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Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON Suqgeotion lor 5M.A. “Ah Spring and the Renewal of All That’s Good!’ I! We now have it sidewise from TMA’s mouth that the state’s manufacturers want a general retail sales tax. Ed Burris, their lobbyist, didn’t have the stomach to say so right out. The general sales tax, he said, is “stable” and “broadbased,” like a good tax \(and a good the conviction of most self-made men that the people are as suspicious of college men as they are, Burris said that if the new state tax is to fall on personal income, for heavens’ sake don’t graduate it! That would make it like that nasty federal income tax, based on the ability to pay. We suggest backslider Burris and his bawling band of Bourbon bellyachers buy a new bilge-bucket. goat ilirrt Out fi -Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey, can “..,c defeated; furthermore, he must be. The big papers are already lining up, as they did for Shivers. as they did for Eisenhower, as they. do for Daniel. Ramsey’s is “perhaps the key post in our state government,” says the Dallas News, effusing over the news that he will run for his fifth term. Ramsey is a grand man, a steadfast foe of government spending, says the Houston Post. Some people think Rairigel. can’t be defeated after four terms, eight long years. That is defeatism beyond reason. He was No. 2 in the Shivers administration. He has presided over the corruption-marbled state Senate for eight years, taking not one decisive step to curb the fees or bribes. He has supported every anti-union law placed on the Texas books since 1947. He has gaveled through increases in sales taxes on the general citizenry again and again. He has done everything he can to offend Negroes and LatinAmericans. He runs the Senate like a dictator, requiring two-thirds permission before any bill can be considered and reserving to himself the right of deciding which bills he will let come even to a two-thirds’ vote These are some of the reasonwhy in 1956, with only A. Aikin and C. T. Johnson t-1,-.Ing against him, fi e Was 77 pou short of a majority out 1,416,219 votes cast. The lieutenant governor, whose door is always open to Brown and Shriveled Little-noticed in the Daniel “Democratic” program is the state party’s refusal to endorse the national platform of the Democrats. Daniel and the SDEC do nothing about the Republicans’ recession because they believe in the kind of shriveled-up GOP government which produced it. The return of the state party to Democrats philosophically sympathetic with the national platform as well as the natiopal nominees will be the first step toward a state government that ‘will serve people before property. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. MARCH 21, 1958 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Lyman Jones, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Dean Johnston, Circulation-Advertising EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1012 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph, Dean Johnston. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Root’ and various other kinds of blacklegs and Lobbyists, announced his platform on their behalf : an end to majority rule on taxation. No more would he permit the mere majority to decide between government services and government economy. He proposes the idea which seems so novel because it is so absurdthat a vote of two-thirds of both houses of the legislature be required to approve any new taxes. Every responsible state observer, conservative or liberal, knows Texas must have new taxes. With an upcoming deficit of $100 million, with the population bounding forward, with essential servic.c to be expanded, with schools bulging at tb e doors and windows with children who can’t hear the teacher over the crowd, the 1959 legislature will be a place ‘for great decisions. Into this creative -session rear-guardian Ramsey would toss his two-thirds plan. Even as he announced himself against democratic action on taxes, Ramsey promised “adequate support” for the school kiddies, dependent children, the needy aged, state employees ; this_was –.ofhis celebrated `dr `dry .jokes.” His idea of a d eQ uate support” seems to be ..&tta school-book covers advertising Humble Oil, a lollipop a week for every family with needy infants, a re-treaded rubber tip for old folks’ canes, and a new state workers’ holiday on Herman Brown’s birthday in exchange for their two-week vacation. “Unca Ben” is, as said a Dallas News headline,. the “Man in the Right Place”; only he is the wrong man. He is the most vulnerable and at the same time the most reactionary office-holder in the state government. He ought to be driven from the Capitol. No one doubts he would be greeted warmly in any number of plush offices upon his departure. His defeat this summer is therefore a goal universally to be desired and remorselessly to be pursued. * We are advised we were all wrong about the mystery of the slashed Ike painting at the ritzy Houston Club. Real reason behind the outrage : the portrait had been painted with imported oils. 10 Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity prices available on orders. We will serve no group or party but will hew to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. AUSTIN i A lobby i st ‘s i nfluence on Texas highway commissioners may, be costing state taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. A rancher, Joe Bower s called from Uvalde one day to allege that Claude Gilmer, one of the most potent freelance lobbyists in Texas, “is trying to get a new ranch-to-market road run .to his house, paid for by the state.” The county commissioners at Rocksprings, where Gilmer owns the telephone company, have sued to condemn Bower’s land. “Everybody in the canyon wants Highway 335 to be built by the ridge route, but the ridge route does not go by Claude Gilmer’s ranch,” Bower charged. The Gilmer route, approved by the Texas Highway Commission, would wind along Hackberry creek north to Highway 41 ; it would be 13 miles long, compared to 11.5 miles along the ridge north to the same highway. The creek route would cross Gilmer’s ranch ; the ridge route misses him by three miles. DeWitt Greer, chief engineer of the highway commission, told the Observer : “From where I sit no undue influence was used by Claude Gilmer. He has done everything he could to get a road built. There’s no doubt that Claude Gilmer has wanted a road through his land.” Ike Kampmann, Jr., San Antonio lawyer for another ranch-owner, Mrs. Neil Schoolfield of San Antonio, who is protesting the Gilmer route, said he has received a report from the highway department showing the ridge route to be “a mile and a half shorter, $84,000 cheaper to build, less circuitous, and serving more people.” Mrs. Schoolfield wrote on May 9, 1957, that highway department engineers reported to the commission that the ridge route would cost $223,000 compared to $307,000 for the creek route. Mrs. Schoolfield said a resident engineer was working on the ridge route when, “for some reason undon it” and locate the road along the creek. She said W. N. Blakeney, resident engineer in Uvalde. “told my attorney in his office” on Jan. 17, 1957, that the ridge route would be cheaper than the creek route, “which must cross canyons, cut into hillsides, and overcome serious grade drainage problems.” On Oct. 25, 1955, promised some free rights-of-way which are not now to be free, the department set aside $225,000 for –Highway 335 along Gilmer’s route. Exactly what are the comparative cost figures of the two routes Greer was asked by the Observer. “I don’t seem to see where we ever got any estimate on the ridge route. … We never found out exactly the cost figures of the two roads. You follow me ?” Greer replied. We did not. Why had the highway department failed to inquire about such a vital matter? It is obvious that the shorter, straighter ridge route would be cheaper. Greer said the commission “rather felt it should keep its word with the county and be consistent.” \(A hundred-thousand-dollar The commission’s minutes give no reasons of any kind for the rejection of the ridge route. Greer says the commission decides between contesting routes without having its engineers chick comparative costs only in about twenty out of every 200 cases Rep. Frates Seeligson, San Antonio, has taken an interest in the case because Ike Kampmann is a friend of his. Kampmann and Mrs. Schoolfield “feel very strongly that Claude Gilmer played too heavy a hand in the matter,” Seeligson told the commission by letter. “Why did they, in this particular instance, select, against the advice of their engineers, a longer and more expensive road ?” After studying the papers Greer then sent him, . Seeligson wrote back that he was disturbed by “the question of political pressure as applied by Claude Gilmer to get a good road on his ranch.” “I can see no justification whatsoever for building the longerand more expensive road … the most charitable view that can be taken … is that the Highway Department has made a mistake which will cost the state $77,000 too much.” Mrs. Schoolfield wrote Gov. Price Daniel asking him to intervene, but he refused. Claude Gilmer told the Observer from Rocksprings he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. R.D. Gitmerts.–Hiway. 335 MIt &Imo Obstrurr F1