GONZALEZ SAN ANTONIO State Senator Henry Gonzalez usually graced with an ebuillient wit and a perennial twinkle in his eyelay in bed pale and exhausted last Saturday as the election returns sounded from a television set only a few feet away. The occasion was not defeat, but one of the greatest victories of the senator’s career. Trouncing conservative Rep. R. L. “Bob” Strickland by more than 63 percent of the vote, Gonzalez was down with flu and 103 degrees temperature. His doctor had given him a sedative and ordered him to bed that afternoon. As his friends entered his modest home to share the victory news, Gonzalez was lying on a roll-away bed near the front door with a telephone by his side to thank congratulatory callers. As he lay listless and detached, his supporters’ enjoyed the ‘vicarious pleasures of his victory, saying that he had been vindicated in one of the worst swear campaigns ever conducted in Bexar county. G. J. Sutton, prominent Negro leader, said: “You can bury Bobby Strickland in the same corner of the political graveyard where Allan Shivers lies and thank God that the old Shivers-type smear campaigns have been put to rest.” Even Paul Thompson, caustic columnist of the conservative San. Antonio’ News who is not known for his adulation of Gonzalez, wrote in his Sunday column: “R. L. ‘Bob’ Strickland’s ‘voteagainst-the-mafia’ campaign blew up in his. face. People simply could not equate .Gonzalez with labor goons, underworld cabals, land the ‘eastern syndicate.’ It proves that accusatory campaigns won’t work unless you catch the other guy with his fist in the municipal safe.” During the first primary, Thompson had lauded such conservatives as Frates Seeligson, suggesting that his general sales tax plans were far superior to Gonzalez’s pitch . to the masses. Liberals Sweep Races Strickland, who claims he did not spend much money, ran full page ads in the News during the last week with such headlines as these: “If You Do Not Want Gonzalez, a Former. UNION ORGANIZER To Be Your Senator in Austin” Below were photostatic copies \(reproduced too small to be read the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to Gonzalez, and the second, a reply from Gonzalez to the union. With large black arrows pointing to the letters, Strickland was quoted in large black letters to the side, daring Gonzalez to deny that he has ever accepted money from “labor bosses.” Gonzalez said he had prepared a radio script and had coached soine women members of a striking local on reading it back in 1948. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 June 10, 1960 TRIUMPHS “Me Bobby Strickland. Me No Alamo. Me No General Sales Tax,” After this broadcast, Strickland huddled with the defeated members of the Bexar County legislative teamall considered supporters of the “broad-base” sales tax approach. A week-long series of television broadcasts was launched, with a different “team” member speaking each night blasting Gonzalez. Gonzalez said: “This reminds me of an Austtralian tag man wrestling match.” ‘Labor Bo s ses’ Gonzalez gained more than 37,000 votes in the first primary against Strickland’s 22,000, while another conservative, Ozzie Lattimerthe 1956 incumbent whom Gonzalez unseated four years ago received almost 12,000 votes. Combining these two potential blocs of votes plus some 6,000 gained by a third opponent \(no relation, his name was R. L. “Bob” Strickland, the businessman; he claimed to be a middle of the gloomy Gonzalez supporters assumed that Gonzalezif he won at allWould do soby only a small margin. But he received 3,000 more votes in Saturday’s election than he did a month ago, reaching a” total of more than 40,000 votes. Strickland picked up only a 1,000 more votes, leaving Bexar County conservatives to ask this question”Where did Ozzie Lattimer’s 12,000 votes go?” About 17,000 other Bexar County conservatives can answer this question. They simply stayed home. Almost 80,000 voters turned out a month ago, while only about 63,000 went to the polls Saturday. In the first ‘ primary, many northside, upper income voters went to the polls to help defeat P. E. Dickison, veteran county tax assessor and collector. This accomplished, many of them , stayed home Saturday, perhaps some of them joining in a reaction against Strickland’s campaign. The Bexar County Republican. Party has already picked attorney Ike Kampmann _ run against Gonzalez, and four others to run against the newly nominated liberal Democratic slate for the House. Gonzalez supporters say that he will fight even harder in November. Swept to victory along with Gonzalez were two other laborendorsed candidates both believed to be liberal. They are Jim Barlow, who dipped into the northside conservative boxes to swell a larger margin than Gonzalez, and Stanford Smith. Both are former assistant district attorneys. Only an hour after the polls closed Saturday, most news and television reporters said Gonzalez was the winner and sought Strickland for a statement of concession. Reached him about 8 p.m., Strickland said it was too early to concede. About 9 p.m., when the victory was clear, reporters could not reach him at home, his law office or his campaign headquarters. Gonzalez, miffed by Strickland’s refusal to concede and his dodging reporters, dispensed with the ceremonial role of magnanimous victor, telling reporters: “I; my opponent has an ounce of manhood, he will apologize to, the fine people he has so greatly insulted. I am glad that the people have shown they will not tolerate dirty campaigning.” WAYNE CHASTAIN The first letter asked Gonzalez h ovy much compensation he wanted for his services; in his reply, Gonzales said that he did not want any compensation, since he was glad to contribute to the union’s, effort. Strickland also charged Gonzalez was a “do-nothing” senator who was not only a “tool” of the Northern labor bosses, but -also a pawn of the naturopaths. He said Gonzalez was a “arm-waving, shouting” incompetent who had done nothing but create chaos in the Senate. Hitting a personal note, Strick-‘ land said Gonzalez’s incompetence was attested to by the fact that he had never passed the state bar exam. \(Gonzalez holds a law degree from St. Mary’s UniVersity law school, but has never received Strickland usually “documented” his television broadcasts with files, depicting violence in labor disputes in the Eastbut showing no relation of these incidents to ‘ Gonzalez. Faced with a .shortage of funds, Gonzalez started campaigning last February, sometimes rising at 4 a.m. to shake hands with sleepy-eyed bus drivers, policemen, firemen, and other “earlyrisers.” Referring to the heavy expenditures by Strickland, San Antonio’s other newspaper, the Light, said: “Gonzalez had campaigned himself into exhaustion in countering a free-swinging run-off campaign by Strickland . . . Backed by a heavy war chest, Strickland had mounted an intensive TV barrage which featured attacks on organized labor and its support of Gonzalez. But the rough-handling of Gonzalez apparently backfired.” Sales Tax Reversal During the first primary Gonzalez campaigned almost silently, with an occasional five-minute television broadcast, while Stickland launched his frontal assault. In the second primary, ‘as Strickland’s charges of “armwaving and shouting” increased in tempo, Gonzalez faced his television audiences mixing mildmannered ridicule, sardonic anecdotes about life on San Antonio’s West Side, and a . comparison of his record with that of Strickland’s. Gonzalez said that Strickland had openly favored a gen,eral sales tax in 1959 and had introduced a gross receipts tax”the most vicious type of sales tax,” Gonzalez’ said. Strickland announced two days after the first primary, when he came in behind Gonzalez by more than 15,000 votes, that since the people of Bexar County did not want a general sales tax, he would never support one if elected. Later he denied ever having favored one. Gonzalez got on television that night and ridiculed Strickland as “bouncing Bobby,” saying he had voted and worked for a general sales tax during the 1959 legislative sessions, but at election time, equivocated by advocating a “broad-based -tax,” and when nearly defeated, retreated. Mocking Strickland, Gonzalez said: OTHER RESULTS In a subsequent issue the Ob’Server will report on the runoff results June 4 and the composition of the next legislature, as well as upon conservative leader Preston Weatherred’s own assessments of the elections and plans for the conservatives. It Really Doesn’t Hardly Hurt At All Bartlett Appears Exclusively in the Texas Observer 54, eon Lyndon may get a jolt from a bolt he doesn’t have in mind Tuesday. That clay Texas Democrats decide what shall be their contribution to national and world progress for the next four crucial years. The name of the battle is party loyalty, but the true issue is what Texans want for the country and .the race. Adlai Stevenson, John. Kennedy, Chester Bowlessuch men as thesecan carry the nation forward in social progress and world service. Stevenson especially, we believe, has the greatness our times require. Lyndon Johnson, the Republicans’ choice for. the Democratic nomination, would be an easy target for Nixon or Rockefeller, being a civil rights hypocrite and an oil-state senator, for instance. Nor has he ‘demonstrated that he has the personal qualities of idealism and selflessness we. expect in our president. Having, true to his habits since 1956, betrayed Texas liberal and loyal Democrats in various county conventions in May, Johnson now finds himself bedded down once again with many “friends,” like the delegates from Dallas and Houston, who will not pledge to support the eventual Democratic nominees. Most of those delegates would vote for Nixon even over Johnson. The Houston conservatives have already nominated as a “Democratic” presidential’ elector, Hall Timanus, a vice-chairman of Harris . County “Democrats for Eisenhower.” Johnson’s hand-picked chairman in the Travis County convention, Pearce Johnson, will not deny published charges that he is an Eisenhower Democrat. Why do such people come to Austin to pretend they are Democrats? Because they want to control the September state convention, to which they will also be delegates. One can foresee how enthusiastic such people are going to be for the liberal Democratic nominee for president! To prevent another hide-and-seek Johnson “campaign” for the Democratic nominees in Texasto prevent another 1952, when the state party endorsed Eisenhowerto get ready to carry the state for the Democratsparty loyalists Monday and Tuesday will insist on personal loyalty pledges for all delegates before they enter the convention, all county and precinct chairmen, and, by mail, all absent delegates, this to prevent stay-away Dixiecrats in June from stealing the party’s presidential electors for Nixon in September. If they are denied these safeguards, a bolting delegation to Los Angeles will serve excellent purposes. It will dramatize to the Democrats of the nation that Johnson, wherever expedient, has bedded down with rightwing Texas Republicans. It will give the national convention a chance to seat a delegation selected by Democrats, led by Mrs. R. .D. Randolph, and free to vote for the candidates of their choice not hog-tied by the Texas opportunist. Should the national convention so wish, it could divide the Texas votes, half to the Johnson-Daniel-Dixiecrat-Republican crowd, half to the militant party loyalists. This would weaken the Republicans in Texas, let the true sentiments of liber.al Democrats be heard and voted at. Los Angeles, and give the convention an open choice between Mrs. Randolph and the Johnson candidate for national committeewoman. Bolts are a hell of a lot of fun and we’re looking forward to this one. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7 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. JUNE 10, 1960 Ronnie Dugger Editor and General Manager Sarah Payne, Office Manager Published once a week from Austin . Texas. Dethiered 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., Austiti, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: 1010 Dennis, Mrs. R. D. Randolph.
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