ANNUAL USED BOOK SALE The Annual Used Book Sale, sponsored by the Austin Wellesley Club, will be held at the University Y, 2200 Guadalupe, on Tuesday, October 1, from R a.m. until 9 p.m., and on Wednesday, October 2, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. USED BOOKS OF ALL KINDS FOR FROM 5c TO $1.00 EACH \(To contribute old books to the sale, call Mrs. W. S. Drake, GR 2-4685, who S The Vital Poll Tax Vote Connally reviewed the historical emergence of the poll tax in its present form. He said that the reason it has not been repealed in Texas is obvious: a lack of public sentiment favoring repeal. He recalled the 1949 vote opposing repeal. But with changing times, he noted, both party primaries in 1962 resulted in votes favoring repeal. He had supported Texas repeal all-out in the legislature; he pledged the support of the State Democratic Executive Committee for repeal. However, as has been reviewed, he then said that a fear of bloc voting has dampened prospects, since then, for the constitutional amendment’s enactment. One could not miss the implication that his own enthusiasm for it has waned. too. Poll tax repeal workers are discovering, in their preliminary testings of public sentiment on the Nov. 9 abolition vote, that many older voters are not enthusiastic about repeal. Many of them are exempt now, but under the new registration system they would all have to pay a 25-cent fee. Older people, many of them have older attitudes on the race question than the attitudes more prevalent among younger voters. The oldsters’ importance in the Nov. 9 vote is underscored by the fact that the voting that day will also decide whether state welfare funds will be increased, a subject of vital personal interest to those of them who get state aid. Some of the leaders of the League-sponsored poll tax repeal movement believe that the most persuasive argument they have for repeal is avoidance of the expensive and chaotic necessity of two ballots, two poll lists, and two separate election return counting arrangements at every precinct in the state an argument that might appeal to the older voters in the non-urban areas especially because of the expense. Don Yarborough, before the labor convention, accused the S.D.E.C. of dragging its feet on the poll tax ; the Republicans, too, he said. Whether that is true or not, he himself certainly has not been. He orated to a total of 449 persons at an 10 The Texas Observer anti-poll tax rally in Corpus Christi last month, and on Sept. 22 is to speak at another such rally in Sinton. At the conference in Austin, Mrs. Maurice Brown, state president of the League of Women Voters, read messages of support for repeal from Vice President Johnson, Sen. Yarborough, Cong. Gonzalez, Alger, Thomas, Kilgore, Pool, and Brooks, and some state senators and representatives. Lt. Gov. Preston Smith wrote somewhat vaguely, “if there is any way I may be of assistance to you, please let me know.” In an afternoon session, PASO and NAACP cooperation in repeal were pledged by spokesmen of those groups. It is no secret that labor is going all-out for repeal. The Democratic Coalition office has been closed down, and an office has been opened up in the name of Voters of the coalition staff man, is research director of VOTE. Its directors are Houston Thompson, Silsbee; Dr. Casso ; E. Bryce Cunningham, of the NAACP, Dallas; and Evans of If you want to keep up with the ball game, these will be the events to watch: Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s supporters are planning an immense appreciation dinner for him Oct. 19 in Austin. Walter Hall of Dickinson and Mrs. R. D. Randolph of Houston are chairman and co-chairman for the eventin itself a significant fact, suggesting an attempt to bring together Yarborough’s support from the moderate as well as the liberal wings of the party. Tickets will be sold for from $12.50 to $1,000, proceeds to be used for Yarborough’s radio-TV reports and political expenses. This rally can be expected to be, not only a kick-off for Yarborough’s 1 9 6 4 campaign, but also a major anti-poll tax rally. One should also Yarborough watch for Sen. Lyndon Johnson’s influence as to the poll tax vote. Johnson’s speech to the labor convention was quite liberal. He endorsed not only the civil rights programs of the administration, and inferentially the civil rights demonstrations as well, but also a series of Kennedy economic programs, emphatically including medicare. There has been a good deal of specula labor. Martin Wigington of El Campo, Latane Lambert of San Antonio, Erma Leroy of Houston, Pena, and Arthur DeWitty of Austin are working with VOTE. Generally, then, VOTE is manned and supported by people from the Coalition. Goodwyn says VOTE offices are being established in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, El Paso, Brownsville, McAllen, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and Wichita Falls. The Harris County Democrats and that county’s Council of Organizations are also establishing programs to work for poll tax repeal and voter registration. After Oct. 1, citizens can pay their $1.75 poll tax for 1964, if they want to ; but of course, most people will wait until the Nov. 9 vote, to see if they need to. The situation that will obtain if the Texas vote goes against repeal depends on federal repeal of the poll tax for national elections. Connally predicted this federal repeal will be effected early next year. If it is, this would mean that to vote in Texas elections, one would need a Texas poll tax; but one could vote in federal elections without one. Somehow, separate voting lists, places to vote, and tabulating procedures would have to be devised. The prospects for added expense are considerable. tion as to the Johnson-Connally relationship now. Johnson has a personal interest in the re-election of the Kennedy-Johnson team, obviously. He therefore has an interest in maximum voter registration, specifically among minorities. Yet it now appears that Connally fears just this registration, and wishes to inhibit it, on the theory that his renomination \(and then, jeopardized by it. Will Johnson go all-out for poll tax repeal and then for voter registration? Or will he follow some middle road on these questions, hoping to accomplish both Connally’s continued control of the state government and a Texas verdict next November for Kennedy-Johnson? This is a fascinating question. Before the labor convention, Ralph Yarborough did not mention civil rights. Lyndon Johnson did not mention the poll tax. It is the consensus in knowledgeable circles that Yarborough will vote for the public accomodations proposal, and that the Democratic National Committee will work with the official Texas Democratic Party and, as Matt Reese of the committee said at a Young Democrats’ dinner in Austin weekend before last, with “labor and other organizations” to get voters registered in Texas. But by what Ralph and Lyndon do not say, as well as by what John and Don do say, one gets the glimmers of the times in Texas politics, racing now to climax in the spring and fall of ’64. R.D. And What Next? Ralph’s Rally; LBJ’s Part
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