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11/2-Mile Limit Senator Shorty Wower, Republican from a large state situated in the Southwest, today came out for a 1 1/9-mile state park on Padre Island. Wower told reporters national parks, like the Post Office Department, are “socialistic in nature and tend to destroy individualism and the inherent dignity of man.” He said Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s 88 1A -mile national seashore area would not only discourage human dignity, but private land developers as well. Yosemite National Park, he added, “has taken one of the gravest human tolls known to man.” Wower said he favored the 11i mile state park “because the state government, even though controlled by monolithic, Washington-oriented Democratic politicians, can afford a 11/2-mile park if it sharply cuts down on its state vocational aid to disabled workers and the needy blind. The state ranks 50th and 42nd in these programs now,” Wower pointed out, “and the continued trend could very well destroy individual initiative for posterity, if not considerably longer.” The argument used by President Kennedy, Yarborough, the Senate interior and insular affairs committee, the Texas Observer, and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that an 881/2 mile national park on Padre Island would be “an asset to future generations” was also bluntly rejected by “Wower, who pointed out that “one, we cannot legislate for future generations; two, future generations would prefer a state park ; three, if my foreign policy proposals go through we may not have any future generations.” Wower, who said the very existence of the island itself depends on exhaustive development by free private interests, told these interests “not to be disheartened” by his proposal. Actually, he said, one-half a mile on each end of his proposed state park would be reserved for land developers and one-tenth of a mile in the center would be leased to a large Arizona department store concern which specializes in decorated men’s underwear. This would leave almost half of a mile for the state park “on one of the most glorious sections of the beach.” Furthermore, said Wower, he had consulted with the interested private interests and they have agreed to build their buildings on long stilts “so that future generations of sunbathers on particularly sunny days can take their beach towels and their families and relax in the cool, private .shade under the foundations and between the stilts.” Land Commissioner Jerry Padler immediately blasted the Wower proposal “for failing to protect county minerals rights in the 1 1/9-mile area. School children of the future,” Padler warned, would lose $698,589,356,209,666 in money “which is rightfully theirs and not the property of a ubiquitous state government.” Wower agreed to whittle the area down to “a reasonable maximum”three acres sandwiched between stilts and developed by Nueces County. That Issue AMONG far too many disgruntled reformers in Texas and Alabama, Virginia and Arkansas and the sovereign state of Mississippi, the clarion “Abolish the Poll Tax” has become roughly eauivalent to “Remember the Maine,” “Don’t Walk on the Grass,” or “Limit Your Wine to Two Liters a Day.” This is so becausealthough the poll tax is as criminal and as rankling as anything going in Dixielandany serious effort to ablish the monster in the five final states of the commonwealth which retain it has met with peevish cynicism, not to mention unmitigated failure. The time may be coming soon, however. In Texas Red Berry threw a poll tax referendum in for good measure during his campaign to get signatures for his race tracks, and the poll tax issue will go on both the Democratic and Republican ballots. A serious movement is underway among some of the young Turks in the Texas House to do something in dead earnest next session. Even more important, in Washington this week there were good indications that a constitutional amendment on the poll tax might come up for a vote in both houses. Democratic leader Mike Mansfield said he would seek a Senate vote shortly. Our own Henry Gonzalez has played a prominent role in these developments. Last week he testified before a judiciary subcommittee on the issue. His proposed amendment would knock out the poll tax in all elections, federal, state, and local, and in that respect it differs from the Cellar amendment \(approved by the Senate, 72-16, in elections. Gonzalez points to the well known fact that of the seven states with the perpetually loWest turnouts in voting, five are poll tax states. A two-thirds vote is required in both houses, and although the Senate is sure to send an amendment to the voters, there may be the usual snag in the House. Regardless of what happens in Washington, we would like to see a full-scale effort here in Texas in the next several months for another constitutional try. Poll tax amendments in the past have been defeated in Texas. But since then, it has been noted, Lyndon Johnson, Gov. Daniel, and the state Democratic Party have urged repeal. In the legislature itself, the sentiments of one Austin representative, who believes people should have to pay for the right to vote to help them understand its monetary value, have apparently prevailed, and the mandate has been ignored in recent sessions. David Shapiro and other members of the budding liberal Mafia in Texas point of the case of Georgia, which repealed its poll tax back in the ‘forties but still remains one of the low-vote states. We agree, however, with the veteran capitol newsman who predicts abolition would “revolutionize” Texas politics. Texas is not Georgia ; its politics are more sophisticated, more meaningful, less sluggish. Above all, Texas politics are better organized. Talk to anyone who has gone from door to door selling poll taxes in places like East Austin or San Antonio’s West Side. where often in many homes a good slice of a weekly budget is pooled so one member of a family can buy his good American birthright. Enough Snuff JOE KELLEY of Woodville, the Republican candidate for the legislature who had his picture in the Observer a few weks ago, has received two pairs of new overalls after Frank X. Tolbert wrote about him in the Dallas News the following week. A fellow from Beaumont who signed himself “G. T.” and said he once sold Kelley a car, sent Tolbert some money to forward on to the candidate for new overalls. G. T. said when he first met Kelley he took him for a boxer instead of a Republican. The mayor of Kountze in Hardin County sent Kelley, who works in the forest as a free-lance tree-cutter, a dressy blueand-white striped job. The Observer, in the meantime, has received $16.50 in miscellaneous donations for some overalls for Kelley, but since his wardrobe is now improved and be cause we want to give a boost to the Texas Republicans’ contention that they are the party of the common man down here, we plan to use the money to buy Thad ‘Hutcheson, Tad Smith. and Mrs. Dan Moody enough snuff to get them through the general election. Benton’s Style ANYONE who things political campaigning in the boondocks is an easy, tea-sipping affair should have been with us the other day when we ran into that seemingly tireless young politician Benton Musslewhite, the former SMU quarterback who is trying to eliminate John Dowdy from Congress. The meeting occurred in Shepherd, which has six grocery stores and that’s about all. We were stuck in Shepherd for a few hours, moribund from boredom, when suddenly we heard this loud racket a couple of blocks away. ,Investigating, we found Benton MusMusslewhite and his personal assistant Henry Hall. The noise at the moment came from a loudspeaker on top of their car, playing something by the Bob Wills gang. That’s the come-on. When we got there, the come-on had worked for five white farmers on one side of the street and five Negroes on the other. By the time Musslewhite started speaking, the crowd had swelled to eight Negroes and a dozen whites, and it leveled off there. Musslewhite climbed into the small U-Haul-type trailer behind his car, grabbed the micronhone, and started orating as though he were addressing a throng of thousands. He gave it everything anti-communism, pitythe-old-folks, what’s-Dowdy-done-foryou? One microphone wire was broken, and Musslewhite kept wrestling with it like Laocoon as he talked. He treated the people as more than hicks, and they responded. When he finished, the 20 clapped like 40. This was the eighth day of Musslewhite’s publicized 2,000-mile tour. He was about midway, he figured. Already he was hoarse. We asked him why he talked so long to such small crowds. “Well, it has its advantages,” he said. “By the time I get through, they know where I stand, and when I climb out of the trailer and start shaking hands with them, I don’t have to go over and over my position.” By this time, Henry Hall was going through the “crowd” with the gP 1vanized bucket hung over his arm. He had approached his task with a cheery, “Benton will’ make a panhandler out of me yet.” One old farmer didn’t use the bucket, but he slipped a $20-bill into Hall’s hand when they shook. Commented Hall: “They sure must hate Dowdy a lot.” While Musslewhite is plodding his weary way, he claims his opponent Dowdy is using his franking privileges to campaign. “He sends out form letters, ters, ostensibly about something else,” said Musslewhite, “to which he adds the postscript, ‘I sure hope I get your support in the election. I need it’.” High Octane WHEN NBC newscaster Chet Huntley, a special target these days of the Hookworm Boobs, came to Brownsville not too long ago under the sponsorship of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, he made a talk which was so unspeakably forthright it made almost every good businessman down there bristle in anger. Sen. Hubert Hudson, ours and Price Daniel’s and Ed Clark’s great and good friend, did what any red-blooded American male would do to fight back. He turned in his Texaco credit card. Political Lottery WILL WILSON is such a fickle fellow though a clean hard hitter on some of the issues that matter, we would be sorely tempted to vote for him if the circumstances were a little different. Last week, for instance, he spoke at the University of Texas. We hasten to reprint a portion of this excellent speech : “I want to deal briefly with my conflict with the regents at Texas University over the suit by several students to integrate the girls’ dormitories. The regents have attempted to kick me out of that lawsuit as attorney general and to employ lawyers who will be more amenable to their direct command. This violates the principle of checks and balances in state government. “These same regents have recently made their first move to throttle student self-expression by taking from the student body the right to elect their own student editors. There is a wind beginning to blow on the subject of the censorship of textbooks by various non-academic groups who advocate a highly partisan and biased viewpoint on such subjects as history and economics. I have the distinct impression that at least a few of the present regents here at the University will respond favorably to pressure organizations when and if they turn their attention from public school textbooks to college textbooks. “So let’s lay academic freedom out on the table again as a public issue, because it is endangered. Academic freedom to search for truth and teach honestly the limited and imperfect truth you find through search is the sine aua non of a great university the things without which it can’t exist. “We must, in Montaigne’s phrase, he ‘besotted unto liberty.’ Freedom to udy unhampered by repression, freedom to express findings and teach the truth as you see it with no fear of reprisal from those who differ, complete freedom to express yourself openly on public issues and, yes, in politics, without being firedall of these are the sine qua non of a great university. And so academic freedom for the faculty gets down to the matter of being fired for what you think or believe and to expressing your thoughts and beliefs. For the students it involves more subtle pressures. . . . “We must have minimum standards, and it is the function of the regents and administrators to set the standards and enforce them. But the standard should be a dedication to intellectual honesty. For the faculty it should be a dedication to the hard work of imaginative teaching and productive research. For the student it should be a dedication which will pace and stimulate his intellectual growth, which produces a balanced, tolerant, steady mind, and which instills a very high intellectual honesty. “It is the function of command authority in a university to weed out the intellectually dishonest, the lazy, the psychopath, and the dullboth in faculty and student body. It is the function of central authority to be the logician for each student’s climb up the mountain. “Still, inspirational teaching remains an equasion personal to each professor. It thrives in the sunshine of academic freedom, and withers in the shadow of authority. . . . “In general, I pledge that I will search out and appoint as regents men and women who are academically oriented, who can contribute to the University both talent and energy, and who appreciate the high values of academic freedom. “Our present governor has used regent appointment as a reward for his friends and supporters: He has not sought out people who can add to the colleges and universities. If some of them happen to make good regents, it is the happy chance of a political lottery. . . .”