famous “gas house gang” on the five test tax votes the CIO selected as crucial. The next term, however, the CIO gave him a score of 27 votes “for the special interests” against just one “for the general welfare,” while the Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. rated him right, 30 votes to four, and the Texas State Teachers’ Assn., according to the CIO’s document on the voting that session, measured his one good vote on their test issues against his nine votes they did not approve of. In the ’55 session he was running for Speaker two years thence; the old CIO voting evaluation in the Observer’s files for 1955 shows him as having cast 17 “bad” votes, seven “good” ones. Apart from his votes for natural gas taxation, Carr in 1951 was credited by labor for votes against a lien on pensioners’ property, cutting rural road construction, and legalizing 35% interest, and for more pay for legislators. Carr cast three votes labor disliked on a bill by Sen. George Parkhouse, Dallas, that prohibited an employer and a union from excluding nonunion laborers. His net score with the CIO that year was ten right, five wrong. 5 In 1953 the CIO displayed Carr’s record as a flat string of minuses interrupted by just one plus \(a vote to send a pro-management workmen’s comp bill to an unfriendly Carr was wrong 27 times, he voted for the “Ford Motor Co. Bill” labor said would deny unemployment comp to Ford workers idled at the Dallas Ford plant by a strike elsewhere and for workmen’s compensation bills labor opposed; for giving the state a lien on pensioners’ property; and against advancing Rep. Maury Maverick’s lobby registration law, taxing natural gas pipelines, and pay raise legislation teachers wanted. This was also a year in which Rep. Marshall 0. Bell, San Antonio, was pushing some of his then-famous anti-communist bills. Labor downrated Carr for two of his votes on these: one in support of a Bell bill to have a state agency require that all books in schools written by authors deemed ‘subversive be stamped in red ink, and one in connection with another Bell bill that would have authorized a search warrant, in a search for subversive materials, on the application of “any credible person.” 6 In 1955, labor indicated, Carr cast a couple of good votes on lobbyist registration, favored repealing cross-filing, voted liberal on a natural gas tax and on corporation stock transfer taxes, and favored shorter working hours for firemen. Again wrong, labor said, on the Ford bill, Carr also voted five times in ways labor regarded as anti-union on a Parkhouse bill to prohibit a union from picketing for recognition unless it represented the majority of all workers at a place, and thrice wrong, labor said, on workmen’s comp issues. Labor has Carr down “wrong” in this year on lobby registration, on favoring the doubling of state college tuition, and on adoption of a tax bill levying selective sales taxes.’ Obviously many value judgments are built into such evaluations of complex issues and need to be referred to one’s own values even for a summary response. Coverage of the legislature by the Observer, under its present management, began with the 1955 session. Maverick was still trying to get his lobby registration bill considered, but at one scheduled committee hearing on it, only nine of the eleven committee members showed. The next day Maverick tried to get the House to order the committee to report to the House immediately, and the House refused almost 2-1, with Carr voting on the majority side. 5 CARR WAS ELECTED SPEAK-ER in 1957 with support from most liberal members on grounds that he was the best they could hope for. His committees that year were solidly conservative. Rep. W. S. Heatly, the rough-talking Paducah conservative, was chairman of Carr’s overwhelmingly conservative state affairs committee, and revenue and taxation had only three or four liberals among its 21 members. 9 Ralph Yarborough was running for the U.S. Senate from Texas in a special election with 18 other .candidates, and since he had a large hard core of supporters, he was favored to win in the high-man-wins showdown. Then-Rep. Joe Pool, Dallas, introduced a bill to require a runoff ; in the context of that time this was generally understood to be a bill that would make Yarborough’s winning less likely. Between one day and the next, 13 House members switched from opposition to support on this bill, sending it to the Senate; the Observer polled the 13 on why they had switched, and Rep. Malcolm McGregor, El Paso, said, “I did it as a personal favor to the Speaker. He called me in there and asked me . . Carr’s committee chairmenhis team also worked to pass the bill.” The Senate stopped it, and Yarborough became senator with 38% of the votes. Speaker Carr that year identified himself clearly with the East Texas segregationist bloc that passed the 1957 bills to try to prevent school integration. In the regular session twelve bills were introduced; two of them, requiring local option elections before schools could integrate and providing for the assignment of pupils on grounds that did not include race but did, many subjective factors, passed, while one was held unconstitutional by the attorney general, one died in the House, and eight died in the Senate. In a special session the legislature passed bills to allow the dissolution of `The times, they are a-changin” Martin Waldron, the New York Times’ new bureau chief in Houston, interviewed Carr last week and quoted him Sunday: “I am proud that a Texan is in the White House and I will do what I can to help him be the greatest President this country has ever had.” Carr said he did not know if he and Johnson would agree on some of the major campaign issues, adding, “After all, when he was senator, President Johnson did not take the same position on some issues that he has taken as President.” public schools when there was “violence or the danger thereof” and requiring any organization to register and name its members at the request of a county judge. \(Sen. Wardlow Lane, Center, now an oil lobbyist, said the latter bill was aimed at the N.A.A.C.P., which took its orders from McGregor said the bill concerning the N.A.A.C.P. was not in the governor’s call for the special session, and Carr ruled that, the point of order being good only technically in a way that the sponsor, Pool, could readily obviate, the House should decide; the House then voted down the point of order. Carr publicly approved key segregationist bills that had passed. Before the Oak Cliff Lions Club later that year, he said of the Pool bill on registering organizations, “This is a bill designed to ferret out the sneaky, nefarious agitators who are most likely to provoke trouble.” He continued: “Texans have made it clear to the federal governmentand to all othersthat they had rather have no public schools at all than to have their children march to classrooms with bayonets at their backs. Under this new law, the governor is required to close any school when its local school board certifies to him it is in danger of violence that could be prevented only through the use of troops. 11 Carr not only journeyed to East Texas for an appreciation dinner that fall for Rep. Joe Chapman of Sulphur Springs, a leader of the East Texas blbc that had just pushed through the race bills; in October, 1957, the Speaker joined 50 or 60 other legislators at a dinner in ‘Houston for Gov. Marvin Griffin, Georgia, and sat on the stage at the Music Hall as Griffin rebuked the Supreme Court and declared Georgia will “never desegregate her public schools.” The sponsor of the evening was the White Citizens Council of America in Texas, Inc., which appeared to sign up at least 150 members from among the 2,700 who attended the affair. According to a story in the Observer by Lyman Jones, its associate editor, “The bills for the dinner and other expenses of the legislators were paid for by the sponsoring organization, a Lamar Hotel official” said. The Observer ran a February 4, 1966 3
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.