–a . t J a r r 4″ , e .. Se e . o gb soce s. u .s . deft For you …your family …your guests “BOW” WILLIAMS Automobile and General Insurance Budget Payment Plan Strong Stock Companies GReenwood 2-0545 624 LAMAR,, AUSTIN Let’s Abolish the Poll Tax! SPEARS AND HIS TEAM The Shift in Power in San Antonio broadside on this and a number of other points. “They had opposed the Freedom of Information bill,” the bill that would have opened more sessions and legislative records to the press and the public. “They not only opposed was on the subcommittee, carried the bill around in his pocket and wouldn’t let anyone see it until it was too late. We used this in the campaign. “Most of all,” Spears said, “we worked hard and got the issues to the people.” They printed 150,000 four-page tabloid ‘voters’ guides’, challenging the Team on a number of vote-getting issues. Sample headlines: “Bexar Team Admits Pushing General Sales Tax, Alias the Broad-Based Tax”; “Sulphur Lobby Finds Friends”; “Bexar Group Against Old Folks”; “Bexar Team Protects Loan Sharks”; “Bexar Team Backs Amendment to Cut City Representation”; “Bexar Group Votes to Raise Tuition at State Colleges”; “Bexar Team Refuses Support of Hale Aikin Recommendations for Improving Texas Public Schools.” Their ‘voters’ guide’ was the only co-operative campaign effort of the coalition, Spears said. “Be: fore we’d mailed out half our copies, we ran out of money for stamps,” he said. “So we put them in cars, in drive-in movies, we handed them out to people.” Spears and Stanford Smith also had large quantities of sample sales-tax tokens minted. This, Spears .belieVes, was one of the most successful ideas of the campaign. “My strategy was, if they don’t plan to use tokens on the sales tax, they’d have to make the tax high enough to use pennies.” Latins standing in line to get barbecue at a campaign picnic, he said, refused to take campaign cards. but when they brought the sample tokens around they extended their hands and said “Me too.” “We made this point,” Spears said. “The greatest support for a sales tax is being made by Seeligson and the Bexar team, and yet San Antonio is the poorest major community in Texas.” Janice Sherrod was the “co-ordinator” of the campaign, recruiting most of the workers. The greatest amount of manpower and financial support came from the firemen and the policemen. The basic support from the firemen, busdrivers, policemen, teachers, labor, East Side, and West Side did not account for more than 15,000 votes out of the 65,000 cast, Spears believes. “Most of the others, I suppose, were convinced the Bexar representatives weren’t doing the job, and here were some good young men.” The San Antonio Express and News came out against them; the Light did not endorse anyone. “We were flabbergasted by the results,” Spears said. “I was an incumbent, and wasn’t even sure I was going to win. Why, Jake Johnson had lost 3-1 to Marshall Bell in 1958. It turned out to be a real clobber.” Alaniz, Smith, and Johnson have Republican opposition in the general election, but Spears refuses to take that seriously. “The Democrats will beat the Republicans on the local level on the basis of national issues if nothing else.” He recalls that Jess Oppenheimer, running as a Republican, was unable to beat Sen. Gonzalez in 1956 even with the Eisenhower sweep. Spears believes his associates in the victorious coalition, facing their first test in the Legislature, “are much better equipped than most freshmen representatives. They’re already aware of the lines of conflict. They’re capable and conscientious. “They’ll last longer than the Houston delegation did,” he said. “Some of the Houston liberals were simply improvident. They went off the deep end. Any legislator, conservative or liberal, makes a big mistake when he igthere wasn’t a conservative in their county. This was a political blunder.” Leaders Knocked Off The next legislature, he believes, “while it may have a backwoods attitude to a large extent, won’t have as great a tendency to be, dominated by the special interests.” This will be the case “because so many acknowledged leaders were knocked off. They were getting a little too daring in their defense of the interests. People like Bill Fly and Waggoner Crr.” Its tone will be more liberal next time “because from the national and international viewpoints people’s ideas are getting more liberal in this state. They are beginning to realize freedom is something we’ve got to have regardless of cost. This is no philosophical change. It’s more tactical. People in Texas are going to feel more and more compelled to combat Communism by eliminating social evils in our own country. “The major issue facing the next legislature is not who’s going to pay the taxes. The real issue is: is the state going to meet its responsibilities by raising taxes, regardless of where they’re raised? “If you’re asking where the increased money ought to come from, I don’t know. But if you’re asking where it’s going to come from: it’s coming from an increase in the selective sales taxes, a natural gas axwhether the old one with changes or something newand possibly the enactment of new selective sales taxes on trading stamps, soda water, and advertising.” Spears foresees “very little chance of a general sales tax next session, because it’s evident those who ran against a sales tax did well all over the state.” A Personal Glimpse The success of Spears’ urban coalition stands to make the tall, good-looking young lawyer an important figure in future legislatures, and may encourage his interest in career politics. He has an instinctive political sense, he has already learned something of the pitfalls and footholds of the political arena, and he is beginning to appraise in some depth the problem of personal independence vs. responsibility’ to constituents. He is already firmly committed, in background and temperament, to his San Antonio constituency. He has lived there all his life. To him it is “a low income town where wages and prices never catch up, a town of bargain basements doing better business than the main floors, so dependent on the military bases it’s frightening to think what’d happen if they pulled out.” It is also “a poor town with a lot of millionaires, the hard-core of San Antonio’s archconservatism.” It is, moreover, “a conservative towneven the poor people are conservative, anti-union, antihigher taxes. The working class doesn’t have much organization or awareness, the evils of unions are widely advertised, and their advantages aren’t.” Spears is elbow-deep in corn munity activity: everything from a deacon in the Presbyterian Church to a 32-degree Mason to an Aizafar Shriner, as well as a member of the Jaycees. the YMCA, the Sons of Herman, Siemering Lodge, and the S.P.E.B.S. Q.S.A. He went to SMU and then the University of Texas, where he got his law degree and was president of the student body. The job NY Times taught him “the necessity of taking different views into account, of keeping the pulse of what’s going on.” He married Jo Ann Hyltin, his attractive young wife, in his second year in law school, and they have two sons. She was pregnant during his campaign for the student presidency, and as Spears recalls it, he ‘had to stay home during the last week and cooked meals, at the expense of electioneering. Luckily, his opponent, a Mississippian of much political renown, was disqualified AUSTIN A new rash diagnosed by the State Political Health Dept. as senatoritis-if, has broken out upon the body politic. The S.P.H.D. commissioner recommended that persons affected regard the ailment as psycho-so-politic and get plenty of rest to relieve their tension. In Dallas, Eddie Barker, -KRLD newsman, said former Gov._Allan Shivers was considering running against Sen. Lyndon Johnson as a write-in candidate. Returning from Canada, Shivers said, “I have not made any announcement of an intention to run for any office, and I have no present plans to make such anannouncement I continue to be very interested in state and national politics.” Maury Maverick, Jr., the former state representative and the son of the famous San Antonio congressman, said in San Antonio he had been approached by some very prominent Democrats urging him to consider running for the Senate if Johnson is elected vice-president He said he is interested. Visiting in Austin, Maverick told the Observer he has wired D. B. Hardeman, assistant to Speaker Sam Rayburn: “If I run for Senate, expect you to be my Bobby Kennedy. Lose some weight, get a Brooks Brothers suit and a toupe with a generous forelock.” Congressman Jim Wright, Fort Worth, generally understood to be Sen. Johnson’s choice to succeed him in the Senate, continued to discuss his plans about running with friends in Texas. He and his aide, Rep. Don Kennard, flew with Johnson to the LBJ ranch Wednesday. Don Yarborough, the Houston THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 July 29, 1960 \(“by the dean’s office, we didn’t before election day, and Spears was in. “A politician,” he believes, “should have a basic philosophy about what government should do and how it should do it.” He must be “flexible within the limits his own mission prescribes for him.” Spears is frank enough to admit “I’m still vague in my philosophy in this area. I’m still searching for what I think are the principal concepts of government and economics. A Resistance to Labels “I resist efforts to label me. Labels are for the politically lazy. That’s why labels are so successful in politics today. I don’t feel like a crusader in some great cause. All that presumes that all goodness is on one side, and all evil on another: “I don’t think a legislator should be completely servile to the people who elected him. Still, you can’t completely ignore them, as some self-appointed messiahs in the legislature have tried to do.” Spears feels very strongly the international impact on life in Texas. He and his wife spent two years in Germany when he was a military police officer in the army. They traveled all over Europe. “I think I know why Russia is passing us so rapidly in science and education. Because they place these things in importance over monetary and social position, over attorney who polled , more than 600,000 votes against Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey this year, visited friends in Austin for conversations to which the possibility of an open seat in the U.S. Senate was not irrelevant. Rev. William Crook, the Nacogdoches Baptist minister who ran a strong race this spring against Congressman John Dowdy, was rumored as another candidate for the Senate seat. He said, however, that the office is not now vacant, it would be presumptuous for anyone to announce for it now, and he does not “now” intend to run for it. “My only political interest at this time lies with the people of the seventh congressional district in 1962,” Crook said. In San Antonio, a small group of San Antonio and Houston liberals announced a move to draft Ronnie Dugger as a Senate candidate if Johnson is elected vice president. Their announcement said Dugger said he was inter, ested. Others mentioned in the summertime successor-guessing are Sen. Charles Herring, Austin; former Sen. William Blakley, Dallas; and Reps. Joe ‘Kilgore, McAllen, and W. R. Poage, Waco. In Dallas, Michael E. Schwille, 24, a business and government student at North Texas State College at Denton, sued in federal court challenging “The Johnson BOTH LOOSE TEA and TEABAGS RYLANDER’S CASTS SUPER MARKET 2725 Exposition Blvd. Austin marketing and advertising. It involves a completely different set of social values. “I’ll say this: we’ve got to assume responsibility in this state. In education, municipal development, eleemosynary institutions, public works, and law enforcement we’re simply not doing the job. . . . If I had my choice between communism and an unbalanced budget, I’d take an unbalanced budget.” He believes the state “should parcel out money as a poor man with hungry children does.” He has hesitations about certain aspects of high welfare benefits, unemployment compensation, and aid to dependent children. “I know Prof. Galbraith criticizes this view. But I think this harms the industriousness of the people. I would definitely pay the blind and the aged and the temporarily unemployed. But I definitely don’t think we should pay retired army officers unemployment compensa
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