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The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau SO Vol. 48 W e will serve no Troup or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. 10c per copy No. 35 o ‘S9 k> < 3 -g.' dtberal Weekly Newspaper .0 r Orri,-,,e>rJtigrriter ..,XAS, DECEMBER 19, 1956 Liberal Democrats Regroup AUSTIN Liberal Democrats of the state met in theEast Room of the Atistin Hotel here last week to try to bring into being a statewide network of Democratic clubs independent of traditional party leadership. The group of about fifty key figures in liberal politics in the state resolved to return to the precinct level and form clubs, select representatives, and meet in state convention next May. Mrs. R. D. Randolph, the state’s Democratic national committeewoman and widely-respected leader of the Harris County Democrats, was named temporary chairman of the organization. A permanent organization will be set up by the state convention next May, she announced. With Bob Eckhardt presiding and Mrs. Mimi Steinert of San Antonio the temporary secretary, the group heard Creekrnore Fath of Austin review “the California plan.” Loyal Democrats of that state set up clubs which were at first independent of the state party machinery but eventually prevailed as the party organiza Liberals Shut Doors To Texas Reporters AUSTIN Liberal Democrats meeting here to form a new state organization voted to close their meeting to the press an hour and a half after it started. The only reporter present as such was a representative of The Texas Observer. He had been taking notes freely. John McCully, public relations agent of the State Federation of Labor, rose to raise the question, explaining he had several inquiries from the press and felt the group should decide whether it was an “open or closed” meeting. Jerry Holleman, state executive secretary of the federation, moved the meeting be closed. The motion was seconded and adopted without discussion. The Observer reporter left. HOUSTON Eighteen months ago, Carrol Farrar, a cleancut young man is his mid-20s who was free from prison on parole, nervously walked into a Houston liquor store and held up the clerk. When officers tried to arrest him he killed one of them. He was convicted of murder and executed in the electric chair last December. During his final hours in death row, Farrar relived the events that had proceeded the crime. He had been one of nearly 500 prisoners paroled to Harris County. The only relationship he had with the volunteer county parole board, three top officials of the Salvation Army, was a report he tion by succeeding in elections. As the first formal step in the creation of a state political organization to be devoted to the principles of the national Democratic Party, the East Room meeting was historic in Texas politics. Political expression from new industrial workers and social minorities in the state has indicated a growing restlessness under traditional leadership. “They want the thing to begin at the bottom and work up,” Fath said. It will be “a recruiting organization for the Democratic Party in the state” and will do “political propaganda work for the national Democatic Party,” he said. Proceedings were marbled with ironic references to the pressures brought to bear on delegates at the recent Fort Worth convention by the state’s Democratic leaders and expressions of dissatisfaction with the Stevenson-Kefauver campaign directed by Senator Lyndon Johnson. “In California,” Fath said: “they started independent of the state Democratic machinery and became so effective they elected their own candidatesso the national went to the California Democratic Clubs…. It’s the most powerful thing in California because of the work it’s doing in the precincts.” THE PRESENCE of Fath and Mrs. Kathleen Voigt of San Antonio on the group’s temporary steering committee attests to its independence of the state party machinery. Mrs. Voigt was purged from the state Democratic executive committee at the Fort Worth convention by the leadership coalition in control, and Fath has been persona non grata with Johnson for some time. Mrs. Randolph was elected national committeewoman at the May convention over the opposition of Senator Johnson. Mrs. Voigt made the point that the California clubs were closer to their state machinery at first “than we can be in Texas,” and Fath agreed this would be the case. George Weiss of Lubbock said a preliminary meeting of West Texas county chairmen before the East Room meeting had decided that they favored precinct submitted to them the first part of each month. Farrar said that when he went to report at night, because he was working days, no one was at the office; he’d just leave word with the janitor. Finally, he last his job and didn’t know anyone to turn to for help. He felt that “no one cared” and he “didn’t either.” He pulled the robbery, which he didn’t think he would have done if he had had someone to set him right when he was down and out. Thomas B. White, a veteran officer and five-year member of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, cited the Farrar case as an extreme example of what is happening because Tevxas has refused to set up a system of professional parole supervision. conventions at which county delegates would be elected, in turn electing district representatives to a permanent state organization but, he said, “have it start from our precincts, let the actual people out there decide who they want to send. ~”We feel in West Texas that if we’re going to create an organization that represents the Democrats of Texas that we should start at the precincts,” Weiss said. 11114.This view prevailed. However, Weiss seemed to be thinking of a steering group that would meet together to decide the policies of the organization; instead, the group decided on a broad-based annual convention. Jerry Holleman of Austin, executive secretary of the Texas Federation of Labor, said that at Fort Worth many delegates “yielded to pressures and voted contrary to the desires of a district.” The convention should be, \(First of two reports on the Texas Legislative Council’s two-year research into ten AUSTIN Four major legislative reformsenforced registration of lobbyists, a code of ethics for legislators and state officials and employees, annual legislative sessions, and an annual salary of $3,000 for the membersare now recommended for consideration by the new legislature by the Texas Legislative Council. Seven senators, 17 representatives, Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey, and outgoing Speaker Jim Lindsey are members of the council. The research and reports were prepared by an eight-person research staff under the present direction of C. Read Granberry. The council met in a Senate committee room last weekend and approved these and other farreaching reports \(se related Lobbyist Registration. The council recommended a lobbyist registration act requiring anyone White is not critical of the volunteer parole boards across the state. He considers most of them to be doing a “great service for what they have to do with.” The state doesn’t even furnish them stamps for official correspondence. But the job of parole supervision requires training and Bob Bray time that can’t be supplied or expected on a voluntary, part-time basis. The Farrar case, although it resulted in two deaths, is only one instance of the problems resulting from inadequate parole supervision, according to competent authorities. The Texas Citizens Committee of the National Probation and Pa he said, “as broad based as possible and the least subject to fears of people who might impose sanctions on thempressures that have defeated us even when we have won victories.” Mrs. Voigt suggested that, within a precinct, each twenty persons in a club should qualify the club for one delegate. Then, she said, there could be “a statewide convention meeting together with one. person having 19 peOple back of him.” Stuart Long of Austin made the point that delegates from each! county could be instructed by precinct meetings “on what they want the organization to be.” He felt senatorial district organization would “lose the personality of your counties.” Grease for the organization, as in California, would be annual membership dues, half of which, perhaps, would go to the state or who promotes or opposes legislation or its approval or veto by the governor to register with the Secretary of State. PerSons exempted would be officials or employees of the state or its subdivisions; “persons performing professional services in draftint bills or in advising and rendering opinions to clients as to the construction and effect of proposed or pending legislation” only; persons who appear without compensation before legislative committees or the governor; and newsmen or publishers whose media may or may not urge defeat or passage of legislation “if such persons engage in no further or other activities” in that connection. Under the proposal, the registrants have to list their employers and the legislation they are interested in. They must file monthly reports when the legislature is in session \(and quarterly reports tures of money or other thing of value, showing in detail the persons to whom such expenditures are made.” Exceptions: the registrant’s role Association, headed by chairman Albert Sidney Johnson of Dallas, has spent many hours and thousands of dollars in studying the problem. It has concluded: 0 The Texas prison population is now approximately 9,100 an increase of 160 percent in the past ten years, a higher rate than that of any other large prison system in the U. S. At the current rate there will be 12,200 inmates by 1960. 0 Texas prisons are crowded to overflow although $8.1 million was spent to improve and enlarge the system in the last ten years, and $23.2 million was spent to maintain the growing population. It will take over $11 million to handle the anticipated increase between now and 1960. Shivers Press Party fails to Come Off AUSTIN A scheduled “press party” for Governor Allan Shivers seems to have fallen flat. Margaret Mayer, Capitol correspondent of the Dallas Times-Herald, was pushing the plan. She solicited members of the Capitol press corps for $15, each to finance a going-out-of-office party and gift for Shivers. There was, however, a little static. One objection was said to be that this was the first time one newsman ever heard of reporters giving state officials presents. Another was that the tariff was too high. Miss Mayer decided to call it off and so announced on the Capitol press room bulletin board. Instead, some members of. the Capitol press who are close to the Governor are now planning to give him a private party. bona fide personal expenditures on himself; expenditures of $25 or less “for particular items.” The Secretary of State keeps the information available to the public four years and maintains a lobbyist register. Contingent fees for lobbyists are prohibited. Persons violating the act can be fined $5,000 and jailed for two years; corporations can be fined $5,000 and have their Texas charter or permit forfeited. A Code of Ethics: Registration of Advocates. Dropping out some proposals for such a code Atty. Gen. John Ben Shepperd thought important, and substantially qualifying others, the council proposed an ethical code for legislators and state officials and employees. In addition, the council recommended a bill requiring registration of persons who appear before state agencies on behalf of others. It also proposed limitation of continuance of cases in which legislator-lawyeI’s are involved, requiring such legislators to file an affidavit stating his employment obligates him “to be active” in the trial of the suit involved. \(Legislators have been hired The code of ethics would be enforced by the right of the House or Senate to expel a member or remove an executive from office or by the decision of a state official to fire an employee. It is declared legislative policy in the council’s proposed act that no legislator or state officer or employee “should have any interest, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, or engage in any business or transaction or professional activity or incur any obligation of any nature which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his duties in the public interest.” “Substantial conflict” is the key phrase and is not defined in the bill. “Standards of conduct” would prohibit a legislator or state official or employee from: Accepting “any gift, favor, or service that might reasonably \(Continued on More Paroles or Bigger Prisons? Legislators Eye Lobbyists