Franklin Spears at Harvard Victor Emanuel Cambridge, Mass. Sociologists criticize the use of the term “Establishment” for its imprecision, but “anyone who has run for public office in Texas knows what the term means.” So said Franklin Spears at Harvard University during a seminar on Texas politics at the Institute of Politics of the John Fitzgerald Kennedy School of Government. Spears explained that during his 1966 campaign for attorney general, when he challenged Texas’ “Establishment,” he faced an opponent, Crawford Martin, who had the endorsement of 101 of the state’s 103 daily newspapers, a four-to-one financial advantage, and a 60-to-8 superiority in headquarters workers. The Institute of Politics conducts seminars each week, discussing candidate strategy and decision making. Attending are faculty members and students. Many of the undergraduates have worked in political campaigns; for instance, the son of Richard Duncan, who worked in his father’s unsuccessful race against U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield in Oregon. Also participating is a young man who was active in Hatfield’s campaign, organizing youth groups. The main points discussed at the Harvard seminars are: the factors in deciding whether, and when, to make a political race; the role of issues in campaigning; the use of polls; raising and spending money; whether to issue or accept challenges to debate. SPEARS, THE first Texas politician invited to participate in the institute, said that a key difficulty in running a political campaign in Texas is the difference in what concerns people from region to region. He contrasted the politics of South Texas and of East Texas, as an example. Spears noted that since his 1966 race was the only serious statewide contest, he had to carry all the burden of arousing the electorate from the apathy of an offyear election. This was all the more difficult, he said, because he was not running for one of the state’s highest offices. He observed that only 10% of the free registrants voted. Spears spoke of the need to shorten the ballot to encourage voter participation and awareness. He spoke out strongly against annual registration and the proposed restrictions on registration locales. Spears told the seminar that Texas has the earliest registration cut-off in the nation, Jan. 31, nine months before the general election and three months before the primary. The deadline occurs at the Victor Emanuel is the Observer’s subscription representative at Harvard University. He was with Franklin Spears during much of Spears’ visit there. 4 The Texas Observer low-point of politidal interest among the electorate. One student whistled in near disbelief. Spears argued that these procedures and the proposed restriction of registration locations to places normally open to the public are designed to discourage people from registering or voting. Annual registration encourages election fraud, he said, because records aren’t kept on a permanent basis. Discussing the issue of interest rates, Spears evoked hearty laughter when he remarked that “Texas is not the Lone Star State, but the Loan Shark State,” as interests rates of up to 320% on small loans are permitted. The former state senator from San Antonio said that he and others in the legislature had hoped that the 320% law might later be revised but, he went on, once a bill is passed it ceases to be an object of much public concern. Prof. H. Douglas Price, director of the seminar and a member of the Harvard government faculty, said afterwards that Spears “was one of the most valuable guests the seminar has heard; it was one of the most profitable seminars of the year.” The next day Spears met with fellows of the Harvard Institute of Politics, including Hale Champion, former California director of finance; John Stewart, special assistant to Vice President Humphrey; and Andreas Lowenfeld, former Washington, D. C. Cong. Bob Eckhardt of Houston is planning to clear all the beaches of the United States for public use, as his beaches bill in the Texas legislature established the public’s right to the perpetual use of the Texas gulf beaches. The newly-arrived congresman has a number of federal agencies conducting research into the laws of the coastal states on this subject. “There is no law in any of the coastal states that either defines a beach or sets up clearly a declaration of the public’s right to use the beaches,” except for the new Texas law, he told the Observer here. The laW he contemplates would say that where a state has gone to the full extent of permitting its laws to protect the existing public right to the beaches, the beaches may then be obtained for complete public use by the power of eminent domain. The federal government would match the cost with the state. State Dept. deputy legal advisor. These men participate as fellows at the institute for the same reason that Spears was invited, to further the ideal of cooperation between the academic and political worlds, which is the institute’s stated purpose, following the example of President Kennedy. At a luncheon that noon Spears was the guest of Dr. Richard E. Neustadt, director of the institute, and Harvard law professor Adam Yarmolinsky, a former trouble-shooter and idea man in the Defense Dept. under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Later in the day he met with Texans who are in the university’s Economics Dept., including faculty members David Kendrick and Henry Jacoby and graduate student Tom Sears. They discussed some of the problems of attracting more industry to Texas. Spears explained the bill that he tried, unsuccesfully, to have passed in the legislature, to bring intrastate railroad rates into line with those of other major industrial state. It costs, he said, more to send a shipment by rail from Dallas to San Antonio There is interest at Harvard in Texas politics. Spears found many who were conversant with the state’s public affairs. Many have expressed interest in the movement of some Texans, of whom they judged Spears to be one, to begin “a new era in Texas politics and society.” Eckhardt so far has introduced only one bill, to require that plants in metropolitan areas of one million or more population meet certain air pollution “emission” standards. Within a year after his act passed, if it did, the federal government would develop general standards for testing the ambient air for metropolitan areas of 500,000 or more, and if there was too much pollution, then the “emission” standards for plants would be applied in these areas, also. If federal standards are not being met, violators would be prosecuted by civil injunction suits brought by the U.S. attorney general. At present, the federal water anti-pollution law requires that states set up antipollution standards, or else the federal government will do so. Eckhardt contends that this can result in states setting up paper programs to avoid federal standards without actually insisting that pollution be stopped. “The experience of the water quality act ECKHARDT PLANS U.S. OPEN BEACHES BILL
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.