`Even Now They Are Not Worried’ Austin Individual liberals have, for reasons of personal gain, been persuaded to help Establishment candidates in Texas, Don Yarborough asserted last week in a talk before the Travis County Liberal Democrats. “This is the one thing the Establishment feels it can rely on,” Yarborough said, “even now they are not worried.” The young Houston attorney who twice ran against Gov. John Connally said that “liberals in the past few years have been fighting a holding action . . . the politics of survival. But suddenly this is changed,” he went on, referring to the death of the poll tax, organizational work done in recent years by liberal groups, and redistricting. “From now on if we lose, it’s our fault,” Yarborough said. He called television the worst thing to happen to Texas liberals in the last 50 years because of the great sums of money that TV campaigning requires. He urged liberals to make more than just token contributions to their candidates’ campaigns, and stressed the point that political leaders with liberal reputations must be watched for signs of disloyalty. Such liberals, he said, will vote liberal \( in the legiswill not be close; but in election campaigns these men can be seen “badmouthing” liberal candidates. Yarborough said he believes that rating systems, such as labor’s, in which a legislator’s votes are analyzed ought to be weighted according to the closeness of the vote; if a man votes right on a close vote he should get five or ten times the rating points than for a vote in which the tally was lopsided, Yarborough believes. El Political Intelligence Looking Ahead to 1968 It is clear that the liberal communi ty of Texas will be making an all-out fight for the governorship in 1968, and so will the Republicans. The first question is whether John Connally will seek a fourth term or run in Speaker Ben Barnes as his candidate. If President Johnson is running again in 1968, it is foregone that he will want Connally to run. The defeat of the Texas Democratic Establishment in the Waggoner Carr candidacy makes it clear that the Texas situation has changed and is changing very rapidly. The President, needing secure control of Texas, would need his surest and most powerful Johnson man as governor. He could not be sure that Barnes, who has never run statewide, could be put .over. Carr wasn’t. I1 The second question is who will be the liberals’ candidate. At present there are two logical contenders, Franklin Spears and Don Yarborough. This is a novelty. Not in recent years have two proved statewide vote-getters been available on the liberal side for the same major candidacy. Are they both available? As to Don Yarborough, his militance and vigor in his speech before the Travis County Liberal Democrats last week is one sign. Another is a report that he is running for governor and wants Spears as his running-mate for lieutenant governor. And yet another is the cutting on Spears that has begun. Spears is now being characterized, in frequently-heard remarks, as too wishy-washy to dare to oppose Connally. His attempts, early in his campaign for attorney general, to convince voters he was pro-Connally \(attempts that failed as Connally went allcast up to him. Many liberals, in a mood for an all-out fight, are doubting that Spears would or could wage one. Would and could he? His dilemma, as the Observer sees it, is this: If he plays it cool and does not make a decision to run for governor against Connally soon, \(assuming, in the absence of knowledge, that Connally will run, and acting, in the absence of knowledge, on a calculated he will find that the liberal community’s determination to consolidate a two-party system out of the chaos of 1966 has passed him by; Don Yarborough or some yet unseen contender may sew up the field. And if Spears continues as usual, being a conciliatory liberal rather than a combative one, he will sufferfrom doubt that he would be able to give Connally a tough fight. 22 December 31, 1965 Republican Hopes The Republicans, meanwhile, are plan ning a major attempt to take the Texas statehouse in November, 1968. If the liberals won the nomination, the Re publicans would have good hope. But they figure that Connally will be renominated if he wants to be and that their task therefore has to do with reducing Con nally’s popularity eight or nine percentage points before the fall of 1968. In this work they may be expected to enlist whatever help they can in the legislature, but they are undermanned there. Perhaps some blasts will be fired from the three-man Texas GOP delegation in Washington. Sen. John Tower has been lovey-dovey with Connally, so this would entail a change of stance. \(Of course, if they mean to take the statehouse in 1968 the question is not whether such a change of stance is inWhom might the GOP put up for governor in 1968? “George Bush” is the first and most obvious name that one hears. But the freshman congressman from Houston may be unwilling to do it. He might want to wait and take on Yarborough again in 1970. Will Wilson, former Democratic attorney general who was active in the Tower campaign this fall, is being mentioned as a GOP gubernatorial possibility. While no one who knows is saying, there is some talk among leading Republicans of pulling forward from corporation circles someone fresh, such as Romney was in Michigan, or someone like Percy in Illinois. What, in this unsettled prospect, will be Connally’s strategy? If he rightly , assesses his group’s demoralized situation, he will be on the defensive during the 1967 legislature. He will appear to move slightly leftward. Already he is hinting he does not want to support a city sales tax. He has not yet opposed the minimum wage for Texas. His strategy will appear in his address to the 1967 legislature, if not before. \(Nationally, meanwhile, the Observer would not be surprised to see Johnson moving rightJust as the senatorship held by Tower dominated Texas politics in 1966, the governorship held by Connally will dominate Texas politics in 1968. And even as the issue of a two-party system undermined and finally collapsed the conservative Democrats’ gingercake facade for Carr, so will it threaten, with cross-currents, undercurrents, and two frontal assaults, their control of the governor’s mansion two years hence. Budget Activity Governor Connally has made three budget announcements, calling for a 20% increase in salaries of state tern ployees; expanding services in the fields of public health, tuberculosis control and mental health and mental retardation, and programs supervised by the Texas Youth Council; and increased activity in control, development, and conservation of water. Two other budget messages are planned before the complete budget sug gestions are mailed to legislators about Dec. 15. It is hoped by Connally that a
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.