retail sales tax that was finally passed after great tumult in 1961; in 1959 the liberals in the legislature lined up with Daniel, but together they lost, and the final tax bill was 74% selective sales tax-type items, the rest business taxes. The gas pipeline tax that finally passed was token in amount and was subsequently declared void by the courts. Carr’s opposition to Daniel’s tax program at one point became so openly contrary to the wishes of the House that had elected him Speaker, he chose to confront rumors he said he had heard that some “left wing” members wanted ‘to impeach him. If this desire had been real among some of the members, it did not materialize when Carr brought the matter into the -open.’ 5 Carr’s committees this session were more liberal, permitting liberal minority reports, except for revenue and taxation. In the spring, the Dallas News reported that Carr had “supersecret straight-from-theshoulder talks” on taxes with two dozen “top executives of Texas business and industry” in Austin. The next morning, Carr told the House Daniel’s tax program was “inadequate” and that the state needed “a `broad-based’ tax . . . upon as broad a segment as possible.” He did not mean a general sales tax, he said, but rather “a broad array of selective taxes,” including sales and Daniel’s natural-gas taxes and “new items.” Daniel retorted tartly, “I was not at any secret meeting held by the Speaker and have no knowledge of what was agreed or proposed.” Carr’s tax chairman’s taxwriting committee then proposed, along with items Carr had mentioned, reductions in sulphur, chain store, and utility taxes. 16 In a special session Carr’s conferees voted in the tax conference contrary to the wishes of the House, and their report was rejected by the House, 121-27. Angrily, Carr accused Daniel: “The manner in which the governor deserted his own program and his supporters is both disgusting and reprehensible.” Daniel persisted, calling a second special session, but confronted by a steadfastly conservative Senate and a tiring House, the governor compromised for a bill three-fourths, not 50%, sales taxes.” Carr also indicated in 1959 his opposition to Daniel’s bill, finally enacted, to require banks to turn over abandoned accounts to the state. He did this by laying out the measure one morning without the knowledge of its House sponsors, Marshall Bell and Charles Hughes of Sherman, until they saw it on the calendar; whereupon it was voted down, with ten members switching previous votes. Daniel said Carr had thus violated an “assurance” that the bill would be laid out after the tax-bill. Carr responded that he had notified Bell that morning that it would come up, and Bell had assented.’ 8 In 1957, Carr had limited his gifts on Speaker’s day to those given by members of the House, he had said; in 1959, his gifts were announced as coming from various groups of House employeesthe committee clerks, journal clerks, enrolling and engrossing room employeesand from various county delegations. In 1957 his gifts had been a rifle, rod and reel with tackle, a gas cook stove, and five pieces of luggage. Two years later he was presented with a hi-fi stereo record-player, china, a polaroid camera, a portable TV set, a 19-volume encyclopaedia, an oil painting, and smaller gifts. 13 When Carr left the legislature at the end of the decade he was thus clearly, in the nomenclature current in Texas politics, “conservative”firmly allied with the East Texas bloc on racial questions and with The Campaigner Stepping up, he stumbled. Atty. Gen : Will Wilson considered trying for governor in 1960, but decided not, and Carr took Wilson on for attorney general. Carr’s reported campaign contributors that year include interesting namesRex Baker of Houston, the Humble Oil executive; French Robertson of Abilene, long-time chief executive of the major oil companies’ association in Texas; Frank Coates of the powerful Baker; Botts law firm in Houston present owner of the Houston Chronicle; S. B. Whittenburg, the Amarillo Republican; Tom Sealy of Midland, who a year later became state co-chairman of the committee that lobbied through the retail sales tax; Bill Hobby of the Houston Post ; H. B. Zachry, the San Antonio builder; Shearn Moody, Jr., one of the immensely wealthy Moody brothers.” But Wilson, the crusading incumbent with strong ties into the financial community himself, was not to be shaken from his job. He charged that the loan sharks, one of his favorite targets, were putting together “a huge fund” against him Wilson let veterans’ land scandal indictments languish, that there was more gambling in Texas than before, andin a tip-off on Carr’s own anti-trust policy later that Wilson’s “selective anti-trust enforcement” had driven businesses away from the state. Carr even said Wilson was “always shunning a fight.” At one point Wilson alleged, “The people who want the rackets to return to Galveston are for Carr.” Wilson won, 735,000 to 575,000, and Carr, now merely a former Speaker, went back to speechmaking and to biding his time in his law firm in Lubbock. 2′ With Lyndon Johnson on the Democratic ticket with Jack Kennedy, Carr announced his support of the ticket in a letter he had written to members of the House of Representatives. As the Dallas News noted, Carr did not mention Kennedy in this letter, stressing Johnson’s place on the ticket and promising “to continue to work in every way possible for the . . . ticket and for the strengthening of the Democratic Party from within.” 22 Two years later, when Wilson ran for governor, Carr and five others announced for attorney general. This time the big contributors settled on Carr without con business on taxation. He had made temporary alliances with beleaguered House liberals arid had advanced on the basis of them, but his reputation as a fair presiding officer, strong well into his second term, had been shaken among some House liberals by some of the episodes reported, and those whose profession it is to be informed about the Texas legislature regarded him as a proven conservative. fusion ; his expense reports are thick and impressive. Coates put in another $5,500; lawyers associated with Ed Clark’s Austin law firm, Frank Denius and Martin Harris, made four-figure contributions. Other fourfigure contributors Carr reported: Rex Baker, Douglas Bergman of Dallas, Shearn Moody, Jr.. Julius Schepps of Dallas, Rep. Dick Cory of Victoria, John Osorio, the former insurance commissioner and Allan Shivers aide; Perry Bass of Fort Worth, a business associate of John Connally’s; Berl Godfrey of Fort Worth, attorney for finance companies, now general counsel for Troy Post, the tycoon. Preston Weatherred of Dallas, intelligence chief for the business-political community, put in a token $25; Torn Sealy and his law firm contributed; so did Phil Overton, the Austin lobbyist for the medical doctors. For the first time Carr’s “image” began to emerge as a crusader against crime. He promised to call a statewide congress against crime if he was elected 23; but before he had gone far along this line, Tom James of Dallas, an opposing candidate, accused him of having asked James, a state representative, to call off a Jefferson County vice probe because it was causing him, Carr, political embarassment. Carr, in a prepared press release, said James “lies in his teeth.” James had challenged Carr to take a lie detector test; Carr said that proposal was “the last refuge of a hopeless demagogue.” 24 Meanwhile, Torn Reavley kept saying that “the loan sharks of the state are supporting Carr.” 25 When Carr was Speaker legislation to curb Texas loan sharks had not passed, and Carr had been accused behind the scenes of having a liaison with small lenders; now Reavley was breaking surface with the charge. Reavley had testified before the legislature as an advocate of a 36 0, interest loan law of the kind supported by consumer finance chains, and endorsed by the State Jaycees. When Reavley made the runoff, Carr charged him with having had “a relationship as lobbyist for two big finance companies who helped finance I Billie Sol] Estes’ operations.’ Reavley -retorted that Carr’s firm represented Heller and Co., Chicago money-lenders, against Texas farmers “who claim to have been defrauded by Estes and the Heller Co.” 26 February 4, 1966 5 A Race Carr Lost
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