Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer JOE HILL’S RETURN Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art. JEFFERSON `Oh, Allan! Just What I Wanted’ Valuati .._961eaJ In the hundreds of bills piling up \\vith the House and Senate clerks are buried many good ideas, and not a few bad ones. We are especially taken by the intelligence of these: Sen. Secrest’s bill to stop the Insurance Commission from setting monopoly premiums in the $400-million-ayear casualty insurance business. Rep. Korioth’s bill to license the loan sharks and limit them to total annual charges \(includinob credit inpercent a year on the declining bal a nee. Rep. Shackelford’s plan to set a $50-a-month minimum on old age pensions and lift the cash-sum constitutional limitation on the state’s aid to the aged, blind, and dependent children. Rep. Hughes’s bill to set up a state occupational safety program to cut dakm on industrial accidents and si multaneously reduce insurance losses. Rep. Harrington’s plan to set up a state labor management mediation panel that would do in Texas what Pool This Pool bill has a most puzzling aspect. As you may know, it would change the law on the Senate race from high-man-wins to a runoff between the two strongest finishers. Now it is widely known that Joe Pool is himself a prospective candidate to succeed Martin Dies in Congress should Dies go to the Senate And the bill is quite obviously aimed at whittling back Ralph Yarborough’s chances, an exercise which would not exactly reduce those of Congressman Dies. Ah, to be is politician and understand these frolicsome things. It is argued that if old Uncle Ben Ramsey gets in the race, the Pool bill will be necessary to keep the Democrats from spraying their votes all over the infield while Republican Hutcheson homers. But obviously Ramsey won’t enter unless Dies withdraws; these boys may be upset but they’re not fools. This raises the question, why did Ramsey say he might run ? Can it be he is for the Pool bill, too ? Hmm. Well, it would be as bad to pass a special law against Thad Hutcheson as it would be to pass one against Ralph Yarborough. Legislation should proceed from general cases, not special instances. If the legislature wants to have the counties finance runoffs in special elections as a general matter, can have any objection; but let the members recall the two-term limitation on the presidency that was adopted on the anti-Roosevelt wave, but is now opposed by none other than D. D. Eisenhower. Reminder Pay your poll tax by Thursday, or Martin Dies will get you. Incorporating The State Observer, combined with The East Texas Democrat JANUARY 29, 1957 Ronnie Dugger, Editor and General Manager . Bob Bray, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager PuilIshed 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, 1987, at the Poet Office at Austin, Texas, under the act of March 8. 1879. the National Labor Relations Board does for U. S. labor-management relations. The Jackson.-Kennard bill to enable cities to enter into contracts with the national government for privatelyfinanced urban renewal if they want to. And Rep. Green’s bill to end the anti-competitive attacks on Texas State Optical’s low-cost services by legalizing once and for all the advertising of optical services. \\Ve wish these proposals well in the legislative crush. The eleven Sadler-Huffman are such disgraceful documents the sponsors have not been able to get more than seven original signatures on any of them. They are punitive, evasive, hypocritical bills designed to keep schools segregated without admitting their design. The sponsors have offended the theory of democracy. Who ever heard of barring pupils from public school and sending them to another because of their “family background,” “location of residence,” “home environment,” “mental energy”! These jagged instruments read like outlines of education for a fascist stateeducation for the rich, abuse and shunting aside for the ill-born. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the seven East Texans have been driven to this awful pass in their last worst defense of segregation ; for how essentially does the theory of a master white race .differ from Hitler’s theory of the master Nordic race ? In no essential way at all. Each legislator will have to prepare himself for his vote and for his long life with the memory of it thereafter. udatin g ? It’s time for .a.'”probe,” as the headline-writers say, of the liquidation division of the insurance department. It is the most secretive branch of the government, bar none, except possibly the night janitorial staff in the Capitol basement. It seems from the outside, the only available perspective, that the division is taking too long, and using too much money, to liquidate the assets of some of the larger bankrupt firms like U. S. Trust Guaranty; this of course liquidates the assets of the claimants, too, although in a different sense. Finally, Emmett Shelton, like Reline Allred before him, resigned because of a conflict of authority between the courts and the insurance department. The commissioners execute the bankrupt firms ; they ought not to perform the autopsies, too. We trust that when Senator Herring’s laudable bill on this subject reaches the committee stage, the senators will inquire fully into the mystical workings of this otherworldly agency. hsrrurr 6 TELEPHONE In Austin : GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 2501 Crawford St., Honeton, Mrs. IL D. Randolph, treasurer. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find jt 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. MAILING ADDRESS: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. AUSTIN It was drizzling out that night. Austin’s freshman moons, high on their stilts over the city, drew up around themselves the sparkling night air. Then, down on the middle of the House chamber, the code of ethics hearing exploded. Not many of the folks, said to be so enraged over immorality in high places, were there to duck. But the sponsors of the code ducked enough for everybody absent. Ben Glusing, stentorian member from Kingsville, had started it all off in approved state affairs committee fashionthat is, quietly, without debate. But if any still doubt that this is an unpredictable legislature, with nobody in control like Shivers used to be in control, this night should settle their doubts. Public servants ought not, Glusing pronounced, take gifts that might “reasonably tend” to influence them. \(A lunch, a ball point pen, other small items like that are all right ; “it’s a owns a controlling interest in a corporation, he ought not to do business with it in his capacity as a state official ; and it would be unfortunate if a member should become ensnared in a “substantial” conflict of interest, he allowed. .Any questions? Well, Lou Dugas of Orange had one : “Will this even begin to cure the problem ?” Somebody had boo-booed; what was this guy doing here ? “Lou, I don’t believe the passage of any penal law will prevent the commission of crime,” Glusing said. \(All now eagerly await GluSing’s renunciation of And they were off. Joe Pool said he’s going to insist on fines and prison penaltieseven for the legislators. Glusing laughed gently, said, “we might have a little trouble getting it by the court of criminal appeals.” A wag handed a reporter a note : “He means it’s too vague to enforce.” Pool remembered reading a federal law case in which a court held that a congressman’s M percent interest in a printing firm was not “substantial.” “They didn’t put him in jail,” Pool said. “That was fortunate,” said Glusing. JOE HILL didn’t think so. Joe Hill was a senator from East Texas : he was a real hell-raising senator. Now he has “a 54-inch waist and 63 long hard years” and needs something to do to pass the time. He thought he’d just come down and tell them about it. “This bill totally fails,” he said. “Well, now : ‘substantial conflict.’ If there’s any conflict between a man’s personal interests and his duties to the state, that conflict should be resolved in favor of the state …. And this, here`controlling interest’ …. If he’s got any interest he shouldn’t be permitted to transact business with that interest, whether it’s controlling or not.” The thought, hmmm, seemed to occupy the members. Old Joe gave them the benefit of his experience. “I’ve often wondered about these fellas could eat three meals a day with a lobbyist and think he loves you like a brother and isn’t trying to influence your vote,” he said. “Let me tell you, I know, I’m out of the legislaturethose steaks stop the day you leave the legislature, and they don’t tell you any more you ought to be governor or senator or president or the rest of the line of bull along with the bull meat you’re eating.” Wade Spilman of McAllen, one of the code’s sponsors, is very gentle in debate. He never admits anybody has contradicted him ; it’s just a question of language. “We all agree,” he told Joe Hill. “We all agree you can’t legislate against immorality.” But the proceedings would not be tranquilized. Rep. Bob Sutton of Dallas, another interloper, bep -an: “There is only one way to get rid of cancer and that’s cut the get stuff out. Namby-pamby legislation won’t do it.” If the legislators are goincr b to fine and jail unethical lobbyists, they ought to fine and jail unethical legislatOrs, too Bob, Bob, said Spilman_ N 0, THINGS did not go as smoothly as expected. On adjourn 7 meat mild-mannered Wade Spilman slammed his hands on the press table and sighed : “I guess we’ve got a bad hill.” On the contrary, it’s a start, and not a bad start. But the very least the committee can do is strike the two words “substantial”. and ‘controlling” wherever they occur and add fines and jail terms for violations. That’s what old Joe Hill told them, chewing on his cigar, and he remembers corruption back when most of the present memhers , were hiding in the weeds by the creek puffing guiltily on cedar bark roll-your-owns. RON N IE DUGG ER
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.