The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau O’rxa,9 Olitstrurr An Independent Liberal Weekly Newspaper 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. VOL. 46 MARCH 21, 1955 AUSTIN, TEXAS NO. 49 2 Legislators From Dallas In Land Deal King Sold, Pool Bought; Price Defended as Fair; Portion of Deal Stalled AUSTIN Two Dallas legislators took part in a four-veteran block land deal last year under the veterans’ land program, The Texas Observer has learned. Representative Tom King sold four 20-acre tracts of Dallas County land to the Veterans’ Land Board for $7,500 each. The land was then bought from the State by four Dallas veterans, of whom Representative Joe Pool was one. Other veterans’ land developments are summarized later in this story. Originally there were twelve veterans in the King deal. The applications were first filed in June, 1954. Four of the sales were approved in October as a “companion deal” with a joint appraisal. The other eight were caught in the general “freeze” on group land deals imposed after the investigations into the widespread scandals in the program started in November. King discussed the deal with The Texas Observer by phone from Dallas over the weekend. He said that he had owned the land originally. \(It is in the Tom King subdivision of the Elisha McCommas survey in Dallas County, ten miles southwest of Dallas and one mile He stated that Pool “had no interest in the land at all except to buy it as a veteran.” ‘ Pool stated from Dallas that he was an “innocent party,” that the GALVESTON The politicians on Galveston Island are disarmingly candid sometimes. One of the chief law enforcement officers recently had several thousand campaign blotters printed with this motto on them: “Honesty is no substitute for experience.” Wiser heads felt this might go a little too far, however, and the blotters were destroyed. Prostitution and gambling still proceed apace on the island. Everybody knows it, including the police. The situation is ready-made for bribery. We went in to talk to the Police and Fire Commissioner of Galveston, Walter Johnston. We wanted to ask him about an indirect charge in a legal indictment that he would have to be paid bribes if the whorehouses were to be kept open. Before we could get to this question, however, the chief remarked: “I don’t have to discuss nothin’. I ain’t even goin’ to pass the time a day with you. Why should I?” The reporter suggested that police chiefs are public officials with blic responsibilities. Taking anher tack, lie asked why so few HOUSTON If he’s running for Governor, Mayor Roy Hofheinz of Houston is certainly going about it in a strange way. First he comes out for the two-cent gasoline tax raise, wihch few observers give a chance of passing the house. Predictably, snuff sniffin’ Jerry Sadler, the beer-taxing representative from Percilla, says, Well, now, I declare, if Roy Hofheinz is running for Governor on a sales tax, about the only votes he’ll get in my county is those whose pencils slip . . . Next Hofheinz says he is opposed to the Trinity River Authority, a plan involving the welfare of the entire Trinity Valley and the competing economic interests of the railroads and surrounding areas. Sure enough, along comes Zeke Zbranek, the representative from Hull-Daisetta, distressed by the Mayor’s “unneighborly attitude.” And in Houston itself, the Mayor has entered into a bitter wrangle with the City Council. He has declared Houston needs a 20 per cent ad valorem tax raise and the Council is opposing him. Very pleasant in an efficient sort of way, Hofheinz works behind a glass-topped, bed-sized desk in an impressive office in City Hall. Big “progress boards” cover three walls. “These Projects Spell Progress for Houston”; “Projects Since Jan. 2, 1953” and so on. They tell of $300,000 spent for a Gulf freeway to Wheeler, $100,000 for miscellaneous traffic signals, $700,000 for an interchange, $2,600,000 for the purchase of a water reservoir site, $232,000 for four new fire stations, $755,000 for the airport terminal, $42,000 for a branch library …. “Aesthetically we have more park areas inside the city propor ships are coming into Galveston wharves these days. “I ain’t gonna tell you nothin’,” the police chief responded. “I don’t have to be dictated to by you or anybody else. If you don’t like the way I do my job that’s your business. You do your job and I’ll do mine.” We sat looking at each other for a minute or so. There didn’t seem to be anything else to say so I walked out. WALTER JOHNSTON tionally than any other city in this region,” he says. “In my first two ROY HOFHEINZ A United Nations contest for Houston high schoolers 16,000 of themdrew only four contestants here last week. The reason: Conservative forces in Harris County, definitely antiUN, raised so many objections to the contest that it became, in the words of Houston newspapers, “controversial.” As a result, only 18 students bought 50-cent information kits to prepare themselves for the examination on the UN. Of the 18, only 12 said that would take the exam after looking the kit over. Then only four showed up for the exam, the last question of which was to write an editorial on “What the United Nations Means to Me as an American Citi7prc , This was too bad. Johnston has been the object of numerous serious charges, yet he would not give a reporter a chance to get his side of the story. Bill Kugle, head of the Galveston reform committee and a former state legislator, told The Texas Observer: “The complicity of Walter Johnston with the operators of the bawdy houses is patently obvious. It is much more than a tolerance of their existence; he takes an active interest in their continued operation.” Kugle once recorded an interview he had with two whorehouse operators, Mary Russell and Sam Amelio. Both of these people got rather specific about their relationship to the police commissioner. Amelio, in fact, jas indicted by a grand jury in ‘ Galveston on charges of lying when he denied that he told Kugle in this interview “that Walter Johnston would have to be paid between $100 and $150 per month for each house of prostitution.” The grand jury said that “in truth and fact” Amelio had told Kugle this on October 14, 1953. The jury also charged that Amelio lied when he denied that he offered Kugle $50 per month for each of eleven houses of prostitutionthat is, $550 a monthif Kugle would stop his “public attack years as Mayor I opened a total of 13 new swimming pools, parks were illuminated for night-time playing. We doubled playgrounds and youth programs. We will have four new branch libraries finished by the end of next year.” Well, it’s true, he said, the roads are not too good, “but you’ve got to remember Houston contains 165 square miles.” One of his objectives is to top the roughly 600 miles of streets of dirt, shell, or gravel. He does not mention it at the moment, but he has also opened the cityls municipal golf courses to Negroes. What makes this fellow go? On short acquaintance, the most striking thing about him is the phrases he uses. He does not talk like the mayor of a “status quo city” but flashes through the progress plans stored in his brain with such phrases as The contest was sponsored by the local UN Council. It first planned to have the contest administered by high school teachers, but that proposal brought such a flood of protests that the idea was dropped. The reason given was that the sponsors “didn’t want to see the schools made into an improper battleground of established United States policy.” Mrs. T. H. Tennant, chairman of the contest committee, called it a “strategic withdrawal from strength.” Two of the four contestants will receive local prizes of $50 and $25. They will also be able to enter the national contest, which offers free trips to Europe and Mexico and college scholarships as prizes. on Police and Fire Commissioner Walter L. Johnston.” The grand jury said it had questioned Amelio to find out whether he had knowledge that Johnston “had illegally received a sum or sums of money as a bribe to induce him … to permit and sanction the open operation of bawdy houses.” Amelio died five days before he was to come to trial. The cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage. Johnston said at the time that Amelio’s remarks were “an irresponsible statement from an irresponsible person.” He said that he has “never taken a nickel from anyone for protection against the violation of the law.” He had seen and talked to Amelio “about three times” but Amelio had “never represented him,” he said. Johnston is a frank defender ‘of open redlight districts “I think Galveston being a seaport needs Post Office Street,” he has said. Of the reformers, he said: “If they get their way you will have to get permission to play tiddly winks in your own home …. The whole citizens’ committee stinks.” One of the newspapers quoted Johnston once as saying that Galveston needs a redlight district and adding: “If , these people had been Dallas Museum Is Criticized For ‘Pink’ Art Nonobjective Painting And ‘Red’ Artists Hit by Clubwomen DALLAS A group of Dallas clubwomen have attacked the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts for “overemphasizing” futuristic, modernistic, and nonobjective paintings and statuary and for “presentation of the art and concepts of Communists.” Jerry Bywaters, museum director, has replied that “we are not sponsoring the work of known Communists.” The club members, he said, “are attacking one thing they dislikecontemporary art and linking with it another thing they dislikeCommunisth.” Half a dozen Dallas art clubs have endorsed the clubwomen’s resolution. Several of these groups also add the complaint that the museum has been “ignoring Dallas artists for years.” Jerry Harwell, the curator of the museum, says on this point that the museum has “a larger collection of Texas art than any museum in the state.” The Public Affairs Luncheon Club adopted a resolution stating . “There has been increasing evidence in the museum of a tendency to overemphasize all phases of futuristic, modernistic, and nonobjective paintings and statuary and to exhibit, promote, and acquire the work of artists who have known communistic affiliations.” The museum, said the resolution, should “direct their endeavors to encourage, promote, and exhibit works of artists worthy of their attention …” Listed among the artists apparently not “worthy of their attention” were Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Joseph Hirsch, Max Weber, Jo Davidson, George Grosz, and Chaim Gross. Apparently choosing not to dispute the ladies’ resolution on the issue of whether art-by-communists is art, Bywaters said the Museum possesses a nude painting by Grosz, a large figure painting of nine men washing up after work by Hirsch, and a portrait of Dr. Otto Ruhle by Rivera. He added that none of these paintings have been exhibited since January. The museum does not have any of the works of the others, he said. Mrs. F. R. Carlton, Public Affairs Luncheon Club past-president and now co-chairman of its resolutions committee, said that “much of our material is from the Congressional Record and committee reports.” She specifically cited a House report of March 17, 1952, which attempted to identify some artists as “communist affiliates” and said that some artists’ organizations originated at a conference at Kharkov, Russia, in 1930. The Federation of Dallas Artists backs the luncheon club and accuses the museum of “ignoring Dallas artists for years.” The Dallas Art Association is to appoint a committee to investigate the charges, Stanley Marcus, president, said. Marcus joined Jerry Bywater in denying the charges. The point was made that the museum is not supported by public funds. The Southern 1Viemorial Association and the Matheon, Frank Reaugh, Frank Klepper, Aunsbaugh and Delta art clubs announced their support of the luncheon dui Houston’s Hofheinz He Plans a Modern City But Runs for Governor in Puzzling Ways Only Four of 16,000 Students Compete in Houston UN Tests Galveston IslandII 3 Police Chief Defends Brothels
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