HES OUT, RESPOND PRICE LAS SENATORS Spears Announces GOP Eyes Congress Rolls den would fall on the interstate pipelines that are buying gas too cheaply in such areas as the Panhandle and the Permian Basin and shipping it out of Texas,” he said. Eckhardt said his tax would raise $30 million for the biennium, roughly double the amount which would have been raised by the straight production tax approved by the Senate in one of the amendments to HB 334. He said he would not object to his tax being included as part of a package plan. “For this bill to pass,” he said, “it would have to have support strong enough to show that it is not one man’s brain child.” Atwell testified in favor of a $360 million tax proposal–a modified Pennsylvania sales taxpatterned after a bill he authored in the regular session. His bill would tax at two percent all retail items with exemptions on drugs, medicine, feed, fertilizer, cigarettes and tobacco products, motor fuels, alcoholic beverages now taxed, and gas and electricity used in manufacturing. Members of the subcommittee who heard Lane, Parkhouse, Eckhardt., and Atwell were French Robertson of the Hospital Board, J. M. Odum of the Committee of College Governing Boards, Dana Williams of the Teachers Assn., Ben Wooten of North Texas State, and John McKee of the Committee on State and Local Tax Policy. The next subcommittee session was set for Monday morning. A report will be given the full council on July 6. The governor’s advisory committee last week had heard Rep. George Hinson’s compromise a two per cent general sales tax with the basic exemptions covering sales of $5 or more. To cover the money the $5 deductible would lose, Hinson proposed a potpourri of levies that included an increase in motor vehicle sales taxes, a two per cent tax on restaurant meals over $1, a 2 per cent utilities tax, a one per cent real estate transfer tax, a token severance beneficiary tax, and a one per cent revenue transfer from 1 he permanent school fund, if needed. Hinson had estimated his proposals would yield $363 million for the biennium. Meanwhile, J. Ed Connelly of Abilene, chairman of the state Democratic executive committee, announced the organization of a Citizens for Fair Taxation group to support Daniel’s tax program. Connelly, who will head the organization, said he was acting as an individual rather than as executive committee chairman, but added that the aims of the citizens’ group are “in line with the party’s platform.” The purposes of the movement, as defined by ,Connelly: “To support adequate financing Rapist Executed HUNTSVILLE James Edwards, 30, a Dallas Negro convicted of raping a white waitress, died in the electric chair Friday morning. Cheerful to the last, Edwards maintained that he had been “railroaded.” THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 June 24, 1961 of public schools and college improvements, increased teachers’ salaries, aid for the aged as provided by the Constitution and other essential states services . . . “To support a fair and equitable tax program including a natural gas pipeline tax; a franchise tax on interstate corporations on the same basis as wholly domestic corporations; an abandoned property-escheat enforcement bill; and limited sales or excise taxes that avoid taxing basic necessities such as the food, medicine, low-cost clothing, and farm supplies.” Ramsey Attacked Before a meeting of the Texas Democratic Women’s state executive committee, Don Yarborough of Houston, who ran against Ben Ramsey for lieutenant-governor last year, said he can “prove that Ramsey is the true power behind the movement to burden the poor of Texas with a general sales tax. “On April 6, 1960, Ramsey made a solemn and sacred promise to the people of Texas to fight against a general sales tax,” Yarborough said. “But I can, and will, prove that even as his lips were still warm with that pledge . . . his mind was working on a plan to violate that pledge and his heart was cold to the added burden it would place on working people, small merchants, and farmers already struggling to meet more than their share of Texas taxes. “He has kept his promises to his lobbyist cronies instead,” Yan7 borough c h a r g e d, “and has brought all his power to bear on the other side.” Two other organizations, the North Dallas Democratic Women’s Club and the Tarrant County Democratic Organizing Committee, have resolved against a ‘general sales tax. The Tarrant group, after hearing speeches from five Tarrant County legislators, passed a resolution criticizing “the paid lobbyists of vested interests ery of democracy and crown underprivileged families with an intolerable burden while escapin a just share for themselves” and praised Speaker James Turman for his decisive vote against the Senate tax bill. Praise for Charlie Sirs: Many thanks for the interview with my friend Rep. Charles E. Hughes, dean of the Texas House liberals. If one of his brother liberals praises Charlie, he moans about the possible dire reaction in his district. If you ignore him it is even worse, as D. B. Hardeman long ago taught him to sulk in outraged grandeur. Charlie Hughes is a great American who genuinely loves Texas, especially Mr. Sam’s congressional district like I once did Paul Kilday’s. He would make a great congressman. I hasten to assure the good people of North Texas, however, that Hughes is a free enterprising, down-to-earth liberal whose feet are squarely on the ground. He loves farm to market roads. He is a man who has a tall Texas heart. He will look you squarely in the eye. V San Antonio Rep. Franklin Spears this week announced he is in the race for Speaker of the 58th Legislature. In his letter to other House members announcing his candidacy Spears describes himself as a “moderate,” but on a majority of legislation he has usually gone with the liberals. With Spears in the running, Alonzo Jamison, who already has announced and who is also classed as a moderate, will find the going much tougher. Political Intelligence g o Or The Austin business lobby believes the Eckhardt natural gas pipelines tax, which failed in the House by three votes in the regular session and will be introduced again in the special session, is soundly constitutional, the Observer has learned. froll Preston Weatherred, lobby leader, has called a strategy meeting in Dallas next week to discuss lobby tactics at the special session. V Leading anti sales taxers are planning a rally in Austin on July 10, the first day of the special session. goof With the death this week of Olin Culberson of the Railroad Commission, speculation centers on who will be appointed to the vacancy. Culberson was generally considered friendly to the independents. A long-standing “informal arrangement” has given the majors two commissioners, the independents one. French Robertson, Abilene oilman, is being mentioned as a successor. V James A. Stillwell, Houston, new president of the Texas Good Roads Association, and Hal Woodward, Coleman highway commissioner, warned this week that the state highway system faces a crisis, mainly economic. Stillwell gave as one cause for the crisis the fact that more people are using economy cars, which means less gas consumption, which in turn means less gas tax to be spent on roads. In Washington, Scripps Howard reporter Neil Mc Neil revealed that a recent gen erous contributor to the Demo He is no dissident liberal like he says I am. He is a good guy, a fine Methodist boy, and he fits in well with suburbia. Charlie Hughes is my hero. Maury Maverick Jr., San Antonio. Not Overjoyed Sirs: Suggested headline: 8,000 Observers Elect Goldwater Junior. My joy is far from overwhelming, since I was one of those “unconscious liberals” who voted against Tower. Don Alford, 1505 Cloverleaf, Austin. Dissent Sirs: Having just read your issue of the 17th, I wish to file a possible dissent or allege some hyperbole of exaggeration in the veteran legislator’s comments on former alleged excesses. I served in the House during the sessions of 1945 and 1947 and cratic National Committee’s campaign kitty is Elmer Patman, Austin attorney who pleaded guilty and was fined $1,000 for violating federal lobby laws. He was accused of trying to pay a senator to get help for a bill that would have exempted some natural gas producers from rigorous regulations. Patman, gave the Democratic fund $700. V The national maritime strike prompted the North Texas 011 and Gas Association to wire President Kennedy an appeal to use the Taft-Hartley law to get the tankers moving again and “prevent a depressed oil economy from worsening.” V The controversial Carling Brewery Bill will become law without Gov. Daniel’s signature. The bill making the University of Houston a state-supported four-year college received his signature. V It was rumored this week that a serious administrative struggle between Texas AFL-CIO president Hank Brown and AFLCIO secretary treasurer. Fred Schmidt .will receive tentative judgement July 8 at a meeting of the state group’s executive committee in Austin. The two officials by agreement are supposed to share administration of the labor force; that is, all major decisions are supposed to be approved by both Brown and Schmidt, or else the matter goes to the executive group for arbitration. Labor people say Schmidt now charges that Brown is more and more making decisions on his own. goOr The immoderate conflict be tween Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. and residents of several rural areas in his political bailiwick this week got from ‘state Sen. Henry Gonzalez the declaration that in the next session of .the Senate legislation would be introduced to clarify ,local government authority in fixing phone rates. SW Bell wants to raise rates to 15 cents a call into San Antonio plus a $4 a month flat change. Home owners say it would make them pay from $30 to $60 a month. Businessmen say it would cost them $200 a month. vir In Maury Maverick dr.’s en dorsement of Sen. Gonzalez for the congressional seat being vacated by Paul Kilday the Dal was never offered a bribe of any kind, and I was as active in the work for or against some of the actively fought issues as anyone. Having always been against the “Automatic Continuance Law,” I refused some minor offers to sign a motion for continuancein courts where I had never appeared. That law should be repealed. During the years I was in the legislature there never were any bribe “offers out in the open”. Alleging that lobbyists are better experienced in the ways of politics than many legislators, there is slim chance of bribery being in the open without an indirect invitation for it from legislators. I also allege that the balance of equities are in favor of the escheats law and -agree with the hope it is passed in the special session. F. G. Swanson, Tyler. las News saw that “all Democratic and liberal groups in Bexar County . “have learned a lesson from John Tower” and have decided to re-unify. In Washington, Sen. John Tower, after casting his first vote against highway billboard racial issue in the South cannot be solved by “extremists on either ever runs on the GOP ticket for Kilday’s seat. V Columnist Mary McGrory reported from Washington that the defeat of Sen. Bill Blakley was welcomed by the “Back Row,” and indeed has helped unify this group of predominantly liberal Democrats. Blakley, as a freshman senator, was assigned to their back row in the chamber, but he was treated as something of an intruder. g o o0 Tad Smith, state GOP chair man, thinks his party has a good chance to pick up five or six Texas congressional seats next year, and he is especially hopeful of unseating J. T. Rutherford of Odessa. g o or U.S. Rep. Jim Wright says he doesn’t think the length of the Padre Island national park should be settled until Aerojet General decides whether or not it wants to establish a missile manufacturing base on the island. g o of Ed Harte of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times says it looks like state Rep. Ronald Bridges may run against U.S. Rep. John Young and state Rep. DeWitt Hale may try, to unseat state Sen. Bruce Reagan. AP’s Dave Cheavens de scribes Atty. Gen. Will Wil
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.