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SAN ANTONIO Suggestions that many liberal Democrats in Texas are beginning to interpret their role as a power-balance between conservative Democrats and conservative Republicans were registered by state AFLCIO president Hank Brown and Cmsr. Albert Pena of San Antonio before labor’s convention delegates in San Antonio this week. Pena, state chairman of the Latin political arm PASO, drew applause when he warned that PASO “is neither in the pocket of the Democrats or the Republicans.” The organization’s nonpartisan position will be necessary, Pena argued, “until we have a Democratic Party in Texas that thinks like real Democrats.” Texas liberals, he said, need a “functioning Democratic coalition” comprising labor, Latins, Negroes, and independent liberals on a state level. The principal obstacle to such a group “is some people’s attitude on civil rights”; when the proposal for a state coalition was made not long ago, there were warnings from some quarters that “we might get some of our East Texans mad at us and our people from Dallas. “If we ever overcome this obstacle,” Pena said, “we are going to have a liberal Democratic coalition in Texas.” This, he added, “is the only way we’re going to build up a Democratic Party dedicated to John Fitzgerald Kennedy.” Slow Progress Brown, in a free-wheeling addres-s -which got hearty cheers, reiterated the Pena theme. State Democratic leaders should realize, he said, that simply because “most of us have been leaders of the Democratic Party” in the past, that situation will be changed “unless they will stand four-square on a program progressive to the people of Texas.” The state platforms of both political parties, Brown said, contain strong anti-labor sections. “We don’t necessarily need to be aligned to either of them.” SAN ANTONIO Calling for a united front in Texas labor and berating those who “splinter off” to support conservative candidates for their own personal gain, Sen. Ralph Yarborough told AFLCIO delegates it is better “to trade a silver purse for a sow’s ear” than accept patronage and favors from those who oppose the aims of the Democratic Party. “When candidates ask your support,” Yarborough argued, “ask them publicly if they will support President John F. Kennedy and the programs of the New Frontier. If labor will work as a united force and won’t splinter off, then those candidates who stand for clean and progressive government can win.” Recalling the 1958 state Democratic convention, but without mentioning names, he said, “Those who perpetrated what happened there still sit tall in the saddle.” Drawing applause at several points and a standing ovation when he finished, Yarborough said he found it “interesting” that the full slate of Democratic and Republican candidates had accepted invitations to appear before the labor convention “because I remember the time I was BROWN AND PENA In the state labor convention three years ago, Brown said, a pledge was made to try to organize Texas’ three million unorganized workers. “Frankly, that project has been disappointing.” That pledge must be made again. Everything else, politics included, is secondary to that purpose, he said. Sixty-two years ago the Texas Federation of Labor was founded in Cleburne, and yet on many issues there has been little or no improvement. “Wages and working conditions right here in San Antonio are worse than they were 50 years ago,” he said. “Even in this hotel these standards are deplorable. On other points cited by the founding convention of 1900 “progress has come slowly” or not at all: 1.compulsory education between the ages of six and 15 is still not a reality in Texas. 2.convict labor is still used in competition with free labor. 3.equal pay for equal work for men and women still does not exist. 4.the eight-hour day is far from being achieved. 5.the poll tax has not been abolished. “Now isn’t that rediculous? At the rate we’re going, it’ll take another 50 years.” election for the President, Vice-President, and U.S. Senators. “Only half of that goal has been reached.” 7.enactment of “a justly graduated income tax,” a far call from the state sales tax passed by the last legislature, he said. 8.public ownership of public utilities has not been realized. 9.the first convention expressed its opposition to the encroachment of the judiciary on free expression and a free press; “we’re still looking and seeking for a free press in Texas. In the last two weeks of this election there was hardly a true word in the Texas daily press except for the date lines, and even then not all the time.” 1900 legislation was advocated to help “the suffering of the injured worker; and we still have the only statewide politician who would accept an invitation to come before you.” Texas liberals and labor, he said, could have won the governor’s office in 1956 and in 1962 if many people had not yielded to the “siren song” that their candidate could not win. In ’62 only 46 percent of Texans with poll taxes even bothered to vote. In San Antonio, as an example of how Texas liberals were divided in this election, James Turman carried the county by 15,000 votes and Don Yarborough lost by 18,000, “a spread of 33,000 votes.” Without firm political organization, he said, “you are politically impotent.” He urged organizational work to improve Texas’ 40th position among the states in care for the aged, its ranking among the bottom ten in public health services, and its place in the 30’s in per capita income. He quoted the late William Faulkner: ” ‘What has happened to the American dream? We dozed and it abandoned us.’ “We talk about ourselves,” Yarborough said, “as if we were a completed society, and have nothing else to achieve. The day that happens we are a dead society. no industrial safety law in Texas,” despite the fact that some 300,000 workers are injured or killed each year on the job. “This program was attacked then as socialistic or radical, just as what we do here will be attacked as radical or communistic, which is the word they use about labor unions today. “If there is one lesson we should have learned in the past 62 years,” Brown said, “it is that we can win at the bargaining table while Congress and the legislature can take it all away.” Low Participation On the political front, the state president argued, there has been steady progress for Texas labor. “Ten years ago we were the whipping boy: the AFL CIO-NAACPADA, you name it. “Yet tomorrow every Democratic and Republican candidate for every statewide office will be here courting your vote. You’re not big enough yet to elect whoever you like. But you are big enough to defeat whoever you want. Once we were bomb-throwing bolsheviks. But now you’re being courted through the parlor door.” Like Sen. Ralph Yarborough a harsh description for the labor leader “who will make his own individual deal for his personal self” against the purposes of his fellow workers. Such individuals, Brown said, “deserve the name ‘scab’.” Nor did he mince words on organized labor’s participation in the Democratic primaries this year. “We didn’t lose the governor and lieutenant governor races,” he said. “We gave them away. We gave them away because some people made their own deals, because some were defeatists, because some sat it out.” In some heavy labor areas the vote turnout was as low as 32 percent. “Some say the Latin-American and the Negro went the other way. But don’t be throwing rocks at other people. If you want to know where the election was lost, look at the statistics.” “Let’s lift Texas out of this bottom ten. Let’s put Texas in the forefront of progress.” Backs Tax Cut He praised organized labor for its support of Kennedy’s medicare bill \(“I’m going back to Washington at 6 a.m. tomorrow and cast better educational opportunities, and for backing the administration in its effort “to stamp out the plague of unemployment.” Stressing the need for “a stable economy to pave the way for progress,” Yarborough said he favored income tax reductions through a decrease in the personal exemption from $800 to $600. “Since the new tax regulations the past few days have given the corporations a billion and a half dollar tax break a year, I think it’s time the people of the United States get a tax break too. I still believe an increase in the personal exemption in the best way to provide tax relief and to give the economy the boost it needs. Yarborough was introduced by Maury Maverick Jr. of San Antonio. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 3 July 20, 1962 I No reports on the candi dates’ appearance before the labor convention could have been more diverse than the two filed by Sam Wood of the Austin American and Bill Gardner of the Houston Post. The headline on the American’s story declared: “Cox Heaps Abuse on Connally.” The Post headline, a sidebar to the main story, said: “Jack Cox Liked As Speaker.” Commented the American: “And there was little doubt that the tactics used by Cox in heaping personal criticism upon his opponent reflected to Connally’s favor.” Said the Post: “Jack Cox drew some surprising favorable comments after his speech . . .” Political Intelligence g# Labor delegates wandering into the convention room in the Gunter Tuesday found printed sheets in each of the thousandodd chairs. The sheets displayed reproductions of E. B. Germany’s recent column interpreting Connally’s victory as a victory for the “Connally-Shivers combination”, the New York Post’s James Wechsler’s attack on the Kennedy administration for not helping Don Yarborough, and Kountze News editor Archer Fullighim’s endorsement of Cox. One delegate in the Observer’s range read the Germany article, crumpled it up, and said: “I know what Shivers is doing. He’s trying to make people believe he’s supporting Connally so Connally will get beat.” frir In introducing candidates who had served at one time or another in the state legislature, Hank Brown listed their AFLCIO “right-and-wrong” voting record. One delegate noted to the Observer with some irony that Jack Cox’s legislative record was “better” than Preston Smith’s. p l oOr There was a strong feeling at the convention that Desmond Barry, the GOP nominee for congressman-at-large against Democratic conservative Joe Pool, might have got labor’s endorsement if he had handled himself more diplomatically. But he apparently lost his temper, and even neglected to attack Pool, who is highly unpopular in liberal circles. His platform performance was even more surprising in view of the fact he placed reproduction of an Observer editorial critical of Pool on the door of every room in the hotel. The Observer has it on good understanding that Cox and his GOP advisors actually preferred a mild labor endorsement of Connally to a no-endorsement, apparently on the reasoning a noendorsement policy would have provoked some angry queries from the more restive and conservative GOP troops. g o o0 Principal supporters for strong endorsement of Connally within labor’s ranks came from Les Burnett and the Build Wilson, who has probably been the busiest state attorney general in the country with the recent scandals, said the probe has suggested “the largest potential theft in the history of the state.” Situations have been uncovered, he said this week, which “have got to be stopped all over the state if there is to be an orderly development of the oil and gas industry.” Several more days will be required, Wilson said, before the state will be in position to take ing Trades people and from the UAW in Tarrant and Dallas counties. Only a very isolated few advocated outright endorsement of Cox, and that was never a real possibility. One of the main themes of the convention, however, evident in speeches and in private talk: organized labor in Texas plans to do all it can to encourage the growth of a twoparty system, and may henceforth be considered something of an independent political bloc operating slightly outside the two parties. g# Former assistant labor sec retary Jerry Holleman attended the convention, sitting quietly in the audience and chatting with delegates. He was not formally recognized and did not appear on the platform. He has accepted an executive position, reportedly at a $20,000 plus salary, with Fed-Mart Corporation in its San Antonio office. He will be vice president of the life insurance section and assistant to president Morris Jaffe, close political associate of Lyndon Johnson. por A survey compiled by the state AFL-CIO and distributed to convention delegates showed that only 25.8