1 An Editorial i to Play-Agairt6i 5e,rao Jgairt ‘Cl am positive that a majority of the people of this state, if permitted to vote on the issue, would favor additional taxes on’ those who have tied up the natural gas reserves of this state and who are transporting to other states and foreign countries 53 percent of all marketed gas in Texas . . . My only regret is that I did not recommend a higher tax on those pipeline companies.” Price Daniel, June, 1959 Members of the House who fought the splendid fight last session for the tax on the pipelines of the giant Eastern corporations, finally winning a token measure despite the betrayal of their own speaker, the long and adamant stand of the majors-controlled Senate, the thumping of the corporate Big Press, and the cajolery of the lobby, would do well now to make a quick reappraisal of the present situation. As a part of his deficit-retiring tax plan, which he wants passed early in the session, Gov. Daniel has sharply turned away from his often cour ageous positions of 1959 and proposed an historic old bugaboo : another tax increase on straight natural gas productionin other words, on the home-based independent Texas producer. The real source of the towering profits, the absentee exploiters of our Texas resources who distribute and sell, go scot free. The gambit of the majors, in using the independents as a shield to ward off taxes on themselves, is by no means new. For years the giants have been following this design. Sporadic efforts from the legislature to hit the large profits of the absentee benefactors have sharply subsided once tax increases were levied on the producers. But this is only part one of the majors’ traditional two-part program. When it comes to other business taxes, time and again they have avoided sharing their fair tax burden by opposing any change in the present franchise tax, which favors the huge multi-state corporations by taxing the small and struggling and the entrenched and wealthy at the same rate. They fought the governor’s franchise tax reform in 1959 ; they will fight his similar proposal this time. Remember last session ? How Daniel lashed away at “one of the strongest and most persistent lobbies that this capitol has ever known?” How the Texas independents, the homestate boys, once more allowed the majors to hoodwink them into joining ranks in “industrial solidarity” against the severance beneficiary tax? How the majors, once this solid phalanx had succeeded in stymying the House majority on the tax, employed their trusty accomplicethe ‘ Senateto doublecross the independents when the money pressure was on and levy a flat production tax increase? How the independents, reluctantly aroused from their customary torpor, finally acknowledged that it was, indeed, the liberal-moderate coa-, lition in the House \(roughly the same people who elected James Turman sociates against the cynical tactics of the monopolies? At this moment, however, if the liberals and moderates in the House and the exasperatingly myopic inde \(Continued on 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 find it and the right as we see it. The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Vol. 52 TEXAS, FEBRUARY 4, 1961 15c per copy No. 44 Liberals, Moderates Gain Turman Selects Wright’s Vigorous Bid Defends ‘Progressive Moderation’ in Senate Race AUSTIN Liberals and fellow East Texans took most of Speaker James Turman’s House committee chairmanships and his supporters in the Speaker’s race were generally well-rewarded with choice appointments. The lists were announced this week and they struck the floor like a bombshell. The highly important revenue and tax committee, which was stacked 18-3 against moderates and liberals in the 1959 legislature, now has a majority of 14 liberals and moderates, including liberal taxers Hinson, Eckhardt, Charles Ballman Korioth, Pieratt, Rosas, Spears, and others. The chairmanship went to Charles Ballman of Borger, a moderate. George Hinson, who sponsored the governor’s pipelines tax in the last session, is vice-chairman. Appropriations is considered to have much the same orientation as last time, but many liberals were disappointed that the chairmanship was given Jim Cotten of Weatherford, who is known as a “small spender.” Composition is divided about one-third between liberals and moderate liberals, moderates, and conservatives. State affairs, with Bill Hollowell of Grand Saline, an “East Texas liberal” as chairman, does not contain a single supporter of Wade Spilman, Turman’s opponent for speaker. There are three Spilman men on appropriations and three on revenue and tax, both 21-member panels. Chairmanships of all 43 standing committees went to Turman backers. There was considerable reaction in the House among conservatives. One conservative told the Austin American, “Turman tried to get all of us in veterans affairs,” a relatively unimportant committee. “We have a majority of 19 Spitman men. Between us we have a total of 126 years of legislative ex perie/we and nine of us have been committee chairmen in previous legislatures.” Bill Jones of Dallas, a conservative and Spilman man, commented: “To the victors beffong the spoils. “I don’t know if my committees Will ever meet. But it’s right for Turman to put his troops where they want to be.” Kika de la Garza of Mission, another Spilman conservative, satirized the appointments when he rose to the floor after Speaker Turman had delivered a speech this week asking for the necessary funds to finance state services. De la Garza commended the ‘speaker, said he agreed, and requested that some of the crucial bills be referred to the committee on public lands and buildings. DeWitt Hale of Corpus Christi will head judiciary; C. W. Pearcy of Temple, congressional and legislative re-districting; Charles Sandahl of Austin, constitutional amendments; W. T. Dungan of McKinney, labor; and Ben Lewis, the only Dallas member to back Turman, banks and banking. Veteran House liberals who were AUSTIN Jim Wright, at 37 making the first statewide campaign of his career in his bid for the Senate, brings’ a sharp intelligence and a kind of sophisticated rural evangelism to the Texas hustings. The young Fort Worth congressman, elected to Congress in 1954 in a victory widely acclaimed by Texas liberals, has drifted toward the middle in the political spectrum ‘in the last six years. He now describes himself as a “progressive moderate.” With Attorney General Will Wilson, a veteran politician with a sturdy statewide organization, likely to .pre-empt a substantial segment of the moderate vote, what is the case for Wright’s reaching a second primary? He is an impressive speechmaker, with a free-flowing biblical rhetoric that often leaves a deep impression on people who have never heard him. He is a driving worker, and in the absence of any strong organization in the hinterlands he says he will “get up earlier, go to bed later, and shake more hands” than anyone in the campaign. He is stressing his experience in public office, including the mayorship of Weatherford and an impressive record in the state legislature, and arguing that he has more legislative experience in Washington than any of his opponents. One of his aides said, “He’s a lot like Lyndon Johnson in 1948 against Coke Stevenson a good campaigner against the b!g-name politicians.” Further, he is drawing support from a wide front, including both conservatives and some liberals. In a morning-long interview with the Observer last week, speeding over icy roads from Lockhart to Bastrop to Caldwell on a tightly-scheduled tour of Central Texas, Wright outlined in detail his moderate stance. “I have not ever designed to reduce my political ideology to any Objective,” he said. “You can’t label a man like a can of peas. I’ve got a notion anytime a fellow says he’s going to be a complete conservative or a complete liberal, he just says in so many words he isn’t going to do his own thinking. Jim Wright “I suppose I’d rather be like Lyndon in supporting a solution rather than an argument,” in standing for “some progress rather than drawing a line in the dirt” and defending it dogmatically, he said in defending his stand for a $1.15 minimum wage in preference to $1.25 last year. “I believe there is a place in legislation for compromise.” Quoting Henry Clay’s “compromise is the cement of the union,” Wright said: “There is one point where I disagree utterly with those on the far extremes of our political spectrum.” Both extremes have several things in common, he said, and he criticized the “supreme intolerance” of “the reactionaries and the kneejerk liberals” who see nothing in others’ views. “Historically, the progressive moderate has been the greatest enemy of revolutionthe first target of the !communists and the fascists,” he said. Marx and Lenin prophesied that capitalism was doomed, that class war was inevitable. “When we permit ourselves to be divided into bitterly hostile camps, ever ready to believe the worst about the other, well, we tend to prove them right, don’t we?” The United States, he said, is the only [country which has achieved an interdependence between capital and labor. “I’ve said to business groups that except where there is widespread employment at decent wages” their products will remain unsold: And to labor groups: “Except as business earns a sufficient profit,” unless our productivity expands, labor in the long run will suffer. He strongly believes, he said, in “a responsible capitalism that will share its blessings” with a large number of people. ‘Indentured Servitude’ Wright has been stressing foreign policy. “Our one great challenge,” he believes, “is to rempture the initiativeto recreate the American image as standing for something, not just against something.” We must recognize, he Sales Tu Plans Offered in House AUSTIN Two sales tax plans were introduced in the House this week, one by Rep. John Allen of Longview, the other by Rep. Jack Connell of Wichita Falls. Allen’s proposal, HB 333, would levy a two percent tax on all purchases with exemptions on food, feed, seed, fertilizer, farm machinery, drugs, real property and items already subject to selective sales tax. Sales of less than 25 cents would also be exempt The estimated yield would be $136 million annually. Allen told the Observer that previous sales taxes have excluded manufacturing parts. His does not. Levies in this area would net $32 million a year, he said. “I don’t like this tax,” Allen said, “but I don’t like an income or a payroll tax either. This thing is probably death for me politically,” he said, but “some of us have to stand up somewhere” on taxes. He said poor people are protected through the exemptions and through removal of those items already taxed selectively. Sales of less than 25 cents are excepted, he said, to protect “children buying soda pop or cream cones.” Allen said he supports the teachers’ pay raise and other measures and is willing to support a tax plan to pay for them. He primarily wants to give members a
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