Fair Taxation have put out a public opinion poll, the results of which are presumably to be announced sometime next week. A gathering of anti-sales taxers from throughout the state will converge on Austin Monday for a capitol demonstration in the afternoon and a rally that night at Wooldridge Park. The meeting is being sponsored by the Democratic Women’s state committee. Two crucial issues of the ses sion have been raised by Rep. Bob Eckhardt, Houston liberal. His proposed $15 million a year natural gas pipelines tax, which he has reworked and which the governor will reportedly support, and about which the education and welfare subcommittee on taxes spoke favorably in a preliminary report, could kick off a running battle reminiscent of the severance beneficiary tax fight of the last legislature. AUSTIN Stun Wood of the Austin American led his story of the Citizens’ Tax Committee’s recommendations: “The governor’s interim committee named to take up where the legislature left off on the puzzling revenue problem, Thursday left off where the legislature took up.” AN EDITORIAL 5ax Showdown: Who Are In the past several months we have witnessed here in Texas one of the mightiest special interest endeavors in our state’s history. For better or for worse, we shall see now the fruits of that work in the next four weeks. The entire moneyed community has rallied, with all the funds and forums at its disposal, behind the general sales tax. It has ‘armed a plenipotentiary group with thousands of dollars in that effort. It has hired the best lobbyists available and placed them on salaries considerably greater than that of the governor of the state. It has encouraged a phantom “grassroots” movement presumably composed of plain folks allegedly bristling for a sales tax. Its so-called citizens organization, a half-disguised front for the oil and gas and business interests, has time and again and under persistent questioning refused to reveal the extent and the sources of its funds and has yet to deny, in one instance, that one major oil company X 3 alone contributed $150,000 to its civic activities. It takes a moderately conservative governor to tell the story in such a way that it cannot be brushed aside as partisan exaggeration, and he has fully told itthe story of the sad travesty of elective government in a society in which political power emanates from the pocketbook. The political maneuverings on taxes are beginning now to take place within a ludicrously narrow context. Will the governor accept a sales tax under the name “Pennsylvania plan” if there is some token deductible on clothing? Will the sales-taxing lobbyists and their helpersHardeman, Lane, and the restbe content with the monumental compromise of a $10 deductible? Will the sales tax crowd, in all their benign concern for the people of Texas, accept as part of a sales tax bill a multi-factor franchise tax aimed at placing a fairer load on the interstate corporations? Will they forego for the nonce the tax The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, JULY 8, 1961 15c per copy Number 14 Job Lie-Detectors Becoming Popular * * More Employers Insisting Staff Take Test Tax Controversy Settles on Austin Governor’s Panel Lodges a Report AUSTIN An estimated 5,000 companies in Texas now require their employees to take periodic lie-detector tests, and the technique is steadily becoming more popular with businessmen. The estimate was made this week by Clayton Evans, coowner of Employment Advisors, one of the firms that administers the lie-detector tests. Evans’ partner, Thomas J. Devine, has predicted that “the day will come when these tests will be as accepted and as widely used as physical examinations.” Evans and Devine boast numerous testimonials from pleased employers, but it may be significant that none of the testimonials on the advertising brochure they distribute is from a worker.. What does the average worker think about being forced to take a lie test to get a job or to keep one? No opinion survey has been made. But Fred Schmidt, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, whose organization purports to speak for the rank-and-filer, said this week: “I think these lie-detector tests are a terrible invasion of privacy. They are technological snooping. Why not just drug the workers and comb their subconscious? It is as invidious as wire-tapping.” Schmidt has at hand a number of testimonials of disgust from workers who have been forced to take the tests. One reads: “The Mathes Manufacturing Company of Athens, Texas, hired the Smith Detective Agency of Dallas to come to their plant and give the test to their employees. Employees were not forced to take the test, but were told if they refused to take it they would be looked on as guilty and could be discharged. The same thing is now in process, and the report is that truck drivers and women are the bait this time. I hope something can be done about such things. Everyone should not have to answer for what two or three have done.” Another letter is from the mother of an 18-year-old boy. Some money was stolen at the company where he worked and everyone was required to take the lie-detector test. The boy became so nervous during the test that it had to be temporarily called off. The mother wrote: “The men operating the lie-detecting machine reported to his employer that the test was not conclusive and recommended that he be retained. When he went back to work the next day, he was called into the office and told that they did not want him in there any morethat he was a ‘shady customer’. “I have talked to a lawyer, feeling great damage was done to the boy, but the lawyer said all they had to say was that he was unstable and could legally let him go. . . . My boy was anxious to take another test to clear himself, but the price for an individual is $25 so that is out.” Evans contends that opposition among workers is exaggerated. “Since we have been in business, not over eight or ten people have quit rather than take the test, and that would be out of 10,000 or 15,000 workers,” he said. He concedes that his biggest problem is in introducing the machine, “mainly because of the term ‘lie-detecting test,’ ” and for that reason Evans always calls the detecting device by its technical namea polygraphand he steadfastly refers to the test itself as “a truth-verifying test.” But no amount of euphemistic treatment can alter the fact that the entire venture is built on employers’ suspicion of their hired hands’ honesty. Otis Campbell, who runs a competing lie-detecting agency, .Employe Research Service, in El Paso, said this week: “The annual cost of dishonest employes to American business is $500 million. Business failures attributable to dishonest employes amounts to more than seven per cent. There are 210 different ways known, to law enforcers by which an employee can purloin funds or merchandise.” As for workers who dislike the idea of being put to the lie test, X Brown Criticizes Springer Firing, Urges Legislation AUSTIN Angered by the firing of Rep. Ted Springer allegedly for voting against the sales tax, Texas AFL-CIO leaders said this week they will urge Gov. Price Daniel to include a “job protection bill” in the special session calendar. Springer, who normally works as a printer for the Amarillo Globe-Times-News when he is not serving in the legislature, was recently discharged by that newspaper’s publisher, multimillionaire S. B. Whittenburg. Springer had worked for the newspaper 16 years. He claims he was fired because of his vote against the sales Hank Brown, president of the state AFL-CIO group, promised that its executive board, meeting after this issue of the Observer goes to press, will take action on Springer’s dismissal. Most probable action, he said, will be to push the job protection bill introduced by Rep. Dan Struve, Campbellton, in the recent session. “The discriminatory discharge of Springer is another clear and forceful example of who the ‘labor bosses’ of Texas really are,” said Brown. “For many years bosses like S. B. Whittenburg, publisher of the Amarillo GlobeTimes-News, have been screaming about the membership of organized labor being ‘boss controlled.’ ” Brown said that any thoughtcontrol imposed by bosses in Texas comes not from labor bosses but from employers who bully workers who are not protected by union contracts. “For several years, Mr. Whittenburg has refused to sign a contract with the union printers who work for him,” said Brown. “He has taken advantage of the anti-union laws that have been enacted by legislators who have AUSTIN An embattled 57th legislature comes back to town Monday to try to unsnarl the tax deadlocks of the regular session, but at week’s end the stauncher pro-sales taxers were still showing no signs of compromise on a tax bill. Governor Price Daniel’s education and welfare committee, a special tax study group composed of his political appointees and heads of various state services, came forth with a cautious and generally non-committal pronouncement Thursday. The citizens’ panel, which was charged with the responsibility of attempting to chart some middle course, advocated “some form of retail sales taxation, whether it be general, special, limited, or selective,” and recommended either the ennsylvania-style deductible sales tax or the more undiluted sales tax as it was included in the Senate version of HB 334 during the regular session, or “a combination of both.” On other taxation, the committee reported straightforwardly that “various forms of natural gas and corporation franchise taxes have been most often suggested” as supplements. Both sides in the tax battle have been energetically testing public opinion during the fiveweek interim. The governor’s office reports that over 3,000 pieces of mail, overwhelmingly antisales tax, have been received after Daniel’s statewide television and radio appeals last month. Regional chambers of commerce have probably been the most active of all in encouraging pro-sales tax letters and petitions. State Democratic executive committee chairman J. Ed Connelly’s Citizens for JC 3C 3C 3C 54ey Jot*? they passed on Texas gas producers and approve a pipelines tax? The Austin debate rages on, and for the vast majority of Texans, we regret to say, it is a debate conceived and waged in a frosty vacuum. The time has come, as never before, for the legislators of this state to make their choice. They are either for the people or they are not ; they are either blindly for the big corporations or they are not; they are either for a sales tax, under whatever name, or they are not. It is time they faced the living issue: any shape, form, and fashion of a general sales tax hits the people unfairly. The smaller the family income, the greater the comparative burden. The larger the family income, the smaller the burden. There is absolutely no method known to man to make a sales tax non-regressive. You can talk of isolated exemptions as long and as loudly as you choose.