The objections of Fort Worth members also impotent in the rural-dominated House, especially with Houston members stilledwere embodied in an amendment by Rep. W. C. Sherman of Fort Worth that would have given the San Antonians what they wanted; would have given the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas congressmen of their own, and would have joined the midcities district between Fort Worth and Dallas and four counties to the north into a third district, all with less than 2% deviation from the ideal population per district. Houston voting with the prevailing Team, Sherman’s amendment lost. Trying with a variation, Rep. Skeet Richardson of Fort Worth complained, “One part of our county runs all the way to Oklahoma and the other all the way to Houston,” but again to no avail. Rep. Cahoon tried with his bill for the record, admitting he was “aided by the Republican Party” in drafting it. In its defense, he said that under its terms the Republicans wouldn’t have won a single congressional seatin November, 1964. Midland-Odessa would have been kept intact. Cahoon got 18 votes, including a few liberals’. The pattern was established: like bowling pins the protesters were sent splattering and the House bill passed without amendment. The Bexar County substitute \(one urban district, and another composed of east Bexar County and adjacent rural Harris County’s. Trying with a second version of a local rural amendment, Rep. Bill Clayton, Springlake, pleaded, “Maybe this is a little more simpler. . . .All it’ll do is just change three counties back in this cotton-producing area. . . .” but the Team held fast. “Let’s just maintain consistency and reject this amendment,” a Team spokesman argued. Eighteen were rejected in all. Said Rep. Jim Markgraf, Scurry, afterwards, “Some want us to go to the unicameral legislative structure. After this, I submit it’s more economical if we just go to legislation by conference committee.” The final bill was, indeed, written in such a committee. Rep. John Alaniz, San Antonio, predicted shrewdly that Sen. Abraham Kazen, Laredo, a redistricting power there, would not like the House bill because he wanted a congressional district for himself, but the House threw him in with incumbent Kika de la Garza of Mission. \(In passing, some obsolete details: the House bill, later jettisoned, would have had Cong. Lindley Beckworth, Gladewater, and John Dowdy, Athens, in one district, and Ray Roberts, McKinney, and Wright Patman, Texarkana, in one district. Dallas County was given only one full congressman, with a northerly segment of the county joined into the Roberts-Patman district and a southern segment running into Cong. Olin Teague’s district to the south; but Sen. George Parkhouse was for this plan, and six Dallas representatives voted for it and only two, Reps. Jim Wade and Jim Stroud, opposed it. Wade said the bill was IN THE SENATE’S congressional bill, offered by Sen. Ralph Hall of Rockwall, Roberts would have been pitted against Dowdy and Patman aga i inst Beckworth. Gonzalez was placed, startlingly, in a new district cut off from some of the West Side, where most of the city’s Latin-Americans live. Sen. Franklin Spears, who would have been put in this same district with Gonzalez, said “I didn’t do it.” Spears offered a substitute, a model bill drawn by professors, that he said would have created compact districts that preserved communities of interest and would have varied from the population norm no more than 1.9%. The senators were in no mood for such idealism and slapped this down 22-7. The Hall plan, which the Senate adopted, put part of Bexar County in with a district stretching to far West Texas, and another_ part in with counties stretching to old Mexico. Sen. Kazen would have been in the district stretching from his city into THE REAL BLOODLETTING among friends occurred over senatorial redistricting. Rep. J. Ed Harris, Galveston, suspects that had the representatives who were “shafted” united, they could have won a revolt against the House bill, but in part, perhaps, because of the edginess in the Houston delegation, this never happened. In the Senate, however, it did. The group generally associated with Lt. Gov. Preston Smith and the Senate’s Old Guard, epitomized by Sen. Dorsey Hardeman of San Angelo, came forward with the Crump plan, handled by Sen. Louis Crump, San Saba. Hall of Rockwall, infuriated to find that the Crump plan, in his view, protected the Hardeman group while it gigged a group of senators he and his supporters’ regarded as the rural independents and some of the liberals, went to work organizing his revolt. Sens. Spears and Don Kennard, Fort Worth, and possibly also Charles Herring, Austin, were pivot people in Hall’s strategy. Sen. Bill Moore, Bryan, a supporter of Crump, said to the Observer that he had seen 18 signatures on Crump’s plan; that would be a majority of the Senate, and Moore spoke most unkindly of the switchers. Partisans of Hall insisted that some of the signatures had signified assent to only the part of the Crump map that affected the signatories’ own districts. Be that as it may, charges of bad faith and welching flew among the senators. It was a bitter time. A leading senator on Hall’s side said, in the kind of turkey-talk no senator would be quoted on, that Crump’s group had agreed to “take care” of Spears, Kennard, Sen. Babe Schwartz of Galveston, and Roy Harrington, Port Arthur; in hopes that they would go along with the Crump plan’s dolorous implications for Senators Bill Pat “South San.” The Senate bill would have put a fragment of Tirrant County in with Burleson \(instead of with Teague, as the back together again, as Cahoon had wanted. But now Sen. Parkhouse of Dallas was alienated, because the Senate bill, not following the House plan of giving Dallas population southward to Teague, took the northwest corner of Dallas and put it into Purcell’s district. Senator Hall accused Parkhouse of wanting to choose whom to “kick out of Dallas.” Hall said his bill varied less than 6% from the norm. All this solemn legislating became academic when both bills were dumped into the ten-man conference committee, which met, as such committees do, in secret, and its members began to hear from whatever powerful men wished to communicate with them. The legislators had to wait until the Saturday night before adjournment to find out what had happened to their bills. Meanwhile, they were redistricting their own chambers. man, Ganado; Jack Strong, Longview ; Walter Richter, Gonzales; Culp Krueger, El Campo; Pete Snelson, Midland, and Hall. Sen. Andy Rogers, Childress, another Senate independent and a liberal, said he realized he had to be pitted against Sen. Jack Hightower, Wichita Falls. “It isn’t what they do, it’s the way they do it,” he explained. He had never carried Hale County and had always carried Lamb; he had been given Hale but not Lamb. Such factors as these combined to give Hall confidence, later confirmed, that he had at least 16 votes, a majority, for his substitute plan. Crump on May 13 laid out his proposal before the Senate, pitting Strong vs. Galloway Calhoun, Tyler; Moore vs. Neveille Colson, Navasota ; Hall vs. Tom Creighton, Mineral Wells; Snelson vs. David Ratliff, Stanford; Rogers vs. Hightower; and Krueger vs. Patman vs. Richter \(assuming Perhaps seeing the way the grass was bending, Sen. A. M. Aikin, Paris, rose for the Crump-Hardeman group, said, “Mr. President, I love this Senate. I don’t like to see members feel toward each other like they did yesterday,” and moved postponement. Schwartz began a running comment then that was eventually to characterize what was happening. “This is the first time that I’ve been in the Senate that anyone has shown concern for the sensitivities of the members,” he said. Sen. Grady Haziewood, Amarillo, said, “This is the worst six weeks I’ve ever seen.” Sen. Doc Blanchard, Lubbock, said, “I’ve been pleased to have both sides come by and tell me what they’re going to do for me. . . . I don’t want to walk out of this Senate with the feeling that I’ve lost some of the best friends I’ve got. Go one waythey’re gone. Go the June 11, 1965 9 Blood on the Senate Carpet
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.