NO APOLOGIES Liberal Candidate for Congress Turns Sour AUSTIN A liberal candidate has turned sour. We must not waste any more time or moral energy on him than necessary. Not the Observer, the El Paso Times, the El Paso Herald Post, Texas labor, PASO, nor anyone else who has supported Woodrow Bean in good faith owes anyone an apology; it is Woodrow Bean who owes the apologies. Yet he does not have the grace and judgment to realize this. Had he, our response to the disastrous turn in his life could have been reserved, at least ; since, to the contrary, he has had the face to try to turn his disaster to his personal credit, there is no choice but to mark his betrayal of the liberal movement for what it is. We must be sure that no one is taken in by this demagogue because those who have supported him lack the candor now to say the truth about what has happened. AN EL PASO reporter, acting, one assumes, on a tip, asked the Internal Revenue Service if Bean had filed income tax returns. I.R.S. divulged, as it is required to do by law under such circumstances, that Bean has not filed a personal income tax return since 1952. AUSTIN It will be interesting, and a little symbolic, this vote of General Walker’s Saturday. Several of our political buddies grinned and nudged each other a couple of nights ago when we dramatically declared that it will, indeed, make a difference whether Teddy gets 46,564, or 78,604, or 114,788. There has been a kind of mutual pact among the budding politicos these last weeks, dismissing Teddy’s curious effort as something akin to frivolity in action, predicting he will finish dismally fifth or more dismally sixth, and moving on to Daniel, Yarborough, Connally, or Billie Sol Estes. One old-time capitol newsman, noted more for his gentleness than his flamboyancy, retired to a corner one afternoon after following Teddy up, down, and across Austin. “This,” he said, “is the damndest campaign I ever saw.” This particular newsman is not even a communist, unusual in a country with newspapers some 75 to 80 percent infiltrated, and hence the poignancy of his observation will probably stand the test of time. THE GENERAL, for in stance, has proudly and vehemently avowed he is a member of the Birch Society, an esoteric lodge which has been written off long ago by everything from the Saturday Evening Post to William F. Buckley Jr. The candidate has waged his campaign for governor of Texas in Minneapolis, Chicago, Bastrop, and Washington. A poor working photographer got threatened with “a face full of fist” at a press conference. A reporter got a sweeping jab in the eye. Columnist George Dixon was there when it happened and described the colorful spectacle of outraged nannies in the general’s entourage jumping the victim with some of the most obscene hossanas he had ever heard from the lips of gentle ladies. To continue with this catalogue of eccentricities, Teddy’s platform, he announced early in the game, was the Texas constitution, generally recognized as the most extravagant hodgepodge of monstrosities and non sequiturs known to man. Asked at a press conference if he considered a vote against him a vote for communism, Ted leveled a two-star gaze, paused to think, and said “no comment.” Not long after this, a reporter in Houston asked one of Ted’s leading boosters where the candidate could be reached next day when he came As county judge in El Paso, Bean has been a liberal Democrat who has espoused federal projects that would be impossible to finance without the income tax. It is believed that he knew last September that the matter of his failing to file returns had come under official scrutiny. The Houston Press, a Scripps-Howard paper like the Herald-Post ; reported Saturday that “El Paso sources” say Bean knew he was under investigation and filed in the hope the news would not be published until after the election. He nevertheless announced for congressman-at-large, by doing so indirectly dissuading some good liberal Democrats from getting in. He accepted the endorsement of labor. He made all kinds of statements, including one that he is “for the federal government.” Bean says a lot of people around El Pasosome 50,000knew. In any case, many influential people in politics outside El Paso did not. Bean was the conspicuous county judge of El Paso. Why did the tax people do nothing for ten years? There are two possibilities: they did not notice, or they did notice and left Bean alone because of politics. Bean now says he has challenged the Internal Revenue Service to take him to to town, and she said the information could not be divulged because of “security reasons.” At an Austin rally where he jumped the Reds on the New York Times \(a New York Times man was there, but he was in the company of a Dallas eral explained that Eisenhower couldn’t recognize a communist if he were eating breakfast with Khrushchev, and warned that the White House is a kind of adjunct of the Kremlin. Last week he got off a wire to the President demanding the return of the National Guard to full state control and warning the Guardsmen might be used against Americans by the United Nations. A few days ago Ted called Our Governor “soft and inept,” a phrase that harkens back to another retired soldier’s rhetorical condemnations. Add one more three-letter word to these diverse pontifications and the business is complete. You can guess which one. The campaign tune, the snappiest going, is sung to :Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet.” Never in Texas history until now has a campaign been waged with no Texas issues, which may be interpreted as showing the rawest kind of courage. Not since Father Caughlin and William Lemke has America seen a campaign rooted in such far, far reaches. The general is battling away with Marshall Formby for rock-bottom sixth, and it does make a difference: Formby, slow and easygoing, open, likeable, and straightforward, full of humor and good will, conservative and llonest to the core, so much a part of our political tradition that he could say last week, in a moment of unexpected eloquence, that true con servatisrd must be progressive and humane if it means anything at all. W.M. 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. MAY 2, 1962 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Jay Milner, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Dugger, Contributing Editor court in years past and they have hesitated and done nothing. The facts remain to be developed. At this point in the affair, it was obvious that endorsements of Bean should be withdrawn. No one wishes to prejudge the case, but when a man offers for public office, he must be in the clear and Bean, for several days, ducked telephone calls from the state labor office. He refused to answer direct questions about whether he had filed his returns. Well: he could not be supported, but don’t kick a man when he’s down. Bean Saturday went to Houston and held a press conference. He said he believes the income tax is “illegal and immoral” and when he is elected congressman-at-large he will propose its repeal. That, he announced, is why he has not filed income tax returns for the last ten years. In a studiously worded few sentences, he said the government had withheld. taxes from his salary as county judge, and “My accountants tell me the government owes me money for the withholding taxes that have been deducted from every pay check as county judge and paid directly to the Bureau of Internal Revenue …” TO COMPLETE his caricature of politics, Bean dared to charge that the exposure of his income tax record was an effort by his enemies to “prevent my election without a runoff.” He said he thought he will not be indicted, and that if he is, he will win the case. “If I be indicted and convicted for failing to file an income tax report, it would not deprive me of my right to represent Texas,” he said. And where would the federal government he is “for” get the money to do all the things he is “for”? “We should start checking on foreign aid where money is spent recklessly.” No, this is too much. Bean has forfeited his right to consideration in his time of difficulty. This is no “delightful rascal.” He not only failed to file his tax returns, for which there may conceivably be explanations. He failed to tell his friends and supporters the facts, for which there is no conceivable explanation. He failed to act on the likelihood that these facts would be used against other liberal candidates unless he withdrew, as he should have, in embarrassment. He failed to make the income tax “a matter of principle” until he was exposed, and then in a purely self-serving move he took a position contrary to the convictions of all his supporters to try to get votes from extreme rightwingers. None of us should wish him, or any man, ill. Let us simply be done with him as a candidate for anything. ALAS, THERE MUST be a footnote. The Austin American-Statesman Sunday carried a story bylined Sarah McClendon from Washington as shocking as any of that newspaper’s memorable lows in journalism. It is too politically vicious to be repeated. In general terms, it can be said without spreading too much of its poison that it is an attempt to damage Senator Yarborough, Don Yarborough, and Mrs. R. D. Randolph by associating them with Bean and Billy Sol Estes. Its tone may be inferred from Mrs. McClendon’s phrase, “the Mrs. Randolph, Yarborough, Bean, and the Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.10 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R. D. Randolph, 2131 Welch, Houston 19, Texas. Estes faction.” Although it appears to have originated as a public handswashing of Estes by Vice President Johnson, and although it seems that some of the things in the story would have to have come from Johnson or persons very close to him, no one could attribute such a malicious story to the Vice President or anyone except the person who put her name on it and the newspapers that published it. They must answer to themselves for what they have done. R.D. Examining Legalized Betting AUSTIN Texas voters might be wise to reject legalized horse racing Saturday. The question involved may be, “Can people be protected against themselves?” It is easy to say No, they cannot. The truth is, no one can exist except in an environment, and if the environment includes an especially attractive opportunity to act on selfdestructive compulsions, people who have such incipient proclivities are more likely to act them out. Horse racing as a tax policy could be worse. It has the appearance of generally falling on persons who can afford to place bets. In this respect it seems similar to a tax on motor boats or country clubs. As these matters work out at the track, it actually falls also on many poor people. When you don’t have any fun in your life you’re game for a chance on Betty’s Beau in the third. And then you lose, usually. F HORSE RACING returns to Texas, most of us \(the writsionally for the fun of it. It is fun. People so readily make fools of themselves; there is the sport of carrying it off when you’ve done it yourself. The gaily colored silks, the razzamatazz, the scratch sheetsit’s fun all right, like a football game. And horses can be beautiful. Some people gamble because they want to win. They’re uncomplicated unless they’re greedy or they need to win to compensate for something beyond them they’ll never have. Some people gamble because they want to lose. Perhaps they want to die. Perhaps they want to be put in jail or to have some reason for running away to a new start. If Psychiatry has given us any new understanding beyond cavil, it is knowledge of the fact that people often do things for reasons they, themselves, do not understand. If people who gamble for self-destruction reasons could be counted on to understand what they are really doing, there might be a tenable case for refusing to “protect them from themselves.” Many cannot be counted on in this way, and the case for horse racing is vitiated to this extent. THERE IS also a related consideration with a somewhat different thrust. There are some guys who would simply rather drink or gamble than feed and clothe their children. One would be foolhardy to say they’re no good, but what they do is certainly no good. The idea of opening up a great oval into which these rascals can pour their salaries for the enrichment of track owners who are already richmakes one sicken. Legalizing the races seems to this fun-loving fellow a choice between causing grief to the psychologically ill and the families of the socially irresponsible, and the gay places race tracks are: the fun of going to them. Reluctantly, to hell with the fun. R D. THE WALKER CAMPAIGN Curious Catalogue THE TEXAS OBSERVER
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