help clear his name” and that Fonville had said he had taken the lie detector test and passed it. Bush upheld the Texas Department of Public Safety as “a wonderful agency,” but closed that the Estes subject was “pretty much old hat.” In his final pre-election slams at Bush, Yarborough condemned him for “his Goldwater againstism” and for opposing the war on poverty, federal aid to build classrooms, the nuclear test ban treaty, medicare, and the United Nations. Furthermore, Yarborough said, “this Ivy League Republican” was for the Trinity River Authority, in his -own words, only “under certain conditions.” Yarborough was endorsed by Cong. Jim Wright, Fort Worth, on TV and in a signed newspaper ad in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and on TV also by Cong. Wright Patman and Graham Purcell the final night. President Johnson’s boosts for Yarborough the last few days included a telephone endorsement to a Pasadena rally in which Johnson said, “It is mighty important to me to have him returned to the Senate.” This endorsement was played on Yarborough’s election eve program. On Monday before the election, Johnson en-. dorsed Yarborough several times at Houston stops, calling him “one of the wisest and most effective senators in the United States.” Yarborough and Cong. Jake Pickle rode with Johnson in the motorcade to Johnson’s final speech of the campaign at the foot of the mall on the Capitol grounds in Austin. Election night Johnson and his entourage visited Yarborough’s headquarters, and Johnson in the presence of the press thanked Yarborough for saving Texas from having two Republican senators; Yarborough thanked Johnson for his endorsement. HAVING WON, Sen. Yarborough was besieged election night by reporters, radio stations, and supporters. His basic statement thanked Texans for his victory and “thousands of volunteers who worked without compensation and against a great aggregation of wealth. In Harris County alone, I would see hundreds at a time volunteering their time.” The senator was not feeling charitable about the opposition. “You know, when you’re fighting the big moneyand in Texas that means the big paperswhen they can’t break the candidate down, they try to break his family down,” he said. “I intend also to thank the Lord because he has delivered me from the snares of many foulers.” The campaign against him, he said, had been one of “defamation and slander.” “I think my opponent ought to pick up his baggage and go back where he came from. It was one of the vilest campaigns,” Yarborough said. Asked if he had contacted Bush, he said he had not and did not intend to. “A hard-fought campaign is all right. This kind of campaign is not all right. If ought not have been imported into this state,” he said. Was he bitter, a reporter asked him, that Texas’ large dailies did not support him? Not at all, he said; with ten million people to represent he didn’t have time to be bitter. As to newspapers, “I just said that my job has been more difficult because for six years the two papers in Dallas have slandered me. The prime example of that was the Dallas News infamous lie about the Billie Sol Estes $50,000. They tried to slander me out of office with it when they knew it was a base falsehood.” The New York Times had stated in advance of the election, in an editorial, that Yarborough should be re-elected, and he said that it was “a great consolation to me to know that the greatest newspaper in America had given me this recognition, even though Texas papers have not.” Leading at that point in the evening by better than 59% of the vote, Yarborough said his own estimate had been 57%, but that he had been at a low point Oct. 3 when Congress finally adjourned because he had not been able to campaign without interruption to return to Washington. But he soon saw, he said, that he would _win ; and when he read Newsweek’s prediction that “Smilin’ Ralph” would not be re-elected, he wired them, “Smilin’ Ralph is still smilin’, Bush is bushed, and you should give your pollster a long vacation.” A reporter said to him that his vote for the civil rights bill must have taken a lot of courage. “Well, at the time I cast that vote,” he replied, “we had polls and knew that 38% of the people of Texas approved and 62% felt strong opposition, so politically that was pretty risky; but that’s not the only one like that. The people didn’t elect me to go up there and take, a Belden Poll or a Gallup Poll and vote the way it says, but to vote for the long-range, best interests of Texas. Some of them may Rayburn to Estes One detail that did not come out during the fall campaignsno doubt because of the veneration in which his memory is held among Texas Democratsis the late Speaker Sam Rayburn’s 1960 letter to Billie -Sol Estes. Rayburn wrote, on December 28, 1960: “Dear Mr. Estes: “Thanks for your letter of December 15th, recommending Mr. Bill Mattox for appointment to the Texas State Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Committee. “I will call this to the attention of the appointive officers because I know you would not recommend a man to any position unless he was a man of high character and good ability. “With every good wish, I am/Sincerely yours,/Sam Rayburn.” The letter is just one more item in the documentation of Estes’ high standing before his fall from political grace. seem momentarily inexpedient, but ‘after all I gave up my law practice to be a senator, and I wouldn’t be true to myself if I had just voted with what was expedient at the moment.” BUSH’S ADS in the dailies the final weeks were displays of names of his supporters “448 reasons to vote for George Bush” in Harris County \(the names tonio, “hundreds” in a South Texas ad. Certainly Bush’s most attention-attracting gambit the last few days was his debate with “the empty chair,” a whiskered campaign trick to call attention to an opponent’s refusal to debate. Bush had some wrinkles, though : he played back Yarborough’s own statements on tape recordings, which provoked from Yarborough the charge that it was an illegal trick. The Federal Communications Cmsn., to whom Yarborough promptly appealed, for which Bush just as promptly berated him, ruled that the empty chair debate was all right and was not unfair to Yarborough. Bush thereupon played it a second time, the Sunday before the election. Democratic precinct chairmen’s supporting Bush publicly in Dallas caused a running argument there. Dan Weiser, the executive secretary of the county party committee and a loyal Democrat, demanded they explain themselves and declared that party officials who don’t support the party ticket ought to be thrown out of ofice. Seven precinct chairmen retorted that not they, but Weiser should be thrown out because of his “disservice” to the Democratic Party in taking this stand. “Purge,” trumpeted a newspaper ad for Bush growing out of this dispute. While Bush’s manner in person is amiable and easy-going, in his television appearances the last week or so he was harsh and angry. He referred to his opponent as “Yarborough” much as Gordon McLendon did earlier this year and furrowed his brow as he delivered somewhat hurried denunciations of his opponent. It was difficult to avoid the conclusion that Bush had been thrown on the defensive. Private polls may have caused him to brace for the worst. Yarborough’s slams against him as “the darling of the John Birch Society” provoked him to deny emphatically that he was a Bircher or had any desire to become one. Although he had said flatly in ads that he opposed treaties without adequate safeguards and the nuclear test ban treaty did not have these, on his closing-night TV show he said only, as to the nuclear test ban treaty, “I’ve always favored one with adequate safeguards.” He must have worried about the farm vote, also; his last night he said, “I am not opposed to all subsidies. . . . Whit I favor is a gradual return to more freedom for the farmer.” Countering Johnson’s endorsements of Yarborough, Bush produced former President Eisenhower’s endorsement of him. He referred to Connally as “my governor and November 13, 1964 7
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.