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2. Spears, Martin, Calhoun: tough race with few issues. Austin The participants and the newspapermen are calling the contest for the Democratic nomination for attorney general the only real race in the May primary. Sen. Franklin Spears of San Antonio, the liberal in the election, is the only liberal with a betterthan-fair chance of winning statewide office this spring. Last week, Joe Belden, the Texas Nostradamus, showed him running neck-and-neck with Crawford Martin, Gov. John Connally’s former secretary of state, and both Martin and Spears ahead of the third candidate, Sen. Galloway Calhoun, Jr., of Tyler, who was gaining over his previous position. But that Belden poll, taken early this month, also showed more voters who were undecided than had made up their minds for any one candidate, and all observers are remarking the voter apathy and the slow start of the campaign. The 635,000 persons who registered free to vote remain an imponderable; all three candidates are counting on a share of the new voters. Many feel that Spears will have the most votes in the May 7 primary, and that only Martin, with massive radio-television work, could win the election without a runoff. However it goes, runoff or not, Martin has the advantage of the backing of the governor and of establishment money in a year in which no other statewide office appears likely to go to the liberals or to a man, such as Calhoun, who is not from Connally’s corner in the conservative wing of the Democratic party. As the campaign moved into its final fortnight, both Spears and Calhoun appeared to be without the resources to match an electronic assault by the governor’s forces. Connally’s role, denied by Martin, has been pervasive and effective. When Connally learned that a newspaper quietly had endorsed Spears, that newspaper received a memorable telephone call from the governor. When another newspaper publisher indicated neutrality in the race, Connally talked to him and won Martin endorsement. Connally also has moved to cut off Spears’ financial backing by talking to businessmen. He may have repeated what he said to businessmen in San Antonio this spring, when he didn’t know a reporter was therethat the attorney general can look at the books of any company in the state, so businessmen should act accordingly. As THE CAMPAIGN moved into its final three weeks, the Observer talked to the candidates about their chances and about the issues, joining the governor’s candidate last week as he set out on a sweep through East Texas. His bus was half-empty and an hour late when it rolled out of Austin that gray Monday morning. Aboard were four conservative state representatives, lady campaign workers, reporters, a three-man hillbilly band, and The Texas Observer Martin himself, weary from a night drive to Austin from the coast. In Hillsboro, Martin’s hometown, a group of friends met Martin at the courthouse. The hillbilly band, which had been trying to fit new words to “The Yellow Rose of Texas” on his behalf \(until told it was Sen. flat-bed truck and sang, to another tune, these words: The news is out, He’s a real good man, For attorney gtneral, Crawford Mar-tan. He’s the very best man, For you and me, Crawford Martin’s the man To keep our country free. But after Hillsboro the crowds were nonexistent and the band sang to dogs and the old men on the courthouse benches of East Texas as Martin, who is quiet and shy, went to stores and banks to shake hands and to stand aside with a half-smile as the ladies in his party, wearing Uncle Sam hats, giggled up to prospective voters and thrust brochures at them. As the bus wheeled from Athens to Palestine, Martin took the seat behind the driver and talked to the Observer. He spoke confidently. The new free voters \(he had predicted a mere 50,000 the liberals only in Corpus Christi and San Antonio, he said. Many of them, he theorized, were Republicans or easterners many conservativewho never had bought a poll tax because they were opposed to it in principle. What disturbed him, he said, was reports that he is a moderate, which he denies. “I see the papers calling me a moderate. Really, I count myself a conservative. Conservative leaders support me. It’s not a question of how a man labels himself, it’s the support he receives.” Martin has remarked that certain businessmen have indicated support of Spears. Speaking of them, he said, “They want to spin that wheel and see if fortune might smile on tor is not in the interest of the business people of Texas.” In Nacogdoches later last week, Martin specified Spears’ “anti-business” actions as sponsorship of a state minimum wage, a fair employment practices act, and an increase in the corporation franchise tax. While Spears campaigns on crime and Calhoun on conservatism, Martin spends a lot of his time talking about Spears’ endorsement by the AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education. When COPE met in Houston in March, Spears and Martin but not Calhounhad accepted the invitation to speak. On the eve of his scheduled appearance, Martin said he would not come, issuing a condemnation of Hank Brown, state AFL-CIO president, for the convention’s indication that it might support can didates from outside the Democratic Party unless the President could bring more of labor’s program into law. ” I THINK THE LEADERS down there in Houston were in error,” Martin said. “Most of all, they were ingrates, and they weren’t thinking of what the Democratic Party has done for labor. don’t think that Mr. Brown represents the average working man of Texas, much less the organized working man of Texas, and I’ addressing my attention now to the Democrats. This is a Democratic primary. “Now, just because I disagree with the hierarchy of labor doesn’t mean I don’t have a good relationship with the working people of Texas. I think Mr. Hank Brown and his people will be changing their tune after the election is over. “Look at my record. I haven’t been a persecuting official. I’ve had an open mind. This is one of the things that puzzled me, that they wanted to take LBJ to the negotiating table. My whole style has been to communicate with people. During my service in the 12th senatorial district, I had very cordial relations with labor.” Labor, Martin says, wants Spears to serve as an Austin echo of Sen. Yarborough and, eventually to become the governor of Texas. He refers to Brown’s Houston remarks on political revolution in Texas. But Martin explains his association with Connally as an understandable coincidence, not a place ‘on a ticket. “I’m running a separate campaign. I’m the only man with an independent organization. The other candidate [Martin discounts Calhoun] relies partly on organized labor in the major spots of Texas. I have a full-fledged organization of my ownseveral people in every county, and I think this is one of the strengths I have. These people are my people, loyal to me, but the other organization is primarily loyal to the hierarchy of laborwhat loyalty there is. There are no personal relationships there.” Commenting on Spears’ remark that Martin, if elected, would run the attorney general’s office on a “business-as-usual” basis, Martin said, “I hate to see him criticize Mr. Carr. I think. he has been a good attorney general. The office was reorganized three years ago, and has been effective. If he means by that, I would not be an aggressive attorney general, he is dead wrong. I’m ten times’ more aggressive check law. I still don’t find it as aggressive as it could be. “I have proven my ability to work with the members of the legislature, with the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the Speaker. One of the things I did with the Secretary of State’s office was to set better salaries, and the assistant attorney generals now are not meeting the pay standards of private practice.” Martin, who is campaigning without a slogan or a theme, began talking about crime after Spears did, but said, “Mr. Spears has been blowing the whistle on crime, but certainly the attorney general is to investigate anti-trust and other activities; this is his number-one field, and I