antee Negroes the right to vote such as the 1957, 1960, and 1965 bills. He opposed the 1964 civil rights measure because of the public accommodations section, and he opposed the constitutional amendment which outlawed the poll tax in federal elections because it “would result in mass confusion.” Wright is quick to point out that he is not anti-civil rights. “I was one of only three members of the Texas [House] delegation who refused to sign any of the Southern manifestoes denouncing the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling on integration. When I was -a member of the state legislature, the Sweatt case was decided by the courts that the University of Texas must admit Negroes. I supported that publicly. “As mayor of Weatherford, I provided a school bus for Negro students and for the first time extended paving and sanitary sewer lines into a Negro section.” He also noted that he had just recently signed the discharge petition to allow a bill granting home rule to the District of Columbia to come to the floor. The bill has been opposed by Southerners because of the likelihood that the District’s Negro majority would elect a Negro mayor for the nation’s capital. In connection with the 1964 vote, he referred me to a statement he made shortly after the bill was introduced. It read in part, “The right to vote is a basic, fundamental, sacred thing . . . The convenience of attending a certain theatre or eating in a certain cafe, while understandably im-. portant to people, is legally another matter.” \(The courts have since held, in effect, compliance. His statement read, “Surely it must be more satisfying to anyone to know that he enters another person’s property, not because some law commands his admission, but because he is welcome.” As for his vote on the anti-poll tax amendment, he said, “I supported attempts in Texas to abolish the poll tax in Texas.” He opposed the constitutional ban, which extended only to federal elections, because, he said, “I felt it would be infinitely better to have one list of qualified voters rather than two and one printed ballot rather than two.” He said his fears of mass confusion were borne out in Texas during the 1964 election when “so few people knew how to qualify for voting in the exclusively federal elections.” LABOR: 1955 minimum wage bill yes; 1959 Landrum-Griffin -bill yes; 1960 minimum wage billyes; 1961 minimum wage billyes; 1965 Hartley Actyes. Here again is an inconsistency in an issue . . . Landrum-Griffin was roundly opposed by organized labor; the repeal of contradiction? 6 The Texas Observer “The explanation is,” Wright said intently, “that I’m independent of influences by either management or labor.” He pressed on. “Landrum-Griffin was aimed at curbing certain notorious abuses committed by an admittedly small minority of labor. The membership was entitled to public announcement of elections of officers, entitled to guarantee of secret ballot, regular reporting of expenditures of dues money. I did not consider the vote earlier this summer Wright had said that Texas, which has a right to work law, did “not need such selfish enticements as a allows states to pass “right to work” laws. Wright does not want to be considered a labor man. “I expressly have not, do not and will not turn over to any segment of society the right to vote me,” he said. MEDICARE: 1960 Kerr-Millsyes; 1965 medicare billyes. Of the two bills, with different approaches, he said, “I thought Kerr-Mills was a very good step in the right direction. I think under Kerr-Mills Texas has made some appreciable strides, but it became evident to me that this did not provide a completely satisfactory answer.” He said he felt Congress this year “molded together in one package the best suggestions arising from the Administration, spokesmen for the aged, medical profession, and the private insurance industry.” HOUSING: Major housing legislation in 1955, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, and 1965yes; Creation of a Department of Urban Affairs in 1962, 1963, and 1965no. Here Wright has been entirely consistent in his approach. This leaves the question: Congressman, how can you be for urban renewal, for public housing, and against a housing department? “I thought it was an unnecessary. encrustation. Existing agencies could do the jab. I don’t believe that government is served by a proliferation of new departments and agencies . . . instead it tends to become more cumbersome and less efficient.” EDUCATION: bills in 1956, 1957, and 1960 authorizing funds for elementary and secondary school constructionno; 1958 National Defense Education Actyes; bills in 1963 and 1964 authorizing funds for aid to higher educationyes; 1965 omnibus education billyes. Why the “no” on secondary and elementary aid in early years and the “yes” in 1965? “Basically the question of local control of the schools was one I felt important and still do. I speak now of freedom of dominance in matters of curriculum, textbook selection, and faculty tenure. I consider [control] bad and by definition illiberal if exercised by either state or federal authority.” He continued, “I was not satisfied that either of the early bills [in 1956 and 1957] relating to secondary education contained sufficiently adequate guarantees against possible control. I was satisfied in that regard this year.” Wright said he opposed the 1960 bill because he was not satisfied on the churchstate issue. FOREIGN AID: Consistent support. “I think foreign aid is essential to the struggle against Communism,” he said. He has taken special interest in foreign affairs; especially in maters having to do with Latin America. He points with pride to a bill he sponsored which makes available long-term loans to small businesses under the Alliance for Progress. Wright has expressed continuing concern about the Alliance and has become a member of the annual U.S.Mexico Interparliamentary Conference. Every congressman attempts to become an expert in some area of legislation. Wright has chosen water supply and conservation. He has authored legislation on water supply, is currently writing a book on the subject, and has been a prime mover behind the Trinity River navigation project, which is heading toward a show-down in the House. This is the public record of Jim Wright. 0 Patterns Statistical studies compiled by Congressional Quarterly in two different categories support for a larger or smaller federal role and support or opposition of the positions of the conservative coalition in Congress \(Southern Democrats and Northern Jim Wright’s over-all position in the last six years. The studies were based upon a selected group of roll-call votes where the issue in question was clearly definable. WRIGHT ON THE SIZE OF THE FEDERAL ROLE Larger Smaller 86th Congress .50% 50% 56% 11% 78% 17% WRIGHT ON THE POSITIONS OF THE CONSERVATIVE COALITION OppositiOn Support 86th Congress 33% 57% 87th Congress 38% 41% 88th Congress 37% 37% \(Where the percentages total less than 100\(,,; , Wright was absent on some of the 1
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