OBSERVER OBSERVED If you, as a gentle reader of this enterprise, are not a member of an earth-clotting breed, know, at least, that your interest is not without consequence. Two new books hard-cover, Eastern-printed, non-four-bit bookstake note of this creature you have fed. One is Reluctant Empire, by George Fuermann, published The other is Neither Black Nor White, by Wilma Dykeman and James Stokely, published by Rinehart. The first is a Houston newspaperman’s assessment of the “mind of Texas” as of now. The second is the Southern authors’ sympathetic study of the facts they found in the South in the integration crisis. Says Fuermann: “The Dallas News is the chief spokesman for conservatives. The Texas Observer, a weekly newspaper published at Austin, is the only newspaper-spokesman for liberals. By reading both papers, but not by reading one or the other, a Texan may learn what is going on in politics. Most of the state’s metropolitan newspapers are of the same mind as the News. The fault of the Texas press is not its conservatism but that as a rule it masks the essence of issues that do not dovetail with the theories and goals of the property class.” Again, Fuermann remarks: “Criticism of the oil industry is unpatriotic in Texas. Except for the weekly Texas Observer, and before it the Texas Spectator of 1945-48, there is no stage for oil criticism. Texans’ view of oil is walled in by the state press. None of the state’s metropolitan papers evaluates oil’s effects.” Dykeman and Stokely, in their study on Southern attitudes, give two pages to the Observer, which they say “has wielded influence much larger less tion would suggest. `With subscribers in all the 254 counties of the state, 33 other states, and a number of foreign countries, we have been advised by the Texas Press Assn. that we have the third largest circulation of the state’s several hundred weeklies,’ Ronnie Dugger says … “The Texas Observer follows its name,” Dykeman and Stokely continue. “It observes closely the activities of lobbyists in the government, the growth of slums in the cities, and the powerful loan shark business in. various parts of the state. It has kept a particularly sharp eye on the progress of integration in Texas.” The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. Thoreau m r6 ‘ cgv fcf oa t MOW AN ..te -4A 1 le a j3 W e will serve no group or party, but will hew hard to the iruth as we find it and the right as we see it. ‘S 0743\\ An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 49 TEXAS, DECEMBER 6, 1957 10c per copy No. 36 Houston Vote Slams ‘Fox’ HOUSTON The voters of Houston, largest city of the South, have dealt a stunning rebuke to a campaign which badgered Negroes and union labor by electing Lewis Cutrer mayor in a landslide that buried eleven term Mayor Oscar Holcombe under a majority of about 28,000 votes. Cutrer won with 63 per cent of an unprecedented 104,000 votes in a run-off election, culminating a campaign in which Holcombe, under attack for scandals in his administration, raised the race issue and distributed literature hostile to the unions. Labor union members and the Negroes went to the polls in droves, confounding some political experts who had been predicting a low vote in the run-off. Cutrer, on the basis of unofficial results Tuesday night, polled 65,353 votes to Holcombe’s 39,061. Cutrer’s margin climbed to 28,000 of 108,000 cast by Wednesday morning. Negro and labor precincts and many of the ordinarily conservative boxes joined in the repudiation of the “Old Gray Fox,” who was backed heavily by the three daily newspapers and the city’s conservative behind-the-scenes forces. Cutrer ran strongest in. the liberal, labor, and Negro boxes where Ralph W. Yarborough ran strongest in 1956 in his unsuccessful race for governor and in AUSTIN The 55th legislature, having spent about $600,000 on itself and provided for the spending of approximately $1 million more, went home from two end-to-end special sessions Tuesday night, its East Texas-Price Daniel axis having achieved the purposes of the second session in passage of related b i 11 s which : 1.Allow dissolution of a school and the substitution therefor of an “out-of-classroom” instruction system, when, in the judgment of the school’s board, there is “violence or the danger thereof”the “anti-troops” bill vainly filibustered by Sens. Henry Gonzalez, San Antonio, and Abe Kazen, La2.Authorize the attorney general to give legal aid to school trustees defending, in federal courts, constitutionality of state statutes. 3.Requiring “organizations” which “hinder, harass, or interfere” in school operations to register, making public their memberships and national affiliations, at the request of a county judge. The first two bills, which had reached final passage and the Governor’s desk last week, were specifically asked for in Gov. Daniel’s call of the second session. The latter, not in the call, was found germane to it by the House of Representatives and Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey when opponents raised points of order to the 1957 in his successful bid for senator. The ultra-conservative Houston Chronicle, which claims the largest circulation in the state, the Houston Post, and the Houston Press editorially urged Holcombe’s election, giving him front page editorials, columns of build-up, and many photographs and stories. Cutrer’s victory and the startling vote turn-out came on a Tuesday that dawned chill and rainydaunting weather and a day of the week ordinarily calculated to keep down the vote Al Heiken and favor an incumbent who can depend on an obligated rain-orshine turnout. The first election, in which Cutrer led by almost 10,000 votes, was held on a Saturday. Resentment over the annexation of contiguous unincorporated areas, involving manipulation of water districts with resulting profits to bond speculators and city councilmen, figured large in the election. Resentment by organized labor over Holcombe’s revival of the tactics of “running against the CIO” turned out heavy, threeand-four-to-one Cutrer majorities in the predominantly labor boxes. Indignation by Negroes Daniel-East Texas Axis Gets Three New Laws Both House and Senate sponsors of the registration bill, Rep. Joe Pool, Dallas, and Sen. Wardlow Lane, Center, and its other proponents, said in debate that its purpose was to “get the NAACP.” Opponents charged it had the intent of setting up individual NAACP members as easy targets for economic or other reprisals Lyman Jones should they offend school segregationists. \(The Observer understands. that local NAACP chapters for some months have kept no local membership lists but have forwarded membership information a n d dues to NAACP national head-, quarters in. New York. Thus, NAACP officials may take the position they are unable to furnish membership lists. \(At Little Rock, Ark., this week, an NAACP official on trial for violation of a city ordinance like the Pool-Lane measure took this position. He was convicted, served immediate notice of appeal to determine the constitutionality of this kind of legislaA House rebellion against the Pool-Lane bill drew wide attention, but while spectacular, it did not \(and could not because of have any effect on the final out over Holcombe’s TV program alleging integrated swimming pools was the real issue boiled over in the run-off, the Negro vote about doubling. In the Nov. 16 voting, Cutrer ran first, Holcombe second, Gail Reeves third, and Dr. Ira Kohler fourth. Both Reeves and Kohler then turned from condemnation of Holcombe to his support and urged in television appearances that the 29,961 persons who voted for them switch over to Holcombe. Apparently few of Kohlei.’s backers did so. Some of the building trades unions had endorsed Kohler in the first election; generally these voters went over to Cutrer. But some conservatives, Constitution Party members, a n d segregationists who had been in Reeve’s camp publicly announced their preference for Holcombe. Unquestionably some of Reeves’ supporters joined the Holcombites. Oscar’s Issues But, obviously, a substantial part of the Reeves supporthe polled more than 18,000 on November 16had come from citizens who were tired of Holcombe and wanted a change. Furthermore, it was an outpouring of new votes, approximately 28,000 more than in the November 16 election, that piled up the lead The House last week pasied, 76-62, Pool’s version of the bill, H. B. 5. A much broader bill, S. B. 15, had been introduced in the Senate by Lane. When the House measure came to the Senate, Lane substituted the Pool bill for his. This made Pool’s Houseadopted wording a Senate bill. It passed the Senate, 18-13, and returned to the House under its new Senate number. It was this bill the House rebellion killed. Lane thereupon rammed Pool’s original H. B. 5 through the Senate by a 13-12 vote. From there it went to Gov. Daniel for signature into law. Voting for the bill on final passage were Sens. Lane, A. M. Aikin, Jr., Paris; Neville Colson, Navasota; Culp Krueger, El Campo; Ottis L o c k, Lufkin; Crawford Martin, Hillsboro; Jimmy Phillips, Angleton; David Ratliff, Stamford; Ray Roberts, McKinney; and Bill Wood, Tyler. Voting to kill were Sens. Gonzalez, K a z e n, Carlos Ashley, Llano; Floyd Bradshaw, Weatherford; Bill Fly, Victoria; Jep Fuller, Port Arthur; Dorsey Hardeman, San Angelo; Hubert Hudson, Brownsville; Bruce Reagan, Corpus Christi; Jarrard Secrest, Temple; R. E. Weinert, Seguin; and Doyle Willis, Fort Worth. Searcy Bracewell, H oust o n, paired no with Grady Hazlewood, Amarillo, absent, who would have voted yes. Andy Rogers, Childress, paired yes with Frank Owen, El Paso, who would have voted no if present. for Cutrer and swept him into office. Holcombe, behind by almost 10,000 votes in the first election, decided to raise the race issue, charging that Cutrer would desegregate the swimming pools and other recreation facilities if he were elected. He linked the issue of school integration with Cutrer, who had been attorney for the Houston school board when it had a liberal majority headed by Mrs. Olon Rogers. He asserted that Cutrer was a strawman for former Mayor Roy Hofheinz, who had incurred the enmity of the leading conservatives of the city. In newspaper advertisements, Holcombe proclaimed: “Here’s what your vote really means” and then said that election of Cutrer would mean “integration of swimming pools” and “approval of Negro block voting” as well as “approval of Hofheinz’s `Rule or Ruin’ tactics.” “Let’s face it,” said the ads: “Lewis Cutrer has the support of the Hofheinz crowd and the Negroes. He is controlled by them. Houston had a taste of that kind of government. Don’t give the city hall back to them. Oscar Holcombe came out of retirement two years ago to lead a fight against ruthless, selfish forces. Now these same forces are again planning to take over our city government, their man is Lewis Cutrer.” A leaflet was distributed all over the city. It was headed: “What is the issue?” It said: “Does Houston want to elect a Mayor who is backed by Roy Hofheinz, Mrs. Olon Rogers, Dr. a liberal member of the Houston School Brown Resigns Freedom Post AUSTIN Chairman S. Perry Brown of the Texas Employment Commission has resigned as a member of the executive committee of Freedom in Action Brown, whose agency is financed in part by federal funds, said the FIA group was political in nature and that he might be subject to the federal Hatch Act forbidding political activity by federal employees. Said Brown: “I resigned two or three months ago. I had it pretty carefully checked under the Hatch Act when it was organized. As long as it was an educational program it was okay. But now that it has moved into the realm of political action, I had no business in it.” The Texas AFL-CIO News, the monthly publication of the state AFL-CIO has called editorially for Brown’s resignation from TEC because of his FIA membership. contrary. come. Here’s why: LEGISLATORS GO HOME
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