And We Don’t Want To Start Now’ Bartlett ilppears Exclusively in the Texas Observer LAND GRABBERS AND SNOBS THE TEXAS OBSERVER ef:sil Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: Entered as second-class matter, April 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, GReenwood 7-0746. Texas. under the Act of March 3. 1879. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1010 Dennis, Mrs. JULY 4, 1959 Ronnie Dagger Editor and General Manager Larry Goodwyn, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $4 per annum. Advertising rates available on re quest. Extra copies 10c each. Quantity interests of the powerful or cater to the prices available on orders. ignoble in the human spirit R. D. Randolph. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard 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 Let those flatter who fear, it is trot an American art.JEFFERSON WO/ No! It’s Never Been Used We Can The staying patience of the gas lobbyists and their allies, Waggoner Carr and the Senate majority, may exceed that of the Governor and his coalition in the House of Representatives. Last Saturday night, when the Governor’s tax bill received only 58 votes in the House, 22 less than the previous session, we all knew that much had happened that nobody would ever know. When the gas tax, adopted by the House previously, lost there this week, 72-71, it was even clearer that things were coming apart. The Governor’s mild statement of regret Wednesday morning was almost an admission of defeat. That same day the House enacted a tax bill for the corporations-73 percent saes taxes, 27 percent on business, with no tax on gas. Capitulationcollapseloss of gutsall these words flashed around the House floor about the defecting members. But what had been lost was the semifinal event ; the final gong rings now, and while the gas lobby has become the favorite, we can hope for a fair fight and an upset. At least the general sales tax lost ground, too, and the House has cleared its own docket of secondary issues. The next two weeks there will be a concerted effort there to pass a gas tax and send it to the Senate as a supplementary tax bill. The Senate will not pass it, but they filled up the House vehicle with enough revenue to pay the state’s bills and can be forced into conference committee with a House on record again for a gas tax. Should Carr and the House revenue and tax committee by parliamentary tricks prevent the House from considering a gas tax, there will be nothing honorable for the House to do but come back a third special session. As it is, the Senate’s arro Wh y ? Trouble-making editor Ernest Joiner of the Rails Banner \(hinged up in a hospital bed for a while because he ran his head into a clothes wire while trying to dominate a of his exasperation with himself against the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to wit “The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram has gone to bat for the corporations ly, the paper says the consumer ultimately pays all taxes anyway, so why not put any additional tax directly on the consumer? Going along with this foolish theory, if the consumer is going to pay the tax anyway, why is the corporation yowling about going bankrupt? … Whom, fellow Sigma Delta Chi brothers, is kidding whom !” Rut…film gance toward the House Thuftday stiffened the determination of the gas taxers. There is no blinking the fact the House lowered its stature with the people and weakened its bargaining power with the Senate and the gas lobby by letting themselves be finessed out of a gas tax in the main tax bill. The 72-71 defeat of the bill could have been reversed had the House been as strong in character as the 1951 Gas House Gang, who never stopped fighting, even when their pay was shut off and they had to wallow in summertime sweat. Governor Daniel is no Jimmy Allred, either; he has evidenced a willingness to take a bill without a gas tax, but at least he also avers he may then call another session for a gas tax \(not, let us all hope and teachers’ pay raise. The gas lobby thus may win a victory this session only to set themselves up for the next. Doubtless they will concede a little more on gas production on the Senate side to forestall such a focusing on them next time; the issue then will resolve once again upon the integrity of the House coalition and Governor Daniel. This is the year, as the lobby knows, when gas will be taxed or not. In 1961 new principles will have to be accepted for financing the statethe personal income tax, the corporate income tax, the graduated oil tax, and/or the general sales tax. The Houston Post and the Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. are already on record for the general sales tax ; the liberals are on their mettle to advocate taxes truly based on ability to pay. For the rest of this session we can but hope that the House will find its guts again and remember to whom it is first and last responsible. 5,4 5,4 The decision of the Mexican government to blacklist farmers in the Lubbock area because two Mexican women were denied service at a Lubbock beauty parlor is ironic several ways. One can visualize Lubbock merchants politely inquiring whether the Mexican they ordinarily would refuse to serve is a bracero. If so, perhaps henceforth he will be regarded as “a guest in this country” and treated better than Latin-American natives. It is poetically unjust that the situation should enjoin bigots to behave in a brotherly way so they can make more money with cheaper labor. Perhaps domestic liberals can take a cue from the Mexican Government and design their own programs for fighting prejudice with avarice. AUSTIN Sinking off a road’s end onto the sand and wheeling down the beach past the people to the quiet horizons of the dunes and sea is one of the last ways modern people can return to the primitive innocence of natural life. We are all kinds of people, some of us swim, some break beer bottles, some make love, some build fires and eat and rest. We do the various things people do when suddenly they can feel alone and free, as they always believed they had a right to be. Among our kinds is a breed gifted with avaricious foresight, willingness to take a chance into his own hands, a sense for a good trade, energy in his own aggrandizement, skill in concealing his motives, and gall to sell his schemes to others. “Promoters,” they call him in the fight game ; “speculators,” in the money game; “developers,” in the real estate game. A few of them saw all this lovely land : all this sand, all this sky, all this wind, all these dunes : all these people loving it so. Their minds went to working. Who owns the land ? Maybe I can get some capital together and sell lots. And so, they have begun. But there was the fact that the beaches have always belonged to the public, all the way back to the Spanish land grants. Appeared, most fortuitously for the “developers,” a Texas Supreme Court aside they pounced upon to justify fencing the beaches : Fencing the beaches : No more winding with the tiretracks, crunching over driftwood, opening the windows to the salt air, stopping to camp and rest in the care of the ancient tides? I hope you will consider what is happening now in the Texas legislature. I understand you are bored about taxes ; so are we all, though our interest will pick up when we pay them, and the gas pipelines don’t. But the beachesto try to take the beaches! THIRTEEN LANDOWN-ERS hold more than 90 percent of Padre Island. Two promoters for them, John McCall of Dallas and John Tompkins of Corpus Christi, have induced the majority of a House committee, the majority of a Senate committee, and now the 16-14 majority of the Texas Senate itself to exempt 140 miles of Texas coast, all of Mustang and Padre Islands, all the beach, that is, from Aransas Pass to Mexico, from the legislation to protect the people’s rights to go there free and freely. As Rep. Bob Eckhardt says, “The opposition is coming from the speculators who want in effect to maintain a turnstile to the ocean and make you pay your toll as you go through.” There is a second kind of opposition. Notes affirm, and memory confirms, that the millionaire dandy in the Senate, Hubert Hudson of Brownsville, did actually argue, in defense of this 140-mile exemption designed to bar his constituents from full and free access to the beaches : “You should see out at Port Isabel there are 100,000 people out there on weekends, and it’s a garbage dump from one end to the other. I won’t take my two children out there weekends …” Between the two or three state parks, he said, “we want to be able to fence it off and keep the vehicular traffic from going up and down.” On the Senate floor he argued, “We really want to protect the beaches for the public.” As long as there have been upper classes there has been dainty-fingered horror toward plainer and less fortunate people. But to call their only free place to go and play and rest “a garbage dump from one end to the other”to admit such contempt for 100,000 people ! Hubert Hudsons who do not like to swim in public pools have country clubs, yet oddly people who cannot afford country clubs do not object to swimming in the public pools. I wonder why this is. THE BEACHES are still open, most of them, but the fences are going up on Galveston Island, on Matagorda Peninsula, perhaps right now on Padre Island. Have you ever looked through a fence down a long coastline closed to you ? R.D.