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Sheriff Hopkins Breaking Up a Roulette Table A RAID IS A RAID IS A RAID OR IS IT? Fertitta Greets Sheriff As Reporter Is Excused GALVESTON stairs to see what was cooking Sheriff Paul Hopkins paid on the front dice table. Fertitta a friendly visit to the Maceo inquired if he wanted him to go gambling syndicate’s plush upstairs with him. The sheriff Western Room last Satur said that might be a good idea. day. He carted chunks of a A Galveston News reporter, chopped up dice table down the elevator and announced he had made a raid. Apparently he had, for he filed a misdemeanor gambling charge manager of the famed gambling room. Spring entered a plea of guilty before Peace Justice Orra Richmond and was assessed the $100 fine. The Maceo syndicate, which the last time the state made an official check showed an. annual gross income of more than $4 million, paid it. Accompanying Hopkins on his trip to the gambling emporium, which is located upstairs over the Turf Grill, was state Liquor Control Board Agent Virgil Knutson. He carted down an assorted collection of partially filled whisky bottles and announced he also had made a raid. Apparently he had, too, for he filed a liquor violation charge against , barman Burt Keel. The case is pending in county court. One eye witness described the raid as “all very friendly.” He said Sheriff Hopkins, Knutson, and Chief Deputy Sheriff J. B. Kline strolled in the front door and were there cordially met by Vic Fertitta, one of the managers of the Maceo operations. \(Fertitta, who normally would have been at his more important post in the Balinese Room at 11:45 p.m. on a Friday, explained that he had “just come down to the The sheriff informed Fertitta that he was “here on business” and that he was going to go up Fred Wortham, who just happened to be in the cafe having a cup of coffee, decided there might be something worth a story upstairs so he asked the sheriff for permission to accompany him. “No, you better wait down here,” Hopkins decided. The sheriff, Knutson and Fertitta disappeared into a slow moving elevator. Meanwhile, Sheriff Kline was staging a one-man raid on the tip book operations in the Turf Grill bar. One of the employees hesitantly handed him a couple of tips, but there wasn’t evidence for a case because they had mysteriously ceased operations a couple of hours earlier. Nobody seemed to know why they had chosen that night, first time in history a sheriff had ever raided the Turf, to shut down business. Time was hanging heavy on everyone’s hands as they waited down in the cafe for word of developments upstairs. Finally the elevator came back down, and a truck was called to haul away the dice table which Hopkins had seized. As Western Room porters carried the pieces out of the elevator and loaded them on a truck, the sheriff explained that he had been forced to dismantle the table upstairs in order to get it into the elevator. The porters also helped Knutson with his three boxes of whisky bottles. Spring, under arrest on a charge of permitting intermittent gaming, offered to take his own car to go to the justice of the peace to make bond. Sheriff Hop He Followed This kins at first said “no,” but when it turned out that his car was, crowded, he agreed. Fertitta went along to make the $250. bond. Hopkins later told how he had successfully staged the raid by sneaking his two new deputies into the Western Room as customers. He explained: “My men had been inside more than an hour before Virgil and I moved in. The first person we saw when we walked into the Grill was Vic Fertitta. We called to him, ‘We’re going upstairs, Vic, come on along.’ He grinned and joined us. At the elevator he told the girl operator, ‘This is the sheriff. Just open up and let them in.’ “It took at least three, maybe five minutes, for the elevator to get up to the Western room. My deputies who were inside told me that when a buzzer sounded indicating we were on our way up, `All hell broke loose.’ “They said employees started dismantling the crap table, stashing money and chips in a safe, and hiding all evidence of gambling. They told me the operators I would have completed their job before I got upstairs if they had not stopped them,” said Hopkins. . The sheriff announced he had confiscated $140 in cash plus a large amount of chips. He reported that at the time of the raid there were only seven customers in the gambling establishment, including his two deputies, and 14 employees. Sheriff Hopkins described the incident as “just another raid as far as I’m concerned” and told reporters that it wouldn’t be the last one. BOB BRAY Up With a Turf Grill Raid and More Axing Last Week’ ‘ ” 4 Daniel May Hook ay Raise to Lobby Bill HOUSTON Governor Price Daniel has earmarked lobbyist control legislation and completion of the state’s water conservation and development programs for top priority for a special session of the Legislature, probably to be held in October. In a radio and television report to the people, the Governor commended the legislature for work during the session just ended but expressed disappointment over the failure to pass lobby registration bills and an important part of the water program. He hinted that ‘unless the legislators see fit to pass some rigid lobbyist controls during the special session and to regulate their own practice before state boards, he will not support a proposed constitutional amendment calling for annual legislative sessions and salary increases for lawmakers. “I don’t want it to continue to be said that Texas cannot pass a lobbyist registration act,” Daniel declared. “It’s the fly-by-night people who seem to have been the ones guilty of doing things that are now under investigation. It should be possible for legislators to know whom a man is representing. “It is perfectly proper for people to present their arguments to the Legislature and I don’t think people who are doing it legally object to telling what they spend. The legislators will have an op portunity to consider again the enactment of a strict lobby registration act,” he said. Also on the subject of “clean government,” Daniel indicated he would probably press for passage of a revised version of his state law enforcement commission, a plan which met with general disapproval during the regular session. Under the new version he said “the only change is that we AUSTIN An opening gun of the 1958 elections has been fired at incumbent Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey by one of union labor’s top Texas spokesmen, Jerry Holleman, executive secretary of the Texas State Federation of Labor. Calling for Ramsey’s defeat, Holleman announced that a prime objective of organized labor next year will be a new lieutenant governor. In past years Ramsey has been re-elected without concerted opposition from liberals and labor. Holleman said Ramsey’s “antagonism” to lobbyist control killed that bill. He said Ramsey used his power to shove through “the ‘head tax’ on students,” the bill doubling college tuitions. Ramsey was also blamed for the death of the Hughes industrial safety bill: “He ignored pleas that might have a study commission to concentrate on improving ways and means of law enforcement and turn the actual prosecution over to local grand juries.” The Governor said he regarded the legislature’s failure to pass one phase of the water program as a “major failure” of the past session and that he is planning now for the best means of resubmitting the matter. He noted that the bill be sent to a friendly committee and sent it to a committee and sent it to a committee certain to bury it,” said Holleman. Holleman also said Ramsey and House Speaker Waggoner Carr were responsible for a workmen’s compensation bill with changes “objected to by the House.” He says that the lieutenant governor and House speaker have more power over legislation than the governor in the Texas system and that while the people can do nothing about the selection of the House speaker, they do elect the lieutenant governor. “For eight years now,” Holleman concludes, “Ben Ramsey has ruled the Senate with an iron hand. Nothing happened without his blessing. He has maintained the power of veto and, almost without exception, the power of passage. His has been the rule of the lawmakers did pass the “most important” part of the water program, a $200 million bond issue plan to aid loCal interests in financing water projects. The portion remaining to be passed is aimed at financing purchase of water storage space in federal reservoir projects in Texas. The Governor disclosed that he is studying asking the legislature to establish a state-wide water the despot. Minor rebellions have been crushed. Ramsey has always emerged the winner, backed by a strong group of senators who prefer the rule of the dictator with the personal benefits to honest democracy in the Senate. “The people of Texas can do something about this despotic misuse of power by one man or one band of men. They can elect a lieutenant governor who will preside over a democratic Senate in a democratic manner, who will allow such laws as a lobbyists’ registration and control law to pass, who will promote the interests of the people as a whole instead of the interest of special privilege groups.” By opening up on Ramsey in the May “Texas Federationist” Holleman also gave support for observations that the 1958 elections will see an unusual emphasis on elections involving incumbent state senators. district if it can be accomplished without changing the constitution. The plan would permit the state to buy water conservation storage space in federal reservoirs. “One reason I’m particularly anxious to pass water legislation,” he said, “is that federal agencies are very interested in the possibility of the state helping to finance water projects.” Col. L. H. Hewitt of the International Boundary Commission has notified Daniel that he would like to recommend early start on construelion of the Diablo Dam on the Rio Grande River if he could be assured the state would purchase some $8 million of the storage space. Daniel urged voters to support the $200 million state bond issue program to help finance water development when it comes up for constitutional amendment vote in November. “The door has been opened for statewide water planning and conservation, after years of frustration and failure,” he said. “Next November the voters will have before them the first phase of this program. This proposal is one of the most important ever passed by the legislature and every Texan with the future growth and progress of the state at heart should go to the polls in November and vote for the bond amendment.” Page 8 June 7, 1957 THE TEXAS OBSERVER AFL CHIEF BLASTS AT RAMSEY