OBI NM 9714ditant 5i 9hter Jlo. it Once U.Ici “Now Here’s a REAL BROAD-Based Tax” s* * The Wardlow Lane Stage THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7,209w, FUTURA PRESSsc Now that the House is on the verge of passing some sad and sulking com will go to Wardlow Lane, who spawned the Senate version of HB 334 and could very well emerge with a similar monstrosity this time. Texans would be well-advised to watch closely Wardlow’s peregrinations. What would he do with a $5 deductible? Even more interesting, how might he treat the gas pipeline tax ? Those of us familiar with Mr. Lane have a fairly good idea. But will the more modest and less impregnable of those noble solonsall, alas, up for re-election next springhave the courage to buck the rural generalissimo and fight for a Etax bill worthy of the people who elected them? The talk, of course, has again come around to Wardlow, and undoubtedly he is enjoying every sweet moment of it. If anything can be said to surpass his flourishing, monumental ego, it is his curious power over the chamber in which he has thrived. Over there he is in a class by himself. Hardeman, for all his good and great loyalties, is clearly the lesser of the two. Parkhouse is a sideshow barker in contrast, Weinert a crossroads tonic salesman. But Wardlow is a man of towering ability; his quick intelligence has never been very well disguised behind all the East Texas cornpone. He has created his own private mythologyLittle Thump, the Cox Sisters, and the rest 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. JULY 22, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor and we are told that the jokes he told while sabotaging the conference be around; under other and more noble circumstances one could picture him as a bosom pal of Frank Dobie or the late Roy Bedichek. Back in the ‘forties, they say, he was the young man of deep compassion, a militant fighter and defender of those things more often than not deemed controversial. Often standing alone against the witch-hunting and the labor-baiting in that jaded green chamber, he was a battler against the odds, a spry needler of Tory smugness, A dedicated foe of pompous potbellies. “He was a pleasure to watch back in those days,” one capitol oldtimer remembers. “Why, the Senate was twice as God-awful as it is now. If you knew anything about what was going on, you knew Wardlow Lane was over there pluggin’ for the people.” That wasn’t too long ago, but in the strange twists and stretches of political time, when in a decade young men have been known to change totally and irrevocably, ten years or so was a vast eon for Wardlow Lane. What elements went into that subtle chemistry of response and reaction, giving us now the hardened political practitioner who guts appropriations with accompanying belly-laughs, embraces grotesque tax bills and diverse vindictive schemes as a young man embraces his dreams 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, 4191/2 Lovett Blvd., Houston 6, Texas. of charity and renown ? Whatever they were, in an anachronistic cham of reaction and defeat. “Ain’t nobody gonna gin me around,” he tells Olen Clements of the Chronicle. And he adds : “Me and Allan Shivers had never been too friendly in the Senate, but he turned out to be a better friend than I thought. He helped me get some folks together and elect me president protem of the Senate. He kinda ginned me around to being governor.” He never quite made governor in any permanent way, but he made brute power. It is that kind of power he has now, and perhaps it is that kind he most enjoys. People pass along his tales. He is a man to be reckoned with on any matter. Young men in the capitol know who Wardlow Lane is. He is symbol and substance of the Texas political phenomenon, as indigenous as pine trees and drawls deepened and made sonorous with overnight power. His. Cadillac, his Thunderbird, his foreign sports car are also part of the phenomenon. They embellish the image, dab it in the , bright impressionistic colors that make it real. And when he says, “I can’t complain. Some folks say I’m running with the rich folks, the oil, gas, and insurance people ; other folks say I’m running with the poor folks, the liberals and labor”this too is part and parcel of the phenomenon, we somehow expect the words to be said. A true understanding of what lies hidden under the frolicking boondocks exterior would also, one senses, bring a truer and more abiding understanding of the culture we have made here for ourselves : its hopes, it failures and tragedies. As we move closer to the Lane stage of the session, perhaps there will be moments for him, unnoticed by all: a glance out the window to the broad old trees on the lawn, a vague memory of time gone and how it once was. W.M. Reform Asked In Party Fees For Elections AUSTIN One of the weirdest aspects of the crazy Texas election pattern is that it costs $2,250 to file for congressman in Dallas in the Democratic primary and only $50 to file for U.S. senator in a special statewide election. Candidates for the special congressional election in San Antonio this fall can get on the ballot for only $5, but to run for re-nomination next spring will cost more than $2,000. Many Texans do not know that the Democratic primary is run by the party itself, with the candidates paying for all costs through filing fees. The theory of the party-paid primary, of course, was that the party would exclude some voters from membership when it so chose. The whitesonly primary was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1944, and every detail of the primary procedure is set out by statute with very little left to the party except paying the bills and levying assessments. The cost of filing for office is excessively high in Texasdue solely to the party-paid primary and as a result candidates otherwise qualified are reluctant to enter. In contrast was the spectacle of 70 candidates paying only $50 to clutter up the special Senate race. Southeastern states require these fees : Alabama, 2 percent of annual Arkansas, $750 \(with 50 percent re$50; North Carolina, 1 percent of sallina fees are left to state committees. Southwestern states : Oklahoma, $100 \(returnable if candidate receives $50 ; Kansas, 1 percent of salary of $100. C ONNECTICUT has the most unique and interesting procedure. Candidates are nominated by party conventions and are placed on the primary ballot without fee. An aspirant for an office who received as much as 20 percent of the delegate vote at the convention may file in the primary by paying 5 percent of the annual salary filing fee, which is returned if the person gets as much as 15 percent of the primary vote. Michigan requires $100, which is returned to the winner and the runnerup. Kentucky is in the bargain basement with a filing fee of $1. Proposals for electoral reform in Texas have been broadly debated and a special interim study group is now examining the code to make needed proposals. A state-paid primary in Texas would allow the filing fees for office to be reduced to a more reasonable figure. At the same time, a reasonable filing fee to discourage frivolous candidates is appropriate. A filing fee of one percent of the salary for the term to which the candidate seeks election, which would be refunded to all candidates securing 10 percent of the vote, would at least discourage the joy riders and the cranks. One percent of a two-year congressional term salary would be $450 and for a six-year Senate term, $1,350. If the primary and general election costs would both be paid from tax revenue, there would be no problem in refunding these fees to the candidates who collected 10 percent. The Senate race in April would have been reduced to the six major contenders, or perhaps even fewer. This basic reform of the nomination and election process is long overdue in Texas. DON ELLINGER promise, perhaps a $5 deductible tax committee during the regular ber that exists as a kind of crude sales tax, the tax question may soon session should be set down in some caricature of a 19th Century Euro go to the Senate. In other words, it anthology. He is a pleasant fellow to pean Diet, he has become a symbol
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