Daniel Plans Precinct End that everybody on the committee sing happy birthday to Jim Lindsey, the chairman. Everybody did, and Allen Duckworth of the Dallas News remarked: “Well, I’ve heard everything.” Daniel averred the committee has been “loyal and active in its support of the Democratic Party local, state, and national” in 1956 and 1957. “No one can truthfully point the finger of neglect and indifference at this committee in its support of the Democratic Party,” he said. The committee has worked hard to carry out “the platform of the Texas Democratic Party,” he added. The result, he said: “a strong, vital, and progressive program of which Texas Democrats can be proud.” Daniel “especially” commended Jake Pickle, SDEC’s organizational director who has been a favorite DOT target. “In my opinion,” Daniel said, “he is the best organizer in Texas. He is so good that those who would destroy the work of this committee have set our first to bemean and destroy Jake Pickle. I say they shall not destroy either of us. … Anyone who wants to see a successful Democratic Party in this state … would be very glad to have him working on his side of the fence.” The committee’s only opposition, said the Governor, comes from “two minority groups,” the Republicans and “the splinter Get A Friend To Subscribe To The Observer Name Address City 0 $4 Enclosed Bill the Subscriber Signed: \(Ad v. Democratic group known as the DOT.” “I think the Republican Party is on the way out in Texas, and I hope so,” he said. He again said the name, Democrats of Texas, is “misleading and confusing” in that it sounds like the official party name. “Let me make this plain,” he ad Ebbed. “I am not objecting to the use of the word ‘Democratic’ … Texas Democratic Clubs, Democrats for Stevenson, Democrats foranybody you want” \(the DOT partisans rocked the place as you tell the truth about it,” Daniel said, laughing with them a little, “and say who you’re for … The only objection is the use of the whole phrase, ‘Democrats of Texas,’ as though you’re representing all the Democrats of Texas.” Daniel urged committee members “to see that our party conventions are conducted properly, orderly, and fairly, in accordance with the present state laws … No one can be exactly happy about the way these conventions are run, whether you happen. to have won or whether you happen to have lost.” Again there was laughter, and again the Governor laughed back. Daniel proposed investigating “abolishing the outmoded precinct convention and giving the voters of each precinct the right to choose their delegates” to county conventions by popular vote. There was hard applause. Each precinct delegate would cast the precinct’s votes at the county conventions. Precinct conventions, he said, all too often result in control “by a very small minority of the persons who actually vote.” He has, he said, encouraged greater attendance at precinct conventions because they are “the tap-root of our party policies and programs.” He proposed designating the elected precinct chairman the delegate of the precinct or electing a delegate. Any voter could still go to his county convention and present resolutions for consideration by the elected delegates, he said. He said his plan would eliminate “precinct convention fights and rump conventions” as well as rump county conventions, since delegates would be elected obviously enough. Bitterness would be relieved; majority determination of delegates would be assured; “In my opinion, it would bring the Democratic Party closer to the people,” he said. Mrs. Brooks reported on women’s activities, of which she is SDEC chairman. “We have not been able to have in the past month a concerted program due to evaluation and due to waiting for the preparation of new material that will give us a fresh approach,” Mrs. Brooks said. She announced a meeting of Democratic women in Washington in April. She reported on Democratic women’s day in Texas, “a very successful observance. The collection of funds was de-ei -nphasized … because we needed to become better informed and better known as Democratic women in Texas …” She proposed a Democratic women’s forum, “a forward looking program, a program of unity, of dignity.” It was conceived by the Democratic National Committee. She proposed formation of clubs from every precinct and subscriptions to the Democratic Digest; she thought the clubs might sponsor youth groups. “And I end with this slogan, which is original,” said Mrs. Brooks: ” ‘Let’s not be static, let’s be Democratic.” Mrs. Brooks remarked also, “I love to talk over a cup of coffee. If there is any woman in the Democratic Party who would like to talk to me, that’s the way I operate … and let’s be ladies.” National committeeman Skelton said Texas Democrats fell $24,000 short of their $60,000 quota last year; he had, he said, protested to the national committee, asking for a lower quota. He noted the national party holds a dinner Feb. 21 in Washington honoring Harry Truman, “a great president,” with tickets $100 each. `Reason for DOT’ Mrs. Randolph then presented to the committee DOT’s code of ethics. She received an ovation. Angered by the attacks on DOT, she said: “I’m a Democrat and I’m a Texan, and the members of Democrats of Texas are Democrats and they are Texans. So why should they not call themselves the Democrats of Texas? We have groups like that all over the U.S. “I think we are going to have harmony in. the Democratic Party when we have a party registration bill,” she said. Daniel, Lindsey, Mrs. Brooks, and two-thirds of the committee had shown “no interest” in such legislation, she said. “The DOT will be the majority group in Texas when we have a registration bill and remove the Republicans from our primaries.” She was applauded twice on this subject. “Nol we all remember Fort Worth,’ she said. “Fort Worth is the reason for the Democrats of Texas, end all of you know that. You know that there are people on the committee here who were not chosen from their senatorial districts.” With respect to the Daniel plan about precinct conventions, Mrs. Randolph asked if he would agree to the election of precinct chairyears on the general election ballot, counting only the ballots of those who voted the straight Democratic ticket. Mrs. Randolph recited various remarks by Daniel pledging integrity in government and politics and told committee members they had a responsibility “to the people” to assure that any Democrat could “be assured of fair play and an honest count of his vote in party affairs.” Mrs. E. T. Robbins, the committeewoman from Orange, said, “I think that we have habits of action and they constrict us, and we get in groups. To be honest, frankly, is hard. … I say that it On Daniel’s precinct plan, Mrs. Robbins said: “Does anyone dare do away with that? No. Americans have got to have a chance to meetthey’ve got to have a place to meet and get it off their chest. “Republicans vote in the Democratic primary. Those Republicans will be the ones who vote for the delegates to the county convention. … It is like cutting off a man’s head to make him think right, to eliminate the precinct conventions.” Mrs. Robbins moved the code be considered; John Peace of San Antonio proposed it be sent to the resolutions committee; Fagan Dickson offered a substitute plan that it go to the committee but that a report be returned “in writing, not later than 30 days from this date.” “I do not think this should be a whitewash. I think we should consider it seriously,” said Dickson. Peace said he didn’t think anybody could vote “intelligently” on the code at this time, there were so many statutes and rules to track out. He said the resolutions committee would be happy to hear from anyone on the code or any other matter. He said the committee would hold “open meetings rather than executive sessions.” Peace accepted Dickson’s substitute motion; it was unanimously adopted. During the luncheon recess the resolutions committee met behind closed doors, barring Immediately after lunch Edgar Berlin, president of the state Young Democrats, read the committee a YD resolution endorsing the code of ethics. Dist. Judge James Sewell of Corsicana offered a motion to put SDEC on record that state conventions should seat state committee members elected in their senatorial caucuses. Chairman Lindsey suggested Sewell wait for the resolutions committee report. Bob Hall, committeeman from Dallas, moved to table the motion on grounds it was already referred to committee and a moot issue. Mrs. Jud Collier, Mumford, asked, “Does that motion mean you wish to table the state law? after all it’s the state law.” Sewell demanded a roll call vote. Peace came into the room from the closed subcommittee meeting and asked for 15 or 20 minutes THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 February 7, 1958 Dist. Judge Jim Sewell, Corsicana, left, tells the state Democratic committee that labor is needed in the Democratic Party; Byron Skelton, national committeeman from Temple, center, calls on DOT to disband for the sake of party harmony; right, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, national committee Russell Lee Marietta Brooks, vice-chairman of the state committee, confront each other: moments later they saw the photographers and smiled. COMPLETE INSURANCE SERVICE HALL’S WIGINTON-HALL LEAGUE CITY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY Dickinson, Texas Alvin, Texas League City, Texas RELIABLE REAL ESTATE SERVICE Arthur Hajecate METROPOLITAN REALTY CO. 4340 Telephone Road 0 HOUSTON, TEXAS
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