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There Was Consternation in the Blakley Camp as the Election Returns Came In Thoughts on the Birchers Shifting Arena 5he 5i9ht Regirto The tax question now goes to the people. In phrases often reminiscent of Hogg and Allred, Gov. Daniel this week , carried his case against the sales tax, against “the lobbyists who swarm in the corridors and get legislators to run their errands,” to the average voters and citizens of the state. He presented the issues at stake clearly and forcibly ; we trust he will make his appeal often in the interim between sessions. The people of Texas must know, and the governor is the man who must tell them, that a well-heeled, tightly-organized lobbying group that presumes to call itself a “citizens” organization has exploited every technique known to public relations to get a sales tax ; that their two top workers are receiving $45,000 for what they call “civic work” in this. legislature; that the Eastern oil and gas companies and inter-state corporations have worked as seldom before to get a tax on the consumer while avoiding any new taxes whatever on themselves ; and that they have done such a whopping good job of it they almost got their tax bill, an undiluted special-interest tax bill, through both houses of the FiftySeventh. These are the facts ; any informed viewer of the Austin political scene knows the play is on, and knows also that the odds against an even moderately equitable tax measure are intolerably heavy. The Senate stuck by its guns Monday. It had saddled the people and the Texas natural gas producers and domestic Texas. businesses; it had done what was expected of it. Late Monday, while the House was in turmoil and after Hubert Hudson, that Freddie Bartholomew of the cactus circuit, had killed the Padre Island bill with a filibuster, the Senate waited until the last moments before midnight to pass the appropriations bill and the teachers’ pay raise. By that time they knew the House wasn’t going to approve their tax program. It was superb propaganda for the folks back home. 2n/1-tart o In a moment of unprecedented pressure when he knew ill-informed people might blame him for wrecking the regular session, Speaker James Turman acted responsibly and courageously this week in casting the vote that killed the Senate tax bill. His bold action should be remembered in Texas for a long time to come. He was well within his rights in casting the deciding vote when he did, as he did. Hot-tempered sophistry of the kind which bellowed forth on the House floor at the height of the controversy Monday cannot distort the intent of legislative rules which rightfully allow the presiding officer to vote in those extreme situations when his participation can make or break a fateful decision. A succession of errors on the voting machine further justified his decision to announce his ballot after the verification. Turman’s close associates knew beforehand that he was going to create the tie if necessary. He had already prepared a written statement. As the elected leader of a liberal-moderate 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 3, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie bugger, Contributing Editor It was, in fact, a very typical Senate ploy. Only a casual examination reveals that the tax bill they sent over to the House, and upon which their conferees stood adamant against additional taxes on the giant corporations most able to afford them, would net $341 million for the biennium. The appropriations bill they. passed would have required $383 million over $40 million short! And now our senators, those timehonored enemies of loan shark regulation, of decent social reform, of Texas taxpayers and small Texas businesses, are making the frontpages of every newspaper in Texas, telling us that the House and the governor are against the teachers, against the old folks, against the people. Only this morning they were joined in their preposterous fulminations by one J. Edgar Wilson, alleged representative of the people of Amarillo, a kind of boondocks radical of the far right who is, most assuredly, a man after their own hearts. The fight is on ; there will be others to join the happy parade. The people of Texas, through letters and telegrams and personal contact with their legislators, must do all within their power to firm up and enlarge the Daniel-Turman-Houseanti-sales tax coalition during the interim before July 10. What will be needed, and needed desperately, is House approval of reasonably progressive tax measures. The pipelines tax, which missed by a mere three votes two weeks ago, must be passed early in the regular session. A deductible sales tax plan, with a corporate income tax attached, should be approved and sent to the Senate at the earliest chance. The people of the state should be afforded the fine opportunity of seeing the Senate detach that corporate income tax from that sales tax, deep-freeze that pipelines tax, and start once more down the same old route. That will be the day that the pressure mounts and the fun begins. Courage coalition whose vast majority is antisales-tax, Turman’s vote confirmed his earlier pledges. Far from leaving himself open to the wrath of the state, as Will Ehrle charged in a mild fit of vindictiveness, the speaker deserves the gratitude of all those citizens who expect in a tax bill something more than an -ill-disguised genuflexion toward the Congress Avenue Knights. ueition While House liberals last weekend were successfully engaged in thwarting the Senate-passed bill which would have made it a misdemeanor to have more than one illegitimate child and would have curtailed welfare payments, one House member pointedly observed : “This bill takes care of the natural bastards. What about the self-made ones?” Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 419 1,4 Lovett Blvd., Houston 6, Texas. In Houston, where John Birchers are said to be more troublesome this year than both the moscae dom.esticae and their cousins, the moscae culcidae, Rabbi Robert I. Kahn of Temple Emanu El made these excerpted comments in a sermon last Sunday: HOUSTON Is membership in the John Birch Society the best available outlet for frustrated Americans ? Is this the best way to fight communism? Is this the best a`venue for the expression of conservative political views? Are the Society’s methods in consonance with American traditions ? “Communism,” says Robert Welch “is an octapus whose central brain is in Moscow and whose tentacles, or agents, are all over the world seeking to conquer or subvert the entire planet.” But Mr. Welch goes on to introduce a new theory of how communism operates. He calls it “the principle of reversal.” When the communists condemn something, they may have in mind the precise opposite. They may speak against a person, an idea, an institution, to deceive free people into thinking that communism is opposed to that person, that idea, that institution, and that therefore free people should support it. For example, Mr. Welch says that the purpose of Russia’s outcry against Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago was to sell the book in America. “Already, through their stooges like Milovan Djilas, who is supposed to be in disgrace in Yugoslavia, and Boris Pasternak, who is supposed to be suffering bitter enmity of the dictators in Russia, but whose books have thus been publicized to become best sellers in America ; already through such books which gullible Americans more readily swallow as true becauseof the supposed hatred of the authors for their respective governments, tens of thousands of opinion-mold ing Americans are more and more accepting … the thesis of these books that communism itself is all right … and that all that’s wrong with it is the character of the people now running the system.” He applies this same principle to the United Nations. In Amarillo he said the Russians can count on as complete control of the United Nations as they wish. Therefore, they must sell the United States on the United Nations. This is why Khrushchev acts like an enemy of the United Nations; it is to make us think he hates it, so that we, in reaction, will support it. It is not surprising, then, that Mr. Welch should have written in 1956 that in his opinion Dwight D. Eisenhower was a dedicated conscious ,communist agent and then added the snide insult that he probably took orders from Milton Eisenhower, who was his superior in the party because he was smarter. For all the smokescreen of his television interview, Mr. Welch has never denied writing these words, and has never denied believing them. He is further convinced that both the Republican and Democratic parties are under communist control, for this is what he wrote in September of 1960 in American Opinion after the two parties had nominated their slates. “There are two possible extors controlled the nomination of the so powerful that the candidates dare not offend it by recognizing its existence. Take your choice.” Mr. Welch is paranoid. The whole world is full of conspiracy; everybody’s hand is raised against him. This is revealed not only in the radical accusations he makes but in little ways as well. In Amarillo, when the audience began, as audiences will in the duller stretches of a speech, to cough a little, he interrupted his reading to accuse them of heckling. “I know these tricks,” he said. On another occasion, when an usher was looking for a doctor to deliver an emergency message, Mr. Welch became quite perturbed until he knew what the man was about, and said, “This is a typical sneaky communist trick.” Is the John Birch Society a good channel of expression for people of conservative political views ? I am not concerned with Mr. Welch because of his advocacy of the conservative viewpoint, but rather with the context of its espousal. I have read Senator Barry Goldwater’s very eloquent statement, Conscience of a Conservative. You need not agree with all of these ideas, you may not agree with any of them, but when you read them, you have the feeling that Mr. Goldwater is still in dialogue with you, that his differences with you as well as his agreements are within the pattern of American thought, that his ideas about unions’ responsibility, or about states’ rights, or about the United Nations, are ideas based on sound thought, ideas about which men ought to debate and argue. But not .with Mr. Welch. For him the discussion is over. There is no arguing with him. His are no longer ideas; they are fanatic fears. His is no drive for an ideal, but a poorly concealed bid for personal power. There are in this nation of ours great numbers of legitimate channels for the expression of anti-communist ideas and action, legitimate channels for the expression of conservative political views. There are dozens of decent organizations led by levelheaded and loyal Americans to join and become part of which will be opposing communism and teaching true Americanism long after Mr. Welch and his John Birch Society will have passed into oblivion. E THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7c OSPODFAl u t