In Texas . . . Aer at a picnic, beer is a natural When you’re relaxing at your favorite outdoor beauty spot with friends or family, and your thirst’s whetted by fresh air and exercisethat’s the ideal time for a cool, refreshing glass of beer. In fact, you can name your recreationswimming, hiking, or just watching TVand chances are nothing in the world fits it quite as well as beer. Your familiar glass of beer is also a pleasurable reminder that we live in a land of personal freedomand that our right to enjoy beer and ale, if we so desire, is just one, but an important one, of those personal freedoms. In Texas … beer goes with fun, with relaxation UNITED STATES BREWERS ASSOCIATION, INC. 905 International Life Bldg., Austin 1, Texas Dowdy’s Crusade Washington Congressman John Dowdy’s primary victory in East Texas was not just a disappointment to Texas liberals. In the District of Columbia, where he reigns as chairman of sub-committee four of the House District committee, Dowdy has led a successful maneuver against the local urban renewal bill and halted the largest urban renewal program in the nation. When a congressman like Dowdy gains a seat on the District committees, it’s like what children call “King’s X”the rules and penalties of the game are suspended and he’s safe. People in the District cannot vote on a representative to Congress, nor does the-District have a mayor, a city council, or self-rule of any form. Its taxes and funds are allocated by the District committees even though this is taxation without representation. Since Washington is supposedly an integrated city, with the Negro population accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total, several Southern congressmen use their jobs on the House District committee to demonstrate how integration can ruin,, a City. Like many cities Washington has a shabby, aged commercial core and a variety of slums. A bill to redevelop the old commercial section and various slum areas went through the tedious steps of gaining approval from the District commissioners, the city planning commission and ‘the redevelopment land authority. It was then approved by the Senate and sent to Dowdy’s sub-committee, where investigations and harrassment began which resulted in redevelopment areas standing vacantin the case of one project two and a half years. Dowdy’s latest delaying method has been to burden the District urban renewal bill with a series of amendments that would restrict the amount of urban renewal activity in the city, change definitions, and establish administrative restrictions. This has been condemned by the Washington Post in an editorial titled “The Wreckers’ Amendments.” Dowdy said in a speech entered in the Congressional Record that “agencies and people involved ‘have been squealing like stuck hogs,” which he took as verification that he had hit “paydirt”‘ in his investigations. Probably the most controversial program being delayed by Dowdy’s amendments is the Columbia Plaza Project, west of the White House, near the site for the proposed John F. Kennedy Cultural Center and close to the exclusive Georgetown area. Allegedly, private redevelopers were unable to buy the Columbia Plaza area because of a few private , owners who refused to sell out. Eventually the District bought the land for redevelopment. Now, if the bill fails to pass the House, the land would go back to private development, razed, cleared, and free of balking former land owners. The amendments to the bill, still being held in committee, have even been condemned by eleven other members of the -District committee, one less than half the membership. They said that “the primary impact of the amendments seems to be to create a precedent for attacking the whole urban renewal program throughout the country.” Dowdy publicized his attack on urban renewal in the March issue of Readers’ Digest, where he charges that his subcommittee uncovered waste, graft, and corruption during its investigation of the local programs. He points out that voters in cities such as Los Angeles, Dallas, Lincoln, Neb., and Richmond, Va., \(a city with some of the most wretched slums this ects after vigorous protests. Dowdy discusses what proponents of urban renewal readily admit to be serious problems. He goes on to state his belief that private industry could handle urban renewal on a local basis. Sen. Joe Clark sponsible distortions of truth”‘ and that “under the guise of a return to local responsibility,” there is an attempt under way by “the radical right . . . to perpetuate the slums, city decay, and hopelessness that existed before there was urban renewal.” On March 6th this year, Dowdy spoke in Rockford, Ill., before the National Conference on Urban Renewal, a rally of conservative business men sponsored by, among others, three members of the national council of the John Birch Society. The purpose of the conference was to plan to shut down the federal urban renewal authority, which will expire June 30 unless extended. San Antonio alone has five urban renewal projects now and is considering an additional 21 of them. These projects and others could be stopped by Dowdy and his friendsmen who, as the Washington Post editorial commented, “believe that cities have no right to interfere with the normal course of speculation in blighted land.” PATI GRIFFITH June 12, 1964 11
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.