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/4#1 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 AUSTIN MONTESSORI SCHOOL AUSTIN’S ONLY ACCREDITED MONTESSORI SCHOOL NOW TWO LOCATIONS 3307 EXPOSITION 4108 AVENUE H GL 2-0404 44…###14*. .## In My Opinion Dilemma on the Left U.S. stopped the bombing of the North unconditionally. “Rusk said ‘the problem with that is’ that the U.S. must know what the other side would do in return.” In other words, we won’t. DeWitt Greer Retires We have been ready enough in ‘these pages, over the years, to challenge state officials we have believed to be compromised or corrupt. With the retirement of DeWitt Greer, the chief of state highway engineer, I should like to express my own admiration for him. In a period during which fabulous billions of dollars have been spent on highways, with rampant graft in many state highway departments, Greer’s department has been a tight, clean operation. He has been a model public servant, efficient, honest, quiet, and dedicated. Building highways was the work he chose and he did it well. ABC Spells ITT Is it of more than passing interest that just as soon as the world’s ninth largest industrial concern, ITT, merges with the ABC network, ABC pays Governor John Connally’s bills on a hunting safari to Africa? The governor is a ,partisan figure. Not only a Democrat, he is a most conservative Democrat. What is an American television network doing, paying his way to Africa, and what is the Governor of Texas doing, accepting? Why has the liberal commentator Edward P. Morgan upped and left ABC recently? The FCC has voted 4-3 to let ITT and ABC merge, RCA owns NBC, and God knows who owns CBS. This is still a free country but enough of this kind of stuff and it, won’t be any more. These Things Take Time The new commissioner of the state mental ‘health and mental retardation agency, Dr. John Kinross-Wright, said some things at a press conference this summer that do not seem to have been heard. One might have thought the daily newspapers would be filled with shocked, indignant editorials. From our liberal legislators, at least, we might hope for outcries. The governor obviously can’t have much to say from Africa; neither can Don Yarborough from Spain. Well, 14 The Texas Observer then, how aboutwho? Perhaps no one is listening any more. “Half the patients in institutions do not belong there but we don’t have the personnel to get them out of there,” said Commissioner Kinross-Wright. He is talking about 6,000 human beings who do not belong in Texas mental hospitals but that’s where they are. He said that in two years or more the governor’s and the legislature’s new community mental health centers will start reducing the overcrowding, but meanwhile, the Austin State Hospital needs Austin There is today, on the Texas left, an intensification of the long-standing debate about tactics for gaining power in the state’s political system. Generally through the years the prevailing liberal view on this matter has been that we must work the precincts, register voters, and capture the Democratic party machinery at conventions, finally storming into power in sweet revenge for the many reverses that have been suffered, most notably that in 1956 when apparent victory was denied. But I sense a shift in thought on the left in that more people are beginning to envision the liberal ascendancy less in terms of a dramatic, single coup at the polls, but more in a steady eroding of the Establishment’s power by accepting the token appoiifthients to state boards, by wooing politicians who might be useful in providing a transition from the ShiversDaniel-Connally sort to the Yarborough type. I mean such people as Ben Barnes and John Hill. I believe the leaders of labor in Texas, who long have leaned more towards a pragmatic, and not a doctrinaire approach to altering the political balance of this state, are now seriously considering support of Barnes or Hill in a future governor’s race. And I wonder if many more people in the labor movement don’t support this idea, and many more outside of labor, too. Not in 1968, I don’t think, because I believe Gov. Connally #444,44t#444.#####44440,444144.40~ , even a building that “ought to be condemned” because it has to put the people somewhere. Dr. Kinross-Wright said he was disappointed at Connally’s veto of a $600,000 appropriation to lease and operate faciilties for 100 patients in Houston. With more than 2,000 of the admissions at the Austin hospital from Harris County, he said, “This is what we had hoped the 100 beds in Houston would dotake some presure off the Austin State Hospital.” The riots, the war, vacations, what’s for supper tonight, God it’s hot, I wonder what’s on at the Paramount . . . R.D. will run, though he is reported to be genuinely bored with his job; but the political powers he represents feel he must run next year and are pressuring him to do SO. If labor goes for Barnes or Hill iii l f970, what will the liberals who are not’fri the AFL-CIO do? Should we hold out =for a Yarborough in the statehouse or go for Barnes, for example, on the basiS that he’s an improvement over Connally and that he can win and should he win with liberal support we’d have more influence on a governor than at any time in 30 years. The Speaker has kept his contacts on the left open and is earnest in maintaining such communication. Perhaps it’s more realistic to think in those terms, though it’s certainly not as exciting a prospect as electing one of the Yarboroughs. What an inauguration day that would be! I suppose liberals feel it’s simply a matter of time before changes are made at Austin. Free voter registration, increased political activity on the part of MexicanAmericans and Negroes, a growing Republican Party all of these factors surely will lead inevitably to a new political order in Texas. How to bring about this change most quickly is the problem. It may be the changes liberals want will occur in spite of liberals rather than because of them. In the meantime the Texas Liberal Democrats are facing a serious challenge now from those who want to confront such questions as the central one of our time: Is there life after Lyndon? TLD has had serious trouble in proving itself a relevant political group since its founding; time will tell whether a mistake per CLASSIFIED BOOK PLATES FREE CATALOGUEMany beautiful designs. Special designing too. Address BOOKPLATES, Yellow Springs 24. Ohio. “The Idler.” Send $1 for four sample back issues of lively, liberal monthly. 413 6th St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.