411149mki m , t INSO C l iP N’ ‘NV Y r `”wasionisossO f Bartlett Appears Exclusively in The Texas Observer Express Hits Influence Peddling Mgo Trxas Obstrurr Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art. JEFFERSON CoJ4 JoineadJ .Toll roads, says our state’s chief executive, are from three to ten times as expensive to the people as free, public superhighways, built by the State. But, he says, the people will .pay a toll and they don’t like gasoline taxes, so toll roads are what we need. We will let’ pass the implication, startling because it comes from the Governor, that , a government enterprise is cheaper for the people than a private enterprise. What concerns us are two further implications of the Governor’s position : first, that the only way to pay for public roads is by sales taxes on gasoline; and second, if the people don’t agree to this particular kind -Ag ed trtzerti A report by the Legislative Budget Board affirms that many people are confined to Texas mental institutions merely because they are old and the State has no other place to put them. It must be a terrible judgment to be consigned to a place for psychotics in your declining years. The basic reason for this unjust confinement of the healthy aged is the tmwillingness’of the Legislature to provide adequate funds for their care, either by relatives or in state homes for the aged. The report is timely and should become a sheet in the sheaf of reforms that Texas needs. -Art -4preciation It is not customary for an editor to write of one of his directors, but nevertheless we must write of Mrs. R. D. Randolph. She lives and works and sacrifices for the real objects of her pure idealism. Her support of this newspaper has been unstinting; she has loved it for its own idealism, and she has , respected and protected its independent identity. Nature contrives such a woman once only in many moons such a one as Eleanor Roosevelt, such a one as Frankie Randolph. May she be spared the outcries of the canting ones and the weariness of the fight that is at times so hard to understand. p ainter 4′ patron Oilman D. D. Feldman has assembled a collection of fine Texas _paintings and has financed their exhibition and prizes for the judges’ selections. He has thus given material encouragement to Texas artists and should be thanked for it. NOVEMBER 23, 1955 Incorporating The State Observer, combined with The East Texas Democrat Ronnie Dugger, Editor and General Manager Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity orders available. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the act of March 3. 1879. We will serve no group or party but will hew bard 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. of tax, soak ’em with more costly, toll roads. Higher sales taxes on gasoline have been resisted by the Legislature and the people because it is in the public interest to build more public roads out of general revenue, the tax income . the State obtains from various sources, including natural resources and general corpora tions. The Governor dares to say that because he can’t get his sales taxes through, he is going to foster roads. three to ten times as expensive ! This is the height of irresponsible leadership. He may as well say that he is opposed to the kind of taxation the people prefer and that lie is going to punish them for their preference. 5h e .7unclamentai Democratic politics is a wondrous thing in Texas. Shivers, Johnson, and Rayburn picked Ramsey. Ramsey says he will support the Democratic nominees ; Shivers says he will not. Rayburn says he wants a delegation pledged to the nominees; Skelton says Ramsey does, too; Shivers doesn’t and implies Ramsey doesn’t, either. The Democratic Advisory Council accepts Ramsey with reservations, so Skelton wires the national committee that the D.A.C. has endorsed Ramsey, but that this is not meant as a hug for Shivers. Johnson wants only one Texas delegation, but what do you do with Shivers ? All of which goes to show that Jefferson was absolutely right that the people are the only safe repository of power. ASouthern Subversive? Senator Richard Russell, the Georgia conservative, says that Adlai Stevenson will be the next president. -What! Has he been taken in by the ADA-CIO-PAC ? Has he become. the tool of Northern radicals and pinkos ? We anxiously await Governor Shivers’s explanation. Art .-4Mocia Senator Phillips says the national magazines have indulged in “sensationalism” in reporting the Texas scandals. The senator’s recent portrait, taken as he mugged it up beside a jackass, comes to mind. Staff Correspondents : Rob Bray, Galveston ; Anne Chambers, Corpus Christi ; Ramon Garces, Laredo ; Clyde Johnson, Corsicana ; 1Vkike Mistovich, Bryan ; Jack Morgan, Port Arthur ; and reporters in Dallas, Houston, Beaumont, El Paso, Crystal City, and Big Spring. Staff Contributors : Leonard Burress, Deep East Texas ; Minnie Fisher Cunningham, New Waverley, Bruce Cutler, Austin ; Edwin Sue Goree, Burnet; John Igo, San Antonio ; Franklin Jones, Marshall; George Jones, Washington, D.C.: J. Henry Martindale, Lockhart ; Dan Strawn, Kenedy; Jack Summerfield, Austin ; and others. Staff cartoonist: Don Bartlett, Austin. Cartoonists : Neil Caldwell, Austin ; Bob Eckhardt, Houston ; Etta Hulme, Austin. MAILING ADDRESS : Drawer F, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas. EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 2501 Crawford St., Houston, Texas \(Mrs. R. D. Randolph, director, subscription AUSTIN An editorial iu the San Antonio Express has called for lobbyist regulation and a general conflict-of-interest statute to reform “a state government structure -that literally invites corrupt practices.” Recently the Co r p u s Christi Caller also called for a lobbyist control law in Austin, The Observer has campaigned for such a law and has reported at length on lobbyist practices, retainers, and conflict of interest situations. Excerpts from the Express editorThe eyes of the nation are on the `Texas scandals.’ The news networks have reported one shameful ,revelation after_ another over the past two years. Look and Saturday Evening Post magazines have put rehashed exposes in the hands of millions. There will be more. Washing our state-government linendirty with graft, corruption and influence peddlingin ptiblbic is not pleasant. But it is necessary. . . . The people of Texas have too long toleratedwith disgrace and high cost to us alla state governmental structure that literally invites corrupt practices. We have no laws to curb and control the, wide-open lobbying that overruns the state capitol. We have no general con fict-o f-interests statute to prevent governmental officials from serving two masters, public and private. A legislator may accept a fat reMiner fee from a private pressure group that is financially interested in bills on which that legislator will act on the floor and iii committee. An administrative official may have a financial’interest in a private enterprise in the field which it is his duty to regulate. A legislator may be a paid lobbyist before administrative agencies which know they must consider his vote when their own appropriation bill conies before the Legislature, And all of these things are quite, legal ,under our indulgent laws. Equally bad, our billion-dollar state business is handled by some 200 agencies, boards and commissions which enjoy an astounding degree of irresponsibility. State tax Money pours into 160 separate funds over which there is only superficial central control. Some of those independent administrative bodies are supposed to be responsible to the Legislature, which. is in session only a few months every, two years. Others are appointed by the governor, but the governor cannot even remove hiS own appointees if he has reason to suspect or disapprove of their management of public affairs. In addition to theiz main duties, the state’s seven elected executivesall independent of, and often hostile toward, one anotherare expected to serve ex officio on more than two dozen boards. The result is confusion,duplication, irresponsibility, a situation made to order for the ‘fixer’ and influence peddler, and scores of places for the inside operator to hide while he syphons off private gain from the public’s business, And as , big Texas government gets bigger and bigger, so will the temptations to turn a -fast buck in a slick deal at the public’s expense. Electing the finest statesmen available to state office may ease, but cannot solve, the problem, for its causes lie deep in the heart of the system itself. . In short, Texas urgently needs a revised, modernized constitution, with a clearer separation of powers, coin. plete recognition of the best principles of public administration, orderly lines of authority and fixed responsibilities. Until that is done, the Texas citizen must largely blame himself when things go wrong at the state capitol. His is the shame that is in the nation’s eyes.
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