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. The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 52 TEXAS, MAY 13, 1960 10c per copy No. 6 GRASS ROOTS TANGLED AUSTIN While much depends on runoffs, liberalism evidently gained about ten or fifteen members in the House of Representatives in last Saturday’s elections. While conservatives were scoring in Houston, anti-sales tax and pro-gambling tickets almost blanked out the incumbent sales taxers from San Antonio. In the Texas Senate, political citadel of business, if Sen. Henry Gonzalez wins his runoff, which he is favored to do, the liberals gained two seats, giving them the edge with 13 of the 31 members on most issues. There can be little practical doubt that the issue of the general sales tax hurt conservative candidates in many contests and to some extent nullified intensive programming for liberal defeats. On the other hand, the two candidates on whom many liberals had counted for congressional victories, Rev. Bill Crook of Nacogdoches and Sen. Bill Moore of Bryan, lost; as did all other challengers of the incumbent Texas congressmen. Guesses in Austin based on results and prospects in runoffs increased the “hard core” liberal House vote from 40 or 45 members to from 55 to 60. Sen. Bill Fly, Victoria sales tax leader, was thunderously defeated by Bill Patman of Ganado. Rep. ‘Frates Seeligson, the House sales tax leader, lost to a newcomer by about 123 AUSTIN What did Saturday’s statewide elections mean? The answers depend on which barkers you listen to. Still, a few things were obvious to most observers. The rupture between Gov. Price Daniel and ex-Gov. Allan Shivers is probably permanent. When Shivers called Daniel “frustrated and vicious,” he was casting his lot with the militant conservatives against Daniel thereafter. Jack Cox, the former Freedom in Action leader, made a creditable showing \(607,000 to Daniel’s ness on the state scene, his vote gave the general sales tax ideas he advocated more political heft in Texas than they had before he ran. Don Yarborough’s 619,000 votes against Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey’s 816,000 made Yarborough the best vote-getter against Ramsey to date and might have caused Ramsey to wonder if he is not becoming progressively more vulnerable as he seeks re-election again and again. Probably the most important fact for 1962 in the 1960 returns was the damage done Atty. Gen. , Will Wilson’s prospective race for governor two years from now by his harsh critic, Waggoner Carr. Carr promised that whether he votes in a San Antonio election scheduled for recount. San Marcos’s veteran Max Smith, another leader of fiscal conservatism, fell to a third political novice. On the other hand, Rep. Zeke Zbranek, Liberty, regarded as one of the liberals’ most capable leaders in the House, lost his challenge against Sen. Neveille Colson, Navasota, by a margin reported to be 5-1. The victories of Thomas Creighton, Mineral Wells, over Sen. Floyd Bradshaw, Weatherford, and Galloway Calhoun, ‘Tyler, over Sen. Bill Wood, Tyler, were regarded in Austin as the replacement of conservatives with ‘ conservatives. Rep. Jim Bates, Edinburg, missed defeating Sen. Hubert Hudson by ‘a margin so close, reports of a possible contest reached Austin but were not confirmed. Sens. Willis, Fort Worth; Secrest, Temple; and Kazen, Laredo, won easily. Rep. Wade Spilman, McAllen, conservative, said he has the 1961 Speakership of the House won with “80 cinch winners’ pledged to him. His principal contender, James Turman, Gober, answered through Rep. Ben Lewis, Dallas, that this claim was “utterly ridiculous” and that the trend was “decidedly” for Turman. In Houston, three conservatives defeated liberals, two liberals were re-elected, and two pitched liberal-conservative contests went into runoffs. In San Antonio House races, three liberals and one conservative were elected, won or lost he would call for a House investigation of what he charges has been Wilson’s “political payola” as a member of the State Banking Board. Wilson won with only 52.5 percent of the vote 735,000 to Carr’s 575,000 and Bob Looney’s 103,000and cannot expect friendly implications from whatever race Carr makes in 1962, if any. Cox, in his statement on losing, made it clear he plans to run again in 1962. This raises the question: if Wilson runs, what will be his stand on the general sales tax? He has not said. Cox said his race had focused attention on “our more acute problems.” Daniel thanked the people for their confidence in “my ‘attempt to solve the problems of the state.” He said he would present his tax plans, and four others would present theirs, to his tax committee May 16th. Wilson promised to make “the fur fly” in his further investigations of loan sharks. Yarborough said he was pleased, “especially considering that I didn’t have any money.” Austin observers expect the State Land OffiCe to become a somewhat more lively n e w s source. The election of Rep. Jerry Sadler to the commissioner’s office over incumbent Bill Allcorn upper echelons of state govern AUSTIN In the four largest counties in Texas, a majority of the precinct conventions did not take action on or defeated the Johnson for President resolution, reliable reports reaching the Observer indicate. A majority of Austin and Corpus Christi precincts instructed delegates to support the Johnson resolution ; Johnson’s forces also were “in solid” in Abilene and surrounding counties and most rural areas, judging from various reports. While the issue of Johnson’s candidacy is in doubt in the major counties Saturday at the county conventions, Johnson’s forces are counting on uninstructed delegations to vote for the Johnson resolution when it is presented. Liberals sustained a major setback, evidently losing the Harris County precinct fight. Johnson resolutions passed in 47 of the 266 precincts, the Observer was advised Thursday, with many liberal and conservative precincts taking no action and some voting Johnson down. Whether the Freedom in Action delegates in the Harris County convention will go along with Johnson remains to be seen. In any case, loyalists will push for a resolution pledging delegates to the state and national conventions to support the nominees. If this loyalty resolution did not pass Saturday in Houston, a bolt that would carry all the way to Los Angeles was expected. In San Antonio, Johnson leader James Knight said about 35 of the 169 precincts passed instructions for Johnson; but Knight thought the convention Saturday would endorse Johnson. ment one of Texas politics’ more flambuoyant ‘showmen. Just under 1.5 million votes had been counted by the Texas Election Bureau, with 10,000 more to be incorporated into its final returns expected May 14. Apart from the races named, T.E.B. said these were the statewide results: Comptroller, Robert S. Calvert, 907,000, Bo Ramsey, 408,000; Supreme Court Chief Justice, Robert W. Calvert 881,000, Robert Hughes 427,000; Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Lloyd Davidson 493,000; W. T. McDonald, 466,000; Jim Bowmer, 306,000 \(runPrincipal late pre-voting developments included Daniel’s endorsement by the Texas Retail Grocers’ Assn. \(opposed to a sales Daniel attended by ex-Sen. Wm. Blakley and other conservatives; Shivers labeling Daniel “a frustrated and vicious man” who “has deserted those who elected him”; Cox’s lambasting Daniel as “a political opportunist”; Ramsey’s urging eliminating loan sharks by permitting only “fair rates”; Yarborough’s charge that Ramsey “presided over” Texas land and insurance scandals; and Carr’s question whether Wilson had promised labor to support the “agency shop,” which is similar to the closed shop, which Wilson said he had not. City Precincts Lag On LB. Backing; Bolts Possible Conferences were still in progress concerning Knight’s attempt to patch together a coalition that would pass the Johnson resolution after various trades. In Dallas, the Observer is advised, 45 of the 187 precincts instructed their delegates to vote for Johnson, while the others did not do so. Conservatives firmly in control there were considering complimenting but not pledging to Johnson Saturday. Loyalists might bolt there if this came to pass. While John Connally, a Johnson leader, is expected to become chairman of the Tarrant County convention, the pro-Johnson liberals supporting him, Mrs. Margaret Carter, in a tabulation from about 150 precinct reports in Tarrant, stated that 90 precincts did nothing about the Johnson resolution, while 46 passed it and six defeated it. A resolution affirming that party officers and delegates should intend to work in the November campaign was disregarded in 74 precincts, passed in 56, and defeated in 12, Mrs. Carter said. “This is what’s on the minutes at the courthouse,” she said. In big cities, then, Johnson’s favorite son candidacy for the presidency encountered much apathy and some resistance at the grass roots level. In general in the cities, where both conservatives and liberals went along with the Johnson resolution, as in Austin and Corpus Christi, he received a majority, but where conservatives and liberals in large numbers abstained or voted against Johnson, only about between one-third and onefifth of the precincts backed him. Judging from press reports in the dailies, Senator Johnson’s candidacy was endorsed by .the precincts with uniform majority enthusiasm. The AP said ‘Sunday morning Johnson “was winning almost unanimous endorsement.” Another AP story called it “majority endorsement.” Monday Dave Cheavens of AP said the state convention June 15 “is now expected to be an enthusiastic Johnson rally.” “The heavy Johnson endorsement also puts an end to talk,” Cheavens wrote, “of a serious revolt at the June state convention . . . It looks more like Texas Democrats for L.B.J. all the way.” Subsequent AP stories said “Johnson’s sweep . . was in effect the finishing blow for Mrs. R. D. Frankie Randolph as Democratic national committeewoman from Texas.” Cheavens said Johnson told him this is an internal party affair and he is not taking part in it. “But his friends said they will take care of it for him,” Cheavens reported. The AP, stating further that “Mrs. Randolph is definitely on the skids as national committeewoman,” named Mrs. R. Max Brooks and Mrs. Charles W. Bailey, both of Austin, as possible successors. The Johnson for President headquarters tabulated results Saturday night, claimed overwhelming endorsement for Johnson, and stopped counting. “When it was apparent that we had the overwhelming sweep we did, we didn’t go on counting them,” Mac Roy Rasor of the Johnson staff told the Observer. Control of 20 of Texas’s 22 congressional districts was claimed. The two not claimed are both in Harris County. “I am deeply grateful for this sincere expression of confidence,” Sen. Johnson said. “I know that we will be able to select a delegation of able, prudent, aggressive, and forward-looking men and women who will give our state the effective voice that we should have at the national convention.” Larry Blackmon, director of the Johnson for President clubs, said: “This overwhelming indorsement is virtual assurance to Senator Johnson that he will go to the national convention as chairman of the Texas delegation committed to the support of the Senate majority leader for the nomination. “This is a dramatic demonstration to our nation of Lyndon Johnson’s strength,” Blackmon said. AP said Johnson appeared to have majority support in Angelina, Bastrop, Brazoria, Brazos, Brewster, Brown, Calhoun, Cherokee, Coke, Collin, Concho, Dawson, Ector, Erath, Galveston, Gillespie, Hall, Hamilton, Hidalgo, Hockley, Howard, Jasper, Johnson, Lamar, Lampasas, Lee, Leon, Llano, Lubbock, Madison, Martin, Mason, McCulloch, McLennan, Montgomery, Palo Pinto, Parker, Polk, Presidio, Scurry, Terry, Taylor, Tom Green, Upshur, Victoria, Walker, Washington, Wharton, Wichita, Wilbarger, and Williamson. counties. Before the precinct conventions, the state Democratic executive committee distributed Johnson resolutions and urged precincts to “instruct ‘all the way’ support for Senator Johnson.” Byron Skelton, Democratic national committeeman, also issued a pre-convention statement: “Texas represents a wide diversity of Democrats, including urban, rural, Yarborough Votes 9 Skips Precinct AUSTIN Although returning from Washington to Austin to vote, Sen. Ralph Yarborough did not stay in Austin long enough last Saturday to participate in his precinct convention in a conservative section of Austin. \(In that precinct, pro-Stevenson forces lost a roll call on whether to have a roll call, 93-29, and the precinct’s delegates Yarborough has refused to endorse Johnson but has stated that if he is a delegate to Los Angeles and the delegation is bound to Johnson, he will vote for Johnson. His name was submitted as a delegate from other Austin precincts. In a broadcast prepared in Washington and played in Houston Thursday night before the elections, Yarborough urged citizens to vote, stating it was important to return legislators who had fought for open beaches legislation and the Padre Island park. He also read a quote from Adlai Stevenson. Liberals Gain In Legislature Aspects of the Election
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