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The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau . . Air We will serve no , group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. An I ndep .9e. eek,ly Newspaper Vol. 49 , MAY 31, 1957 0″ 10c per copy No. 3 Hardeman Key to Lobby Bill Death AUSTIN Did Sen. Dorsey Hardeman, some of his Senate colleagues, and Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey really kill the lobby bill, or did it die, as Hardeman said, because it wasn’t any good the way the House passed it? That will be a Number One question for the special session of the legislature Gov. Price Daniel has announced he will call later this year for lobbyist control, registration of those who practice before state agencies, completion of his water program, and establishment of a statewide law enforcement commission. In an unusually candid Observer interview, Hardeman told why he refused to accept any of the compromises the House conferees, in desperation, offered him. Why, he was asked, was he opposed to lobbyists being required to report their total expenditures? “I am for that if they limit it to what they spend it for, with a complete itemized breakdown,” he said. “You take a lobbyist reports $4,000, he goes up before a grand jury, and they ask him, who’d you spend that on? He says Hardeman …” \(and here Hardeman named two other sencan’t remember the others.’ Then where are you? …. Suppose they want to blackmail you?” Reps. Zeke Zbranek, Daisetta, the author of the House bill registering lobbyists, Charles Hughes, Sherman, and Frates Seeligson, Charles Hughes Accuses the Senate San Antonio, had been meeting with Hardeman for weeks trying to get a bill they felt would work. Lt. Gov. Ramsey had appointed Sens. Ottis Lock, Lufkin, Wardlow Lane, Center, R. C. Weinert, Seguin, and Charles Herring, Austin, on the conference committee with Hardeman, but they had delegated to Hardeman full authority to act for them. \(HerFinally, the next to last day of deman the word that Hughes and Zbranek were ready to take the floor and attack him for obstructing the bill if he wouldn’t give. House conferees said he told Seeligson he would turn the bill over to Claude Gilmer, a powerful free-lance lobbyist, and see if something couldn’t be worked out overnight. When the Observer asked him about this later, he responded: “I just said I was going to supper with Claude Gilmer and I was gonna study it.” At two-thirty, three and a half hours before the legislature formally ended, Seeligson, a multimillionaire San Antonian, rose as chairman of the conference committee from the House on the matter and announced: “I regret to inform the House that H.B. 10 is dead.” The Senate version, Seeligson said, would register the lobbyists but would require no reports between legislative sessions. Furthermore, it would require reports “only on expenditures of $25 per person on any single item on any single occasion on any single member of the House.” “In essence such a bill would accomplish nothing,” he said. “As a matter of practice there would never be any costs reported.” House conferees had agreed to drop interim reports by the lobbyists if the Senate would drop its provision that everybody who tried to influence legislation, including constituents, wOuld have to register as lobbyists. “We traded a very integral part of the bill for some unconstitutional language,” Seeligson said. But the House could not agree to drop Dorsey Hardeman Dinner with Gilmer total expenditure reports, he concluded. ZBRANEK, who had been fuming several days over Hardeman’s attitude, rose on personal privilege. “The integrity and the honor of the House of Representatives lies at stake and is going to be attacked,” he said. The House had tried to get a measure that would not be a “shell of a bill” to make lobbyists’ activities “available to public scrutiny.” But at Hardeman’s insistence, Herring had to agree to an amendment in the Senate “to register everybody who talked to you about legislation … whether old age pensioners or students about college tuition, they would be in the same category as the biggest lobbyist here, the crooked ones and the honest ones.” T h i s, shouted Zbranek, was a “fantastic” proposal for “a supposedly conscientious legislator to make.” Hardeman also “fixed it so there would never be any reports made,” Zbranek said. It was frustrating to try to work with Hardeman, he said. “It was just like trying to negotiate at the Geneva conference. He led us to believe he might make an agreement, we would draw it up all night, hopeful, but he turned it downeach and every time.” “The Senate and specifically Senator Hardeman didn’t want a lobby registration bill that was gonna make any of their activities open to the public view,” Zbranek said. “We decided to tell you who killed lobby registration it was Senator Hardeman. “He said they might blackmail us, and cause us to be blamed over here, and I’m sure he’s sincere about that”applause interrupted him here”Well, I’m not afraid of that”and laughter and cries of “Pour it on, Zeke,” reached him. He said lobby controls were in force in other states and there was “not one single case of blackmail.” Zbranek’s speech was ap The 55th: A Start Toward . Reform AUSTIN Out of its trading, bluffing,1 threats, trickery, and broiling debate, the 55th legislature brought into being important new laws and left in limbo important old problems. It made a fitful start toward reforming itself, asking the people if they want annual sessions and annual pay of $7,500 for their legislators and passing a code of ethics which, though devoid of enforcement provisions, is already having an impact on the state government. But it did not act on the lobbyist control bill and registration of legislatiors practicing law before state agencies. It brought into being a new securities agency to regulate the issuance and sale of insurance and stock securities. It gave Gov. Daniel permission and authority to entirely replace the Insurance congressional redistricting bill which gives Harris County an extra congressman and narrows the Tarrant County-based district to the big-city county itself. The most dramatic, if not the most important story of the session was the House passage, and then the filibuster-based Senate opposition, to the segregation bills. Eleven passed the House; two only passed the Senate \(page Killed off in the last week was Sen. George Parkhouse’s $100 million bond plan for the purchase of water storage space be hind federal dams. Sen. Ottis Lock filibustered it to death in the Senate in the closing hours after the House had refused to give it the necessary 100 votes. Opposition came from at least two sources: rural elements who wanted water use priority assured for riverbank farmers and people who worried about the profits that were to be made on the bonds for which the bill set no interest rate limit. The Legislature finally approved a public vote on a $200 million fund for local water projects. Sen. Bill Fly, Victoria, was never able to get enough Senate votes to pass the House-approved hike in the trucks’ highway load limit from 58,420 to 72,000 pounds. No serious attempt was made to pass the Governor’s statewide 1 a w enforcement commission through a skeptical Senate. The r a i l r o ad employees’ bill to require the Railroad Commission to consider public .convenience in passing on requests for passenger train discontinuances was ruled constitutional by the Attorney General too late for final passage. The Senate also killed a tax cut for the 7-11 stores and other small chain stores. The League of Women Voters won approval of a study of revising the Texas Constitution. The session created a state tax study commission, which it is generally assumed will rely on the industry-financed Texas Research League for its research. Bats .500 Gov. Daniel plans to call a special session about October to take up lobby control, registration of those practicing before state agencies, water legislation, and the law enforcement commission. At a press conference this week he revealed a new plan he has for the purpose of purchasing water ‘storage space. A special session cannot propose constitutional amendments. Therefore he a new statewide water district to be created and authorized to issue bonds for the purchase of the storage space. Welfare The session alleviated the woes of the aged, the totally disabled, migrant workers, and alcoholics; it set out to emphasize treatment instead of incarceration of the mentally ill and correction instead of punishment of the state’s prisoners; it swept away legal barriers to authorize Texas cities to use federal funds for slum clearance. But it defeated control of loan. sharks who have caused Texas to be dubbed “the Loan. Shark State.” A constitutional amendment authorized for public consideration would raise the total welfare ceiling from $42 million to $47 million and increase the state contribution to Old age pensions from $20 to $25. Passed and certified was an appropriation of $3.9 million for the permanently and totally disabled citizens of the state to carry out the constitutional amendment the voters adopted in 1956. A resolution was passed calling for a public vote on setting up a state plan for accepting available federal money for medical payments for the needy aged. In the closing weeks the legislature created a Texas Council on Migrant Labor and appropriated $10,000 for its preliminary research. The state commission on alcoholism was granted a generous $235,000 appropriation. The colons passed a new mental health code and provided for new outpatient clinics, a new $2 million research hospital on mental illness, a new $2 million school for the mentally retarded, a redefinition of mentally retarded children so they may get more Senator George Parkhouse on Water Program Special Session Coming wants