3. A fire station in Bexar. It was thus elsewhere. San Antonio I drove down to the Five Points Cafe for my supper, and on the way back, I stopped at the Russell Street Fire Station to attend the precinct convention. The first person I saw was my neighbor Joe Anderson, a Spears man, and a candidate for precinct chairman. He said, “Let’s stick around and see how this thing goes,” and I asked him if he was organized. He said we were hopelessly outnumbered and indicated the sizeable crowd gathered on a street corner about a block away. Sure enough, they were caucussing, and they soon broke up and started streaming down the sidewalk to the fire station. The men were all dressed in their coats and ties, and the women were dressed as though they were going to a social function. As they went by us, I said, “Good God, Joe, look at all that money!” and he said, “Yes, Mel Jordan was living and working as a librarian at Trinity University in San Antonio when he registered to vote in that city. we call them the king’s court crowd, or the Gramercy group.” I went over and leaned against a fire truck, and some fellow introduced himself and asked if they were the people that would hold the meeting. I said yes, but they looked like they were on the opposite side, to which he answered, “That’s the side I’m on.” He kept grinning and assuring me that we could be friends until I moved away to seek other company. I didn’t find much. There must have been 40 or 50 of them by the time they called the meeting to order and started to make their nominations. I was extremely conscious of my frayed hirtcollar and the full day’s growth of beard as I placed Joe’s name in nomination, and the chairman, as he listened, gave me a look that indicated he thought I should move to another community. When the vote was taken, my man Joe got four votes: me, a Mexican \(I don’t know how he retarded fellow who couldn’t decide whether we were Democrats or Republicans. This poor fellow had made things embarassing before the meeting got underway by following Joe around complaining bitterly about the district attorney. It seems that the fellow had filed a complaint against somebody’s dog, and he didn’t think the district attorney was handling his case properly. Joe kept assuring him he would look into the matter. After their man was elected, they took a vote to be bound by the unit rule, and at this point my boy Joe broke in to make a speech about how undemocratic it is not to let every member of the delegation cast his own vote. With that, their spokesman replied with a speech of his own pointing out that we were representatives of PASO, and telling his people that it is very important for them always to turn out to defeat people like us, and to keep us from gaining the upper hand. The next order of business was a resolution praising our fair governor. By this time, our side was gaining strength. We must have had six or seven votes against the resolution. A liberal from the Trinity University philosophy department had wandered in with his wife, and one other faint-hearted soul decided to to join us. As I drove away in my Bahama blue Volkswagen, I muttered the words now made famous by Adlai Stevenson: “Tant pis,” or something like that. Mel Jordan Political Intelligence Sen. Spears’ Adventures Underground Franklin Spears set his office staff to snipping the phrase “Let’s blow the whistle on crime’ off his bumper stickers, ordered printed new posters saying simply “independent Franklin Spears,” and took the campaign underground. Since May 7, the senator has made no major speech, sent out no press release. The technique may have its effect. Richard Morehead of the Dallas News reported that lobbyists meeting in Austin to talk aboun the runoff gave Spears a good chance. Their reason: overconfidence in the Crawford Martin camp and support for Spears by “persons close to President Johnson.” James Barlow, district attorney of Bexar County and campaign manager there for Spears’ addressed a meeting of liberal Democrats in San Antonio Thursday night of last week, saying that Martin, “never voted” for teachers’ pay raise legislation and voted to pass “the hate bills” of the 1957 legislation, and that the governor should not “just hand pick the candidate” for attorney general. Barlow also said that three years ago Martin unfortunately had an automobile accident in which he was injured. Barlow alleged that Martin, in an Austin court, “swore he could never practice law again and collected $125,000 because he was to tally disabled, and yet here he’s asking to be the state’s No. 1 lawyer.” The Observer went to the court records to check out that allegation and found no trial testimony by Martin indicating that he would be unable to practice, although he described nervousness, sleeplesness, and fatigue produced by his injuries. The attorney general race has been expensive for both men in the runoff. Mrs. Sybil Dickinson of the secretary of state’s newsmen in the capitol to tell them that a new report from Spears showing a total of $284,569 spent, had been filed. Spears said that a $100,000 loan was listed twice, as well as some $18,000 in advertising costs which were refunded. Martin’s reports showed total spending of $240,891 by May 19. Sewing it Up por When it came to the county conven tions, the governor had it made every where except Houston, where the liberals were firmly in control, and through Harris County chairman W. N. Blanton Jr., it appeared as the Observer crossed deadline that Connally intended to have his way there, too, and after the fact. Blanton’s faction seeks to have the Harris conven tion’s actions declared null and void. The test vote in Harris came on the credentials committee report which would have sent 29, mostly liberal, delegations home. The vote was 5,053-4,471, with the contested delegations voting. In Dallas, loyalist floor leader Bernie Siegel led a liberal walkout at the last possible moment. The convention faced a resolution praising both Sen. Ralph Yarborough and Cong. Earle Cabell, and the convention was gaveled to a close before all the loyalists could get to the door. At Lubbock, Mrs. Martha Magness, a loyalist, proposed that those not at the county convention not be allowed as delegates to the state convention. She lost the vote, but the convention went on the record as favoring the idea for 1968. The intent of the resolution was to prevent J. B. Airhart, the law partner of Atty. Gen. Waggoner Carr, from going to Austin. He was not at the Lubbock County convention because he had lost in his own precinct. Yarborough reportedly will be out of the country at the time the Sept. 20 state Democratic convention is held in Austin, but aides say they cannot reveal what his foreign mission will be. . . . State Democratic chairman Will Davis has proposed that President Johnson address a major fund-raising dinner on the eve of the convention as a way of spotlighting the im May 27, 1966 1 1
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