themselves to finance commodity research, education and promotion. The legislature did not pass the bill in 1961, but Barnes reintroduced it in 1963, a year he could expect the measure to receive more serious consideration by a legislature of which he had become, suddenly, a key member. The issue became of wide interest when it was discovered that two former state legislators had been retained for a $9,600 fee to lobby for the Barnes bill. One was an associate of Tunnell; the other, of Barnes. Bob Bullock, formerly of Hillsboro, then an Austin lobbyist for the Texas Automobile Dealers Assn., an Austin manufacturing firm and a Houston bowling outfit, was Tunnell’s former law partner in Tyler. S u d d e r t h, a Comanche attorney who formerly represented Barnes’ district in the legislature, registered that year as the lobbyist for the Southwestern Peanut Growers Assn. He and Barnes have been associates for some time. Both Bullock and Sudderth had been in the 1959 legislature. In early February, 1963, a meeting was held at the Commodore Perry hotel in Austin of the Texas Federation of Agricultural Commodities to discuss the pending “peanut bill,” as the measure became known. The Observer determined that Barnes, Bullock, Sudderth and State Rep. Wayne Gibbens of Breckenridge were present at times during the .meeting. Barnes and Bullock addressed the group, the Observer said. Bullock evidently had been called in by Sudderth to aid the federation, probably because of his closeness to Tunnell; Ross Wilson, the federation’s secretary, told the Observer that Sudderth had called Bullock in. Barnes said he and fellow legislator Gibbons were at the meeting at times other than when lobbyists Bullock and Sudderth were present. Barnes said the lawmakers saw the lobbyists in the hotel lobby. “I didn’t know Bullock and Sudderth were going to be there. We [Gibbens and Barnes] didn’t talk about Bullock and Sudderth [at the meeting].” After the two legislators had left the meeting Bullock and Sudderth reentered and Bullock offered to represent the federation’s interests in the peanut bill for $12,500. Barnes said he did not discuss the matter of a fee when he ran into the two lobbyists at the hotel. Bullock backed up Barnes’ contention on this point.” The peanut bill was not passed by the 1963 legislature. Barnes’ conservative credentials remained quite in order during the 1963 session; for example, the Texas Manufaturers Assn. had him in the 90-95% range, based on 20 selected votes. 47 In his two terms as voting legislator \(not voting, as was deemed to have been right six times, wrong 35 by the Texas AFL-CIO. 48 Late in 1963, on Dec. 17, Governor Connally expressed his appreciation for Barnes’ efforts in behalf of the governor’s program by addressing a banquet being given Barnes in Brownwood. Some 750 persons crowded into the municipal auditorium to honor the young legislator.” Connally, recovering from wounds suffered during the assassination of President Kennedy, spoke by phone. There were other indications of Barnes’ nowsecure position among the ruling elite of Texas: another telephone address, by Atty. Gen. Waggoner Carr, from Washington, where Carr was working with the Warren Commission; President Johnson wired a tribute to Barnes; Tunnell and Lt. Gov. Preston Smith were there in person, as were some 50 house members.” The Houston Chronicle’s veteran Capitol reporter, Byers, saw the Brownwood dinner as a kickoff to make Barnes the speaker in 1967. A field representative for the state Democratic executive committee, Scott Sayers, had been push IN EARLY January, 1965, Barnes pulled “the most amazing political coup in Texas history,” according to Capitol newsman Stuart Long, 55 whose grasp of Texas public affairs and their history is encyclopedic. Tunnell, four days before the legislative session was to begin, suddenly resigned to fill a vacancy just then opening on the railroad commission. There is some discrepancy as to just when Barnes found out that Tunnell would not preside over the house in 1965. Barnes says it was Friday morning, Jan. 8, at 7:30, when Tunnell phoned him.” But some news reports have it that word of the news had begun to circulate in Austin that Thursday night.” In any case, it was clear that Barnes was the choice of Connally to succeed Tunnell. Barnes announced his candidacy in a Capitol press conference flanked by aides and supporters of Connally, including Erwin, Julian Read, a Connally public relations man, and Larry Temple, a Connally secretary.” The phone call from Tunnell had been another indication that Connally had wanted to give Barnes a head start in the suddenly born speaker’s race. A number of house members reported that they were called on Barnes’ behalf. by leading backers of Connally and by Tunnell lieutenants of the 1963 session, among them Rep. Bill Heatly, Paducah, the appropriations committee chairman, a conservative. 59 Barnes sec up a headquarters at the Driskill hotel in a suite often used by Lyndon Johnson.” There Barnes and some supporters \(among them, Rep. Gus Mutscher, Brenham, who will succeed Barnes 61 began a 36-hour telephone campaign, calling, the 148 other representatives, of whom 102 had previously pledged Barnes support for the 1967 speakership. 62 “By Friday noon we had our campaign completely mobilized. We telephoned all night and by Saturday ing tickets for the banquet. Sayers .contended he was acting as an individual, not for the committee.” In 1964 Barnes spoke for the JohnsonHumphrey ticket and helped run Tunnell’s campaign for reelection as speaker while Tunnell faced opponents in the primary and general election. 52 In September of that year, the night before the Democratic convention in Dallas, Barnes began getting pledges for his own speaker’s race, to be climaxed whenever Tunnell stepped aside, then presumed to be after the 1965 session.” “My secretary typed up some pledge cards for me before I left for Dallas,” Barnes said, “and I got about 14 or 15 pledges the night before the convention.”” morning I knew I had the votes,” Barnes told a reporter. 63 There was worry among some, liberals mostly, that the fast switch, Barnes for Tunnell, could herald a new approach to maintaining the considerable influence of the lobby over the legislature. State Rep. Bob Eckhardt, now a congressman, called the development “something unique and dangerous in Texas politics. It means perpetual control of the house by the lobby.” 67 Eckhardt evidently was referring to the well-oiled operation that Barnes and his backers quickly put into effect before other candidates for the speakership could get their campaigns going. The cost of the suite at the Driskill, the telephone bills and other costs evidently were paid by the lobby. In any case it was and is a good guess that the Connally forces had engineered a coup, though Connally and Barnes denied prior ‘planning. 66 Tunnell had shown some signs of balkiness in pushing the governor’s program through the house in 1965. 66 The resignation of Ernest 0. Thomspon from the commission most likely was timed by Connally to set up the Barnes blitz. Barnes became, at 27, the second youngest speaker in state history. He quickly set about ordering things for smooth sailing for the Connally program in the house, particularly pressuring Heatly, who often exhibits his independence of mind. For a time there was talk that Heatly might be displaced as appropriations chairman. 67 Erwin and some representatives of Barnes met privately with the chairman to determine his attitude. They won assurances that Heatly would go along with Connally and Barnes, par-t , ticularly as to Connally’s wishes to spend’ more on higher education, if Heatly could retain his power f ul chairmanship.” Heatly had caused Connally problems during the 1963 session, being more tightfisted than the governor had wished. For Nov. 15, 1968 7 A Sudden Switch: Barnes for Tunnell
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