Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer DOUBLE STANDARD Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.–JEFFERSON `What Have You in the Way of a Fire Engine’ 7 SAn appalling oversight has leapt to our notice. The organizationminded people in Texas liberalism have been concentrating almost entirely on the more dramatic statewide offices, leaving legislative posts in a limbo of inattention-and, thus, forfeit. With the exception of a few of the cities and a few of the towns, local Democratic groups have burned up their energies in the state races while hoping Joe will turn out for the best in the statehouse. As a rule he hasn’t. This comes to mind because the California Democratic Council, a DOT-like organization with about 500 neighborhood clubs and 35,000 or’ 40,000 members, has, since 1953, systematically liberalized the state legislature and is on the threshold of Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly. Local clubs interview candidates and endorse the best among them before the Democratic primary voting, taking a lead from the state council on what issues ought to be talked about. The knowledgeable political observers, including the cynics and the conservatives \(whom we do not this neighboorhood work of the clubs has caused the change in the legislature’s present complexion and gives the Democrats a next-tocertain majority for the 1959 and ’60 legislatures. In the Senate, the Republican-Democratic split is 20-20; the Democrats have organized the chamber the last two years with the help of two Republicans. In the Assembly the Republicans cling to a 43-37 majority as of now. The result of a Democrat-dominated legislature in California will be less exciting for the politicians, and less satisfying for those who yearn for dramatic victories or patronage. but they will mean as much or more for the welfare of the commonwealth as control of the Governor’s Mansion. Who is to benefit from the new dams in the North, the public, through low-cost power and reclamation safeguards, or the private utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric, which is trying to crowd into the development? How is the new tax money to be raised, by yet higher sales taxes, perhaps on cigarettes and beer, or by the closing of loopholes for business and the adoption of a severance tax? Will the gerrymandering of California congressional districts to concentrate the Democratic votes in a few “certain” districts be corrected in 1962 pursuant to the 1960 census? Will discrimination in employment be prohibited? And so on and so on with the decisions that touch the daily lives of California’s 15 million. Exactly it is also in Texas. Will the Texas Manufacturers Assn. and the retail merchants and the oil Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. MAY 9,'”1,57-.\( A% 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. companies have their way with a general sales tax in 1959, or will the legislature enact a fair natural gas tax, or a corporate profits tax? Will the wariness of conservatives of any new taxes leave our schools overcrowded and our aged and indigent citizens neglected? Will the rights of small farmers to irrigate their land with some of the water that falls on it be safeguarded against the massive demands of heavy industry and factory farming? Will racists or men of reason prevail in the legisature? Democrats of Texas should, we believe, test out each legislative candidate, incumbent or newcomer, on the manifold issues of the time. Nothing would more swiftly bring the legislature back to a responsibility to the citizenry; nothing would do more to encourage each aspirant to formuate a program for the public welfare. It is a good thing, an exercise in social responsibility by their own lights, that the TMA and the unions traditionally have graded legislators’ votes and guided their respective followers in their campaign contributions and votes. But the fact that this evaluation and selection has been relegated to the two largest pressure group areas, the business community and the working community, is aso a comment on the inefficacy of public opinion through political parties in Texas. If DOT was doing nothing else, its success in separating the Republican-leaning people from the Democratic-leaningpeople in the heretofore chaotic and divided “Democratic Party of Texas” would justify its presence, for it is the division of Texans now along perceptible lines of opinion about good public policy that is enabling citizens once again effectively to focus their judgment on public men through party political action. Perhaps this month’s DOT convention could take special steps to guide local organizations on what to ask and how to go about choosing among the candidates who have presented themselves. We are as much concerned that the state’s highest offices be filled as the next man, but 1959 will be a year of great decisions for the social history of Texas, and Democrats with the alertness and interest to choose among the candidates and publicly endorse the best of them will be concretely affecting that history. California’s clubs have proved it can be done. * It’s a good idea, we are in formed by the Texas Beef Coun cilwhose slogan * is “Texans eat beef every dayto sprinkle rose mary on a roast as it is cooking. And if one can’t afford beef, well how about a pinch of rue on beans? 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 \( Ernest Joiner, editor of the Rails Banner, has written a column on some causes and some effects of double standards of morality, which is here reprinted. RALLS It will cost about $5,000 to repair damage done to the Jaycee Swimming Pool by youthful vandals. Nobody has that kind of money. The city doesn’t have it, and Jaycees haven’t. It took all available resources to build the pool in the first place. Fences have been broken down, all types of junk sunk in the pool, and the tile coping has been removed. Latest act in the long parade of juvenile idiocy is the dumping of dead fish in the pool. We are convinced the work and sacrifice that has done into providing this pool for youngsters is pure waste. We hereby recommend that the city bulldozer be put to work covering up this focal point of vandalism, and that those of us who have invested so much work and money on the project content ourselves with the fact that we’re wiser for the experience … Rails movie goers have taught local theatre managers, through the years, that pictures “not recommended for children” had better not be shown in the local flicker emporium. It happened a couple of times, and several self-appointed censors made things tough for a manager who was only trying his best to provide the latest and most popular movie fare. This “God Created Woman” picture with Brigitte Bardot has drawn hundreds of Rails movie fans to Lubbock to see it, but they wouldn’t be caught dead attending it in Rails, and the management knows thatso the picture wasn’t booked. Rallsites take their movies like they take their liquor out of town. That way, nobody gets contaminated, and all the kids remain vestal virgins. We saw “The Long, Hot Summer” in Austin, and it was strictly for adults. People are flocking to Lubbock in droves to pay 90 cents for a ticket to see it. But they won’t allow it to be booked in Rails at half that price. As my drinking brother often remarks, the two most overrated things in Americahome cookMg and home loving! Thirteen of these youngsters whose morals we have gone “all out” to protect were hailed into juvenile court last week on charges ranging from common hoodlumism to burglary. Unfortunately, the county judge doesn’t see fit to release their names, so they are running among you, anonymous and unknown, and you can’t protect yourselves from them. They were slapped on the wrist and “paroled” into the custody of their parents, in whose custody they have always been, and in whose custody they acquired whatever anti-social attitudes they now possess. One youngster was told by the county attorney that his crimes, had he been an adult, could get him 30 years in prison, $3000 in fines, and 30 months in jail, on conviction. Mama’s darling shrugged his should, ers in a “so what?” gesture, which shows that kids have more brains than their elders, and know as much about their immunities under the law as attorneys do. IATe wonder just how much murder, rapine and robbery the country is going to suffer at the hands of our sheltered and protected youth before it starts removing stupid laws that prevent their punishment in court, as well as laws that prevent newspapers from naming them for what they obviously are ? … To further verify the fact that the law protects in all possible ways those under 21 years of age, we noted this charge on he blotter at the sheriff’s office Wednesday : “Consuming alcoholic beverages . under 21.” Three youngsters were fined on this charge. If .a. person is over 21, he is booked as a drunk. But if he’s under 21, the charge on the blotter at the sheriff’s erages. If you will pardon our Gertrude Steinism, a drunk is a drunk is a drunkand age ain’t going to change it! !I &xtts Mktstrurr Cr .fr .”.”‘”i 2 10
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