Page 15


“We’d have had a Republican governor if Connally had been renominated,” Yarborough went on; “… there would have been another ‘John Tower situation.’ Many Democrats have told me they would not vote for Connally. It’s going to be harder to register voters now because the main target has stepped asidethe man who said [during La Marcha] at New Braunfels ‘you who represent 1.6 million Texans are not fit to see the Capitol’ .. . the same man who was knocked out of the box at El Chamizal . . . . “Don’t let some guy walk in saying ‘I am just freshly converted from Connally; want to lead you people now.’ Don’t fall for that type of talk, the sort that is symptomatic of the Shivers-Daniel-Connally syndrome.” Who will the Connally people come up with in 1968? “… [T]hey are in the habit of getting them tall, handsome men who go in as governor poor as church mice and come out millionaires,” Yarborough said. Irish Matthews, the head of the Austin central labor council, called out from the crowd to Yarborough, “Judge, do you have any statewide plans?” “Me?” Yarborough answered, hesitating, “Well, I don’t know … Don’t start any draft movements.” “We could sell a lot more poll taxes if you’d announce,” Matthews said, to general agreement. Don Yarborough of Houston spoke then, saying “Quite frankly I believe that Connally could have been easily defeated. He had alienated many groups I think he was aware his chickens were coming home to roost … “My present intention is to continue working to pay off my debts … My next intention is who we’re going to elect as governor … as lieutenant governor … and that this is going to be the year that Texas has new leadership … We are committed, not to electing a certain faction, a certain personality to the governorship; we are committed to letting the people have a simple thinga voice in their government, just a voice.” State Rep. Don Gladden, mentioned as the liberals’ lieutenant governor entry, said, “This thing that happened yesterday should give us a shot in the arm … We have the chance [also] to go into the legislature and get rid of those guys who have gone along with the Establishment.” THE NEXT MORNING, Sunday, 55 persons from 20 cities and towns met for four hours to report on the progress of the registration drive that liberals are conducting throughout the state. There were frequent references to the recent opinion by Atty. Gen. Crawford Martin that individuals or members of their immediate families must take or mail their registration applications forms to the courthouse, an opinion that puts a crimp in the liberals’ traditional efforts at mass registration. County tax assessorcollectors in several counties were nonetheless reported to be cooperating with 4 The Texas Observer registration efforts, in some cases permitting practices that nearly compensate for the Martin ruling. Most assessor-collectors, however, including some who might ordinarily be cooperative, are adhering strictly to the ban on delivering registration forms in bulk. The consensus of the reports seemed to be that the heart of the work still lies ahead, but the registration machinery is being set up by liberals earlier than has been usual. The re-registration for 1968 of voters who are registered for 1967 is running at a high rate in cities where such Equipment Sent To Villa Ahumada Houston The effort to purchase equipment for a water well for a number of people who live near the Mexican town of Villa Ahumada, Chihuahua, has succeeded. Joe Jenkins, an Observer reader in Houston, has announced that a pump, motor, and accessories ha v e been shipped to El Paso. There Observer contributing editor Elroy Bode will see to its reaching Villa Ahumada, 85 miles south of El Paso. It was Bode’s story, “Dionisio Sanchez Wants a Well,” in the July 21 Observer that inspired Jenkins to begin soliciting funds for the equipment. Sanchez, a veteran of the Mexican Revolution, has worked for several years to get a well for himself and a number of neighboring families. A well eventually was dug, but was left insufficiently equipped through a series of oversights of government officials who have been indifferent to the situation. Jenkins says that contributions came from several cities in Texas, as well as from Washington, D.C., and Vietnam. The contributors included Oscar Glickman, Big Spring; Sergio Elizondo, Tom Reavley, Austin; Neil Caldwell, Alvin; Pete LaValle, Texas City; Ron Skaggs, who serves in Vietnam in a non-military, governmental job; Fran Lipscomb, Washington, D.C.; Mamie Hafner, Commerce; Bryan Sloan, Abilene; Florence Fromen, address unknown; and Houstonians Ed Tynes, Gould Beech, Jack Ogg, George Fletcher, W. E. Hall, Jr., Frank Abraham, Joe Jamail, Gordon Redd, Weslie Roe Hendrix, Richard Bearden, Jim Kronzer, Curtiss Brown, Bobby Jenkins, Julius Glickman, Olga Elizondo, Leon Castillo, and Jenkins. Ej information was available. The liberals’ effort is aimed at re-registration, but perhaps more particularly at persons who have never voted before, including those in Negro and Mexican-American precincts. The degree of success in registering newcomers to the political processes of the state will determine the extent to which liberals succeed in their announced goal of registering five million voters. The pre vious high in registration has been around three million. The large attendance at the meeting surprised most who were there. On hand were people f r o m Austin, Houston, Hearne, Temple, Corpus Christi, Galveston, Texas City, San Antonio, San Marcos, Waco, Dodd City, Beaumont, Graham, Fort Worth, Victoria, Aspermont, Rotan, College Station, Dickinson, and Dallas. Sen. Yarborough came in during the meeting and spoke briefly before departing Austin. He noted that the new voter registration law passed by the recent legislature did away with the years-long exemption from registration of older persons; he said liberal candidates would have to anticipate a loss of voting strength because of this. Dave Shapiro, longtime liberal activist, urged the committee, after the Senator had left, to set up a subcommittee of rural liberal leaders, who know the unique requirements of rural political effort, to register the older voters. The motion carried. The members of the subcommittee have not yet been named, but will be soon. Yarborough, the spirit of the evening before still with him, said there is a whole generation of people who have never lived under a governor for the people in Texas. Let’s have a governor for the people instead of for the corporations . I think the people would be so enamored of governors for the people we’d elect governors for a generation.” The more the senator spoke about registration the more he came in mind of the new registration law passed by the last legislature. “How many in the House voted against that registration bill?” he finally asked. “Not many. We need people in the House who will stand up and vote against a bill they know is badnot determine that it will pass and decide not to oppose it and risk the governor’s ire because he ‘might appoint a notary in my district some day’.” Turning to Spears, Yarborough said the Connally people are worried about their future. “That’s why they put roadblocks in your way; they’re scared. They revealed that when their number one man quit … The very opposition you’re running into shows how important this work is that you’re doing … Millions of people who don’t know you’re in existence will benefit from the work you’re doing.” THE AUSTIN daily, a few days after the liberals’ meeting, quoted an unidentified “reliable source” that Don Yarborough is to be the liberal gubernatorial candidate; but “if Don’s trial run did not generate sufficient steam to appear a winner” the senator would make the race, and then Don “would be groomed” as the senator’s successor in Washington. The same unidentified source was quoted as saying that “it was the consensus of liberal chiefs they can defeat Lt. Gov. Preston Smith or any other candidate for the Democratic nomination.” The stated basis for the story was a meeting of liberal leaders that reporter