BOB BRAY Daniel and the Land Board Gubernatorial Opponents Charge Him With Complicity or Unwitting Scaindal Assist AUSTIN In 1949, the Texas Legislature instituted a multi-million :dollar program to help its \\Vol -ld War II veterans buy land. Governor Allan Shivers, Land ‘-CorninisSioner Bascom Giles, and At’ torney General Price Daniel were designated by legislative authority as : olde Of. hrs the purse strings for the . giant project. The -faot that the program. developed . into the state’s biggest corruption scandal, with Giles sent to prison and many others indicted; is history. .But the issue, so far as some Texas –voters is concerned, won’t be settled until July 28, or possibly until August 25. The question of what legal, constitutional, or moral responsibility, if any. Price Daniel had in the veterans’ land scandals has deVeloped into a major campaign talkins -b point. Ralph -O’Daniel have in varying. degrees .charged Daniel with . being a party, to the scandals or at least giving them an 1111W i i -ng assist. O’haniel has levelled almost pointblank accusations of complicity against Daniel. In a television speech in Austin last week he said there were “many people involved in the “lard -scandals who had not yet been exposed and that Daniel was being run -for the office to -make sure the investigation wasn’t completed. O’Daniel. has repeatedly stated “The people of Texas are not going to send one member of the corrupt Veterans Land Board to prison and …..The Observer has obtained a copy ,o f the ultra-conservative Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. list of candidates for the Texas House and Senate who are “considered most favora Is That a Crime? rro the Editor : I inisinformed about the “organized la. bor leaders trying to take over. political power.” I think theyare trying to help a good Man be elected to the governor’s chair who will not “court capital” and sell the laboring class of people down the river in order to feather his own nest…If the friends want to help him get elected to office , is that a crime ? MRS. ETHEL W. JACKSON 3727 San Jacinto, Dallas 4 Shocked. To the Editor : As a loyal Democrat with unbroken record for supporting liberals and a fervent admirer of the Observer I was shocked by editorial in July 11 issue. Adinitting both Wilson and Moore wer fine public figures and that Wils how can you say Moore is better qualified for attorney general? What has happened to the proud banner, “We hew hard to the. truth as we find it and the right as’ we see it”?’ BILL DAZEY Texas City \(We’re sorry if you’re disillusioned, but as the editorial sought to explain, we feel there are moi* issues -involved than the one you regard as decisive.. As for the banner, it is: still on the mast, and we are still trying to live by it. then. ,turn around and put another .member i.ii the-Governor’s chair.” YarhOrOugh’S charges have not been -as strong, but they have been plain: “You can’t stop corruption unless you elect someone who has no ties with that crowd … The junior senator flew all the way frOmWashington, in 1954 to ‘make speeches for his land board buddy ‘While bigger. deals were. being made.” YarbOrough says Daniel votedfor 64 block ,land de _als when he’ was on the board. Daniel has taken heated ,exception to O’Daniel’s remarks, particularly where the former governor has left an implication that Daniel still is: a member of the land board. He emphasizes that he hasn’t served on the board in four years. A SEARCH of minutes of land board meetings, brings out some interesting, facts and figures on the board’s activities during -Daniel’s tenure as attorney general. For example, the minutes show that Daniel attended 15 of the 16 land board meetings in 1949, 16 of the 28 meetings in 1950, only six of the 31 meetings in 1951, and none in 1952. However, when Daniel did not attend the meetings, he was represented by a ‘Member of his staff. Charles Mathews, an assistant -. attorney general, attended the meetings more than 50 times, more meetings ble from the businessman’s viewpoint.” In the contested Senate races, the T. M. A. endorsements go to Bill Wood of Tyler, Joe Pyle of Fort Worth, Johnnie B. Rogers of Austin, Jack Fisk of Wharton, Bill Shireman of Corpus Christie, Abraham Kazen ofLaredo, Floyd Bradshaw of ,Weatherford s George Moffett of Chillicothe, 0. E. Latimer of San Antonio, and Grady Hazlewood of Amarillo. Either Rogers Kelley of Edinburg or H. R. Hudson of Brownsville is all right with -T. M. A., and they check both Preston Smith and Carroll Cobb in. Lubbock. Reps. Jack Brooks and Clark Thompson were ranked best . in a Texas AFL-CIO assessment of the voting records of Texas Congressmen; With “right” votes first and “wrong” votes second; the congressmen were rated this way: Brooks and Thompson, both 19-4; -.Thornberry and Wright, both 18-4; Ikard, 18-5; Patmail, 17-4; Kilgore and Mahon, both 15-8 ; Poage, 14-9; Rutherford, 13-10; Thomas, 12-10; Rogers, 12-11; Bell, 11-8; Teague, 11-10; Burleson, 11-12; Fisher, 9-13; Dowdy, 8-14 ; Dies, 7-15 ; Alger, 3-20; Gentty, 2-18. Twenty-three issues were selected, among them support of reciprocal trade, aid for underdeveloped nations, mutual aid to -friendly nations, a $20 tax cut for each dependent, the 1 . . minimum wage, 90 percent farm price supports, public power projects, the soil bank, extended social security, public housing, federal highway building, and the Fulbright-Harris natural gas bill. The first road signs for’Price Daniel identified him as a U.S. Senator. This was recognized as a mistake, since it suggested the fact that he has two more years of his Washington term to serve, and new posters identifying him by name only replaced them. …. Judge John Young of Cttspus, castigating incumbent Congressman John Bell for .accepting $28,000 in “legal fees” frorn promoters of block vet land deals, said : “This campaign will be no more sordid than the record of my opponent.” than Daniel attended, over. the four year period. joeSGreenhill, currently Daniel’s state campaign manager, represented Daniel at three of the meetings. Since all veterans’ land purchase commitments were taken as individual applications, it would baVe been difficult, but not impossible, for land boare Members to have deduced that `Some were “block deals.” The. board would meet. and consider -a list of from 50 to more than 300 commit ments, usually listed alphabetically-. There were a dozen instances, refleeted-. in the search ofthe records, where “block deals” may have been -stiggested in the minutes by the fact that from 20 to 50-odd veteran applicants were listed for purchase of land in a single .county and ‘Most would seek the maximum loan of $7,500, or nearly that amount: -.Counties where the suspected deals occurred include . Deaf Smith, Fort s .Medina, ReeVes, and ..Zavala. For example,-Minutes, of the meeting of. Feb. 5, 1952, show. that 32. of the 141 commitments for thatdate were for, 40-acre tracts in Deaf Smith County. Sixteen of the tracts were FRANKLY SPEAKING MARSHALL As a new set of precinct conventions approach, it is , time to speculate on the gains of moderation.. What will be the success of the of the Johnsonites in erasing a part of the defeat they snatched from the jaWs of victory a. Dallas? A new pamphlet from . the “Texas Democratic_Party,” headquarters San Antonia. again reminds us that the first step in insuring victory forDemocrats is “delivery of the control of the Democratic Party machinery out of the hands of the ShivercratsRepublican leaders” and warns militants “to watch .for the fast-moving politicians who may take the ball and run with it be fore you even Show up or may try the hidden-ball trick While you are looking.” There,is’an old, French proverb that runs : “Never mention a rope in the house of a man who has been hanged.” One can. but..wonder ” bow this call to vigilance will appeal to, -say, the Dallas County -delegatibn of last May., Did it not swelter outside . .Convention hall while Senator Johnson tried to. force Mrs. Lloyd Bentsen NEW WAVERLY It is hot. It is dry. There is;a. COn. stant wind. Once a long time ago, when people had “continued fever” instead of -typhus or typhoid and “intermittent fever” ‘instead of malaria which rises and falls on a regular schedule …. once we had a July like this when the furniture was hot to the touch and the sheets on the bed were as hot as though they had been freshly-ironed. , But there was no primary election bearing down on the wings=of the calendar, and there’wereTlenty of Ovate; melons and cantaloupes and peaches. Now the armadillos eat the watermelons and cantaloupes before they ripen, and some mineral or such has gone from the soil, and the nematodes have come in, so the peach trees are all dead. And down in the lower right hand corner of the ballot is that indecent so-called referendum every word of which is an insult to the people of Texas. priced. at $6,783 each and the other 16 ,were-liSted at $6,794 each. for a total Cost of $217,232’. Qnly s one of the 32 veterans linvolYed , was a resident of Deaf Smith County, while 25 listed their addresseS as Dallas. Charles Mathews represented Daniel at the meeting. At the land. board meeting of October 17, 1950, 28 of the total 94 commitments were for purchases of land in Hidalgo County.. In 25 of the sales -acreageS involved varied from . 39 to 46 acres, and 21 pieces of the land -were ‘priced between $7,000 and $7,.500; the .maximuM at that, time. The total price was approximately $200, 000. Daniel attended the session. N 0 BLOCK DEALS are recorded on the face of the minutes. This, in facts -was the principal line of defenSe used by Governor Allan Shivers and Daniel’s successor 611 the board, Attorney General John Ben -Shepperd. They both said they could not tell from the minutes that .block deals were being approved. Only the names of the veteran applicants and –essential: details. of .their purchases …show inthe minutes. The senator’s answer to O’Daniel’s charges is the only public hint that Daniel might have – suspected; or feared, -graft in the land program. “I was the first person to oppose promotional type block landdeals,” he said in Victoria. “That . policy was never changed with my knowledge or consent.” in as committeewoman ? The Johnsonites ‘were too crude even to hide the ball ; they preferred to bang the liberals in the face with it. But back to the future, so to speak. No rational person expects as great a Democratic landslide at the precinct conventions as occurred last May. Thanks to Johnson, a “Shivercrat-Remittee will organize the September convention. How many actual Democrats may expect to be on the temporary roll of delegates where their opponents have sent in a rump delegation ? Could the . Democrats complain if the committee embraced by the senator should follow his illustrious example and conduct the entire business of the convention with the delegates seated on the temporary roll as the only voting body of the session? Ah, pundits of the inside circle! They issue a callto “Follow through to make certain that you won’t wind up” ,with a bunch of the wrong people representing .you at the state convention.” The lie is deep in the rough after the dubbed shot at Dallas, and little wonder they cry out now: “Quick, caddy, the niblick-!” FRANKLIN TONES By.Countryside and ToWn There are three sections of the referendum. Number one . is worded trickily, and whichever way yisu mark it you cannot be sure that it will be what you thought it would be. Number two calls -fog a law which is already on the statute books of the State of Texas. And ,numberthree is just plain treason. Those candidates who plan to meet federal troops with the Texas Rangers on the Louisiana border of -Texas just possibly might Meet themselves on the way to the federal prison in Atlanta if they really have the resolve they boast they do. . SO what to do? For myself .1 will have no part or parcel in it. There are fifteen lines of printing in that lower right hand corner of the ballot.
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.