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Here We Go Again Where Do Democrats Go from Here? \(The Observer asked one of the best political minds in liberal Texas politicsCreekmore Fath to give his views on where we go from here. He suggests a Texas Democratic political organization similar to the California plan. We welcome reacTexas Democrats, for the second time in four years, woke up the morning after election with the sour taste of defeat in their mouths. Unbowed … but no question about all that blood. It is always time fOr a political party to stop and take inventory of its ideals and its assets. It has been too long since this was done by the Democrats themselves: Texas Democrats have accepted the analysis made by politicians holding office, without questioning whether there might be some self-service going into the analytical process. After a series of attempts to salvage something from the StevensonSparkman campaign organization in 1952. some 296 Democrats from , 76 Texas counties met at Lake Buchanan on May 16, 1953, to discuss the problems facing the 970,128 Texans who voted the Democratic ticket in November but found themselves a political group without a voice. They organized the Texis Democratic Organizing Committee. The aim of the D.O.C. was stated simply : “to return the Democratic Party of Texas to the Democrats.” The D.O.C. had no official recognition by any politician or political leader or by the Democratic National Committee. Once it began organizing, some politicians became worried that a statewide political organization which they didn’t and couldn’t control was in the making. After a series of skirmishes and much back-room mudslinging about personalities, Stephen Mitchell, chairman of the Democratic National , Committee, was dispatched to Texas to set up the Democratic Advisory Council and scuttle the D.O.C. The D.A.C. was established under the personal auspices of Speaker Rayburn, who maintained veto power on the membership of all its members at large and who, on occasion, tried to steer local district elections for membership on the D.A.C. away from leaders who were personally obnoxious to him. Those Democrats who believed in 1953 that the D.A.C. wouldn’t be the answer to Texas’s long range political problems were vilified at the time. All but two of the members of the State Committee of the D.O.C. who voted to dissolve it in favor of the D.A.C. have acknowledged since the May Democratic convention this year in Dallas, that it was a mistake to do so. While the D.A.C. did perform a. very useful function while the state Democratic executive committee was in the hands of the Shivercrats, its demise, announced following the Sep Fath Suggests Clubs On California Plan teinber state convention, makes it imperative that some sort of organization be created to fill the vacuum. THE STATE Committee is composed of Democrats who will support all nominees of the Democratic Party. But the committee, as set up at the Fort Worth convention, has a dozen or more members who were not the choice of the legally elected delegations ‘in senatorial district caucus. A majority of the present state executive committe.e members’ primary loyalties are to Senator Johnson, Governor-nominate Daniel, or Speaker Rayburn. The committee thus is a relic of the personal political system which is on the way out in Texas. Theurbanization of most of the population of Texas and the rise of the county Democratic organizations in the lafge counties brought into being a new force in Texas politics which Johnson and Daniel and Rayburn only forestalled at the Fort Worth convention. They are trying to hold back the tide of political development in Texas. This situation is not unique. California Democrats have been through almost the same experience and they have developed a pattern \\yhich Tex Mail arriving at Ralph Yarborough’s law office urging him to run continued as steadily the week after the Eisenhower victory as before. This is taken by Yarborough followers as evidence that the Texas swing to Eisenhower was response to the man, not his party, and does not affect Yarborough’s prospects. …. For subjective but palpable reasons, the Observer is now convinced that Yarborough will announce for the Senate seat. . . . . This week “B e Ii i n d the Scenes,” the AFL-CIO column, took another look at the Senate race and said: “The way the special Senate election stands now, Yarborough is considered a fairly certain candidate. The conservatives have their strength split between U.S. Rep. Martin Dies, State Sen. Searcy Bracewell, and Thad Hutcheson, the Houston Republican. James P. Hart of Austin will draw some votes from both the conservative and liberal sides of the street. In Austin, his home town, he is certain to be the favorite of the big conservative precincts which have always gone for Shivers and Eisenhower. And his liberal stand on school integration will get him the votes of the Negro precincts.” If Allan Shivers should decide to run, says the column, it “would certainly be” on the basis of getting Dies, axis would do well to study. In California after the 1952 election, Democrats began organizing a series of Democratic clubs in California, combined into a stateWide council, with about 40,000 members who ring doorbells, pay dues, and collect funds from others for .Democratic organizational work. It is an ‘open-end’ organization : anyone can join it or leave it, and no politician has a veto power over officers or membership. We have to face up to the fact that so long as Texas politicians attempt to boss the people instead of the people bossing the politicians, we will have a repetition of the Fort Worth “Big Steal.” -And this will be the case so long as Democrats stay in their traditional position of being members of “no organized political ‘ party” but just Democrats. Rank and file democrats need a voice to speak to the state Democratic executive committee and an organization which can build a fire under politicians when they need a little roasting to remind them that their power comes from the people. Politicians in Texas are too apt to interpret their elections to public office as anointments to prescribe and proscribe for the Democratic Party. We also need continuing organiza tion to keep the people informed and alerted as to what their representa tives in Congress, in the Legislature, , on the state executive committee, or wherever they may be, are up toand Bracewell, and Hutcheson to withdraw and Hart to stay in “to’ split votes away from Yarborough.” …. A poll of the students, staff, and faculty at the University of Texas Law School resulted in this vote on the Senate race : James P. Hart, 198 ; Thad Hutcheson, 81; Ralph Yarborough, 69 ; John Ben Shepperd, 38; Martin Dies, 31; Searcy Bracewell, 21. \(In the presidential balloting, Eisenhower led A …. Two Houston newspaper reporters who voted for Stevenson in precincts that went roughly 20-to-one for Eisenhower have announced they are organizing an Association for the Protection of Disappointed and Disgusted Democrats, obviously a minority group. …. Barbecued armadillo, sometimes known in Texas as Hoover hog, was served up to patrons of Miller’s Tavern near Kountze in the wake of Ike’s re-election. Adlai’s supporters allowed it ‘was a meal they might have to learn to eat frequently before 1960. …. In his column, “From A to Izzard,” Wes Izzard of the Amarillo News sand: “A few obvious implications of the election are … “Most Americans vote for people, not parties … Most Americans do not ‘recoil at the possibility’ that Richard Nixon might become President in less than four years …. Texas is still dominantly conservative, despite indications last August to the contrary … Allan Shivers is not the defeated, frustrated politician his enemies make him out to be.” …. The Corpus Christi Caller ‘Times declared in an editorial, “Texas stands today at one of the crucial political crossroads in its history. The Republican victory emphasized the fact that 1952 was not just an accident, but a forceful reminder that the state is now ready for a true, two-p4rty system of government … There are many Texans today who would gladly join the Republican would become dynamic, rather than static … Of all the men on the Texas scene today, Gov. Allan Shivers offers the Republican Party its bright est hope.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 Nov. 14, 1956 to see to it that their representatives are kept advised of what rank and file Democrats are thinking. There is much work to be done in Texas if the Democratic Party is to achieve majority status again at the polls in national elections. But the work must start at the bottom in the precincts. Successful organization. can not start at the top and trickle down, it must start at the bottom and work up. S A STARTING place for discussion, adapting the California experience to Texas would call for Democratic clubs at the precinct level, with a county council composed of one representative elected by each precinct club. The county council in turn would elect representatives to meet with other county council representatives in their state senatorial district to compose a senatorial district council, and the senatorial district council. would select a committeeman and committeewoman. to .sit on the state council. With the county organizations we now have in Texas, a temporary state steering committee could set up a time-table and get the ball rolling for continuing Democratic organization in Texas within =90 days. This hasto be done if Texas democracy is going to get off .of dead center and move forward. CREEKMORE FATII ‘lie Olton precinct in Lamb County has 992 eligible voters, and 972 of them, nearly 98 percent, cast their ballots. Troy Martin, publisher of the Olton Enterprise, has challenged any precinct of comparable size in the nation to show a better voting percentage. Stevenson carried 01ton five to three. …. H. M. Baggarly, in his “Town Topics” column in the Tulia Herald, wrote : “As this is written, it appears that the election will result in a Republican victory. And frankly, we we think it best for the Democratic Party although it will not be best for the people ,… If the GOP is returned to power, it will have the same effect on the Democratic party that Hoover’s’ victory did in 1928. Did you ever consider how Al Smith’s defeat in 1928 was a. blessing in disguise to the Democrats? it . . It was Hoover’s victory that taught the nation a lesson it didn’t forget for 20 years. Almost every Democratic victory has resulted only after the nation has its back to the wall as a result of Republican bungling.” …. Re last week’s item on the December, 1951, meeting between Governor Shivers and a group of Texas Regulars at the Governor’s Mansion, Austin Report said at that time that Lamar Fleming, ,Arch Rowan, J. E. Price, Tom Sealy, and Clint Small were present. As Small had recalled it, Shivers had told them he was going to run for re-election and Price Daniel for the Senate. At a press conference following the meeting, Shivers said the situation was “still fluid” and he thought he could run for either one. Shivers announced for re-election Jan. 13 and Daniel for the Senate Jan. 21 of 1952. …. Early-week rumors on the Senate situation : that Shivers may run himself ; that he will call the election for next April. Meanwhile, an important person in the situation declared .privately Shivers could not accept Daniel’s resignation Jan. 15, call the election, and appoint Daniel’s successor because the law says these steps are to be taken by the governor when the vacancy occurs. In this situation when the vacancy occurred, Daniel would be governor. The Listening Post ….