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PUBLISHER DENIES SPRINGER CHARGE NO ROOM IN PRISON, NO HELP ON PAROLE cold right there. “If he was going to establish this policy,” Springer said, “he should at least have told me before I ran for re-election last year or have let me serve out my term.” Whittenburg told the Observer he had not informed Springer of the new policy before he ran for re-election because that policy had not been set until March of this year. “We announced it then,” he said. “We realized we needed this kind of policy for a long time.” When the employee at the television station had said he wanted to run for the city commission, Whittenburg said, “we told him we just couldn’t do an objective job of reporting if our employees were in elective office.” Had he contacted Springer about the change in policy after it was established? “No, I didn’t feel like calling him in the middle of the session,” Whittenburg said. Why did he wait? “I reckon I just hesitated to tell him right during the session.” Whittenburg said he told Springer “he could go ahead and work between sessions and that the policy would affect him after the legislature. But he said he’d rather have a clean break now.” He said his papers have not taken a stand on the sales tax. “Personally,” he added, “I believe the sales tax is the only solution.” Does he see any question of fairness involved in giving Springer such a choice in the middle of a tax fight? “I don’t know if it breaks on clear lines,” he said. “A lot of times it gets into grey rather than black or white. It wasn’t an easy thing to do. I don’t know about it being fair, but to be consistent in principle we had to apply the policy to all our employees.” “I didn’t think I was going to run for the House again,” Springer said, “but since this ultimatum I’ve decided I will. I told him I’d decided not to run, but now you’ve forced my hand and I’m going to. “They’d always encouraged their people to get into politics until they found they couldn’t defeat me,” he said. “He’s using this excuse about a new policy to get rid of me.” What will he do now for employment? “I don’t know,” Springer said. “I’ve been offered two or three outside printing. I’m 48 years old. I’ve worked 16 years for that paper. It’s pretty hard to get another good job when you’re 48.” Springer said reaction in Amarillo “has been very favorable. The people I’ve talked to see what’s behind itit’s just a political play.” The text of Springer’s statement issued in Austin: I have come to Austin so that I * * `FLAGRANT AUSTIN Rep. Bob Eckhardt of Houston, who will seek legislation in the special session establishing a House committee on free speech, statement this week citing the Springer case as “another example of infringement of free speech.” “This is such a flagrant violation of the whole concept of the independence and civic responsibility of an elected legislator,” the statement said, “such a humiliation to the whole concept of representative government, that House members on both sides of the tax issue should rally could make a direct appeal to. the members of the Capitol press in order that they, in turn, will let the people of Texas know what kind of pressure the sales taxers are using to get a general sales tax passed. I was fired from my job because of my vote against the sales tax. I have been employed by the Amarillo Globe-Times-News since 1945 as a printer in the composing room. In 1956, I was elected State Representative of the 94th Flotorial District. My employer has never supported my candidacy. In fact, it has editorially endorsed my opponents in every race. On June 6, 1961, upon returning from Austin I went to the Amarillo Globe-Times building to visit and to make arrangements for working some while waiting for the special session. This has been the usual procedure for the last five years. But on this date, Mr. S. B. Whittenburg called me into his office. He said that the company has instituted a new policy whereby no employee of the newspaper or the TV Or the radio station would be permitted to hold public office. He demanded that I resign as a State Representative. My alternative was to be fired. In our discussion at the time, Mr. Whittenburg said that he did not believe it was a good policy to allow employees of the news medias to serve in public office as these medias “could not report objectively.” I told Mr. Whittenburg that I could understand him setting such a policy prior to my running for re-election last fall, or at the completion of my term, but that this ultimatum came in the middle of an important legislative battle when one or two votes make the difference. Of course, I told him I would not resign from my public trust while this sales tax batle was going on. He then told me I could consider myself no longer employed by his newspaper. I told him that his action was intimidation and undue pressure and that I felt his action stemmed from my votes on the tax issues. This newspaper has given no news of the termination of my employment. This corporation owns all newspapers in Amarillo, Lubbock, Borger, and owns an interest in the Plainview newspaper. For this reason I have not been able to get my story to the public. I have been a good and faithful employee of this newspaper for 16 years. I have tried to serve the interests of the people in my district for the last 5 years. Considering these things, it is my belief that the people of Texas will resent such highhanded action. Texans should know the extent to which the sales taxers are going in their drive to get a general sales tax bill passed. * * VIOLATION’ behind their fellow representative as they did behind Rep. Tommy Shannon of Fort Worth in an earlier violation of legislative free speech and action.” The Shannon case kicked up a statewide furor and the entire House backed the Fort Worth representative after his membership was dropped in a Baptist church when he voted for the Carling’s brewery bill. Eckhardt said he has conferred with Speaker James Turman and was told that a simple House resolution asking for such a committee could be introduced in the special session. Committee Gets Report Next Week ually realizing that a sales tax must be part of the solution.” He said he thought Texans would accept a sales tax “if they believe it is equitably applied.” He said he favored a corporate profits tax and some form of natural gas pipelines tax to accompany a sales tax. He charged that the Senate tax bill benefits the big lobbyists, the pipelines, and the big corporations. “There was no compromise in HB 334,” he said. “It was absurd, and I considered it an insult to myself as a member of the conference committee and to my people in East Texas. ” He predicted the Senate would stand adamant on HB 334, however. Rep. Reed Quilliam of Lubbock advised, “Let’s not pull the wool over the people’s eyes with misleading names and side issues. Let’s clear away the smoke screen of talk about taxing Bibles and beer, about lobbyists, and about trips to Hawaii.” Defending HB 334, he said “for many staunch conservatives it was a compromise” and he defended the sales tax amendment as “highly equitable. He said it would raise the necessary amount of moneyabout $352 for the biennium. Rep. Maco Stewart of Galveston testified in favor of a combination sales tax-corporate income tax package as “a compromise based over the long run so consumers and business will know how much they will have to carry.” His proposed corporate tax would raise $40 million a year, his sales tax $80 million. There would be exemptions on drugs, food, and children’s clothing. ‘Corporate Greed’ An article on the tax battle by Daniel, who was expected to return to Austin over the weekend, was sent out over the state wires this week by UPI. The governor let fire some of his familiar salvoes. He said any new growth tax should be levied “in accordance with ability to pay and be broad enough to include gas pipeline companies, interstate corporations, and alcoholic beverages. “Quite frankly,” he wrote, “It has become difficult for those of us against general sales taxes and state income taxes to obtain sufficient support for an alternative, because any alternative must include taxes on gas pipeline companies, interstate corporations and other special interests, as well as a special excise or sales tax on non -essential items. pressure, publicity, and power to kill every other proposal and pass only their own,’ he continued, ,’of course it will be the temporary solution, because the governor cannot veto their bill indefinitely . . . “However, a solution pressured through in this manner over, the governor’s protest and without his signature could be temporary indeed . After the people pay this tax a few months and realize that it was foisted upon them as a means of corporations escaping a fair share of the new burden, the reaction of resentment will set in, and at a special session or in the next elections the captains of corporate greed and their lieutenants will meet their Waterloo.” Elsewhere this week, Rep. Jack Woods, Waco conservative, proposed a radio-television discussion between Daniel and legislators who oppose his program. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 July 1, 1961 about troubled youngsters. Studying the statistics alone, one may see the need for reform, but the direction of the needs is not always clear. Crowded Out One thing that seems most apparent is that Texas juveniles are not so much paroled as they are crowded out of their prisons. When the training school for boys at Gatesville and the training school for girls at Gainesville reach capacity enrollmentwhich is almost a permanent condition and new prisoners are assigned to those schools, somebody has to be paroled, whether or not they are ready. The Texas Youth Council administration will not say that its individual parole decisions are forced upon it by overcrowded conditions, but Brewer does concede that “overcrowdedness makes a framework for decision.” He also admits that if the reformatories did not keep expanding their facilities in their losing race with the crime rate, the day could conceivably come when because of overcrowding the most hardened young criminals could be held for any corrective length of time within the reformatories. Even today the average imprisonment is only seven months at the boys’ reformatory and 10 months at the girls’. In his last yearly report, Turman admitted that these few months are frequently wasted, so far as “training” the juveniles is concerned. He wrote: “Academic and vocational training facilities were overcrowded to the point that it was virtually impossible for the Council to keep all boys occupied in constructive training programs on a full-time basis. Under these conditions it was necessary that the Council release boys from the school prematurely in order to make room for new commitments, and there was no opportunity to lengthen the stay at the school sufficiently for maximum benefit to be derived from the program provided.” The average daily population at the reformatories has more than doubled in six years. Gatesville, built to house 810 boys, is sometimes jammed with as many as 1,400. The Gainesville school, meant to house 200 girls, sometimes holds more than 300. How Satisfactory? With the young prisoners being crammed in the front door and out the back, like impersonal globs of sausage in an overburdened skin, it is striking to find on page 37 of the same yearly report that 98 per cent of the discharges are attributed to “satisfactory adjustment” while only .2 per cent are for “Done all possible with present staff and facilities.” Asked about this, Brewer said he couldn’t in good conscience make many releases for the second reason and “it’s , possible” that the staff in the reformatories know this and, to get his approvaland thereby space for incoming prisonersmark most of the requests for parole as “satisfactory adjustment.” With 34 per cent of the parolees violating their parole, most of them within the first five months of their discharge, their adjustment at some point is obviously less than “satisfactory,” and there are several reasons why the staffs of the reformatories could be forgiven for guessing wrong about it. For one thing, the staffs simply aren’t large enough. At Gatesville, there are only 18 case workers inside the walls working with the 1,400 boys. Can a ease worker, under prison conditions, get to know 70 to 80 boys well enough within a few months to pass sound judgment on their social riskability? The answer may lie in a sampling of the parole violators who were sent back during the last six months. The sample, and it may not be accurate, is of parole violators whose names start with either R, S, or T. These are the crimes for which they were returned, each crime representing a violator: truency;