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SUBSCRIBE TO THE OBSERVER Pernicious’Ivan the Terrible *`Incorrigible’Ghengis Khan `Unrealistic’Ethelred the Unready *`Threatening’Sen. Hudson Name Address City, State Send $5.10 to: THE TEXAS OBSERVER 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas ‘I WANT TO BE A PROGRESSIVE’ Wilson Puzzled By Lack of Liberal Support of the state, as some nave charged? Wilson:”His sole tie with the oil industry so far as I know is as executor of the Sid Richardson estate.” Q.But do you think he is too closely allied to oil? Wilson:”A man has to make a living some way … that doesn’t disqualify him.” Most politicians avoid a philosophy label like the handshake of. a leper, and Wilson is no exception. He first called himself a moderate Democrat, later identi fied himself as a moderate con , servative, later agreed that if Ralph Yarborough were in the race “the bulk of my support would come from conservatives,” later reversed his field again by saying that “with the men I’ running,against, I’ll have to follow a moderate course all the way,” and wound up with a bow to the liberals: “I want to he a progressive. I have a genuine interest in the little .people of Texas and ‘the middle people of Texas.” When it. was suggested he might be -hard-pressed ‘to get much liberal support, he seemed hurt, remarked-that ‘he had done a great deal for the minorities \(“Why do you think Texas has had less desegregation trouble than any state siderable warmth denuneed people who would judge 41 politician by an artificial label rather than by his accomplishments. “Let me tell you something,” he said. “I was out fishing ‘with Jimmy Allred once and we were talking about this thing, and he said to me, You know, they say I’m a Treat liberal. I’ve never thought of myself as a Jiberar.” Why Other. Attorneys? Wilson has been in the :news recently because he has been opposing the retention of private attorneys by members of the University of Texas hoard of regents who are being sued ‘by Negro students seeking ‘a change in the dormitory and athletic segregation policies. Wilson’s position is ‘that as attorney general it is his duty to defend the regents. “were sued as individuals, they had a perfect right to pick their own lawyers. But when they are sued as offiCials of the state, the attorney general is their ttor4ney.” Q.Have you ever before ‘heard of state officials hiring their own lawyers when they, were sued as agents of the state? Wilson”Not since I’ve been in office.” Q.Have you ever heard of this being done in any other state? Wilson”No, I haven’t.” Q. Do you think that the problern was handled in this fashion at this time to embarrass you politically? Wilson”I consider it a reflection on my office.” .Do you think it was politically motivated? Wilson”I seriously doubt it.” He conceded “there are some regents who have not been supporters of mine.” Q.Did one of the regents who is not a supporter of yours suggest handling ‘the defense this way? Wilson-L”Some one told me hut I don’t knowthat McNeese Suggested hiring private attorneys.” Q.Has ‘McNeese opposed you? Wilson”He has actively opposed me.” Q.If you don’t think the motivation was political, what motivation do you see? Wilson”Well, if I had to guess this is purely a guessI would say it had something to do with the fact my position all the time is that I’ll follow the law, and that I would assert defenses that I thought were defenses” \(under such precedence as the Brown all administrative remedies. Yes, that would be my chief defense.” Q.Ln other words, some of the regents don’t think you would defend them the way they would want to be defended? Wilson -“That’s my guess.” Q.Not as attorney general, but personally, ‘what do you think of the desegregation dispute at UT? Wilson”Personally, I think the whole situation is unnecessary. They have now . . . several integrated dorms for male students and a number of completely white or segregated dorms for male students, so that the white male students have a. choice of living in either kind they want . . As a matter of avoiding trouble on this subjectand I think this might be sustained under the Brown ruling the same formula could have been set up for females. I do not try to usurp the functions of the hoard. but you asked me for my personal opinion.” He said he couldn’t understand triaization. In his county, the GOP plans to run candidates for every office. Mayor Jack Seale of Amarillo is running for Congress as a Republican, and three or four commissioners are “definitely Republican.” He “sincerely believes” there will be five Republicans elected to the House from the Panhandle this year. He has organized GOP groups in ,Pampa and Borger and has organizational dates set for Dumas and Hereford. He knows of no liberal Republicansm in the Panhandle. “Texas Republicans are conservatives first,” ‘he says. In his winning race, “I got 45 percent of ‘the vote, the widow lady who ran as an unqualified conservative Democrat got 32 percent, the candidate Who called himself a liberal ‘Democrat got 20.” Kohler would like to “help strengthen our state government so our federal government couldn’t find any area in which to crowd in.” Asked if neglect of local governments does not ‘help invite the federal government in, he said, “Perhaps so. We set a new world record of 25 people showing up for the county ‘budget ‘hearing not long ago. The most who’d ever gone.” Continuing Caucus Korkmas, a chemical engineer graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., works for Monsanto Chemical in Texas City. He ‘has been an active Republican since 1959, although he has never voted for a Democratic president. Does he ever feel he is an oddity in the House? “The newspapers probably tend to look on us more as oddities ‘than the members,” he says. “I think the issues in ‘the House separate themselves more on conservative-liberal lines than Democratic-Republican. why he hasn’t got more liberal support in the past, unless “it’s been a failure of communication.” He pointed to his record of prosecution of loan sharks, and claimed “I’ve done more ‘to raise the level of law enforcement than any other official in Texas for a long time. We fought that Beaumont suit hard. I’ve had two to five men down there for two years.” Wilson added that one of the planks in this formal platform \(to be a suggested system for getting rid of corrupt local officials more easily. He said he would advocate so met h i ng of ‘the Same procedure now used for removing district judges: by which the supreme court is mobilized to ‘appoint a dis-t riot judge from another district to study the case and to recommend action to the supreme court. He says that he and Kohler have a “continuing caucus. We’re MOM-mates.” They also spend a lot of time together researching state issues. “We feel if you don’t align a party on political lines, you’re in it only for power, and a party of power will embrace anybody to get elected. We feel that the election of a conservative Republican has far more impact on the , national Republican Party than the election of a conservative Democrat has on the national Democratic Party.” This, he says, is one of the major messages of the Texas GOP. He and Kohler have had a number of personal talks with other House members about the partisan issue. They haven’t converted anyone yet. The chief argument of the Democratic conservatives they have talked to is: “Lt’s easier to get elected as a conservative Democrat.” By his own count, how many members of the House, if ideology determined party, should ‘be Re:publican ? Korkmas points out that 68 representatives have a 70 percent or better conservative vot ng record on the voting studies. “If the parties were aligned liberal or conservative, I think a fellow with a 70 ‘percent conservative voting record would fall in the Republican Party:” For re-election, “I think I have as good a chance as anybody. The only thing anybody has against me is that I’ a Republican. I think we’ve made some real headway. There used to be a ‘time when some people were ashamed of being a Republican. Now they’re apologizing for not being a Republican. They’re saying, I’ a Democrat, ut.” Whatever action they take, that’s it. Favors Safety As for labor unions, which have complained that Texas now makes them impotent with a dozen restrictive laws, Wilson said: “With the increasing centralization of American business under national man’agemen’t, we must have strong unions if our Texas ‘people are to have a high level of prosperity. “I do not consider myself antiunion at all.” When a couple of the safety bills backed by labor and introduced by liberal legislators in the special sessionnone of which passedwere explained to Wilson \(he wasn’t familiar with He said he also wholeheartedly favored the migrant labor bills introduced in the past legislature, none of which passed, bills that would have required safety inspection of migrant transportation, labor camps, :increased compulsory school attendance. He said he opposed the continuwhich permits Mexican nationals to commute across the border to work in ‘this country ‘daily, because “they certainly pull down the earning capacity of our citizens of Latin American extraction.” Wilson has in the past got sturdy Supoprt from the ‘Latin American population in South Texas. Referring to the curent textbook controversy, of which J. There are no partisan issues in the House, he says, except on legislation dealing with election laws. “A lot of times people seem to think a ‘two-party state would swing from Democrat to Republican. But we’re not interested in party politics. We’re interested in extending panty lines along a conservative viewpoint.” CommPnting on warnings by conservative Democrats such as business lobbyist Preston Weatherred that conservatives should not “drain off” ‘into GOP primaries because that would weaken Texas conservatism, Korkmas says “the broad view dictates that a conservative person work in the Republican Party because of the impact lit would have on national politics. In a way, they’re just interested in Texas, in the narrow view. We’re taking the broader view.” He added, gesturing toward the flashing lights on the voting machine and pushing this button: “A conservative Republican vote in the House ‘is just as good as a conservative ‘Democratic vote.” B.S.; W.M. Evetts Haley is the -prime mover, Wilson said he sympathized with this group to the extent ‘that he also believes in giving local school boards more say in the selection of the textbooks they use. At present the books are chosen for the , whole state ‘by a committee of 15 educators. “I believe in decentralization,” he said. “I would favor giving the local communities all the autonomy they can have con istent with laying down minimum standards. I believe you ought ‘to give ‘them all the choice and range you can.” ‘Golden Age’ lem of education, Wilson said he would favor legislation that would prevent economic discrimination against Negro ‘schools by local boards. Since “legally there aren’t segregated schools,” it would be tricky business writing legislation protecting in-fact segregated Negro schools against this type of financial discrimination something that exists throughout East Texas–“but it could be done.” Other Wilson ideas for improving Texas education: “Start the study of foreign languages in grade school. and I sugges Spanish as one of the main ones, of course. And we ought to push educational TV, especially for the youngsters in the smaller school districts. Some of these youngsoters are having a ‘terrible time getting into the college of their choice because of inferior schooling in their backgroud.” Wilson said his overall goal in education would he to “work toward a golden age Of dynamic study, putting value on academie honor. The cultural forces, the imaginative art begun in Texas should be. acclaimed. 1 want to ‘put emphasis on developing the latent talents of the boys and girls of Texas more academic competition, state forums, that sort of thing. Just for an example, I would set aside port of the present state capitol building ‘for art exhibits for public schools. This can be ‘done without a great expenditure. It is just a matter of re-focusing. We should have at least equal focus, equal emphasis to that given sportssearching for intellectual quality, intellectual honesty.” On the Republicans: “I can’t really say I ‘favor a strong Republicn .party. But I have no delusions about that. They’re getting stronger every. day. I don’t really see that the Republicans would ,help Texas.” On ‘his own party: “The top side of the Democratic party ‘is pretty well under the control of Gov. Daniel. I would try to build it into a more cohesive party. I would want free and open conventions. The party should :be run from the bottom up, not from the top down.” THE TEXAS” OBSERVER Page 2 Jan. 26, 194 . CY37 Korkmas says he would “like to think we could get ten or fifteen Republicans in the next House from across the state.” OP Bloc in the House