas or Tennessee. …. Insurance is rumored to be near the time for attention. John Van Cronkhite should be grateful for the diversion created by the Vets’ Land Board scandal, but it looks as though he’s going to get some attention. One question will be asked all Insurance Commission members and employees: “Have you ever, while employed by the State, solicited campaign funds for any candidate?” …. This is worrying a certain Insurance Commission member and an employee who allegedly made the rounds for some candidates last year. …. Some of the state senators have been concerned about the Governor’s vacation in California during the full heat of the land investigations and the Corbin resolution. One, Parkhouse of Dalas, told John Osorio that they had raised Shivers’s. pay to be Governor of Texas, not Governor of California. The person who recounted the story was not sure whether Parkhous was serious or joking. …. Three state courts have recently knocked down state fairtrade laws Nebraska most recently. The only bill resembling a fair trade measure this session in Austin is the used-car bill. Nonfranchise dealers apparently would be cut out of the new car trade by the proposal: …. Senator Rogers Kelly, Hidalgo, may get opposition in 1956 from James S. Bates, Hidalgo DA. Senator Corbin expects Rep. Gillham of Brownfield to run against him. The Texas Observer ran a series of news stories and editorials about the Governor’s Seventh Annual Duck Hunt some time back. Now comes the Feb. 13 issue of “Parade,” a newspaper supplement, with the following article: BEAUMONT, TEXAS Businessmen in this oil-booming corner of southeast Texas decided seven years ago that, if you scratch a politician, you’ll find a duckhunter underneath. Trying to persuade the state to convert Lamar Junior College into a state technical school, they hit on a three-day duck shoot in the Gulf marshes west of here to win influential friends. The idea worked perfectly; within a year, Lamar State College of Technology was born. The trip was sucha success that it has been an annual event since. \(It has continued to _pay “dividends,” too; a recent example is a “We couldn’t be ‘inhospitable and quit when we got what we wanted,” a businessman explains. Each year, the trip attracts the governor, the lieutenant governor and a quorum of state senators. The most recent trip also attracted Parade’s David P. Preston, who took the ‘pictures on these pages. The cost of the jauntabout $1,500 a tripis borne by Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange business. Texas Oil donates a boat and its crew; Gulf Oil the camp; the Port Arthur Hunting Club, the duck blinds. An informal organization of businessmen handles the planning and serves as guides. It also enforces a rule that no politics may be discussed on the trip. Open season on politicians comes later; local leaders can drop in at the capitol and make the area’s requests as one old hunting pal to another. //