i ciaJ gen. Jhere Get to work for Ralph Yarborough! That is the unmistakable meaning of the front page of the Dallas Morning News last Sunday. The reactionary power structure is out to get Sen. Yarborough, and they will, unless the good and honest loyal Democrats of Texas who have known him for the good and honest man he is lo these many years get to work now and stay at it until 7 p.m. on the evening of May the second. We do not mean anyone should give less time to Don Yarborough’s campaign. John Connally is an active leader of the power structure that is trying to get Sen. Yarborough. Don Yarborough is a liberal candidate and his election as governor is much to be desired. John Connally is the candidate of the corporations and Don Yarborough is the candidate of the people. Connally marked himself as a Republican kind of Texas Democrat in nothing so clearly as in his attempt to get Allan Shivers or Joe Kilgore to run against Sen. Yarborough. Sen. Yarborough means everything to the rich men’s club that has controlled Texas politics for decades. If he wins re-election, they see the handwriting on the wall: Democracy in Texas. If he can be defeated, they are back in velvet. THE PRICE of being a good man in Texas politics is very, very high. Sen. Yarborough has paid the price before; now he is paying it again. He can never be sure from which direction he will be whacked next. The source of the shocking attack on him last Sunday was so obvious and discredited, it signified that the big boys are really desperate now and will not stop at anything the next two weeks. The Dallas News quoted Billy Sol Estes, the convicted former Pecos businessman, that he gave Sen. Yarborough $50,000 in cash in 1960, a year in which Sen. Yarborough had no political campaign. Yarborough called this “an infamous lie out of the whole cloth” in the same News story. Estes brought forward no records and there is no statement in the story what the $50,000 was supposed to be for. The Dallas News’ reporter, Jimmy Banks, said Estes. named witnesses he said saw him give the money to Yarborough, but Banks did not name them, and if he interviewed them, he did not report what they said Sunday. Monday morning, with just two telephone calls, the Observer was able to ascertain that the trustee in Estes’ bankruptcy in El Paso has never seen or heard of anything in Estes’ records that would subThis is an extremely grave matter. We must close this paper now. We are called upon to lay it on the line. We know Sen. Ralph Yarborough: we, all of us who know him, know him to be an honest man. It is a blessing that this charge was made three weeks before election day, for it can be shown for what it is by May 2; but it will hurt some, no matter how conclusively it 2 The Texas Observer is disputed, for some voters will choose to believe the original report. Furthermore, we know, from listening to Gordon McLendon, that he is the lowdownest political fighter in Texas politics since Allan Shivers. Who but an unscrupulous politician would call such a fine public servant as Yarborough, in a passage bearing on the assassination and its aftermath, “a left-wing character assassin”? Gordon McLendon does. Not only so. He also strongly implies that Senator Yarborough is a traitor to Texas; he even goes as far as to say that Yarborough had better be careful, and that he is “in danger.” In this issue we give McLendon his say, and we review his bankruptcy in 1952. In this editorial we express our opinion that he is not fit to receive the vote of a single Texas Democrat. That same front page of the Dallas News last Sunday also carried an editorial endorsing, for the Democratic primary, John Connally for governor, Preston Smith for lieutenant governor, Jim Langdon for railroad commissioner, Gordon McLendon for U.S. senator, and Millard Shivers for agriculture commissioner. That just happens to be a perfect list of people not to vote for. THE WHOLE PURPOSE of such a thing as the Estes statement and such a thing as McLendon’s scurrilous abuse of Yarborough is to put the straightforward Democrats who favor progressive solutions for the nation’s problems on the defensive. There will be more attacks on Yarborough in the Dallas Newsof that Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor and General Manager, Ronnie Dugger. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, J. Frank Dobie, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. Subscription Representatives: Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Dallas. Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Fort Worth, Mrs. Jesse Baker, 3212 Greene St.. WA 7-2959; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Odessa, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; Rio Grande Valley, Mrs. Jack Butler, 601 Houston, McAllen, MU 6-5675; we can be sure. Let us therefore recall, as we enter this crucial fortnight, what we know about Ralph Yarborough. We know that he is a good man. We know that he is courageous. He has not done everything liberals wanted him to as quickly as we’d hoped, but in the terms of today’s issues and the realities in Texas, he has been as courageous a defender of the best American values and the rights of every person of every color as Sam Houston was; he has earned a secure place in Texas history alongside Houston, Reagan, Hogg, and Allred. We know that he has integrity. We know that he would never take a penny bribe; that he would throw any man out of his office who so much as hinted at one; that he has taken far more scrupulous precautions to keep his sources of campaign funds diverse and non-committing than most Texas politicians ever think of. We know that he has lost elections rather than abandon the Democratic Party. He has been there. He led the Democrats of Texas through the dark years when he was the only leader; he leads through this dark year, too, and without him it would be very much darker. The people who know this are called on to act on it. If someone came up to us now and said “But what can one person do?” we would not be able to contain our fury. One person can do all that anyone can do all that he can do! This is the time to do it if there ever has been a time and if there will ever be a time again. May the memory of John Kennedy sober us and give us energy for the good fight we must win. Photographs of Senator Ralph Yarborough at his home in Austin, taken recently by Russell Lee. San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 2-7154; Tyler, Mrs. Erik Thomsen, 1209 So. Broadway, LY 4-4862. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd., biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5.00 a year; two years, $9.50; three years, $13.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 504 West 24th St., Austin 5, Texas. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new addresses E ,,nd allow three weeks. THE TEXASTEXAS OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 58th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 56, No. 8 70W April 17, 1964
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