‘t ;tit 0,11110014111** The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we fin’d it and the right as we see it. The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper 10c per copy No. 17 SAN ANTONIO Franklin Spears is an earnest and se r io usminded young lawyer-politician who, at 28, has masterminded the most impressive campaign victory of the year in Texas. The only state House incumbent from San Antonio with liberal leanings, Spears began plotting a guarded political offensive against the ultra-conservative Bexar ‘Team’ as early as six months before the May primaries. With core support drawn from several dissatisfied groups in the city and wider anti-sales tax backing in the offing, a coalition of four other young lawyers was assembled. They had no legislative experience but were willing to rap hard against the incumbents’ records. Before it was over, as Spears describes it, “We had them on the defensive for the first time in their political lies.” Spears lost only three boxes of 168 in defeating his challenger, businessman Mel Huebner. His associates ran closer, but they all won. In a major upset John Alaniz, 30, who was brought into the coalition later in the campaign, narrowly ousted Frates Seeligson, the House’s conservative spokesman on tax and fiscal matters. Jake Johnson, 29, knocked off incumbent Bob Valiance. Vacancies created when R. L. Strickland tried unsuccessfully to unseat state Sen. Henry Gonzalez and * Raymond Russell ran for county office were captured in run-offs by Jim Barlow and Stanford Smith, both 31 and members of the coalition. Lone survivor of the incumbent group was Marshall Bell. As a result San Antonio almost overnight replaced Houston, where sharp conservative inroads were made in the liberals’ 1958 slate, as the big-city delegation with the most liberal mandate in the House. What were the circumstances behind this sudden shift? Spears’ Strategy It began in November, 1959, ”when Mrs. Allie Tune, a Democratic worker, suggested some people get together to discuss the May campaign. “There weren’t many people at the first meeting,” Spears recalled. “Mostly there were representatives from the police, the busdrivers, and the firemen. “These groups were incensed by the Bexar people in the Legislature. They had literally gotten the cold shoulder. Their letters were thrown away and never answered. They felt they were being made fun of. They could sense it. Many of them were afraid that the Civil Service Act, ‘which protected their tenure, was about to be repealed. “Some of them told me they were sitting in the balcony of the legislature one day,” Spears said. “They saw Marshall Bell on the AUSTIN Reluctantly, but convinced the step is justified and necessary, the Observer announces an increase in its annual subscription rate from $4 to $5, effective August 1. Single-copy prices increase from 10 to 15 cents. “I believe the continuation of the Observer will be worth three packs of cigarettes a year to our subscribers,” said Ronnie Dugger, announcing the increase. “I admit, however, that one or two readers I have in mind might not so readily relinquish one-fifth of the price of a bottle of Jack Daniel.” Dugger said free advertising for the Observer subscription drive has been donated by The Columbia Broadcasting System, The Voice of America, Lifeline, Radio Australia, The National Review, Texas Businessman, and Izvestia. A series of sustaining annual subscriptions are also announced: Patron subscriber, $10. Patron saint subscriber, $25. Angel, $100. Archangel, $500. Bob Eckhardt of Houston has drawn a few illustrations one of them accompanying this storywhich are to be printed on certificates for those whose sustaining subscriptions earn them positions in the Observer’s celestial hierarchy. floor and got a page to deliver a note to him asking if they could talk with him. They saw the page talking with Bell, and in a few minutes the page came back and said he couldn’t find Bell on the floor.” Schoolteachers began coming to the discussion meetings. “They were really offended,” Spears said. “They were upset by the attitude of the representatives toward teachers in general. Why, Bell actually told the woman who Rep. Franklin Spears teaches my son that teachers were making too much money these days anyway. This sort of thing got around.” Herschel Bernard, a lawyer, eventually took over the chair from Spears at these meetings. “We invited other groups,” Spears said. “We invited the West Side, Side, the Negro section; people from labor; retail grocers opposed to any kind of sales tax; people from the courthouse; a lot of people who’d previously backed the Team but were dissatisfied over one thing or another. “Here’s what we did,” Spears said. “In the past the Team always had something to shoot at the fact that someone was a Mexican, or had tight labor affiliations, or that all the opposition was running on one ticket. This time we didn’t provide them with a target. “I suggested from the start that we run a group of young AngloAmericans, that we not get tied up too closely with labor, and that we run our campaigns separately. We decided not to run on one ticket. We printed separate cards, separate stickers, and even had separate campaign colors. The only thing they could hit us on was our youth and inexperience. “We ran separately, but we coordinated our support and our efforts. We shared the information that came to us. We went out in my garage one afternoon, all five of us. We stayed six hours and talked about all the main issues that came up in the last legislature.” The opposition, Spears believes, showed little tactical discretion either before or during the campaign. “They had supported the sales tax to the man and they came home and united on it,” he Said. “Frates Seeligson was the only one open about it. He’s rich and wants to keep his money.” ‘Literature,’ Tokens Spears’ coalition attacked them AUSTIN Pitching for his own crusades but sure-footed as a politician, brass-collared for the Democrats as always but saying no more than he means, Sen. Ralph Yarborough chatted a couple of hours this week with the Observer staff on politics, the short session of Congress, and foreign policy. Over barbecue and pie, he gave his impressions of John Kennedy, his own legislative plans for education, aid to the aged, and Padre Island, and his reasons for favoring some cuts while continuing to support the principles and substance of foreign aid. He has been a U. S. senator now for three full years. If Sen. Johnson is elected vice president, he will be the senior senator from the state. He does not have to stand for re-election until 1964. As amused as most Austin observers by the scramble of candidates for the “if-Johnson-wins” U. S. Senate election, he says that if the Kennedy-Johnson ticket wins, as he hopes it will, he will walk ‘down the aisle and help swear in whoever is elected his new associate. Yarborough has served with Sen. Kennedy on the labor and public welfare committee more than two years. “He’s a very, very brilliant man intellectually sharp, intellectually very keen, a fast ‘thinker, a man not given to verbosity,” he said of Kennedy. “He uses few words. He cuts right through a maze of conflicting ideas to reach the very core of any problem. On our committee there is no other person who can express an idea so clearly, so well, and in so few words.” Yarborough also said Kennedy is “very, very efficient.” Kennedy-Johnson is “a strong ticketa North-South ticket,” he said. “I will campaign actively for it.” He believes it will win Texas; whether it carries the country “depends on how much work is done.” He has received a number of requests from senators and representatives to speak for them in AUSTIN According to figures provided by John Winters, commissioner of the Texas State Department of Public Welfare, Texas old people are not receiving $1,634,630 a year in federal funds which they would receive under the old age assistance program if the state would put up $1,029,360. Responding to a statement to the Observer by Sen. Yarborough that the state’s failure to provide adequate matching funds for old age pensions is causing Texas pensioners to lost millions and millions of dollars, Winters explained: Under the old age assistance program, the federal government pays 80% of the first $30 per their campaigns; his efforts will be partly in Texas and partly in other states. Would the liberal Democratic platform hurt the ticket’s chances in Texas? “Why no, I don’t think it’ll hurt to amount to anything. The Republican papers have taken two or three planks they think people will object to and are shouting them from the housetops. There are 54 pages in the platform, and in actual print those sections wouldn’t run more than one page. That makes 53 pages of platform I think the people of Texas wholeheartedly approve of.” What of Gov. Daniel’s position: Support for the ticket but not the platform? “I think it’s perfectly proper for an independent or a Republican to be for the ticket and not for the platform,” Yarborough replied in good humor. “Independents and Republicans who believe the ticket is best for the country but not the platform can vote for the ticket. Of course, Democrats generally support the platform.” He thought a person is not a Sen. Ralph Yarborough month average monthly ‘benefits, that is, $24 of the first $30. In Texas, by a formula based on per capita income, the federal government ‘will also pay p1.36% of the balance of the average up to a maximum of $65 a month. \(Anything above a $65 average comes The average monthly benefit is $53 in Texas. Thus, if pensions were increased until the average were $65that is, $12 more per pensioner the total increased benefit would be $2,664,000. Of this, the federal government would pay $1,634,630. First, however, the state legislature would have to agree to provide the other 38.64%$1,029,360, or $4.64 per Observer Shifts to $5, Patron Subscribers Texas Aged Do Not Get Full U.S. Funds Vol,. 52 TEXAS, JULY 29, 1960 A cht tech n Franklin Spears and the Bexar Coalition JACK SAID KEEN-MINDED Corruption Hit In Foreign Aid
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