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!.THE TEXAS OBSERVER \(., 1 ,/ I:: ‘ t ; 1 1 ; ..* OTexas Observer Co., Ltd. 1967 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 61st YEARESTABLISHED 1906 et rnarch 17967, not Re Jor,oiten The disdain of Texas’ government for all but the most powerful of our state’s citizens was made unmistakably clear on March 17. That was the day that legislative committees in both the Senate and the House were to consider a minimum wageso Texas could join the 37 other states that provide such a protection for workers. who are Inot covered by the federal law. But what happened? The Senate, committee chairman, David Ratliff of Stamford, made off with the original copy of the bill, without which the hearing couldn’t be held. Two others on the committee were not present eitherJack Hightower of Vernon and Jim Wade of Dallas. These three men are opposed to the bill. Present for the hearing were the two Senators who want a minimum wage Joe Bernal of San Antonio and Barbara jordan of Houston. They, too, like Ratliff, Hightower, and Wade, had been up all or most of the previous night for the filibuster. ut Bernal and Miss Jordan were there, ready for the hearing. The House commitee did, at least, as one witness observed, “have the intestinal fortitude to be here.” And the committee members, most of them, did pay attention to the testimony and raise some valid points about the bill’s provisions. It was a good and fair hearing. But all this was voided when chairman Gene Hendryx, Alpine, referred the measure to a subcommittee made up of five men who, between them, probably couldn’t utter a single good word about the bill. Normally a subcommitte includes at least one supporter of a measure. R ATLIFF’S BOOTLEG play was a disgrace to the legislature, another infamous little act that for much too long has characterized Texas government. His act and his absence, plus the absences of Hightower and Wade were rude; many people had come long distances to be on hand for the hearing and many of them could ill afford the trip. Hendryx’ disposition of the bill in the House was emphatically negative to an unnecessary degree. It would have been far wiser politics for the House and the Senate committees to have at least made a show of giving the proposal deliberate consideration and then, if they must, let it die in any of the variety of more subtle ways that are at the lawmakers’ disposal. But subtleness is often not employed in Austin when the matter at hand can involve profound social change. Such cynical action as was witnessed on March 17 was too cruel a blow to those whose hopes for this measure’s success were delicate at best anyway. First the governor’s grandstand play at New Braunfels and now the legislature adds its efforts to humiliate the many Texans whose pride is their only wealth. One seemed to sense, at the Capitol Building that day, that is was not enough merely to turn this bill aside, it must be axed down and its supporters embarrassed. LET MARCH 17, 1967, not be forgotten when it comes time to register to vote in 1968. Let the memory be a vibrant, vivid spectre during next spring’s primary election campaigns and, if necessary, during the general elections that follow. Let those who have, for the first time, as many have this session, looked to Austin to see how state governtrient considers measures that can better their’ lives remember the disrespect shown their hopes. The lesson must be remembered this issue was decided in favor.of the peo-,, ple whom the legislators beileved to: exert greater political power ;the farM i ers, hotel interests, and ,others.. there, is to be change in the lives of TexaS’ rrip.nY, many poor people, there must be change in the politics of TexaS, some new faces at committee’ tables. That means wider participation of many Who ‘have not concerned themselves with , politics before= in Starr County and, yes, in each Of the other 253 counties of this socially . unenlightened state. Viva la causa! Vol. 58, No. 30 7c10P March 31, 1967 . . Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorported the State Week and Austin . ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor, Greg Olds. Partner, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Associate Manager, C. R. Olofson. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones. Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterpr:ise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. Unsigned articles are the editor’s. Subscription Representatives: Arlington, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., CR 70080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 12242 Second St., TU4-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall. 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Denton, Fred Lusk, Box 8134 NTS, 387-3119; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8.682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St., Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 42825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst. TA 6-3583; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel, Adams House C112. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.00 a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 5’4 West 24th St.. Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Queolion Why does it so frequently occur? When significant social legislation is to be the subject of a committee hearing at the , Capitol there is typically a prominent , array of uniformed officers sprinkled around the place. Several were on hand for the minimum wage hearings in the spectators’ gallery and on the floor of the legislature. Uniforms, if present, were not noticeable at the parimutuel betting or pollution control hearings, for instance, and those promised to attract many spectators. Perhaps the ruling principle in deciding when a show of force is to be made is: will the rabble, the commbn people, be there? We have been there in strength only once so far this session for the minimum wage hearings. And that’s the only hearing to date at which the officers have been prominent.