Sen. Kennard trash bucket and calling out, “Here, you take it,” tossed it toward Sen. George Parkhouse, Dallas, who, quite startled, was hit by it as gracefully as he could manage. Kennard said later he was so burned up at Smith for not accepting his motion to take the bill up after Moore had removed his tag, he just thought he’d give Parkhouse the book, since Parkhouse, too, Kennard said, has had some difficulties with Smith’s rulings. Parkhouse bellowed at Kennard good naturedly, “For the first time today I had my big mouth shut and you hit me there with the rule book.” Since Sen. Moore’s tag did not continue in force in the new committee situation, Sen. Dorsey Hardeman, San Angelo, obligingly re-tagged the bill, which accordingly passed away Friday midnight when the legislature adjourned. “There’s no question in my mind,” Kennard says, “that the blame lies in the general protective attitude of the Senate toward their colleagues. No one wanted to go’ on record on this bill. We needed a two thirds vote, but there was fear that we would have it, because a bill like this is hard to vote against.” percent of the stock of a firm and not control it. Employment of state officials or legislators which might “impair independence of judgment in performance of public duties” would have been prohibited. Legislators could not have, represented clients before state agencies when they were in a position to influence legislation pertaining to those agencies. Lawmakers could not have introduced legislation benefiting clients from whom they received income. Litigants before State agencies would have had to conduct their business formally, in writing or during hearings, and could not have buttonholed state officials in private conferences unknown to adversary litigants. Any legislator who received fees from any organization that got its income from dues, such as a union, would have had to disclose the fact. With time running out last week, Sen. Don Kennard effected a quick switch of the legislation from one committee to another and had it “floor reported” to the Senate for action. However, Sen. Bill Moore, Bryan, had “tagged” the bill. A tag is a written notice that a senator wants a public hearing, with 48 hours’ notice. Since this was happening Thursday and the legislature was to adjourn Friday night, the tag was enough to kill the bill. However, Moore’s amendment to permit state employees to do, as he said, “a little moonlighting” was accepted by Kennard, and Moore said he withdrew his tag. When, pursuant to this, Kennard, moved to take up the bill, Lt. Gov. Preston Smith ruled that, despite Moore’s statement, the tag was still physically attached to the measure and therefore was still in effect. On a motion to send the bill back to committee, a record vote loudly, but Smith gaveled the voice vote through, and the bill was sunk. Kennard kicked the wastebasket beside his desk and threw his rule book into it. Apparently then thinking better of this disposition of the volume, he drew it from the Reshaping Texas congressional districts to give each voter more nearly an equal political weight in the congress was a lost cause from the start this session. At present the Texas districts range in size from populations of 213,374 in Sam Rayburn’s old district to 939,845 in the largest single district in the United States, Dallas county, represented by Republican Bruce Alger. Seven of the 22 Texas districts contain populations that total in the 200,000’s; four, in the 500,000’s; yet Harris county’s two districts each have more than 600,0000 people in them, and four other Texas districts fall in the 500,000’s. Obviously the districts are disproportionate. Rep. Paul Haring, Goliad, introduced a bill to give the urban centers new congressmen, but it never had a chance in this rural-dominated legislature. The House approved Rep Rayford Price’s bill to abolish the old Rayburn district, forcing Cong. Ray Roberts, McKinney, to run against Cong. Wright Patman, Texarkana; to create a new “brush country” district in south Texas with Laredo its main city, and to give Dallas a second congressman, but to keep most of the small rural districts generally intact by holding the major cities, except Dallas, to their present representationHarris county two congressmen and one each for Bexar, Tarrant, and the El Paso district. Even the modest changes in Price’s bill were too much for the Senate, where Sen. Ralph Hall, Rockwall, fought down the abolition of the old Rayburn district. Under Hall’s bill, Dallas would have got the congressman now elected at large, and there would have been trivial shiftings of nine counties, leaving not seven, but eight districts in the 200,000’s population range and giving no urban center real relief except Dallas. As a freshman, Hall was able to persuade many of his colleagues that he had to have the bill for political reasons. He also “traded” hard for the measure. Senators Abraham Kazen, Laredo, and Bill Moore, Bryan, assisted by others, filibus tered the bill the last week, trying to force it into the sticky rules situations of the closing hours. Kazen compared his own district’s 511,000 population to Hall’s 236,000, to Corpus’s 543,000, to El Paso’s 567,000, and so on. He said he preferred to leave re-districting to the courts, if this was the best the Senate could do. “The great wall of China never protected anything like this bill protects some districts,” he exclaimed. Sen. Franklin Spears, San Antonio, sought to amend the bill to give three more urban centers new congressmen, but of course this had no chance. The Senate passed Hall’s measure. Gov. Connally had expressed his indifference to the issue in press conferences. Now, however, it began to be heard that he might prefer that Hall’s bill not pass. There were speculations in the capitol’s echoing halls, including one that he and the vice president want the re-districting possibility hanging over the heads of congressmen in the 1964 elections. On the last day, by knowingly throwing Hall’s bill back to the Senate filibusterers just hours before adjournment, the House deliberately killed it. Rep. Price, from Frankston, said Hall’s bill would simply elect another Dallas congressman, “and we all know what kind he’ll be.” Rep. Don offered a lukewarm defense of the measure”In my opinion this bill does have some merit to it,” he said; “It’s too late for a thorough job of re-districting. . . . We need some kind of a bill, even if it’s a weak bill”but got a harsh come-uppance from Rep. Howard Green, Fort Worth, who called it a farce and said, “We still have pine trees and fence posts represented as well as people, and that is not going to be permitted, as we all know.” Rep. Jim Cotten, Weatherford, came right out and said, “All this will do is elect another Texas Republican to Congress.” Rep. Bob Johnson, Dallas Democrat, thought this was a partisan remark, but Cotten replied he wanted a fair reapportionment before Dallas got another Republican congressman. May 30, 1963 11
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