Page 9


A co.’ Speech, Con idering. Governor Connally’s address to the legislature was a good one, everything considered. He took a course calculated to offend the least number of people and do the state the least long-run damage. He avoided any really controversial reformsthe thought of his opposing capital punishment, breaking ground for the illegalization of wiretapping, or proposing a public defender system for indigent defendants, for instance, is simply beyond one’s idea of himbut he made some sensible proposals. Tactically, his major decision was to. oppose the $400-a-year teacher pay raise in order to avoid tax proposals that would infuriate large segments of the political population. He did this in as graceful a style as he could. He said that actually what teachers needed was merit raises, and he is for those, but the fact is, the teachers are asking for $400 more a year and his program provides perhaps an eighth of that. We would like to see the teachers get more money, but as we said last issue, this is not the year to permit avoidable pressures to be generated for new tax income. This legislature would, if forced to do so, raise the sales tax rate or repeal the grocery exemptionand double college tuition, to bootbefore it would consider more progressive taxation. Therefore it seems indicated that the teachers must mark time two years. This means the school children must wait, too, for their better and happier teachers. Beneath the smooth finish of the governor’s public image there lie many jagged wrongs like this. He will not fight for good taxation, and rather than saddle himself with more bad, he accepts the climate in the legislature and stalls. In the context, \(that is, such a legislature and relieved that he took the line he did. Specifically we see nothing wrong with raising the cigarette sales tax. Raise it some more, and some more. The cancer sticks are killing people at the rate, specialists now estimate, of 125,000 a year in the United States, and if ever there was a case for taxing to deter sales this is it. Of course there’s a contradiction : the tax is not really expected to cut down on smoking. Therefore it’s more sales tax. But the possibility that it will improve the public health and its acceptability compared to a higher overall sales tax rate or higher college tuition make it a wise proposal from the governor. Measured and temperate were the governor’s proposals on higher education. He did not follow the tone of his businessmanstudy committee on higher education, instead choosing to emphasize that education is the purpose of educational institutions. He stubbornly continued to make his advocacy of higher faculty salaries contingent 2 The Texas Observer upon his getting his college superboard, but one senses in Austin that he is not going to get this superboard and that he knows it as well as everyone else. His new proposal of a three-ring system of collegesone of them specifying realistically that only colleges, not “universities,” are contained thereindoes not seem to be a bad idea. Let-the legislature, however, take the precaution of seeing that Governor Connally does not appoint all the new regents. Let a careful nominating system be devised to cut down on the politics in the governing of our colleges. The governor’s general statement on higher education is in point. He said: “Our colleges and universities are agencies of the state intended to achieve the educational aims of all citizens. They are not the private preserve of the students, the exclusive province of the faculty, the kingdom of the governing boards or the school administration; nor are they merely the prized possessions of local or regional communities to be sought and promoted as another manufacturing plant or industrial process for the benefit of the local economy. Their mission is to educate the human mind.” The governor’s renewed advocacy of industrial safety legislation is heartening, especially because Speaker Barnes has been telling legislators in behind-the-scenes talk that he and the governor intend a bill 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, Elroy Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, 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; El Paso, Mrs. Jeanette Harris, 5158 Garry Owen Rd., LO 5-3448; 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; that is more than the shell Connally tried to foist off on the members in 1963. Here as throughout the governor’s program the question is, Will he deliver? But he has said theright thing. The governor proposes a program to teach at least 10,000 illiterates yearly. This will be a start on the 800,000 of them in our state. He proposes four-year terms for statewide officeholders: good. He serves the major oil companies proposing compulsory unitization if that legislation takes its usual form, and should be denied his recommendation on this. We are prepared to reconsider ourselves on repealing the state property tax to give the cities a source of new revenue, and in fact we are doing so, especially in light of the point that the city sales tax is a possible alternative, given this legislature’s climate. We do not sense conviction in the governor’s proposals for a water program or a mental health program, but would be pleased to be shown wrong. He is still demagogueing on redistricting; one supposes we must wait, on this question, for the courts to catch up with these gentlemen. The governor’s speech was on balance realistic and adept. He will not move us forward much but at least he did not, in this speech, side with the really reactionary elements in the legislature. School teachers must have been the most disappointed. If they wish to make a deal with liberal and moderate members, let them come forward with a pay raise tied to a corporate profits tax or a gas pipeline tax, the revenues dedicated to their pay raise. Otherwise, we believe, they should wait for redistricting. San Antonio. Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Tyler, Mrs. Erik Thomsen, 3332 Lynwood, LY 4-4862; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, 33 Aberdeen Ave., Apt. 3A. 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 \(10 in various ways with this area. The nay depends; at present it is token. Unsolieited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. Unsigned articles are tile euitur’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 address and allow three weeks. THE TEXAS OBSERVER A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 59th YEAR ESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. 57, No. 3 7410 February 5, 1965