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One of the best reasoned statements of the essential reasons for repealing the poll tax has been made by Senator Walter Richter of Gonzales. If the federal amendment to repeal the poll tax passes, but we keep ours, the senator writes in his newsletter, “we would have to have dual voting booths, registration lists, election judges and watchers, not to mention much higher costs. Gov . Connally has appropriately described such a development as ‘chaotic.’ To quote from a recent editorial in the Pleasanton Express, ‘We’re going to find ourselves in one woollybooger of a mess.’ ” “Mainly,” Sen. Richter continued, “I’m for poll tax repeal because I do not think it is right to hang a price tag on a man’s right to vote in a free society. “It is clearly impossible, yes humanly impossible, to devise any completely fair and effective means of separating those citizens who are competent to vote from those who are not. Who, short of God Himself, can fully fathom the working of the human mind and spirit? “In these amazing times a man can hear and see and learn many wondrous things even though he cannot read or write. If we truly fear such men, let us double our resolve to eliminate illiteracy. “I remember being taught that the basic strength of our American government derives from the fact that it is a government of, for, and by the people. No one ever suggested that this meant just some of the people,” said the good senator from South Texas. As the Jacksonville Daily Progress, over in East Texas, said on the same point: “The argument over who should rule Americaall the people or a fewhas been going on since the beginning. Jefferson advocated general franchise, while Hamilton advocated rule by the landed gentry. The whole political history of America is wrapped up in this same subject. If, indeed, all men are created equal, they have a right to participate in their government on an equal basis.” The vote on Saturday, November 9th, is about democracy. Either we do believe in it, or we do not. Conservatives, liberals, Democrat s, Republicans, moderates, schmoderates: on November the 9th, democracy is looking down our throats. As we go to press, we hear the growlings of the Hamiltonians of our state and our time: General Weatherred, Rep. Horace Houston, Sen. George Parkhouse. They pace their Adolphus Towers and their Turtle Creek mansions and proclaim that the people have no right to vote, one man one vote, on the issues of the times, with 2 The Texas Observer In our opinion, no Democrat should vote for Jake Pickle for Congress. He is disqualified by his past from receiving the votes of Democrats. This man carried water for Allan Shivers in 1950 and was still hauling it for him in 1954. In 1952, Shivers, although the elected chief of the Democratic Party in this state, officially endorsed the Republican candidate for President and campaigned the state against the Democratic Party that had honored him. Yet Jake Pickle continued right on through 1954 as a professional Shivercrat. In 1954, in fact, the PR firm in which Pickle was a member agreed to handle Shivers’ second primary campaign for a flat fee and produced, for Turncoat-Democrat Shivers, one of the most scurrilous, cheapest, most demagogic tricks in the history of Texas politics, the “Port Arthur story.” This mish-mash of anti-unionism and Red scare was just enough to get Shivers back in office. In 1955, Bill Brammer, the Observer’s associate editor at the time, interviewed Pickle and reported that the agency with which Pickle was associated “claims credit for the mechanics [of the Port Arthur story]. ‘We’re a working organization,’ said Fickle.” Later in the story, Brammer quoted Pickle: ” ‘We’re not cut throats,’ Pickle told me. ‘We’re not propagandists The Stanford case calls for certain reaffirmations. In a free society, no man can be punished by the government because of the opinions he holds. If these opinions are communist, still, he is entitled to them; with Jefferson, we hold that error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. We agree with former President Truman that the law which de, fines membership in the Communist Party as per se subversive and punishable by criminal penalties constitutes suppression of political opinion, and is therefore offensive. to the civil liberties of the people. Obviously in these days and this country, a man’s joining the Communist Party is a Texas do not speak for democracy. On this question, men and women of many kinds of politics do speak for democracyVice President Johnson, Senator Goldwater, Senators Yarborough and Tower, Governor Connally, the League of Women Voters, the groups of the Democratic Coalition. Some of them believe that their party or their cause will gain ground in 1964 because of repealand they are probably right. Some of them believe that their party or their cause will lose ground in 1964 because of repealand they are probably right. But they are agreed on the repeal of the poll tax, because it is the right thing. It is democracy, the way we believe in. or fixers.’ ” Later, when Pickle became Price Daniel’s organization director for the state Democratic committee, that committee mounted vicious conservative attacks against the elements that make up the Democratic Party of the country. In its newsletter dated June 17, 1957, the Picklerun committee specifically called the three chief leaders of Texas labor, as well as Negro attorney W. J. Durham, “leftwing” and “extreme liberals.” Little wonder the liberal Democrats refused to send contributions for Pickle’s committee to handle, adopting the motto: “Dollars for Democrats, but notl nickel for Pickle.” As employer representative of the Texas Employment Cmsn., Pickle has led that agency’s work in cutting down the rights of jobless workers, and he went to Washington to lobby against their interests. Central Texas Democrats do not want this professional Shivercrat representing them in Washington. There might be a case for Republicans voting for him, if they didn’t have a candidate in the racethere might be anyway, considering Jim Dobbs’ recent propaganda work for H. L. Hunt of Dallas. But there is no sound case for any good Democrat voting for Jake Pickle. We don’t know all we would like to about Jack Ritter ; he sounds like a pretty good Democrat. reasonable basis for conjecture whether he has or has not committed subversive acts; but in such a case, as in any case in a nation of laws, a jury of the man’s peers not a body of politiciansis the judge of his guilt or his innocence. If the government has evidence that a specific person has himself committed acts that are designed to overthrow the government by force and violence, its proper course is to present this evidence to a grand jury, and if an indictment is secured, to have a jury decide if he is guilty or not, and have him bear his punishment if he is guilty. Whenever, and just to the extent that, a society makes an opinion criminal, it is not a free society. and WHAT AB OUT out a price-tag on manhood, without having to choose, if they are poor, between meat for their children tonight and citizenship for the rest of the year. The handful of crotchety old men who have taken their stand for the poll tax in not f”4/r. pica Opirtiono Are not CrinteJ _ _ _