`Yes, He Is Not’ Porter was back in his office but refusing to see reporters as he was lashed from both Republican and Democratic quarters in Washington. His secretary said he will not have anything to say beyond his prepared statement. “He is just not talking?” she was asked. “Yes, he is not talking,” she smiled. raising bid. This spectacle clouds the honest efforts of many honest people to fairly present the merits of their legislative proposals,” Yarborough continued. “The Democratic Party is in debt about $1 million. We are trying to erase some of that deficit by fund raising dinners, but if the Democratic Party would stoop so low as to sell legislation, I doubt that the Democratic Party would be in debt.” The Texas delegation has supported the gas bill in the past. Yarborough declined to state his position on the Harris-O’Hara bill at a recent parley with oil industry leaders in Houston \(Obs. asked Eisenhower to announce he would veto the bill again. Reuss said $100,000 had been raised at the dinner “to line the pockets of Republicans willing to sell out their constituents in order to make billionaires out of Texas millionaires.” the gas bill was dead and urged Republicans to take out now after the oil depletion allowance. Sen. ter proved the oil and gas lobby had lost none of the arrogance indicated by the Case affair two years ago. Sens. Robert Kerr \(D.D.-on its merits. Democratic national chairman Paul Butler called the Houston affair “a flagrant exchange of money for votes,” “the shoddy exercise of mass bribery held under the guise of a Republican fund-raising dinner.” He said Martin’s and Alcorn’s efforts to “dissociate themselves” from the letter “does not absolve the Republican Party of its cynical and unethical conduct.” `On the Spot’ Porter announced at the dinner that approximately 1,000 tickets had been sold at $100 each. \(The Post said some persons had bought blocks of 20 or 30 tickets and disdiners the reason he could not give the exact amount that had been raised was that returns from a dinner of this kind were as slow coming in as were the returns “from a famous primary in Duval County.” Porter had written a letter on January 30 advising the addressees that the Martin dinner was to be held and asking for checks to raise “substantial amounts,” to be made out to “H. J. Porter, Chairman” or “Texas Republican Finance Committee” or “Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee” or “Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.” Disclosure of the letter was made to The Washington Post’s Pulitzer prize-winning Edward T. Folliard, who came to the Martin dinner, by someone to whom Porter sent one of the letters. Porter’s secretary said no form letter was sent out, that each letter was personal to people Porter knew as Republicans. Porter had written: “Joe Martin … has always been a friend of Texas, especially of the oil and gas producing industries. He mustered two-thirds of the Republican votes in the House each time the gas bill passed … As Speaker of the 83rd Congress he led the fight for adoption of the tidelands ownership bill. “It will be up to Joe Martin to muster at least 65 percent of the Republican votes in order to pass the gas bill this year … He has to put Republican members from Northern and Eastern consuming areas on the spot politically because the bill is not popular due to the distortion of facts by newspaper columnists and others. “The dinner must raise substantial amounts of money for the Republican Party as part of these will go towards the election of Republican Congressmen and Senators. “Walter Reuther is the dominant figure in the Democratic Party and will pick the Democratic nominee for President in 1960….” The Washington Post’s Folliard reported: “The Texans were showing their appreciation for past favors Martin did for them in Washington and for one they hope he will perform this year. They were counting on Martin to crack the party whip and help put through a bill that would enrich them. … Opponents of the bill in the House say that it would give the producers of natural gas an extra billion dollars a year, at the expense of householders …” The Post story was headlined: “Texans Raise Fund, Fete Martin in Hope Of Easing Gas Curbs … State GOP Dinner Netting $100,000 May Earn Billions.” The Post said editorially: “The been a sellout. It now remains to be seen whether there will also be a Republican sellout to the gas lobby.” It asked what Porter meant saying that “part” of the money raised would go toward election returns. “Where is the rest to be spent?” asked the newspaper. After the letter of Jan. 30 was publicized, Porter issued a statement defending the raising of the money, denying any impropriety, and comparing the Martin dinner to the Johnson dinner in Houston Dec. 4. “The reason that a majority of Republicans have voted for Gas Bills in the past is because the Republican Party traditionally believes in private enterprise and a free economy,” Porter’s statement said. “A few weeks ago,” he said, “an Appreciation Dinner was held in Houston in the same diningroom for Senator Lyndon Johnson, for the services he has rendered to Texas. By the same token, the Republicans of Texas had a perfect right to bill a fundraising dinner as an Appreciation Dinner for the Honorable Joseph W. Martin, Jr., whose fundamental beliefs in our private enterprise system have caused him to support every gas bill in. the past which was designed to clarify the original Gas Act and take this one commodity out from under Government regulation. “The charge made by the Washington Post that this was a gas lobby dinner is not only absurd, but there is not one iota of truth in it.” Porter said he will be “happy” to appear if there is a congressional investigation of the dinner and the fund raising. He said such an investigation “will never disclose anything except that this was a regular fund raising tlinner, and that I called on people to contribute to the Republican Party, which believes in the private enterprise system, and that in my solicitation of funds, I pointed out the record to them and showed by that record that they should support the Party which has stood by them in trying to free a great industry, of which Texas is a large part, from unwarranted and unnecessary controls; controls which the Congress, in the original Gas Act never intended should be exercised.” Blue-Chips Oil was the hallmark of the program. Porter, an oilman, vas chairman of the dinner committee; Ralph A. Johnston, the toastmaster, is an oilman; Corbin Rob COMPLETE INSURA C SERVICE HALL’S WIGINTON-HALL LEAGUE CITY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY INSURANCE AGENCY Dickinson, Texas Alvin, Texas League City, Texas PORTER’S LETTER SCUTTLES GAS BILL Daniel said. “This incident is deplored by the great majority of our people” and could not have occurred but for conservatives and moderates who have followed Porter, the Governor added. “Most of them are Democrats like he money raised at the dinner “came from these conservatives and moderates who by following Porter’s leadership have made it possible for a ‘minority splinter group’ to have influence in the state Democratic Party,” said Daniel. “They should be given their money back and return to the Democratic Party.” Rep. Frank Ikard, Wichita Falls, said of the gas bill: “Jack Porter has killed it dead. He has made it impossible for anybody outside the producing states to support it. … It will hurt everything the industry and Texas is interested in restricting oil imports and keeping the 27.5 percent oil depletion allowance.” Porter’s action “confirmed all that the opponents of the bill wanted to believe,” Ikard said. Speaker Sam Rayburn, who had said he would bring up the bill this month, remarked this week, “after an incident of this kind there might be a delay in bringing it up. If he had wanted to kill the bill, Porter couldn’t have been more effective in defeating it like that.” Sen. Ralph Yarborough called the Houston affair “a shocking promotional effort” that “comes very close to an outright attempt by the Republican Party leader in Texas to extort campaign funds on a promise for passage of one specific piece of legislation. “It is a deplorable situation when legislation of such great importance to the economy of Texas and the entire nation can not be considered on the basis of its merits alone, rather than being offered by some Republican leaders as the grand prize fund Legal CITATION BY PUBLICATION THE STATE OF TEXAS TO William T. Wells Defendant, in the hereinafter styled and numbered cause: You are hereby commanded to appear before the 126th District Court of Travis County, Texas, to be held at the courthouse of said county in the City of Austin, Travis County, Texas, at or before 10 o’clock of the first Monday after the expiration of 42 days from the date of issuance hereof; that is to say, at or before, 10 o’clock A. M. of Monday the 17th day of March, 1958, and answer the petition of plaintiff in Cause Number 109,211, in which P. E. Wells is Plaintiff and William T. Wells is defendant, filed in said Court on the 30th day of January, 1958, and the nature of which said suit is as follows: Being an action and prayer.f or judgment in favor of Plaintiff and against Defendant for decree of divorce dissolving the bonds of matrimony heretofore and now existing between said parties; Plaintiff al_eges cruel treatment on the part of defendant toward plaintiff of such a nature as to render their further living together as husband and wife altogether insupportable. Plaintiff further alleges that no children were born of said union and no community property was accumulated. Plaintiff further prays for the restoration of her maiden name of Patricia Elizabeth Barnett and for costs of suit and relief, general and special; All of which more fully appears from plaintiff’s original petition on file in this office, and to which reference is here made. If this citation is not served within 90 days after date of its issuance, it shall be returned unserved. WITNESS, 0. T. MARTIN, JR., Clerk of the District Courts of Travis County, Texas. Issued and given under my hand and the seal of said Court at office in the City of Austin, this the 30th day of January, 1958. 0. T. MARTIN, JR. Clerk of the District Courts, Travis County, Texas. By ELI GREER, Deputy. ertson, who introduced Martin, is an oilmanin fact, everyone on the program but the clergyman and the main speaker was an oilman. Oilmen sponsors included Isaack Arnold, John H. Blaffer, R. H. Cullen, Albert B. Fay, W. J. Goldston, Michael Halbouty, Harry Hurt, Ralph A. Johnston, Douglas B. Marshall, Johnny Mitchell, Corbin J. Robertson, S. W. Shipnes, William A. Smith, McClelland Wallace, and Jake Ramon On the women’s committee for ticket sales and the program were the wives of oilmen Blaffer, James Buck, Fay, Smith, Southworth, and William H. Francis Jr. \(Francis, assistant defense secretary in the Eisenhower cabinet and former Republican finance chairman for Texas, said Porter’s letter was “ill advised, poor taste, Many of the same people who sponsored or attended the Johnson appreciation dinner in Houston attended the Martin dinner. Among “oil names” present at both functions were W. J. Goldston, Michael T. Halbouty, Corbin J. Robertson \(son-in-law of Abercrombie. Twelve of the 30 Houstonians who were sponsors of the Johnson dinner also were sponsors of the Martin dinner Abercrombie, Goldston, Halbouty, Robertson, W. R. Archer, Hurt, Johnston, Leopold Meyer, Johnny Mitchell, Shipnes, and the William A. Smiths. All are blue-chip names in Houston, and all are conservatives, some labeling themselves Democrats, others acknowledging allegiance to the G.O.P. Like Johnson, Martin complimented Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby, publisher of The Houston Post, who spoke at the Johnson dinner and had been Eisenhower’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Mrs. Hobby and former Governor W. P. Hobby had been listed in pre-dinner publicity as among those who would welcome Martin at the airport on his arrival and as sponsors of the dinner, but they were not on hand. Thad Hutcheson, state Republican chairman, explained that the raw, rainy weather was the reason. Those who did welcome Martin were Porter, Emmett Smith. Harris County Republican chairman, Mrs. John Martin, state committeewoman, Mrs. Edie Martin, John H. Wood of San Antonio, member of the Republican finance committee in Texas and chairman of the legislative committee, John Tower, committeeman from Wichita Falls, Max Mossholder of Abilene. and T. Noah Smith, Jr., a San Antonio Republican and businessman. “You might say in your story,” said Hutcheson, “there were two Mrs. Martins on hand to greet Mr. Martin.” At the head table at the Martin dinner were Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Brown, Orange; Rev. John W. Knoble, associate rector, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, and Mrs. Knoble; Ralph A. Johnston, Mr. and Mrs. Thad Hutcheson, Mr. and Mrs. Dudley Ferguson, Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Porter, and Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Meyer. The Rice Hotel served a shrimp cocktail, olives and celery, tomato and watercress salad, filet mignon, longhorn rolls and butter and Dutch apple pie and coffee. Ordinarily this meal at the Rice would cost around $6, according to the maitre de hotel. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 February 14, 1958
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.