The Texas Observer An Independent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper A Window to the South Volume 54 TEXAS, APRIL 14, 1962 15c per Copy Number 2 The Transition Of a Cowtown LAST OF BIG FOUR A Liberal Victory In Harris County? SEVERAL FACTORS FORT WORTH Texas’ only large city with all its public schools still segregated appears headed for peaceful official compliance with the Supreme Court desegregation ruling eight years after the 1954 decision. A federal court last year ordered the Fort Worth school district to begin desegregating its schools next September. Four school trustees who pledged they would not oppose the order were elected Saturday to the city’s sixmember board. One of the four was re-elected and one defeated an incumbent. Although Fort Worth is the last of the Big Four Texas cities still operating separate schools for whites and Negroes, many of its public facilities are integrated, and the announcement last year of the federal court ruling caused very little comment around town. Compliance with a similar court order in rival Dallas last fall, even though Dallas’ transition like Houston’swas token, apparently has had its effect. Along the main thoroughfares of the city, boots and stetsons are still common sights, although the slatted, empty sprawl of the famous Fort Worth stockyard now silently defies the nickname “Cowtown.” Merchants in the stockyard area north of the courthouse only recently completed an area project which gives the section a somewhat authentic look of the Old West, with false-fronted store buildings and wooden sidewalks. The daily Star-Telegram still carries under its banner the slogan “Where the West Begins.” AROUND TEXAS If the major issues in the governor’s race could be disembodied from the usual oneparty scrimmage on personalities and listed straightforwardly, they would read something like this: 1.Gov. Daniel’s bid for an unprecedented fourth term. 2.The pro’s and con’s of VicePresident Johnson’s role in the John Connally candidacy. 3.Atty. Gen. Wilson’s conflictagainst Daniel. 4.Don Yarborough’s New Frontier platform and the possible appeal of liberalism in a divided field. Wilson, whose persistent debunking has greatly enlivened the campaign, \(a prominent Daniel booster, quotb.g Sir Toby Belch, said of the attorney general this week: “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be a possible fifth issue Monday when he accused Connally of being an active lobbyist in recent years for oil and gas interests in Washington. Connally denied the charge. On racial matters West Texas may begin here, but the South assuredly does not end here. Dallas is ideologically and geographically closer to East Texas, however, and perhaps something of a buffer to that Deep South-oriented area. Moderating Factors Transition from a “Cowtown” to a city with a diversified industrial base is one reason for much of the calmness on the school issue. Fort Worth’s principal payroll industry now is the giant General Dynamics aircraft factory, which employs about 13,000 people despite recent cutbacks. Industrial diversification efforts have been stepped up of late as the switch from manned bombers to missiles makes the future of the Convair plant indefinite. The stockyard’s declining importance to the local economy can largely be attributed to the rapid increase in the number of livestock auction yards in smaller West Texas communities. Ever since the end of World War II, transportation and communication have made it good business for buyers to travel to the livestock rather than do all their purchasing at large markets like Fort Worth, Kansas City, and Chicago. Growing urbanization and industrialization have played the usual important role in moderating racial feeling, and a majority of the present Tarrant County delegation to the legislature are moderate-to-liberal on race issues. Perhaps most important of all, however, is the psychological factor. As one young conservative Only a little over a year ago Daniel, Connally, and Wilson went arm-in-arm to nominate Johnson at the Los Angeles convention. Wilson was the cheerleader of that effort, Daniel the team coach, Connally the keeper of the purse. Today there is mutiny everywhere. Connally has assailed Daniel for tired leadership, irresponsibility, and questionable party loyalty. Wilson has questioned Connally’s Washington connections and his alleged role as a lobbyist and demanded full disclosure from Daniel on conflicts of interest. Daniel has called Wilson a mudslinger and Connally a milliondollar candidate. The cozy etiquette of the ruling moderate-conservative element in the party is clearly a thing of the past. Yarborough, the other major candidate, has remained curiously immune from attack. Most of his fire has been directed against Daniel, and except for occasional statements he has left Connally and Wilson alone. The fight is still between Daniel, Connally, and Yarborough, and Daniel apparently continues to lead the field despite Wilson’s REASONS LISTED BY GOP AUSTIN Texas Republicans, constantly under fire from “establishment” Democrats for debilitating conservative strength in the Democratic primaries and helping pave the way for a liberal breakthrough in the state, have countered with a document of their own. Authored by state GOP chairman Tad Smith of El Paso and circulated widely throughout the state this week, the party statement is perhaps the most concise rebuttal yet offered to recent warnings by Democratic conservatives like E. B. Germany and Preston Weatherred that a growing GOP constitutes a grave threat to states’ rights conservatism. The statement, entitled “Six Reasons Why Texas Republicans and Conservative Independents Should Vote in “4.1 , t h e Republican Primary” is highly typical of the Texas GOP’s pronouncement s ever since the Tower candi , dacy. It is dra matic, flamboy Smith ant, and uncompromising, and it stresses the national perspective. As a direct appeal to undecideds and to the whole right-wing of the Democratic Party, it is one of the important documents of the 1962 elections. Smith’s statement argues: “Repudiate the Left-Wing New Frontier” accusations last week, which may have scored in some circles. On the run-off place, it largely depends on whether your man is Yarborough or Connally. Connally backers cite the Belden polls, which have him running a strong second. The Yarborough position, as expressed by campaign aide Chuck Caldwell: “We’re the only liberal in the race, and with the others divided, if we don’t make the run-off we ought to be kicked.” Daniel Gov. Daniel this week, in a reference to Connally, said the oil and gas industry is “spending its money in this race for a new face, one that hasn’t opened its mouth for lobby control and things like that.” He asked for a comparison of his own TV time and billboard HOUSTON The once scrawny maverick called. The Conservative Democrata maverick that grew fat on food belonging to the rest of a disorganized herdhas begun to make new noises as he feels the pinch of political hunger. Instead of complaining mightily about liberal Democrats as he did in the past, he is lamenting “liberal Republicans” and “backsliding conservatives who become Republicans.” There lies the reason for the high hopes of Harris County liberals that the conservatives are due for a defeat May 5. One of the high spots of the conservative campaign for office in Harris County has, until now, been the political rally heldironicallyat Red School, in the heart of Houston’s affluent middle class suburbia. In the three huge preCincts surrounding the school the voters turn out almost unanimously and almost unanimously they vote conservative Democratic tickets. Conservatives have come to the rallies at Red School to face audiences in the hundreds, sometimes well over 1,000a large turnout considering the rallies are held during prime television hours. Last week the same conservative Democrat politicians were there, headed by Cong. Bob Casey. They spoke to only 150 persons, including area campaign workers. While some veteran observers argue the poor turnout was the result of a general pall of apathy that has settled over the elector space with “the other candidate” to see who is spending the most money. There is resentment, he said, to Connally’s “million dollar campaign.” On Wilson’s charges last week, he said: “I wouldn’t care to give one more line on the dirty charges he made.” Elsewhere, the governor said he had not observed any influence in the race from President Kennedy or Vice President Johnson. He said his boost in teachers’ salaries had moved Texas from a 40th ranking to 26th. Texans, he said, spend less money for state government on a per capita basis than any state except Tennessee. Daniel rapped the two-year term as being of “ox-cart vintage” and pledged to correct inequities in the controversial merit auto insurance plan. He promised to work for an expanded juvenile parole system. He said he had nothing to do with beer being served at a PASSO rally in San Antonio’s Mission Park this week. He promised at the rally to appoint more Latins to state boards. He also had a run-in with Trinity University students. Following ate, others say it portends an exodus of former conservative Democrats heading into the Republican primaries. Those who feel this way argue that these precincts, noted for their militant conservatism, have never been apathetic. ‘Grave Situation’ The suspicion that precincts like these will lead a great vote into Republican primaries was also supported by what the conservative Democrats said at the rally. Joel Coolidge, incumbent candidate for chairman of the Harris County Democratic ‘Executive Committee, set the pace when he said: “There’s not enough of us conservatives to dominate two parties in Texas. We’d better stick together with the one we have or we’ll lose both. “The Democratic Party is the only vehicle for conservatism in Texas,” he said. “The Republican Party is the party of Rockefeller, Javits, and Keating.” \(He did not mention Goldwater, Dirksen, and State senatorial candidate William J. Merrill said: “I challenge the Republicans on specific questions to determine which is the best conservative party. Remember the liberals in the Republican Party. We must convince our Republican friends of the gravity of this situation.” Incumbent state Rep. Paul Floyd added: “It’s inconceivable that any conservative would help Mrs. Frankie Randolph and her union stooges, but that’s what they’ll be doing if they leave the Democratic Party.” Jerry McAfee, a legislative candidate, agreed: “I’m a former Republican but I came back to the Democratic Party because it’s a better vehicle for conservatism. Let’s work as conservative Democrats.” Both liberals and conservatives believe that the success of liberal candidates in most races, but especially the legislative races, largely depends on the strength shown by the Republican primaries. But how much strength will be shown there is a mystery, not Dirty Word AUSTIN, LUBBOCK “The worst thing about Billie Sol Estes,” a citizen of the High Plains told the Observer this week, “is that all this has made fertilizer a dirty word.” The Observer is postponing until next week its study of the financial activities of Estes, who once tried to corner the North American market on parakeets. PRICE, JOHN, AND WILL That Cozy Etiquette Vanishes
You May Also Like
The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.