44–E1221, 0 \(94 Is -rtie GINS $4 tblefroa PoSr Cs, `Minor Transgressions’ THE TEXAS OBSERVER e lgat Let those flatter who fear, it is not an American art.JEFFERSON You Go on Back, Now’ g ach ward CongreJomen The sober, informed series of articles from ‘Washington by our correspondents there, Jake and Anne Lewis, on the Texas congressmen challenged for re-election should convince us we have let our House delegation fall into backwoods provincialism. As a general matter, the Texas congressmen have been voting against foreign aid at a time when the United States is slipping in world prestige all around the world. They are failing the American mission, the diffusion of liberty and opportunity in the .world, and resistance to tyrants. They take a strictly know-nothing approach to federal aid to education \(“We don’t need none of your federal moneywe got schools good sponsible as a unanimous group in 1957 for the defeat of federal assistance to the states for classroom construction. In June, 1957, when a $14 million appropriation was proposed merely to launch federal flood insurance control, even though Texas badly needs such a program, the proposal was defeated in the House because 16 Texas Democrats voted no. In 1959 the key test vote was 215200 for the labor-hobbling LandrumGrif fin bill. Seventeen Texas Congressmen voted yes, causing it to pass. With few exceptions, the Texans in the House are more Republican than they are Democratic. Texas voters are responsible for sending such men to Washington, and then for paying no attention to what they do there. But there is also a mitigating irresponsibility. Generally speaking, the Texas daily press pays no attention, erratic attention, or incoherent attention to Texans in the House of Representatives. Some of them ,might as well be on secret assignment for all their district’s dailies attend. We would not go further and intrude our judgment into the area races : local voters best know local candidates. But there is a general syMptom of the spirit animating the Texas delegation in the fact that Rep. Teague introduced a bill . on March 14, 1960, to provide that “lawful expenditures for legislative purposes shall be allowed as deductions from gross income.” Teague would exempt from income taxation “expenses . . in supporting or opposing or otherwise influencing legislation in the Congress or iu a state legislature or in the legislative body of .a county or other local governmental agency or in any submission of proposed legislation to the voters.” Can we believe our eyes ? Here is a Texas congressman proposing that the taxpayers subsidize the corporations’ lobbying expenditures. The only repair for this kind of political representation in Washington is steadier attention by the voters and more responsible performance by the daily newspapers. 5he SimpfeJ1 QueJtion Voters Saturday choose, in general, between gubernatorial and legislative candidates who Want to tax baby’s candidates who want to tax the inter state gas pipelines. To be sure, this is much too simple, as are most political generalizations, but it is the ethical essence of the situation. Behind the sales tax lurk many other illiberal attitudes. For instance, John Hinds, director of public on Slate Gov. Daniel takes quite a mushy position on capital punishment \(see vocacy of continued state killings. Ben Ramsey, taking the same position, at least does so with a one-syllable answer as sudden as the electricity he approves the state shooting through people’s bodies. Din Yarborough is open-minded and would consider abolition. John Spiller, a candidate for district attorney in Houston, has had the bold integrity to annouce that he opposes the death penalty and would not ask for it as district attorney. In 1959, he says, there were 124 murders in Harris County and three death penalties. “The victims of the other killings are just as dead. Where are you going to draw the line?” Quoting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, he said figures show the murder rate has decreased in states where the death penalty has been abolished. Then, he said, you have the question of defendants too poor to hire good lawyers, while “Let millionaire kill his partner, and he gets off with a five-year suspended sentence because he has the means to hire a good lawyer.” Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937; at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. MAY 6, 1960 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Sarah Payne, Office Manager relations for the Texas Manufacturers’ Assn., \(which advocates the sales Club in Houston April 7 that a “something for nothing attitude” is responsible for such federal programs as “financial aid to the aged, minimum wage laws, and unemployment compensation.” If these adamant rightists won control of the ,legislature or the Governor’s Mansion, we could expect a period of severe anti-social reaction. With capital offenses fewer in every state where the death penalty has been abolished, and with the Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopal churches on record against killing by the state, Spiller believes he is supported by sound penal and moral theory. Spiller similarly takes a concerned, responsible attitude toward prosecutions, pointing out that the bags ethics say that the primary duty of a prosecutor is not to convict but to see that justice is done and that he should not secrete witnesses capable of establishing the innocence of the accused. Spiller also advocates a public defender for Houston. This appearance of a conscience more concerned with humane justice than courtroom histrionics on the local level is an extremely good sign for the development of more ‘civilized justice in Texas. We believe a similar concern informs the District Attorney of Tarrant County. Bloodthirstiness persists among some of the people, many yellow newspapers still cry out for vengeance, shock turns quick to hate ; perhaps, however, the relevant debate has begun among us. 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. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1010 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. WASHINGTON Let me ‘confess at the outset that of the three weekly newsmagazines, I find Time the best written and most interesting. I read it regularly. It’s lively, provocative, and often amusing. But like many other publications it sometimes suffers from illusions of grandeur. This man is its candidate ; that man is its devil. Let’s give this guy a boost ; knock off someone else. The April 25 issue of Time \(the one seems to be a case in point. The editors have veered from straight ,coverage in their attempts to influence the readers’ thoughts. Does Time try to influence yoU ? If so, how does it ? Well, let’s start at the beginning of the April 25 issue with the publisher’s letter signed by James A. Linen. This particular letter tells how’ Time has carried cover stories on most of the leading presidential candidates. It reels off the names of the Democrats in matter-of-fact fashion. But then comes the name of Richard Nixon, and along with it a descriptive. phrase. In contrast to the plain and unadorned Democrats, Publisher Linen writes of Nixon’s “Krushchev-arguing visit to Moscow” last summer. So Nixon is just a bit better, perhaps even a little more American than the others, several of whom also happen to have met Mr. K. Or examine the cover story ‘itself. The editors pick this period, when 40 JiourJ The Texas Public Employees’ Assn., which we have previously condemned for failure to represent its members on the issue, has now formally asked the state hospitals board to institute a 40-hour week. Employees in the mental hospitals now work 44 hours ; this is one major reason for dissatisfaction and high turnover in the state system. It is particularly difficult to get nurses who will work these longer hours. T.P.E.A. was told that it would cost the state perhaps $2 million to make the change, which means that mental hospital employees have been chiseled out of that much every year. We commend the T.P.E.A… on their stand and trust they will carry the fight to the legislature. pre-convention maneuvering is reaching a high pitch, to tell us about the politician from Texas. Sens. Symington, Kennedy, and Humphrey were handled earlier when interest was less intense. Adlai Stevenson’s career was last reviewed on July 16, 1956. Among politicians some might be suspicious enough to believe this is a build-up for Johnson ; the reader can judge that for himself. Certainly of all the Democratic hopefuls there is general agreement the one man Nixon can handily beat is Johnson. But how do the editors describeJohnson? To them he is “the dean of the school of legislative experience” with a “special claim on a’ reputation for national responsibility . . .” What’s the basis for this claim ? That he has gotten along with the Republican administration and raised no quarrelsome issues, whether in defense, foreign of fairs, or the domestic economy. Certainly that was pleasant for the Republicans. But is that the standard by which the Democrats will pick their candidate? The magazine takes care of that question, too, in Time fashion. There is a “legend, well cultivated by Northern liberals, that Johnson’s Southern blood is laced with Bourboi conservatism. The legend is untrue and unfair, as a scrutiny of his voting record reveals.” He is only slightly to the right of Kennedy, Symington, and Humphrey, the editors tell us. Then, apparently unmindful of what they are saying, they go on : “He has always upheld his oil-rich constituents, voting to give the tidelands to the states, and steadfastly opposing any attempts to cut oil and natural gas depletion allowancesbut no Texas politician in his right mind would do otherwise. In 1958, he opposed a school construction grant, and in 1959 he voted to continue expense account tax deductions.” I’ll pass up comment on the expense account deductions, which is hardly a major issue. But to Time the opposition to school construction and the tidelands vote were “minor transgressions.” The article may not tell us too much about LBJ but it certainly tells a lot about the Editors .of Time. I wonder what they consider major transgressions for a Democrat who insists he is a “liberal”? ROBERT G. SrIvAcK
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