Page 8


Anti-Aid Measure Gets 6 6, But Fails AUSTIN A resolution which would have branded as “irresponsible” the U.S Department of Commerce’s designation of 47 Texas counties as economically depressed areas drew 66-57 approval in the Texas House this week, but fell shy of a two-thirds majority needed to -suspend the rules. Introduced by Rep. John Allen, Longview conservative, the resolution said that the “irresponsible pronouncements by the Department of Commerce as to certain counties -in Texas being economically depressed areas are harmful not only to the counties involved but also to the United .States as a whole.” Sena Ralph Yarborough disclosed the list of Texas counties last week. Forty-two of them are in East Texas. They will be eligible for assistance under the area redevelopment act. Allen charged that the designation of depressed area “does a great deal of harm to the people of our area. We object to any announcement of this kind.” Metropolitan Longview and Gregg Counties, he said, rank third in the state in retail sales per household, and employment, salaries, and wages are at record highs. He quoted the Longview Journal: “For Washington to brand Gregg County before the nation as an economically depressed area is not only a gross error but a miscarriage of justice bordering on slander.” Allen also quoted R. W. Kurth Jr., vice-president of the Lufkin National Bank and C. P. Trout, vice-president of the Lufkin Foundry and Machine Company, who were critical of the Department of Commerce pronouncement. The resolution drew the wrath of Charles Wilson, liberal from Trinity, who said, “I’d like to ‘go on record saying Trinity County wants all the aid it can get. This is a rather hurried resolution drafted to satisfy the conservative and Republican newspaper editors in East Texas. “Anybody who thinks Trinity County isn’t depressed,” Wilson charged, “I invite ’em to come home with me and see. The only income we have left over there is from liquor and welfare checks.” The resolution, he said, would fail to take into account “the suffering of people in districts like mine.” It would “follow the policy Texas has had for years, saying it’s against federal aid and then taking all it can get.” Joe Chapman, Sulphur Springs, defending the resolution, argued that in northeast Texas, “our bank deposits are the highest in history, income per capita and postal deposits are the highest in history. It’s a local situation for usand we consider it an insult .” Byron Tunnell, conservative from Tyler, advised federal agencies to gather more “facts and figures,” and asked Wilson: “Do you know Smith County has more money per square inch than anywhere in the country?” “Maybe all that money’s in a few pockets, Byron,” Wilson rejoined. “This only applies to certain counties,” Tunnell replied. “All we’re doing is chastizing them for not getting the facts and figures.” Roy Harrington, Port Arthur liberal, said the word “irresponsible” in the resolution was illadvised and that the federal government had conducted hearings all over the country. “When you go looking at bank finances, you don’t get the whole picture,” he added. “To these unemployed people, these are depressed areas.” The 66 who voted for the resolution: Adams, Lubbock; Adams, Mt. Pleasant; Allen, Longview; Andrews, Aransas Pass; Atwell, Dallas; Banfield, Rosenberg; Barnes, DeLeon; Blaine, El Paso; Boysen, Yoakum; Bridges, Corpus Christi; Butler, Kenedy; Chapman, Sulphur Springs; Cole, Greenville; ‘Connell, Wichita Falls; Cory, Victoria; Cotten, Weatherford; Cowles, Hallsville; Crain, Ringgold; Crews, Conroe; De la Garza, Mission; Duff, Ferris; Ehrle, Childress; Fairchild, Center; Fletcher, Luling; Floyd, Houston. Foreman, Austin; Garrison, Houston; Gibbens, Breckenridge; Grover, Houston; Hale, Corpus Christi; Harding, San Angelo; Neatly, Paducah; Hinson, Mineola; Hollowell, Grand Saline; Hughes, Dallas; Isaacks, El Paso; Jamison, Denton; Johnson, Dallas; Jones, Dallas; Latimer, Abilene; LaValle, Texas City; Leaverton, Evant; Lewis, Dallas; Longoria, Edinburgh; McGregor, Waco; Miller, Houston. Mutscher, Brenham; Parsons, Henderson; Pearcy, Temple; Petty, Levelland; Preston, Paris; Price, Frankston; Rapp, Raymondville; Ratliff, Dallas; Read, Big Spring; Roberts, Lamesa; Rosson, Snyder; Schram, Taylor; Shannon, Fort Worth; Slider, Naples; Smith, San Antonio; Thurman, Anson; Tunnell, Tyler; Watson, Mart; Wilson, Amarillo; Woods, Waco. W. M. Speculation on Taxes ed the Senate tax on the last night of the regular session and passed to engrossment by the same margin the $5 deductible sales tax in the Sandahl Substitute last week. \(Final approval of the compro7m 1i -semeasure Saturday was 5u Liberals and moderates in the House already are drumming for a second called session. They reason at this stage that the best they may get from the Senate will be the sales tax as included in old HB 334 and perhaps the Eckhardt pipeline tax. In another session, they believe, they will benefit from the growing pressure to meet the September 1 fiscal deadline and coax from the upper house a less regressive tax package. If the Senate again dumps the straight sales tax into the lap of the House, will the tight anti-sales-tax majority hold up under the pressure to concur? This is the crucial question, and it may not be answered until the dying hours of the session as before. The Senate could hold up a tax bill until late this week, which would mean another “take it or leave it” proposition. Conflicting estimates on the total revenue yield of the Sandahl package have clouded the picture considerably. Originally, proponents had said it would raise $328 million of the needed $360 million. The comptroller, however, says $254 million, the Texas Research League $298.7 \(Continued on Won’t Be Bullied, Independents Say Headlines this week in the Texas news: “Reorganization of Texas Labor’s COPE Is Seen,” “FBI Reports 135 Killings Last Year,” “Wilson Calls for Parole and Probation,” “Texas’ 36th Faces Call,” “Daniel Commutes Maggie Morgan’s Death Sentence,” “Blakley Gives Over $100 Million to Foundation,” “Anti-Aid Plan Discussed.” A “sweeping re-organization” of Texas labor’s political arm, COPE, will be sought at the annual state AFL-CIO convention in Galveston beginning Monday. Proposals will be made to increase COPE’s seven-member executive board and its 100-member committee. Another controversy, the rivalry between President Hank Brown and Secretary-Treasurer Fred Schmidt, will be waged before 1,000 delegates representing nearly 1,100 member organizations. Speakers will include: Sen. Ralph Yarborough; Archbishop Robert E. Lucey of San Antonio; Jerry Holleman, former state president and now assistant U. S. secretary of labor; James ‘McDivvitt, national COPE director; Alex Dickie, president of the Texas Farmers Union. The FBI reported Houston’s murder ratethere were 135 more, no additional tax would apply. “The measure is now before the Senate,” the memorandum continued, “where, unfortunately, prior measures including a tax on gas pipelines have been converted into increased taxes on producers and royalty owners.” The statement concluded: “We in TIPRO have no real choice but to fight for those we represent.” Another instance of the growing belligerence of the independents came this week in the Senate finance committee hearings on the House-passed tax package. No independents appeared at the hearing before the House tax panel two weeks ago on the Eckhardt measure. This time John Davenport, TIPRO counsel, testified. When Sen. Grady Hazlewood of Amarillo stated that if the bill did not exempt the small gasoline plants it would be “murderous,” Davenport replied: “Speaking of murder, I thought a production tax would be premeditated murder. If something isn’t done to take care of the small gas plant, that’s only murder without malice.” One of the most interesting questions making the capitol rounds this week was, “What is the Senate going to do about the gas tax?” Early this week it was being freely rumored on the Senate side that the pipelines tax would stay inas part of a package that would include a straight sales tax. But later, one senator who is very much a part of the “team” said it wasn’t going to make it. The Senate finance committee has its choice of either making the tax smaller, throwing it out entirely, or inserting some unconstitutional sections. Two years ago a number of amendments to the governor’s severance beneficiary tax, several of them considered unconstitutional, were carried on the floor. Sen. Crawford Martin of Hillsboro later succeeded in’ having all but two of them erased. There is, of course, one further choice: substituting a production tax. in Harris Countywas more than double the national average of 5.1 homicides per 100,000 population. The city rose from seventh to sixth in total number of murders. Fort Worth, however, registered the highest rate in the state. Dallas was third, followed by Austin and San Antonio. Overall, the Texas murder rate was 8.7. Atty. Gen. Will Wilson said he favors a “rapid extension of home probation and parole” to reverse the accelerating crime rate. Gov. Price Daniel commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of. Maggie Morgan, involved in the murder-for-hire Selby case in Houston. She would have been the first woman in Texas history to die in the electric chair. Joseph F. Selby, husband of the murdered woman, and Clarence Collins, the triggerman, had previously gotten life. A warm Dallas welcome was given delegations from Mississippi and Louisiana seeking to form a Southern Municipal Association to fight federal aid to education. Twelve mayors from Dallas, Fort Worth, and nearby towns expressed approval. Said Dallas Mayor Earl Cabell: “It’s refreshing to me to see an organization to stop handouts rather than encourage them.” Retainer Provision Included in HB 21 On Texas Lobbying \(‘order, union, or voluntary organization” to disclose under oath the sources of those retainers. An additional requirement that legislators reveal the names of those individuals, corporations, businesses, and unions which they represent as attorneys was sharply criticized by Rep. Criss Cole of Houston, who served notice he would fight it on the floor. “I tell you for sure, buddy, I’m not going to reveal my clients. That’s confidential,” Cole said. Collins told Cole he would accept floor amendments elaborating that particular clause in the bill. Other features in the proposed bill: Organizations “formed for the purpose of advocating or opposing legislation” must disclose the source of each contribution of $25 or more “and the amount thereof,” together with an itemized list of all expenditures in excess of $25. Campaign contributions that are received or debts of any candidate that are assumed or paid by others at any time must be reported. Lobbyists registering under the bill must disclose twice each month during a legislative session and on June 1 and January 1 during legislative interims “all expenditures for the purpose of direct communication.” The report must show in detail “the persons to whom such expenditures are made.” Violators will be guilty of a felony, with punishments of not less than $5,000 or two years imprisonment, or both. The section on disclosure of retainers was chiefly instigated by H. G. Wells of Tulia, Joe Cannon of Mexia, and Paul Floyd of Houston. “If we’re going to pass strict lobby control laws,” Floyd said, “we should pass a stricter code of ethics for the legislature to abide by also. There are some members of the legislature who are, unfortunately, on retainers, and represent, as attorneys, various organizations.” Gov. Price Daniel, with some barbed comments about the Citiiens for a Sales Tax organization, included increased lobby controls in his special session call. Collins, however, says the bill is his and not the governor’s. “This bill will broaden the scope of the present law and bring in a lot of organizations not presently covered,” Collins said. Not included in the subcommittee substitute was the provision in the original bill prohibiting calling members off the floor for consultation “without their prior consent.” Mullen described that requirement as “unrealistic.” Alonzo Jamison of Denton objected to the $25 contribution disclosure in the measure. “I think you can go overboard on how much people contribute to an organization,” he said. “The purpose is to determine who the people speak for,” Wells replied. And Collins added: “The people with the most money speak loudest.” Rep. Jim Markgraf of Scurry said he would offer a floor amendment defining retainer as payment for “services rendered or to be rendered.” This, he said, “will bring in legislators other than attorneys.” ‘Sen. Babe Schwartz is sponsoring similar legislation in the Senate. W. M. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 July 29, 1961 Texas independents, apparently angered by Senate passage of a flat production tax increase during the regular session, had announced their intention not to oppose the Eckhardt bill in a statewide meeting in Austin July 19. They were addressed by Speaker