min* 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. The one -great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau _ Ben Ramsey he said, “mminmm-umtrun.” Then I said: “Made up your mind about runnin’ for governor yet ?” State Bar Considers Shepperd’s Crack at Court AUSTIN Directors of the State Bar of Texas considered complaints against Attorney General John -Ben Shepperd and his remarks about. the Court of Criminal Appeals this past weekend. After looking over the. complaints and checking “the law and rules governing the disciplining of lawyers,” the directors shuttled the touchy issueto the 254 entity bar associations in Texas. Local “grievance cammittees” will have to handle it. “Any alleged violation of . the canon of ethics by which the lawyers of Texas govern thethselves is a matter of concern,” the directors announced. “‘We therefore refer these complaints for consideration to the proper local ‘grievance committee.” _Many Texas lawyers, liberal and conservative alike, have been complaining in recent weeks over what they considered a breach of the bar’s canon of ethics by Shepperd. The Attorney General described as “tragic” the Court of Criminal Appeals, action in. overturning 104 indictments against Duval County officials and others. “Maybe someday George Parr’s political debts will be paid off,” he said. He and Alice District Attorney Sam Burris questioned the “impartiality” of Jndge Lloyd W. Davidson, who wrote. the decision overturning the indictments, and indicated they might attempt to have Davidson disqualified. _ When it was learned the State Bar was considering the complaints against Shepperd, the Attorney General quickly answered with a statement : “We welcome the investigation of any . committee of the State Bar of our remarks in the Adame case.” The case directly involved the conviction of R. L. Adame, former Duval County school superintendent, on a felony theft indictment. The court held the grand jury that indicted. Adame was improperly organized. A group of conservative attorneys in Davidson’s home town have criticized “ambitious politicians” and backed Davidson. Shepperd said he had not meant to discredit the court. In a policy statement, the executive board of the Texas State Federation of Labor called for a State Bar study of Shepperd’s attitude toward the courts, and, if he “holds in contempt” the judicial system, “that he be administered such punishment as would be meted out to other attorneys who so expressed their contempt for the courts?’ 10c per copy No. 27 ” Vol. 47 OCT. 26, 1955, AUSTIN, TEXAS without Rayburn’s approval. The Governor’s press secretary, Garland Farmer, told the Observer Monday noon that the Governor has wired the Rayburn Day committee that “the Governor regrets .vin y much he cannot attend because of a previous engagement.” William C. Cooper, of Dallas, chairman of the -Democratic Organizing Committee of Dallas County and a member of the D.A.C., wired four Southern goyertiors at the_ Governor’s Conference in Alabama that “any deal” GOvernor Shivers might enter “would not be ‘validated by Texas Democrats.” He aimed this remark, apparently, at talk of a Southern “centrist coalition” against Adlai Stevenson. , An editorial in The Texas Federationist, published by the Texas State Federation of Labor, said that Ramsey “would not have been the choice of the Democrats who fought the and an old man stuck his head out and spat, spraying my left arm. “Excuse me, I had to spit!” he said. I sat down at the counter for my coffee and after a bit Ben Ramsey came in and sat down. He was the only man in town with a suit on. “Little late gettin’ here, aren’t ya?” he said, friendly. By this time, I just allowed’ how I was. Now I have watched Ben Ramsey preside over the Senate for a good part of three years, but I don’t think I ever spoke to him more than two or three times. You always knew he was running the Senate, deciding what bills would come up, but he never said anything about them, and to ask him about his next move would have been like asking a conspirator what bridge he was going -to blow tip next. There was, therefore, a minute or two of sparring, I said I was glad to see him, and had some qtlestions to ask, and particularly with him the new national committeeman from Texas. To each of these remarks AUSTIN A late developing protest took form this week against Ben Ramsey as Texas Demorcatic committee man. An open battle seems in the cards for the Nov. 4 meeting of the Democratic Advisory Council in Waco. Mrs, 1\\linnie Fisher Cunningham, former chairman of the Texas Democratic ‘Women’s Committee, a liberal leader, and a D.A.C. member, cancelled her plans to attend the Rayburn testimonial dinner in Fort. Worth Thursday, -Oct. 27, because, she said, “honoring Mr. Rayburn at this point is tacitly accepting his endorsement of Ben Ramsey, and that I cannot,do.” Raymond E. Buck, chairman of Sam . Rayburn Day in Fort Worth, extended an invitation to GoYernor Allan Shivers to be honored with Rayburn at a reception before the dinner. This would hardly have been done “I haven’t got to the point where I want to make a statement on that,” he said. We sipped a little coffee. “Of course,” he said; “getting appointed national committeeman doesn’t disqualify me.” With that I figured he was going to talk a little more than the people who say he’s so taciturn thought, and ‘after he paid for the coffee, we went up to his office. ALTHOUGH the townsfolk say old Ben is the richest man M town, his law office doesn’t give it away, if it’s true. You go up a narrow stairway to the second floor and then down a long, fairly wide hall to the end. -His office is a corner room, about ten by fifteen feet,. the walls lined with law books tinted gold color. The floor is plain grey lumber. His desk is . old, the varnish worn off with stem-to-stem fleur-de-lis in relief on the drawers.. He has a swivel chair with carved handholds, but the other four chairs in the room are of mixed origin and uniform antiquity, except that one of them has a hole in , the seat. His windows look out over an alley. The and the walls up near the top.. are stained where rainwater has leaked in. On the wall near the door is Ramsey’s commission as Lieutenant Governor from Allan Shivers in January, 1953, and a citation from the Retail Grocer’s Association “for helping Continued on Page 7 party’s battles in 1952 and who watched him sit on the sidelines as a cross filed Democratic Republican candidate.” Neither did the editorial find “de 2 sirabfe” as -cotnniitteernan “the man who is responsible for a large part of the inti-labor laws on the statute books of Texas and who owes so mtich politically to Herman Brown, the state’s Number One Labor-hater.” ‘While adopting a “wait-and-see” at , tituae on whether Ramsey “becomes the national’ committeeman for the Shivercrat-Dixiecrat organization or for Democrats,” the editorial said that the D.A.C. “must and will continue its work, whether under the same name or some other.” This was taken to_ be a reference to the possibility that D.A.C. approval of Ramsey .Nov. 4 might lead to some resignations and continuation of political organization for liberal candidates in the state’s urban areas. The Observer has received reports of unwillingliess to go along with Ramsey among the Jefferson -County . Democrats. And Mrs. R. D. Randolph, leader of the Harris County Demo.crats and acting chairnian of D.A.C. since the resignation of James Sewell of Corsicana, has publicly expressed disapproval of Ramsey’s appointment. Senator Lyndon Johnson and Ray-, burn both approved of his selection. SEWELL’S, resignation as chairman and as a member of D.A.C. makes election of his successor the prime order of btisiness at Waco. Speaker Sam Rayburnwho, with Johnson, approved of Ramsey’s selection is said to prefer -either Byron Skelton of Temple or Carlton Smith of Waco for the D.A.C. chairmanship. J. R. Parten, Houston oilman and long-time supporter of liberal Democratic candidates, has declined the post. Some liberals are considering either William 0. Cooper of Dallas or J. Edwin Smith of Houston. for chairman of D.A.C. or of its 64member executive committee \(a post Skelton would vacate were he elected Continued on Page 4 ‘ “San A u g u stine, Population 2,510.” it’s a ramshackle southern ‘town; slow moving of an afternoon, itscourthouse an uninspired threestory -building, the little red jail’ house beside it on the lawn. There aren’t enough stores to fill up even three sides of the square. The man who runs the filling station behind the courthouse says, .”Yeah, there’s three less people ‘here ‘n’ there uz a hunnert years ago. That there’s pros :perity for ya, ain’t it?” I walked into, the jailhouse to see the sheriff, but he was out for coffee, and the only person there was a young Negro man sitting behind the red wood-like bars. I thought he was the jailer g .at first, seeing and the key was in the outside. lock and he could just reach through and unlock it if he wanted to, but he said lie was in for 30 da .ys for being drunk in a car wreck, even though he wasn’t driving. Over at the offices of the San Augustine. g -ustine Tribtme, the. editor and his ‘ wife said that of Ben: Ramsey’s a smart fellow, with a lot of dry wit about him, but he won’t tell you nothin’, you just as well talk to Ed. Clark. Ed Clark is also from San Au_ gustine. He and Ben Ramsey grew tip together, and now they are both pretty close to ‘Hertnan Brown, the biggest contractor in Texas, except old Ed. he does some law work for him in Austin, and old Ben, he, well, he and Herman Brown get along good. It takes a lot of money to run for hentenant governor these days. Ramsey’s office is half a block. off the square. I went over to a coffee shop across the ‘street and got to talking to a red:nosed old man, lanky, a six-shooter slung on the back, of his right hip, his blite denim jacket and red bandanna making, him look western. I-1,e said he was the sheriff’s constable. “Old Ben,” he said, “he’s -just a good old country boy. He’s got a lot of dry. wit. just a country boy you go up there. an’ he’ll have a chew a tahacca in his mouth bet !” .I turned’ to go into the coffee shop and the door opened in front of me A COUNTRY BOY Old Ben Ramsey Hints at Governor’s Race, Says Adali Would Be ‘A Second Dose’; He Allows How Brown Brothers ‘Have Been ‘My Friends’; Works in Small Office An Interview in San Augustine Loyalists Protest Ramsey
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