r e88388 The Nomenclature 1:!: It: liberals elected convention chairman, told the Observer before the hearing began: “We have the balance of the evidence on the mathematics on our side. Unfortunately, mathematics don’t win conventions in Texas. “I don’t think they’re even going to consider the Bexar delegation. The other side has’ more contributors to John Connally than any other group at the convention Mrs. Negley, Herman Brown’s daughter; homebuilders; ranchers and oilmen.” Bitterly, but with a grin, Knight added: “Their delegates’ list reminds me of the Texas spring flowers. They’re here in the spring but they’re not here in the fall as Democrats.” Maverick told the committee the reporters who had reported the liberals’ vote total in the convention were present, and he invited the committee to call on them to testify. When Peace rose in the convention to denounce the temporary roll the county chairman had presented, Maverick said, Peace made no point of order, motion to table the roll, or appeal to the floor, but simply “gave the signal to walk out to a hall rented three days before.” Maverick also stressed that this hall had been rented before the county credentials committee hearing, from which Peace had also walked out. Dr. Ruth Bellinger McCoy, a physician who presided over the county credentials hearing, testified at length about what had happened there. This was an all-liberal committee, and that it had seated liberal delegations from the contested precincts was not disputed. Dr. McCoy said one liberal precinct delegation was seated because the conservative who was elected chairman of the meeting lived outside the precinct, although he voted \(not properly, it apthe conservatives claimed to have won 26-8 or so, Dr. McCoy said, the liberals were seated on grounds that the precinct offi-: cial had not examined the conservatives’ poll taxes to ascertain that they had voted, as Dr. McCoy said the law requires. At the county credentials hearing, Dr. McCoy said, Peace was not permitted to present evidence on behalf of conservative mittee were laymen and decided they did not want lawyers’ testimony, since they were having an administrative proceeding; in the open meeting Peace did not speak for their precincts, and no one in the meeting backed up Peace’s claim to represent various precincts when the question was asked whether he did. Will Davis of Austin, chairman of the credentials committee in Houston, asked Dr. McCoy, “Did you count, in the 1,595 votes, any precincts in which any person walked out?” “Oh, yes,” Dr. McCoy said. “Oh, you did?” Davis retorted with sarcasm in his voice. Davis asked what evidence they had that precincts that were counted as staying in the convention were still represented therein by a majority of their delegates? To that Dr. McCoy replied that in any case, such precincts’ total votes can be voted under the unit rule. The unit rule is the rule whereby all delegates from a convention are bound to vote the way the majority of them decides they should. Under one aspect of the rule, which is unevenly applied, sometimes fewer than all a precinct’s delegates are let cast the precinct’s total votes. Maverick, closing for the liberals, thundered: “If they had the majority, why didn’t they just stay there and beat us?” The committee should not, either, let Peace bring up new precincts he did not tell the county committee he was representing, Maverick said. “Knight needed actually only 900 or so votes,” Maverick said. “It’s our contention that he really won 2-1, there isn’t any question about it.” You didn’t actually hear Mr. Peace?” Davis asked Maverick, as to the county hearing on precinct contests. “He walked out,” Maverick parried. JOHN PEACE took his turn then, in his stentorian fog-horn voice proclaiming that his side won when the votes were counted fairly. From minutes of the precinct conventions, he said, he could tell that Connally forces had actually elected 1,350 or so delegates to the county convention and therefore had won it. The liberal-controlled county executive committee, however, named the credentials committee of 100% liberal Democratic Coalition people \(he told the 100% conservative Connally committee on the dais before mittee was actually a member of one of the contested precinct delegations, Peace said. At the credentials hearing, Peace said, they “refused me the right to represent anybody there and to introduce any evidence,” including affidavits he had. This, Peace said, was “without any question the most un-American and arbitrary convention procedure I have yet to see.” He was allowed five minutes to state -his general position, he said. He had brought with him to the state convention, he said, many affidavits, some of which had been “developed since” the county convention. In all but one of the contested precinct conventions, he contended the affidavits showed, Connally people had a majority. The precinct chairman who did not live in his precinct only had to be named on the precinct’s poll list, Peace contended. Beyond that, he said his affidavits affirmed, the minutes of one precinct were false; a precinct chairman’s signature had been forged to another set of minutes. At the credentials hearing, Peace said, “It became evident to us that with these people in charge of the machinery, we would never be able to get a fair treatment from them.” Eight or nine hundred people attended his rump convention, he maintained. Now how did he reason from the 1,596 votes liberals claimed stayed in the regular convention to a majority for his own side? Step by step, Peace laid out his arithmetic. The minutes showed just 1,478 votes were cast for Knight: so subtract 118. \(Knight told the committee some delegations did abstain on his election, and he noticed that two delegations voted no. Subtracting all 118, Peace claimed them all for Peace proposed to deduct from the liberals’ total, to make allowance for “those delegations where their maximum strength of delegates was not actually selected,” another 80 votes. “That leaves 1,398 votes. From this I would deduct” 25 votes of precincts from which the minutes did not specify the delegates’ names. From this he took the seven votes of precincts where he said no conventions were held. From this he took 110 votes for those precincts of the contested delegations which the liberals claimed had voted for them. This cut the 1,596 down to 1,256, still a majority. Maverick had stressed that no roll call vote had been taken in the rump convention, but Peace said that they had made a record of who had been present and that delegates at the rump convention represented precincts with 510 votes from precincts that were counted on the regular convention’s roll call. “This would leave, in Mr. Knight’s convention as people about Houston Marvin Watson of Daingerfield, who has long been associated with the Lone Star Steel Company, was a member of the Democrats’ credentials committee in Houston. Twice he asked wide-eyed questions about the nomenclature of liberal politics in Texas. He asked Dr. Ruth McCoy of San An-. tonio what the Democratic Coalition was they didn’t have one in East Texas, he said. Dr. McCoy was explaining that it is a grouping of liberals, labor, Negroes, and Latins when Maury Maverick Jr., intervened to quip: “It’s a sort of liberal East Texas chamber of commerce.” Watson asked Jim Choate of Dallas why his delegation called themselves “loyal Democrats.” Well, Choate said, they are liberals, conservatives, moderates, people for or against Connally, but they always support the Democratic nominees, “as contrasted to 24 previous precinct chairmen or preOinct chairmen who are presently delegates [in the other Dallas delegation] who refused to endorse Governor Connally in his general election last time,” and to the other delegation’s vice-chairman and floor-leader, Cliff Cassidy, “who demanded his name be withdrawn from an ad for Lyndon Johnson and requested a public apology for it having appeared.” The ad to which Choate referred had endorsed the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960. Watson accepted these responses to his 8 The Texas Observer questions without remark.