The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Vol. 53 TEXAS, APRIL 29, 1961 15c per copy No. 4 Tower Q. and A: It’s ‘Ideological’ Strube Directs High Schools’ Weekly Series Insults Exchanged In Senate Battle HOUSTON John Tower saysin a special interview with the Observerthat he is against all of President Kennedy’s domestic legislation but has an “inherent sense of justice,” supports Ronnie Dugger civil liberties, and is “moderate” on civil rights. On international issues he breaks with Bill Blakley by supporting U.S. participation in the United Nations. He says Blakley probably would vote liberal more often than he would, but also more expediently “because of the pack that he runs with” and “because of his own personal interests that he might feel compelled to protect.” Tower answered the Observer’s questions during an interview in the Rice Hotel here. He said the April 4 returns show “the people are a little bit tired of being bossed_ around by political bosses,” and that’s why he will win May 27. He says he will run well in the cities, West John Tower Texas, the Panhandle, and the Valley. In Harris County, where he received 46 percent of the firstround vote, he expects to do especially well. Fred Gray, a member of his state advisory committee, is a vice chairman of the conservative Democratic Precinct Organization of Harris. “In areas where we had conservative Democratic leadership, it tended to give us an edge,” Tower said. Tower’s figures show he had a plurality in 105 counties April 4 and beat Blakely in 156 counties. He pointed out that he ran first in Harris, Dallas, El Paso, Travis, Galveston, Lubbock, Hidalgo, Cameron, Ector, and Wichita counties and second in Tarrant, Bexar, Jefferson, Nueces, and McLellan. He carried Ector against all candidates with 50%, Midland 57%, and Ochiltree 70%, he observed. Two-Party System The Observer’s questions and Tower’s answers: What does Tower mean by conservative? “I guess I’m something of a Burkeian. I believe change and progress can be best accommodated within the framework of existing institutions.” Why should a liberal Democrat vote at all in the runoff ? “I think the liberal has a stake in this thing. Who’s best prepared? Even though Blakley and I may appear philosophically close, which one is the more responsible, which one has the background to use good judgment on decisions affecting the citizenry? Not on every issue do people divide along liberal and conservative lines.” Why should a liberal Democrat vote for Tower? “Because I think that I am more predictable than Blakley. I’ll be consistent. At times probably Blakley might vote liberal more often than I would, but I think his decisions would be dictated more by ex HOUSTON Students at Jesse H. Jones high school here in Houston have been attending Thursday night programs on “anti-communism.” The director of the programs is W. P. Strube, Jr., vice president of the Christian Anti Communism Crusade, which annually takes in $300,000 from its seminars and sales of its literature and tapes. The series at Jones High is sponsored by that school’s “Teens Against Communism,” a group of students, but Crusade literatureand only Crusade literatureis sold by students in the auditorium foyer on the nights of the programs. Strube spoke all four nights April 7, 13, 20, and 27. Films on anti communism themes were played from the National Education Program of Harding College, Searcy, Ark., and the U.S. Army. April 20 about 800 were in attendance for the showing of “Operation Abolition.” Miss Charline Potter, supervisor of history, civics, and economics in the secondary schools of the Houston Independent School District, spoke immediately after the showing of “Operation Abolition” and said that night’s program was filled with “fine things.” Last Thursday night, April 27, Nationalist Chinese Consul Raymond Hoo of Houston spoke on the subject, “We Cannot Afford to’ Lose,” and Strube closed on the subject, “What Can We Do?” The evening of April 13, about 125 persons, evenly divided between students and adults, attended. Strube gave one of his basic spiels, reciting communist strengths and techniques. He said unilateral disarmament would be “down payment on suicide,” amplifying: “It is Biblical, it is Christian to take up arms against a Godless system like communism.” The U.S. is “at best equal” with AUSTIN The atmosphere reportedly is less than electric in Waco where Interim Senator Bill Blakley will officially embark May 5 upon his campaign to hold Lyndon Johnson’s vacated seat. Despite announced plans for a “Texas size” barbecue, ballons for the children, and the usual baked 00′ e c ;” “Pf2/ -30 , beans entertainment for the campaign kickoff in Heart o’ Texas Coliseum, the occasion is reportedly running into the log-jam of apathy that has built up across the state as voters face the stoic choice between two conservatives in the run-off. In fact, about the only excite’ ment that drifted into the campaign this week was the demonstration by the other conservative, Republican John Tower, that he still has the talent of swinging a machete-like He proved his metal in El Paso where he charged that Blakley is backed by “political bosses and hacks, a machine of paid professional politicians and hatchet men.” Naturally this offended Fort Stockton attorney Maurice Bullock, who also is Blakley’s state campaign chairman, and he promptly retorted that Tower had used “ugly and intemperate language” and that it was just a good thing for Texas youth that Tower had left the teaching profession. Finding El Paso a fit place to speak of such matters, Tower also denounced his opponent for being “obligated” to support the Kennedy farm program which in. eludes, said Tower, plans to discontinue the Bracero labor pro gram. Actually, Blakley has never publicly said he feels obliged to support any of Kennedy’s program. Agree on Cuba Both candidates did agree on one policy matter this week, which is that the U.S. should adhere rigidly to the Monroe Doctrine in working out the Cuban problem. Blakley suggested that arm shipments from Russia and other communist countries to Cuba be blocked. Tower said he still hadn’t become familiar enough with the John Birch Society to pass judgment. Blakley, back in Dallas polishing; up the silverware for the Waco shindig, said he feels that the recession is past, that the bleak business trend had been reversed by loosening up the tight money policy fixed by the last administration. Conservative Democrats, concerned over the growing avoidvoting feeling among many moderates and more liberal Democratswhen a big turnout at the polls ‘improves Blakley’s odds have tentatively set May 10 as the date for meeting at the Driskill Hotel in Austin for a “unity” banquet. Gov. Price Daniel, who appointed Blakley to the interim post, will be host. Honor guests will be Byron Skelton, national committeeman, Hilda Weinert, national committeewoman, both of whom already announced support for Blakley, and all members of the legislature, many of whom already are wearing Blakley buttons. Skelton, appraising the runoff, said: “Republicans voted for TowDemocrats had so many in the race they cut each other up. But the fact remains that the great majority of the votes were cast ‘Country’ Lane Shows Balky Filibuster Talent “I appreciate reasonable politicians, but I relish obstinate ones.”Heywood Broun AUSTIN Sam Lane was right : big brother did seem “just a bit combative.” There Wardlow stood, propping himself cockily against the brass railing, squinting across the Senate chamber at his rival of the hour, and drawling out an analogy with all the cornpone bitterness that made him famous as a prosecutor in deep northeast Texas. “Jus’ like a man down home I saw. Havin’ a revival meetin’, and you know how they get to jumpin’ up and down and hoppin’ around the church when they get all worked up. He was jumpin’ something extra, and all of a sudden he yells, ‘Hey! Get on my back, jus’ get on my back, and we’ll be on our way to heaven!’ “That’s what Baker says. Jus’ get on Houston College’s back and get four years of education and you’ll never have to work again.” Houston’s Senator Robert Baker, face flushed by the badgering, broke in to complain that it is a university, not a college, but his tormentor, filibustering Wardlow Lane, rolled relentlessly on: “The thing that has ruined more people is saying, ‘I want my boy to get a four year college education so he won’t have to work like his poppa and mama worked. The quickest way to collapse higher education is to carry it to the front door of everybody in Texas by building a college at every crossroads. “Oh, there’s no doubt that that college in Houston is a good school. They teach everything from auto mechanics to how to dress hair. Oh, it’s a good school. It’s a good school for youngsters to go to who’ve been at these high schools where they teach you everything from how to dress for a date to the sex life of a junebug. “We admit this Houston school and then we go on admitting one school after another to our state system, and first thing you know, all we’ll have is a bunch of de Bob Sherrill gree mills, where you can get a degree if you can just breathe.” Versus Ben And on and on. Sometimes he changed his rhetorical style: falling into a fighting crouch, raising his voice to a window-rattling roar, and pounding at the air with a clinched fist like a revival minister. Frequently he was spelled at length by Sens. Bill Moore of Bryan and Hubert Hudson of Brownsville, who shared equal space with Lane in the adamant nucleus of opposition. But since any filibuster must survive on a type of amiable orneriness, clearly the tough little senator from Center, now in his twentieth year in the Senate, was the key man. It wasn’t his first filibuster, and it certainly wasn’t his first fight. This time Lane was bucking none other than the old gray hawk himself, Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey, who recentlyor so the bill’s opponents claimhad “got the word” from certain Houston residents to “let the bill through.” There is outward evidence that something indeed has brought about an extraordinary change of climate in the Senate. A month ago, Baker could muster no more than 14 votes in UH’s behalf. Only two weeks ago, backers of the bill were banking primarily on a quickie voteat some moment when their side temporarily held vote domination. But suddenly Baker finds it easy to swing the necessary twothirds vote to bring his bill to the floor, and it is apparent that only a protracted filibuster can possibly hold back what was accomplished much more smoothly in the House. Ramsey and Lane are friends and, what makes them even closer, both know how to play the same game of nerve-pinching politics. But Lane is far from being Ramsey’s “man,” in the medieval sense. “Course I know he’s got a bunch of friends in Houston who are pulling for this bill,” Lane told the Observer, “and he’d like me to call off the dogs.” He paused and smiled. “But I’m not liable to.” Most Vicious Lane’s smile, indicative of his whole career, is done mostly with the lower lip, which juts, slightly and emphasizes his broad underslung jaw, which in turn emphasizes his colorful obstinacy. As Lane puts it, “If I get it set in my head one way, that’s the way she goes.” Up in Shelby County, where Lane has lived all his life and which is as far east as you can
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