I I DOT Divides, Delays on 1.111 thused applause for anti-Johnson and pro Adlai Stevenson remarks. Mrs. R. D. Randolph, chairman of DOT, who was endorsed unanimously for re-election to the national committee in May, 1960, and Creekmore Fath, DOT secretary-treasurer, also opposed criticism of Johnson by formal resolution. Pre-convention caucuses wrangled angrily over the attempt by Holleman and other delegates bound by a session of the AFLCIO Committee on Political Education to have the convention approve a recommendation that the state Democratic executive committee and DOT urge May, 1960, precincts to specify first and second presidential preferences. Johnson critics argued that in a state into which other candidates would not venture because of the favorite son candidacy of Johnson, this amounted to a proJohnson resolution. Fath, in a memo to executive board and steering committee members, suggested that the delegates to the national convention in 1960 be uninstructed and that the Texas delegation not be under the unit rule. Such a course would leave people who prefer candidates other than Johnson free to maneuver in Los Angeles. The labor delegates felt they were not being taken too seriously until the steering committee session the day before the convention. In this closed meeting, Holleman’s plan prevailed over Fath’s, 22 to 12. Holleman then held his precinct preference plan in reserve during the Saturday convention. It was clearly understood that were resolutions officially criticizing Johnson brought forward Holleman would insist on his plan. Over the lunch hour a small group, including Reps. Bob Eckhardt and Dean Johnston and Holleman, agreed that Holleman was to postpone his plan’s consideration until the end of the day and then drop it, provided Johnson was not officially criticized. At the end of the day Holleman did move to table his idea, and it was tabled. WHAT WAS LABOR’S reasoning? The Observer is not apprised on the record, but has been provided several explanations for background. Labor must work with Johnson in the Congress for pro-union legislation, this year and probably for the next six years. But also: labor was not taking a pro-Johnson position, but a position against either commending or criticizing him at this early stage. Labor did not desire to split off from DOT on such an important issue but would do so if necessary. Instead they desired to delay taking a position on Johnson now; later, if Johnson was a serious candidate, and if they decided he should be vigorously opposed in Texas before the convention, they would do so, and with gusto; but they did not want to do this now. AFL and CIO leadership in the state organization were agreed on this program, and so were nearly all the labor delegates. The Observer asked Holleman for a statement on the question whether labor’s national office in Washington had contacted Texas union leaders on going along with Johnson. “At no time has any of our national labor leadership at Page 3 May 30, 1959 AUSTIN Keynoting the third DOT convention, J. Edwin Smith, Houston lawyer who ran for the Texas Supreme Court in 1958, reviewed loyalist setbacks from La Villita to “the cowbarn” a n d concluded from the crowdabout 900 that the result was a large number of battle scarred veterans. He said that in the U. S. “the little people are caught between taxation and inflation” while abroad we are “losing the strug’gle for the heart of mankind.” “There is something inherently wrong in being condemned for loyalty to your party,” he said. “You’ve made some enemies … ‘I love you for the enemies you’ve made.’ ” Jack Lee, Mason, presenting a report, remarked, “Our enemies condemn us for our weakness. This is the only loyal Democratic organization in Texas that’s lived to have three statewide meetings.” Rep. Dean Johnston, Houston, introduced other legislators present Reps. Schmid, Brenham; Harrington, Port Arthur; Eckhardt, Miller, and Kilgarlin, Houston. Later Reps. Winfree, Houston; Carriker, Roby; Korioth, Sherman; and Wheeler, Tilden, came in; and Sen. Gonzalez, San Antonio, sat at the head table at the night banquet at which Sen. Ralph Yarborough spoke. Mrs. R. D. Randolph, chairman of DOT and the national committeewoman, said that at San Antonio last year, “it took the cornbined effort of the Governor, Freedom in Action, and Senator Johnson to defeat you … You will go on fighting after betray /els and more betrayals by our so-called Democratic leaders, You never lose heart.” tempted, to instruct us or even suggest to us what our position should be regarding a favorite son,” Holleman. replied. “They have always taken the position that Texas is our problem.” Mrs. Randolph and Fath, who openly slammed Johnson around in their speeches, indicated that the issue would come up again in October at the regular meeting of DOT’s steering committee. Considerations which were advanced in discussions which correlated to some extent with labor’s reasoning included the case for a decision for uninstructed delegates this early might prevent DOT from lining up behind a candidate other than Johnson, even though such an alignment might appear to be the best course when the time came. It was also argued that by the course followed, DOT served as a sounding board for criticism of Johnson, but did not accept identification with an anti-Johnson minority in Texas. On the other hand, there was the feeling among some liberals that by letting the convention pass without criticizing Johnson formally, the DOT was risking a drift into a pro-Johnson maelstrom. THE CONVENTION PLEDGE to support Mrs. Randolph for reelection as national committeewoman obviously specifies one of the prime objectives of . DOT in the May, 1960, convention. Sen. Johnson has taken the position he can work with Mrs. Randolph, if she wants him to. But whether Texas liberals against Johnson will do their best to stop him befbre he leaves Texas for Los Angeles, or make a deal with him in exchange for acquiescence to his candidacy, was not decided at the DOT convention last weekend. She continued: “Our task is going to be doubly hard in 1960 because of House which was passed in the regular session of the legislature. The sponsors … admitted that H. B. 158 was introduced for the sole purpose of helping Senator Johnson in his presidential aspirations. We are proud of those members of the legislature who voted against this bill. They showed that they were dedicated to the principle that we do not change our election laws for the benefit of one man …. It is rumored that the senior senator, himself, was in Austin to see that there was , no backsliding.” \(Johnson was at his ranch near Johnson City during the crucial “The worst feature of this bill,” she said, “is that it does away with the second precinct and county conventions. This moves the control of the party further away from the people.” In his stinging report, Creekmore Fath, DOT secretary-treasurer, set out three “laws of politics”: Yarborough’s law: “If at first you don’t get elected,’ run, run, run again.” \(After which Fath said, “Governor Adlai Stevenson, Daniel’s law: “A political promise always carries an. unspoken proviso: that the carrying out of said promise will be done, if, at the time delivery / is called for, the promisee still has the power to force the promisor to carry out said promise.” Johnson’s law: “Don’t risk nothing. It ain’t how you played the game, it’s who wins ‘that counts. If you can’t win easy by the rules, change the rules. When you’re in the driver’s seat, step on the gas and let the peasants scatter. Power o n 1 y corrupts those who don’t know how to handle it properlyTexas style.” “Sen. Johnson and Speaker Rayburn had no hesitation about speaking out and endorsing the Pool Bill which was designed to gut Ralph Yarborough,” Fath also said, but during the party registration fight, “they main tained a roaring silence.” Fath called Atty. Gen. Will Wilson’s opinion against party registration for primaries “outrageous,” “political propaganda,” anti “trying to write his own political convictions, or rather lack of them, into Texas law.” Fath’s anti-Johnson references were thoroughly enjoyed and applauded by the crowd. Franklin Jones, the convention chairman, responded to the rising ovation for Fath with his own “JohnsonRayburn law,” to wit: “Thou Shalt Not Steal Without Our Permission.” Adlai Approves DOT Adlai Stevenson wired DOT, endorsing the work of the organization. Addressed to Fath, the wire read: “I hope you will convey to the Democrats of Texas and particularly my friends Mrs. Randolph and Ralph Yarborough the good wishes and great respect of one of their old admirers. 1960 will be a year of crucial decision, and it will demand of Democrats everywhere the best we have to give in high idealism, logical thought, rugged courage, and plain hard work. The Democrats of Texas have my best wishes as they prepare for the challenge. Warmest Regards, Adlai E. Stevenson.” When Fath completed reading the telegraph, there was a gasp from the group, for Stevenson was wiring into Lyndon Johnson territory, and then a rising ovation. Convention chairman Franklin Jones of Marshall responded to the wire, “If anyone doubts who the favorite son of this convention is, I believe the mention of the name Adlai Stevenson dispels any doubt.” Fath remarked to the Observer, “I think if we took a poll, Stevenson would lead among the people who are here.” Jones also said, in a reference to Johnson, “Those who wish to do so may lick his boots, and they run the risk of losing some dental fixtures when they do.” Albert Pena, Bexar County commissioner, carried out the anti-Johnson motif. “I’ve been listening to the great debate on whether to face the Johnson dilemma,” he said, “and I’m glad you have selected our favorite son from San Antonio, Adlai Stevenson,” he said to a roar of laughter. “There cannot be a do-nothing attitude on civil rights because we might lose some of our friends in East Texas,” he said. have no fear of losing my political friends; all my political friends are liberal.” “In debating favorite sons,” he said, “we must not forget what happened in Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio. To forget these things, I think we will be forgetting the greatest Democrat in the state of Texas, Mrs. Frankie Randolph.” He advocated “,a truly liberal Democratic nominee.” The Democrats, he said, should do as Truman did in 1948, “forget a bout the Southern states.’.’ Maco Stewart, president of the Young Democrats of Texas, refrained from the Johnson theme he is friendly to Johnson. He attacked H. B. 158 as Gov. Daniel’s creature, “the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe,” and remarked, “Time wounds all heels.” He condemned the bill’s “sham and subterfuge” by “self-beknighted political princes” who “tried to palm off the Dixiecrat bill as a Johnson-for-President bill.” Had the bill been designed to enhance “the rightful opportunity of Senator Johnson,” it would have passed almost unanimously, he said. Instead it was “the same old Shivercrat boilerplate.” Stewart endorsed the ‘steering committee plan to make first and second presidential choice decisions in the precinct conventions. “Let us show our faith in the people,” he said. Holleman’s Position Holleman approached the microphone after the precinct preference plan had been read. He delivered a prepared statement dissociating labor from the remarks on. candidates and setting out labor’s position. He said: “Neither DOT nor Texas Labor have made a commitment either for or against any candidate for the Democratic nomination for . president. Undoubtedly, Texas Labor will eventually take a position in this matter, but we contend that this is not the time. “We do not join in the personal opinions that have been expressed here either against or for any of the possible contenders. We ask the attention of all persons and the press to the official actions of this convention.” In the second paragraph of the written statement, Holleman, had underlined “not,” “any,” and “of Walter Hall led off the evening DOT banquet with a defense of Johnson and Rayburn. EXcept for Arizona and New York the country approved the Democratic conduct of Congress, and “that could not have come about without outstanding leadership in both houses by Texans,” he said. He was, he said, not trying to “evade the cowbarn and San Antonio,” but, he said, “being a banker, it has become nature with me to draw balance sheets. When we find the assets greatly outweight the liabilities … we have to act accordingly.” Both for Johnson and Rayburn, he said, “I think I could ‘ have been with them the overwhelming majority of the time.” There was light applause. Hall said liberals are proud of the Governor’s “halting steps” but that his program is “60 percent sales taxes.” In place of this he argued for a corporate profits tax. ‘Expand DOT’Ralph Yarborough emphatically upheld DOT’s work. He said DOT’s enemies say, “You folks just surrender and we’ll just all harmonize over your skeleton.” “I believe the DOT has just barely begun its valuable service to the Democratic Party of Texas,” he said. “I think you should expand, not disband.” He said “a very high percentage of the dedicated Democrats” belong to DOT. In education, vocational rehabilitation, industrial safety, aid to the old, blind, jobless, and mentally ill, DOT can prod the legislature to constructive action, he said. “The only question is, where is the best place to start.” “There was a time when you couldn’t get public officials to
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