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THE TEXAS OBSERVER 74Wre aff e u sst The. House Liberals Maury on Safari 5h at Other 5actor Thoughts on LBJ It is all well and good to chastise Governor Price Daniel and Speaker James Turman for events of the late lamented special session, but we would be derelict in failing to score an even more disappointing factor in that somber equation : the pessimism, demoralization, and disorganization of the liberals in the House. One must remember, of course, that even in a session which carried much promise for the liberal segment of the moderate-liberal coalition that rode to victory in January, the odds continued to weigh heavily against the reforming impulse in a legislature still shaped. and stimulated by the only enduring political institution in Austin : the lobby. Conservative policy during the session had, and will for some years continue to have, a central foundation undergirded by the experience, the power, and the easy cynicism of those denizens of the gallery. The very ability of the House liberals, in the absence of an effective tactical leader, became a disadvantage when contrasted with the generally more impoverished individual talents of those proponents of the conservative cause. Whatever one might say about the conservatives, they are team players. Most of the liberals are intelligent, articulate, highly individualistic menin a word, prima donnas. The interminable bickering of a liberal caucus could often be likened to a twilight cell meeting of Cuban exiles. Some might be satisfied with the rationale of one-party anarchy : that the lack of a viable two-party organization in a representative body creates its own disorganization. But this is simply not enough. There were men of great parliamentary resources Eckhardt, Spears, Kennard, JIM BARLOW of San Antonio is the Observer’s choice for that mythical kiss-of-death award, the outstanding freshman legislator of the Texas House of Representatives in the recent session. Barlow is a quiet fellow ; he rarely took the microphone. But he is a sharp-minded, sure-footed young man whose judgment was always reliable, whose cautious intelligence was a boon to a. liberal side that lost more often and remained more unqualifiedly pessimistic than any other group of House liberals in recent history. A diligent worker in committee, an excellent young lawyer who chose his issues carefully and fought hard for what he believed, he left the House this time with the makings of a superb leader and valuable parliamentary tactician. Halfway through the regular -session, we thought Reed Quilliam, the Lubbock conservative, was far and away the most outstanding of the new men. He is a reasonable person, with a sharp natiye intelligence which has been a genuine contribution to an institution sadly lacking in balanced brainpower. But in the end, we felt, Quilliam became too deeply committed to the diverse ploys of the conservative “team”; he lost the independent effectiveness of those early days; he became too predictable, in the context of Texas legislative conservatism, to rise very far above its tragic weaknesses. We still expect good things of him. We hope he will read some American history. There. were others. Tom Andrews, the conservative from Aransas Pass, showed much ability. Charlie Wilson, 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. AUGUST 18, 1961 EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746, Published once a week from Austin, Hughes, McGregor, Korioth and several othersmen who would be an honor and a credit to any legislative body, especially the Texas House of Representatives. The fact remains that there was no active leadership at the center. There was plenty of strategy: there was none of the legwork and elbow grease so essential to a continuing tactical fight. Absolutely no effort, for instance, was made to cultivate the inexperienced newcomers, many of whom came to Austin with open minds. The lobby, of course, did not hesitate to move in. This, of course, was the session in which the liberals came into their own in the capitol. They helped elect a speaker. They were rewarded with choice committee plums. Having just emerged from the wilderness, they were still never able to rely completely on the direction of the speaker and his chief lieutenants on the central issues of the session. These, also, were mitigating circumstances. The mistakes . of the 57th must never again be repeated. Plans should be laid immediately after the next legislature convenes. Standing cornmittees on all aspects of the legislative process should be set up in caucus. Above all, an acknowledged leader possessing the requisite energy and talents should be chosen at the start. Even now, there are disturbing reports that Byron Tunnell, the archconservative from. Tyler, has taken a commanding lead in the race for the speakership of the 58th. The liberals have been dangerously tardy in making their move. No decisions have been made; no regional committees’ have been established. The time has come to go full-scale for the man of their choice before it is too late. the liberal from Trinity, is a young man of great promise who needs political seasoning and a little maturity. Neil Caldwell, the liberal from Alvin, has an excellent future. There are several others who should be mentioned, but suffice it to cite in closing Paul Haring of Goliadthough he probably made more “mistakes” in public from the viewpoint of the hardened political craftsmen than any other freshmanas the young man with the broadest, the most imaginative, and the most understanding vision of a provincial lower house set against the larger scale than any other. Worth y pan If Gov. Daniel includes juvenile parole in the call for the fall session of the legislature, we hope all con: cerned will give an idea of Rep. Don Kennard’s the attention it deserves. Kennard, who has been the most active advocate of juvenile programs in either house, has been looking into the possibility of transferring firstoffenders and “gbod behavior” reform school youngsters to open-air work and educational supervision in six or seven of the larger state parks. Kennard has been talking over the matter with several Texans who had firsthand experience with the CCC back in the ‘thirties. He believes such a program, if well-conceived, would be good for the boys, good for the overcrowded correctional schools, and as a purely incidental result, good for the parks. Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor NEW BRAUNFELS OUR GOOD FRIEND Maury Maverick Jr., who had just returned from more civilized outposts in the alien East, where he enjoyed private audiences with every luminary from the President of the United States to the editor of Harper’s, unwound over some good fifteen-cent beer in the bar of Krause’s Cafe in New Braunfels the other night. Maury went into Vice-President Johnson’s office in the Capitol one afternoon last week to say hello to Liz Carpenter. She took him into the inner sanctum to see Lyndon. Frank Erwin, a lawyer from Austin, was also there. In the course of Maverick the talk, Maury asked Lyndon if there was anything to the gossip he was grooming John Connally to run against Ralph Yarborough in ’64. “You’re authorized to go back to Texas and tell everybody this isn’t so,” Lyndon replied. “If Connally has any ideas about this and he doesn’tit’s certainly not to my knowledge.” Maury departed a few minutes after that and was strolling down the corridor when Lyndon retrieved him. “Let’s go over to the White House,” he said. On the way over there, Maury said, “some guy in the front seat kept briefin’ Lyndon on outer space. People were always briefin’ him. Everywhere we went we were runnin’ and people were always briefin’ him as he dog-trotted.” They entered through the back door of the White House. Kennedy greeted them inside and took them to his office upstairs. Frank Erwin had accompanied them, and Johnson told Kennedy: “Maverick over there likes you, Mr. President, because he thinks you’re a liberal. Erwin here likes you because he thinks you’re conservative.” K ENNEDY was friendly and relaxed, Maury recalls, in something of a bantering mood. But in a serious vein he asked Maury what the changes might be in Southern voting habits if the poll-tax were abolished. Maury began by saying that the poll-tax isn’t as hard on the Negro anymore as on the poor white. “But it is bad,” Lyndon interrupted. Maury continued, “Sure it’s bad, but the Negro at least has organizations like the NAACP to speak for him. The poor white doesn’t have anybody. “Then Kennedy started talking about his administrationabout its successes. The economic situation is looking up, he said, the flow of gold out of the country has stopped. I told him the most popular reform he had advocated is medical care for the aged. And the President replied, ‘Keep your eye on the next session of Congress.’ ” Maury told Kennedy Bexar County “very much needs a Democratic congressman to take over for Paul Kilday, and I hope Henry Gonzalez wins.” They talked for a time about Henry ; and Congressman Joe Montoya from New Mexico, who had just been ushered into the offic e , told Kennedy about Henry’s definition of a Latin-American : “a Mexican with a poll tax.” Montoya had a newer definition : “a Mexican who uses butter on his tortilla.” After a few minutes the conference ended, and the only other thing Maury could recall about it was the three cups of black coffee Kennedy gave him free of charge. Maury spent two or three days kicking around Washington. What he heard and saw of Johnson’s vicepresidency, he said, was “very, very favorable.” “I went to Washington a Frankie Randolph man, and I left a’ Frankie Randolph man,” he said, “but watchin’ Lyndon in Washington is like watchin’ Toscanini. He handles his office superbly. You know, your have different pressures on different jobs. When he was senator from Texas, he had the pressures of Texas provincialism workin’ on him. Now it’s different. In my opinion, he’s realizin’ the great need for liberalism. “He discussed the race problem with me. He said several times he wants to make a success of the President’s committee on equal employment opportunities. I talked to the staff members of that committee, including one of Soapy Williams’ boys from Michigan. Everyone on the staff, including John McCully, said Lyndon was being forceful and cooperative. The Negroes on the staff told me the same thing. “The Texans on Capitol Hill all told me,” Maury said, “that Lyndon wants to Make peace with the liberals back home.” Maury scratched his head doubtfully and reached in his pocket to produce a letter from a close friend, a liberal associate in Austin. One passage was unerringly germane : “I do wish that Johnson was as interested in Texas liberals as he seems to be in northern liberals. While he seems more than willing to do personal favors for Texas liberals, I still see no evidence that he will help them politically or that he really wants their help at all.” “You know,” Maury said, “Johnson has broken my heart a thousand times. I needed his help in the McCarthy days when I was in the legislature and I couldn’t find him. His Ed Clarks aren’t my cup of tea. But he may be goin’ back to the Lyndon Johnson of his youth,. I don’t know.” M AURY said he talked with newsmen who had followed Johnson in Africa. “They told me Johnson worked the crowds like a Texas barbeque. He’d head straight to the slums to shake hands. He was even shakin’ hands with some lepers when the doctors warned him not to.” When he went out to Griffith Stadium a couple , of weeks ago, “the Negroes in the bleachers whooped and hollered and. shouted. “He’s really one of the most magnificent politicians in Washington today,.” Maury said, “whatever you think of him. And everyone in Washington tells me he’s all for the Kennedy administration. You know, Jimmy Roosevelt told me the other day, ‘My old man really loved Johnson.’ I wanted to go out and drink a lot of whiskey and cry like hell when I heard that.” W.M. Item Odilia Jacques in San Antonio’s La Prensa: Hungry children stare hopelessly into the face of death ; their little bodies shriveled to resemble miniature skeletons. This stark description is not common in seemingly modern and abundant San Antonio, but it prevails noticeably. Every month, with a frequent consistency, doctors at Robert B. Green hospital treat the dried-up forms of starving youngsters. And while in some cases malnutrition is secondary. to diarrhea, in others starvation comes because parents do not have money to buy something to eat. The food that they can get from government surplus is, in many cases, inadequate. One Green hospital aid probed the problem : “Walking through the pediatrics ward of the hospital makes one think about the parents of such children, about the hundred and one community chest and church welfare agen-cies, about all the people who somehow must have seen a baby dying of hunger, and why someone didn’t do something about it before a three or four-pound baby got down to four pounds.”