The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau Oixas Ohnrrurr 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. 47 MAY 2, 1955 AUSTIN, TEXAS NO. 3 Sleeper Slows Insurance Bill The Political Hucksters `Glandular’ Pitch, Simplified Issues the Trademark During. the final week of the rtnoff in last summer’s gubernatorial camp a i g n, Texas rural areas were blanketed with large handbills which, on the front, showed a great, black tornado with a face. like an ogre bearing down on terrified Texas farmers. Stamped across the face were the letters “CIO-PAC.” “The black threat of CIO-PAC hangs heavy over the farmers and ranchers of Texas,” said the handbill. It warned that if Ralph Yarborough were elected governor, he would attempt to unionize farm labor in the state. Another handbill circulated in East Texas and run as an advertisement in weekly newspapers showed Yarborough talking to a black-faced schoolboy. “If I’m elected governor,” Yarborough was saying, “I’ll see that you get to go to school with the white children.” Circulated in small Texas towns was a copy of a letter marked “confidential,” and it purported to be a 1 .4 message from one CIO official to another. It related how Yarborough, if elected, was going to abolish all debtthat laborers wouldn’t have to worry about paying off their bank notes, their cars or their washing machines. The effectiveness of such propaganda cannot be accurately measured, but Yarborough workers throughout the state during that last week of the runoff were reportedly frantic over the damage done. It was too late to do anything about itmuch less do it effectively. One retaliatory action was proposed: Some Yarborough people pamphlet, had an artist block out the “CIO-PAC” on it, and instead they changed the text, and they definitely outdid the opposition. They called the black face “the revolving hypocrite;” they wrote By BILL BRAMMER Associate Editor The Texas Observer \(Here begins a series on public relations men in Texas about Shivers’s Sharyland farm where h e hired wetbacks a s “slaves.” They showed a picture of Shivers dining with Negro GI’s in Korea and reproduced a newspaper story revealing that one of Shivers’s sons was attending a nonsegregated Catholic school in Austin. Thousands of these handbills were printed up overnight and readied for statewide distribution. Yarborough took a look at them, however, and forbade his workers to go on with the job. He said he wouldn’t allow it. “If he’d let us send those handbills out,” said a disappointed campaign worker later, “he might be in the Governor’s mansion now.” The argument among Yarborough people persists to this day. There has always been a split on the question. But one group almost unanimously agrees that Yarborough should have used the tornado handbill: public relations men. They don’t argue that Yarborough could have won, but they certainly think it would have helped him. The PR people, the admen, the hucksters in politics, are a phenomenon in Texas in that they operate bigger, better and with more money than any other state in the union. Public relations deals with ideas and opinions. It is one of the public relations man’s jobs to make sure a majority of the people are brought around to a certain opinion. For this they are paid incredible sums. . Many of the promotion boys enter into campaigns with a sort of detachment. They may talk about ethics at their conventions, but the main thing at election time is resultsnot methods. It’s just a business proposition. “PR men in Texas were employing the McCarthy technique before Joe ever got out of college,” one ex-huckster said. He said that the McCarthy technique is necessary in Tefas. His argument is that Texas is a big place, that it takes a great deal of propagandizing over the whole state for an idea to sink in with the people. As a result the issues of any campaign are oversimplified and emotional. If there are no simple issues to be had, the real issues are tossed aside and nice, new, primitive ones are fabricated. Texas politicians, as the PR man sees them, are sold to the people like so much soap. But in Texas the traditional adman technique of product repetition , i s partially shelved for a more negative approach. Most of the. big money is concentrated on branding an opponent as evil. The granddaddy of them all in this respect is a quiet, ‘self-effacing man from Dallas named Phil Fox. He is 66 years old and has a heart On Page Six The Texas Observer this week presents a special report on the separate and unequal school facilities of Texas. Prepared by Sam Gibbs, it appears on page six of this issue. A representative who just sits back at his desk and votes “aginst the corporations” every time said of the freckle-faced, bristle-haired Sanders the other day: “He’s playin’ it smart. He’s doin’ what I ought to do: He scans that board ever time, and when it don’t make any difference, he votes with ’em. He’s buildin’ a record and still not hurtin’ nothin.’ That’s what I ought to be doin’.” A few of his friends are bitter s very bitter. Maybe that’s the price the young and ambitious representative must pay for playing it cool. He thinks the word liberal is discredited, and he is not going to be the one to reinstate it. Yet he voted to peg the natural gas tax at nine percent, and he has been effective on behalf of certain key amendments. \(One such amendment provided that a proposal to stamp “subversive books” in state condition. His agency, Watson Associates, has such clients as the Dallas Symphony and the Metropolitan Opera. He is a grand advocate of prison reform. He enters Vito other civic chores. But once or twice a year he handles a political campaign. That’s when the other PR men stand back to watch the master, the old pro, operate. He’ has one of the most fantastic records for winning in politics of anyone in the state. Some people call him a hatchet man; others say with some bitterness that he’s absolutely unscrupulous; many more call him a genius. No one can argue with his record, however. He wins. Some of the campaigns he has handled include those of Shivers, Lyndon Johnson, Texas for Eisenhower, Beauford Jester, and Pappy O’Daniel. Just-how extensive his other activities have been in past campaigns is not clear. He would not talk to this reporter in Dallas last week. He said that a PR man, like a lawyer, has to respect the confidences of a client. One of his most notable triumphs was in the 1946 campaign for Beauford Jesteror rather against Homer Rainey. By the, time the campaign was near its end, a great many Texans had their doubts about Rainey’s loyalty to God, country and wife. When Fox is operating, other PR men just stand aside and try to grab at what’s left over. In the last Shivers campaign, the Governor’s publicity was divided between re supported libraries be permissive Undaunted in pursuit of a label, a reporter suggested that maybe he’s just a pragmatic, and Barefoot laughed: “Well, yeah, if they won’t think it’s a disease.” Barefoot is his real name. It was his grandmother’s maiden name and is derived from the -old AngloSaxon “Harefoot.” He went into the Navy in 1943 as a seaman and came out a lieutenant j.g. in 1946. He flashed through the University of Texas, debating and winning the student presidency, came to the Legislature in 1953. His first race, Sanders had to explain his shady past. It seems that when in the University he had been indiscreet enough to get quoted in the Daily Texan as saying it was Shoe -make’s Waco Firm Excluded From H. B. 39 By RONNIE DUGGER Editor, The Texas Observer AUSTIN A special exemption appears to have been slipped into House Bill 39, a full-disclosure insurance security regulation bill, for A. B. Shoemake’s U.S. Trust and Guaranty Company of Waco. The behind the scenes fight about it threatens to tie up the bill’s House-Senate conference committee and perhaps even delay basic insurance reforms by the Legislature. Shoemake is very influential with some senators. Rep. Floyd Bradshaw of Weatherford, a member of the HouseSenate conference committee on H. B. 39, has dug into Shoemake’s fascinating insurance operations and is threatening to monkeywrench Shoemake’s careful skidgreasing with some of his Senate friends, this newspaper has learned. Sen. Searcy Bracewell, another conference committee member, told The Teas Observer: “Apparently they wrote an exemption around that company more or less put in the exception to specify U.S. Trust and Guaranty, almost by name. You should not write an exemption for any one group.” H.B. 39 puts issue and sale of insurance ‘Securities under regula r -tion of the Board of Insurance Commissioners. But Section 2 excludes any form of commercial pa aliright to have a few communists in the University, it would give other students a chance to find out how stupid communism is. Naturally, his opponent piously quoted him as welcoming communists into “our state university,” omitting his reason. Sanders nailed the distortion, however, and Dallas sent him to Austin. He has a beautiful wife named Jan. She is at least as good a campaigner as he is. “I think more people voted for her than me,” he says. A suave, persuasive speaker, he goes on the mike only occasionally. He piloted the Trinity River Authority bill through a hostile House and co-sponsored the securities bill this session, but “you can’t go to the trough too often,” he says. His fortunately-situated desk \(at the Galveston Officials In Housing Probe GALVESTON With Galveston officialsprotesting their innocence, the federal government is preparing to move in to investigate charges that the Galveston City Housing Authority used public funds to paint the mayor’s front porch and build a duck blind, among other things. Tape recorded statements by former workers for the authority allege that they helped paint and repair Mayor Herbert Cartwright’s porch; buildings at a fishing camp owned by L. Walter Henslee, executive director of the authority; and the Texas City home of Henslee’s mother. Radio station owner Roy Clough first made the charges in a speech in his present campaign for mayor. Cartwright and Henslee deny the charges, as does the Galveston Housing Authority. In Houston late in the week, Assistant U. S. Attorney Gordon Kroll said that because of their seriousness, the charges are receiving “immediate consideration” and “further investigation.” He has heard the tape recordings. SHINY-SHOES BAREFOOT REPS. SANDERS AND BOB WHEELER check the voting AUSTIN Barefoot Sanders emerges from his second session in the Texas Hbuse as a natural leader. His respect among fellow members is so great, he can cast a vote for which liberals would sizzle anyone else, and with Barefoot, well, the HoUse was evenly divided, he’s playin’ it cool, or, “He’s a good man fro _m a bad district.” Sanders hails from Dallas, which he coyly admits is “a conservative area.” And he is doing rather well with the conservatives. He voted for the onecent gasoline tax increase and the Administration’s tax bill as a whole, even offering to make the closing arguments. Soon to be a candidate for statewide office, he is not one for lost causes. He figured that if the tax bill didn’t pass as it was, State agencies would have to go without needed funds. It’s aliright to stand up and be slaughtered if you’re laying a predicate for something in the future, he says, but one gathers that he is reluctant to put his head on the chopping block otherwise. “The fine sense of martyrdom” doesn’t appeal to him. House Regards Sanders Highly Sta f f Photo REP. BAREFOOT SANDERS
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