Page 14


The Texas Observer SEPT. 20, 1963 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to The South 25c HERALDING TEXAS POLITICS IN 1964 The Republicans: Barry or Bust; Big Primary Planned Corpus Christi The Texas Republican Party is wholly committed to Goldwater for president. The traditional idea that party machinery is not used to favor one candidate over another in the party’s primary has nothing to do with it. Texas Republicans are for Goldwater and that’s that. Peter O’Donnell, their state chairman, is also national chairman of the draft Goldwater committee, and referred easily, during the meeting of the State Republican Executive Committee here last weekend, to “our Goldwater drive.” Practically every speaker polished Goldwater’s image, and there were no audible exceptions to the enthusiasm for Goldwater among the 350 or so Republicans who came here for the weekend’s parleys and parties. This situation could have a serious consequence for Republicanism if Goldwater does not get the nomination : in the wash of the Goldwater fans’ disillusion in Texas, Texas would very likely go to Kennedy again. Yet the Texas Republicans are not as foolhardy as at first it might seem. Last Sunday’s Belden Poll showed that since last May, when Kennedy led Goldwater in Texas, 60% to 26%, Goldwater has gained and gained until now Kennedy would beat him in Texas just 46% to 39%. On the other hand, Kennedy would beat any other Republican in Texas about 2-1. Among avowed Texas Republicans, Goldwater would get 86% of the vote against Kennedy. Whether or not it would be wise for the Republicans to nominate Goldwater for national office, this state’s Republicans have come to the only conclusion they could on, what it takes for them to be able to beat Kennedy in Texas. No one said outright here that the civil rights issue is the reason for Goldwater’s gains; but every GOP leader who spoke on the subject opposed the public accommodations section, and George Bush, the Houston oilman who has announced for the U.S. Senate race in Texas next year, censured Kennedy for failing to criticize some of the methods being used by militant civil rights actionists. The tale was best told in a special pres entation on the voter registration situation by Marvin Collins, state GOP executive secretary. The Democrats in Texas, Collins said, are working to register MexicanAmerican and Negro voters, who have heretofore been voting heavily Democratic. Republicans do not write off these voters, Collins said, but “We must be realistic and admit that most of these people have been voting Democratic.” A panel was flashed on the screen \(with Collins saying “The New Frontier has Adam Clayton Powell, Martin Luther King, Roy Wilkins; Jimmy Hoffa; Dean Rusk; the Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson; and Arthur Goldberg. Collins referred then to a report in the Dallas Times-Herald of the Democratic National Committee’s plan for “a massive drive to register Negro and Latin-American voters” in Texas. Jim Waters, another GOP worker, continued the presentation with allusions, in his remarks and in press clippings flashed on the screen, to Crystal City, the Demo