The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 53 TEXAS, MARCH 30, 1962 15c per copy Number 52 AUSTIN The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Tennessee apportionment case this week could eventually prove to be one of the great legal turning points in American history, with crucial ramifications for Texas. By a 6-2 decision, with Justices Frankfurter and Harlan dissenting, the Court ruled that lower federal courts may determine whether urban voters are being discriminated against unconstitutionally in legislative apportionment. The urban-rural issue has been a major conflict in most states, including Texas, where constitutional restrictions have severely limited representation in the Senate and the House from such growing metropolitan counties as Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, a n d Bexar. The contention of the Tennessee urban voters who pressed the case was that the present apportionment in the state, which has not been revised since 1901 despite a state constitutional provision for a change every ten years, violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In his concurring opinion, Justice Stewart specified what the Court possessed jurisdiction of Seventh in a Series AUSTIN A lot of people believe 1962 will go down as the year the GOP busted up the intramural fun and games of Texas Democrats. If so, most of the credit, or blame, must go to a composite man and his female counterpart, generally referred to as The New Jay Milner Young Texas Republican. This young Texan is a political oddity for a number of reasons besides his sudden defection to the GOP camp. He is under 40 years old. He has done little or no political work before unless he worked in Sen. John Tower’s campaign last summer. He carries himself more like a Young Turk than an aloof GOP pachyderm. Put him in a room full of hu`f aned-down New Frontiersmen aad you could lose him if he didn’t speak. He is motivated, to a degree, by a frustration which has so many liberals signing on for basketweaving classes the apparently impregnable entrenchment of status quo politicians in courthouses across the state. But, when we move from his physical appearance and energy and his disgurt for the status quo politicians, his simil:it:ity to Young justifiable cause of action is stated upon which the appellants would be entitled to appropriate relief; ing to challenge the Tennessee apportionment statutes.” Although, as in the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 the Court said that the merits or lack of merits of the urban voters’ case were not considered, the ruling clearly means that when voters in a state wish to complain about their legislature’s apportionment of seats, the federal courts will hear them and determine if they are being discriminated against. By ruling that this is ‘an issue to be recognized by the federal courts, the Supreme Court has once again caused panic in states’ rights circles. Touchy Question Texas spent its passion over this problem more than a decade ago. Since then the debate has seldom risen to the level of insults and political threats. Up to that time, however, reapportionment was a touchy question. In fact from 1875, until postWorld War II reforms, all reapportionment acts , were passed only after the governor had corralled the legislature in a special session and threatened not to let them go until they had re-districted. In 1921, Gov. Pat Neff had to call two special sessions to get Turks and New Frontiersmen and liberals ends quite sharply. This new model Texas Republican is bugged most of all, not by what local and state officials do, but by the way things are handled in Washington. “We’re fed up with the imposition of conformity, of economic expediency, of active prejudice against individual independence and initiative and all the rest of the greyness spreading out from Washington.” These are the words of the executive director of the new Texas Republican party, Jim Leonard talks like the lean, energetic majority of his troops. It’s as if the rank and file created an executive director in its own image. He is 31, a college graduate, and easonably well read. He is extremely ambitious for himself and his family. He dresses well and conservatively in modified Ivy League styles. He has “made a little money” and is confident he will make a. lot more. His wife is a college graduate. He plays golf, GONZALES “The Texas Rehabilitation Center has given me a new life. It has given me self-respect independence, and once again faith in humanity. I am able to care for myself, make my own living, and drive my own car, even though I am a quadriplectic. Can your realize what these things are and what life would be without them? They are gifts that can never Willie Morris be paid for when they are given back to one who has lost them.” So wrote a former patient of a Texas hospital which is now fighting a battle for its own survival. The Gonzales Warm Springs Foundation, established through charitable donations in 1941, at first concentrated mainly on treating polio victims, and then with the discovery of Salk vaccine, devoted itself to the rehabilitation of both children and adults with disabilities ranging from strokes to’ gunshot wounds. From its beginnings it has been a nonprofit venture relying chiefly on private philanthropy. The question of its continued existence raises broader issues, of course, for Texas and the whole society. In a state particularly noted for its extremely low expenditures in the welfare field charity, in partnership with state government, meet its responsibili but not as often as he’d like nor as expertly. He is aggressive and admires the traditional Texas “rugged individualist.” He feels liberalism, as commonly defined, is now the status quo and that it “hasn’t worked.” “The new rebellion is against the conformity of attitude being imposed on us by entrenched bureaucrats,” Leonard says. “And any successful rebellion gets its drive and inspiration from the young. That’s why the Texas Republican party is the party of the young.” ‘National Fad’ Leonard, and his counterparts, are rebelling also against what one of them called “the national fad of making a sad, ridiculous figure of the man who chooses to live as comfortably as his talents will allow and who insists that it is his job to provide for the future comfort and security of his family.” One Republican, a West Texas oil man like Leonard, said: “I’m sick of being psychoanalyzed in best-seller books because I have a swimming pool in my backyard. It so happens that I like to swim; my wife likes to swim and my children like to swim. In fact, I was a. life guard in high school. Also, I can afford my pool. So, why should its presence in my yard indicate I am living a life ties to severely handicapped people who need specialized help and can’t afford it? Texas remains far behind the nation in its rehabilitation services for the disabled. There is no state hospital for rehabilitation treatment. The Center at Gonzales, even with half of its facilities closed down, contains twothirds of the hospital beds in the state devoted to this kind of coordinated treatment. Since 1959 the Gonzales hospital has been able to care for only slightly more than 50 patients, and yet it is the only rehabilitation center in the state which accepts disabled people without resources of their own. Three years ago, the Gonzales hospital reduced Its services by 50 percent because of lack of funds. A large building used primarily for the treatment of disabled children is now used for storage. The medical director there says that even if the number of stroke and accident cases were one-tenth of one percent of the actual total in Texas, “we don’t have enough beds to care for them,” and the secretary of the executive board tells the Observer “we could flood this place with people needing treatment.” Just over a month ago the executive board of the Rehabilitation Center, which has had periodic financial troubles, decided to close down the hospital and to begin efforts to establish rehabilitation facilities elsewhere in Texas. They gave the medical staff until March 15, about two weeks, to move the patients out. AUSTIN The latest statistics are now available, and Texas ranks 50th among the 50 states on per capita expenditures for vocational rehabilitation programs C. G. Fairchild, director of the vocational rehabilitation division of the Texas Education Agency, told the Observer the state could have received approximately $4.25 million in federal money available for rehabilitation programs last year, but was able to get only $2 million because matching state funds \(on a basis of 65 cents in federal money to 35 cents in state a ppropriated. The state vocational rehabilitation division, Fairchild said, pays the Gonzales rehabilitation center a per diem of $17 a day per patient for 90 days. This is the standard arrangement for all hospitals. The 1961 legislature increased state appropriations by about $85,000. “Texas has been quite slow in picking up the slack,” Fairchild said. The original federal legimla But the former patients, who have banded themselves into an association with a membership of some 3,000, were quick to protest. They asked the chance to solicit funds to keep the Center from folding. The staff of the hospital itself, from the highest ranked to the lowest, offered to go on half salary during the campaign for survival. The board rescinded its decision and set a May 1 deadline to raise $100,000. Since then there have been some encouraging developments. Gov . Price Daniel, campaigning for re-election, said he would try to get the Center some state appropriations. Fund-raising drives began in a number of towns and cities. There have been benefit bingo games and similar projects in places like Gonzales, Luling, Seguin, and Yoakum. Keith Wheatley, candidate for the Railroad Commission, came through with perhaps the biggest boost. He has given the Foundation 15-minute segments of the 30-minute statewide telecasts he has already reserved on Texas stations, a donation which amounts to something approaching $25,000. The time will be used to show a film outlining the services performed at the Center. Said Wheatley : “It would be a disgrace to Texas if the doors at Gonzales Warm Springs were closed to those who so badly need help in rehabilitation.” ‘Heart, Not Head’ The Texas Rehabilitation Center is actually located in the tiny village of Ottine, a few miles from Gonzales, in a rolling wooded area on the edge of Palmetto State Park. It is a serene and beautiful spot; the road to it off the main highway winds about under large old trees with overhanging mass. Lynn Smith, who owns the movie theater in Gonzales, is executive secretary of the Warm tion authorizing matching funds for rehabilitation programs was passed in 1920, he said, and it took Texas nine years to put up its first state funds. “It takes a little time for Texas to catch up, you know.” Officials in the crippled children’s division of the Department of Public Health said the maximum state payments for patients in hospitals like the Gonzales center are $12 a day. Hospital authorities at Gonzales told the Observer the cost per day for such patients is $30. A spokesman for the crippled children’s division would not give the exact ranking among the 50 states, but said Texas “ranks pretty low among other states on state appropriations.” Federal money for crippled children’s services is available on both a dollar-for-dollar matching basis and on the basis of need. In a related field, state aid for the permanently and totally disabled, the 1961 report of the Department. of Public Welfare shows Texas ranking 39th in the nation. CRUCIAL CONSEQUENCES Court’s Decision May Affect Texas BROADER ISSUES RAISED Hospital Fights to Survive A POLITICAL COMPOSITE The Young GOP Turks 50th AMONG THE 50
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