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HENRY’S UNORGANIZED ORGANIZATION AUSTIN “It’s a long way frOm Texas,” a friend sitting nearby said. And yet here we were, right in the middle of Austin, on the open-to-thesky terrace of the Spanish Village cafe. It was a $10-a-plate fund-raising dinner for Henry Gonzalez,. and in the bright lights under the tall trees were 200 people of separate hues, Negroes, Latins, Anglos. Intellectuals and liberals were out in ‘strength. Over in a corner Chris Carmona and his boys were playing Spanish music so loudly you could hardly hear anything else, and when they began “El Rancho Grande” a few people shouted “eeeyow” and began clapping hands with the rhythm. It was the first time I had seen Gonzalez. He was sitting behind the speaker’s table, talking with Emilie Heinatz, his Travis County chairman. A tall, solid man with big features and a big knot in his tie to match, he greeted wellwishers with a great deal of friendly exuberance. If he was tired, he didn’t show it. The Latin-American waiters were having a good time. They darted through the crowd quickly, with great zest, and ever so often as they went by Gonzalez they glanced at him with Open admiration. A lot of Spanish was being spoken. Fred Schmidt and Don Ellinger, Texas union leaders, were among the people there, and I ran into an old English professor of mine. It was a spirited, good-humored gathering. The neon “Spanish Village” sign glowed into the leaves beyond the terrace wall. A cockroach scurried along the straw handle of a plant pot. Oldfashioned metal-frame lamps hung from the branches overhead. Looking over us all was a Mexican senorita in a bustling-out skirt, painted up there on the pastel-colored wall. AUSTIN The guessing in Austin has swung toward Henry Gonzalez making a runoff with Price Daniel. He is corning up very fast and his “press” has improved. Nobody really knows how it will go in the voting, of course: in such a latent and inscrutable situation Daniel might steamroller both Gonzalez and O’Daniel. But a lobbyist says Capitol betting is that Daniel will get 550,000 votes, Gonzalez 350,000, O’Daniel 250,000, more or less. A man who has attended the super-secret Daniel strategy meetings \( including Gonzalez will get 325,000 to 350,000 votes. O’Daniel’s crowds have been small. There is some reaction against him because he did not accept the decision of the 1956 Democratic primary and ran as a write-in. Reports from rural areas indicate brass-collar Democrats are being influenced by the Gonzalez theme he’s the only Democrat running for governor. Still, there is the factof prejudice against the name Gonzalez. There is the fact that 122,000 write-in votes were counted for O’Daniel in 1956 an enormous number for a write-in. One union pro who hasn’t miscalled an election in ten years believes that if there is a runoff, O’Daniel will be in it, not Gonzalez. Daniel continues to run against DOT, which he believes he must do to win the precinct conventions, but one consequence is that he appears to be trying to defeat rank and file Democrats instead of his opponents. It stands to reason that if DOT is strong enough to alarm Daniel this much, his vigorous fight against DOT will lose him votes. Ernest Bailey reports in a bus-ride poll from Houston to Austin that both Daniel and Yarborough are way out ahead. No one he talked to declared for Gonzalez. A state senator in Austin over the weekend predicted a runoff, said many people. are saying they’ll vote for Gonzalez “behind their hands.” People ate their Mexican food and drank their beer, and occasionally someone waved or moved over to another table to say hello. There was no secrecy, just 200 people, gregarious for an evening, Avho had come to hear Henry Gonzalez. A dark good-looking young priest gave the invocation. Eloy Castillo, a youngster who works and goes to the University part-time, stood up and explained that the regular master of ceremonies had been expected from San Antonio and didn’t show up. “That’s the way we work though,” he said. “We always pick up the flag before it hits the ground.” Everyone laughed, sensing the truth in it. Then Castillo read off a list of the wellknowns present. There was applause after each name. Senator Gonzalez was introduced and came to the microphone amid standing cheers, motioning shyly for them to stop. He spoke in a sharp, crisp voice. Some of his words were accented. He didn’t use notes, and he didn’t seem to bother about mixing “I’s” and “we’s.” HE SPENT quite some time explaining the trouble he’d had with certain of his campaign workers. “Ours is, and will continue to be, an unorganized organization,” he said. “Why, we never did have astate campaign headquarters, only one big comedy of errors.” This was greeted with laughter. “I’m proud to say that since the crack-up we received more contributions in four days than we had in the entire campaign up till then.” “I know,” he said, “that if I do anything in the least bit wrong, they point to be made there is that my previous opponents have done such a thorough job up till now that the field has been pre-empted. THE SHAPE-UP is not clear for senator either. Blakley might win. The last Belden Poll was bought by Blakley, but the whispered result was 49 percent for YarborOugh, 35 percent for BlakleyBlakley closing the gap. There has been a little panic among Yarborough backers, but Yarborough has just started campaigning; supporters were unanimous that his statewide TV show this week was as good a political speech as he has ever made. A Houston Press poll of silkstocking precinct 143 in Houston gave Blakley 31 votes, Yarborough 9Yarborough getting a surprising fourth of the most right-wing area, undoubtedly because he is an incumbent and has defended oil independents. He has lost none of his support and has picked up an automatic pro-incumbent vote. Blakley’s money is telling. His fullpage ads in the metropolitan papers, his unlimited TV budget, his mass mailings are bound to have an effect. Throw-sheets for Blakley appeared in East Texas this week with a warning that “Eastern Negro Bosses” are trying to take over Texas. In the papers the Blakley ads warn of “Eastern Labor Bosses.” Yarborough’s supporters are diStributing reprints of the El Paso Herald-Post series on Blakley’s record of absenteeism, special pleading, and senatorial fees. George Nokes is behind Ben Ramsey as of now, but he is running a virile campaign, touring state-wide and leaving organizations for him behind in every county. Again and again he is accusing Ramsey of complicity by silence in the senatorial scandals. Nokes is encouraged mainly by the fact that Ramsey has few real supporters or defenders and that few people have ever heard of him. Of course they haven’t heard of Nokes either, but Nokes is Ramsey’s first vigorous and serious opposition. A sign business is worried about Ben is a letter sent TMA members by Hull Youngblood on “Southern Steel Company, Jail and Prison Equipment” stationery June 30. “We have no press corps, no paid organization, but I’ll tell you this, we have something multimillionaires cannot buy, and that is the good will of hundreds and hundreds of people …. “We’ve been 31,000 miles so far in this campaignto the Oklahoma border, to El Paso, to Brownsville, to Palestine. Everywhere we’ve been greeted with warmth and courtesy and affection. “I honestly think the presS has been wonderful. Let’s be objective about thisin the news columns almost every day in the cities we’ve visited we’ve been given full publicity. Editorial-wise, of course, this isn’t true.” He cited “racial bigotry” in an editorial in the Cuero Record. “We simply can’t mobilize the type of campaign our opponents are running,” he said. “The campaign contributions for district attorney in my home county are going to exceed the expenses of my whole race. “We’ve had offers of heavy contributions already. Just the other day a man came to me with a check for $3,000. I was looking at it very closely and the man asked what I was looking at. I told him I was just trying to see how many strings were attached. “I’ve never been offered that much money before,” he said. “But by my own standards I just couldn’t take it. Because the man said I’d get $3,000 now, $7,000 later, and if I made the second primary, $50-75,000 if I showed the right spirit. “I simply couldn’t do it. This would put me in the Shivers class: Right now, before the election, not after it, is the dangerous time. Now is the time corruption can intrude.. I think every candidate is morally responsible to be more careful than he has ever been, right now.” Youngblood said Ramsey has “stood firm against the two worst enemies of business : High taxes and laborleader domination.” FREEDOM in Action, the far-right group, is holding statewide caucuses under the leadership of Shivers backers. The FIA radicals mean to take over the conservative Democrats. They tell initiates they want people who will stick for six or eight years. An FIA film warning of labor control is to be shown around the state starting July 14 ; Blakley, the keynoter at FIA’s opening banquet, will be the principal beneficiary. Despite some misapprehension, if Sen. Johnson has taken any steps on behalf of Daniel forces in the contest for party control July 26, word of it has not reached the Observer. Johnson has studiously kept out of the summer elections. Speaker Rayburn, who endorsed Yarborough on election afternoon’ in 1956, may be persuaded to endorse him this year, but he has said nothing about it so far. Daniel and his top re-election managers are staying out of the Senate race, but his precinct campaign leader, J. Ed Connally of Abilene, is a Blakley man. One reason for Daniel’s fear the liberals will win the precincts is the fact that many Eisenhower-style Democrats voted the straight Republican ticket in the 1956 general election while loyal Democrats were voting for Daniel. The result is areduction of conservatives’ strength in precinct power at the county Democratic conventions this year. Loyalist leaders complain that DOT workers have “gone to sleep” and “could take a sad pasting here,” but everything will turn on the last-week effort, as ‘-‘DOT and SDEC leaders know. With the “seasoned troops” DOT has an excellent chance to win the precincts. Should they then be denied control at the San Antonio state convention by maneuvers similar to those in 1956, they will be prepared to go to the’courts on grounds of fraud. R.D. Summarizing the campaign, Gonzalez said “it has been to me better than the wildest flights of my imagination. All I know is that it looks good. … It does your heart good to know that some people are willing to offer $10,000 to a person one opponent calls an inconsequential candidate. “We’ve even been offered the use of an airplane, which we turned down gracefully. Even if the man who Offered it didn’t seek to obligate me, morally we couldn’t accept that gift. So we’re traveling up and down Texas in this Chevy that belongs mostly to the finance company. I N SOME PLACES our surname has been used as a disadvantage. There was a woman in Dallas who even thought manual labor was a Mexican. Then there was a man in South Texas who said your name’s Gonzalez and I’m voting for you. I said men have died for the right to vote, and I don’t want a vote cast out of such class interest. Many fall into that particular error. “But what disturbs me. deeply is that there are men who take a constitutional oath, on their honor, to defend the people, then defend only. a certain percentage of the people. In my opinion these men are worse criminals than men imprisoned for the veterans’ land scandal …. ” “We see men who were born .here, not sent from Mars, or Africa, or South America. They were born here, in the case of the Negroes at least six generations back, and yet our leaders still look down on them as as traitors. “Differences in skin, differences in religion are emphasized and exaggerated. But we’ve reached the point in Texas now that we must realize that we’re all in the same boat, that some of us are not sent from afar to wreck things, that we have the same drives, the same hopes, not only in the f oxholes in a war but in the public schools ‘and swimming pools and parks and playgrounds in peacetime … “Today the world looks. to us for moral leadership. I have hope, and faith, in the average American’s intense passion for fair play. But is this America? There’s a lot of room for improvement in representing our words ,with our deeds. . “The time to scotch the snake is when it first begins to wiggle. In cer, tain cities in the South they’re turning on the Jews now too. How far will it go, and where will it stop? “After this summer it may be too late. And our state needs leadership, not just a pussyfooting about. If our present governor would merely inform the people, that would be an improvement. Instead he goes around pinning admiral caps on the non-existent Texas navy. ” POINTING to the crowd he said, “The things that draw us together are idealistic things, things of the spirit. America has always been a country of ideals. … To be with the people and know the people you have to be of the people. … “If you feel discouraged about the outcome of this campaign, about our disorganized organization, have heart and good cheer. If you’re happy it’s no task at all. Why, we haven’t felt sleepy and we haven’t slept. “God willing I hope I’ll be able through my actions to show the great gratitude I feel.” He had spoken an hour and twenty minutes, and he left the impression that he could have spoken on till breakfast. After ten minutes of his speech one sensed his genius with the spoken word, a facile genius given only a few politicians : Theodore Bilbo, Adlai Stevenson, perhaps Nye Bevan. He had spoken too long, he had repeated himself too much, but what mattered most to .me was that he had spokenand that he had spoken in Texas. How many long, dead summers till this, how many till again? WILLIE MORRIS THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 July 11, 1958 Prospects for July 26