plant, at lower wages, American chicano laborers. Also in the march were Senators Kennedy and Walter Mondale. Cong. Olin Teague of Bryan has criti cized those who despair over a seemingly low level of response by returning GIs to the new educational benefits offered them. Although Teague did not name him, Texas’ Senator Yarborough has been a constant critic of the Veterans Administration’s treatment of the program, which Yarborough helped create in Congress. Teague praised the VA in a floor speech and predicted the new GI Bill benefits “will pay off more generously than ever for our veterans.” Senator Yarborough’s denouncing the proposed Sentinel missile system broke his custom of remaining silent on controversial defense issues pending before Congress. The day after his speaking out he addressed the Mary Lasker Awards dinner York, and called for a greater commitment to public health from the government. He said the federal government should provide Medicare-like health insurance for all Americans, and suggested that millions of dollars being spent on space exploration should instead go to health programs. ADA in Texas There is interest among national lead ers of the Americans for Democratic Action to organize more local ADA chapters in Texas. The Dallas chapter recently was reorganized and new chapters in Fort Worth and Beaumont established. Henry Brown, ADA national director of organization, was in Texas last month visiting in Dallas, Austin, Houston, and Beaumont. Brown says the organization’s endorsement of the candidacy of Sen. Eugene McCarthy over President Johnson last year, at a time when LBJ still had not taken himself out of the race, has not hurt ADA in terms of either membership or financial support. In fact, he said, the loss of labor unions’ support has been more than compensated for by increases in membership and contributions from independent liberals, particularly the young. On returning to Washington, D.C., ADA headquarters, Brown was interviewed by the organization’s publication. Of Beaumont, he said that Texas locale is “a highly conservative place, with a concentration of oil and chemical industries and openly Birchite types sitting on the city council. “A local university suffered a miniscule five-minute demonstration in the bookstore, a few book stacks were toppled, a table was broken. The university immediately estimated damage at $3,000; ultimately it will probably be reduced to about $30. A large number of people were arrestedincluding some not even on the scene at the time of the demonstration. 8 The Texas Observer “Beaumont ADAers immediately demanded an interview with the authorities to protest the arrestswith some success. As a result, black students are seeking ADA aid and counsel, and both blacks and brownsMexican-Americansare involved in chapter work . . . [T] his is the first time the browns have turned out for anything in that community,” Brown reported. He said the Fort Worth chapter is interested primarily in local school problems and has held a public meeting with the deputy superintendent of schools. Liberal Laxity Texas liberals appear at loose ends these days in terms of organization. Texas Liberal Democrats has folded without fanfare, and not much is heard from the New Democratic Coalition of Texas, which was organized last September after the national Democratic convention. Coalition people, only about 20 of them, Rep. Bill Hecttly ‘Despoted Nepotic’ Austin Although Rep. Bill Heatly has received a great deal of damaging publicity and even a little criticism on the House floor, both for his authoritarian handling of the House appropriations bill and his penchant for putting his relatives on state payrolls, he seems to have as much legislative power as ever. The House recently bestowed a junior college, the first of the session, upon Hardeman County in Heatly’s district. The measure passed along with 81 other bills on a local and uncontested calendar the calendar reserved for the most mundane and uncontroversial of housekeeping bills. Nary a representative opposed pushing Heatly’s bill through on the consent calendar, but one legislative wit was miffed enough to label the Appropriations Committee chairman a “despoted nepotic.” gathered in Austin in February for a legislative workshop. At the meeting issues before the Legislature were discussed and resolutions passed, then those attending went to the Capitol to lobby in behalf of the organization’s expressed views with legislators. Other than that, organized efforts of liberals are nil in Texas, one year before Senator Yarborough is to face a reelection campaign. Barnes and $$ Lt . Gov. Ben Barnes was the subject of a lengthy front-page article in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal. Barnes is quoted as placing his net worth at “$25,000 to $30,000 . .. maybe $5,000 or $10,000 more.” Barnes’ business relationship with Brownwood contractor Herman Bennett is discussed rather fully. Barnes is quoted as saying that he “didn’t have to raise any money” to buy into the Bennett firm. “I owe him a great deal of money. I never have sat down and figured out just how much I owe him,” Barnes said. Profits from his ventures with Bennett are used to pay Bennett back and to build up his interest in the construction firm. Barnes said his services to the company consist of “attending board meetings and offering my counsel and advice.” Both Barnes and Bennett were asked about the genesis of their business relationship. Bennett “just bet on a young man,” Barnes replied. Bennett said, “I grew up with Ben Barnes, and we’ve just been friends for a long time. Our business association has nothing to do with politics, and I never ask him for anything.” The Journal notes that a key Barnes backer is Frank C. Erwin, Jr., “whose [law] firm frequently represents the state’s financial elite in legislative matters,” as the paper says. The Journal reports that a visitor \(evidently a Journal Erwin’s office in December heard him say on the phone that he believed Barnes would challenge Sen. Ralph Yarborough in 1970. However, the paper notes, most Austin observers do not expect this, it being thought Barnes most likely plans no races until 1972, when he would run for governor. Barnes in March acquired a one-fifth interest in an Abilene radio station. The interest is worth $65,700, according to the sale price. of $328,500-in which Barnes and four others acquired ownership. With Barnes in this venture are C. Ronald Rogers Ralph Wayne of Plainview, Walter M. Mischer, and Neal Spelce Jr., former newsman for Austin’s KTBC. Barnes says he didn’t have to put up either money or collateral to be included in the deal. At the Ranch Barnes made a quiet, unpubli cized visit to the LBJ Ranch last week. Former President Johnson requested that the trip be. kept secret. “We talked about cows and grass and the progress of the LBJ State Park,” Barnes told the Observer. The lieutenant governor insists they did not discuss his political future, or any politics, for that matter. He I said Johnson is trying to avoid involvement with politics on any level. Texas Democrats, more and more, are finding they need liberals if they are to win elections. So State Senator Grover of Houston said in explaining, .during a Dallas appearance, why he changed parties to become a Republican. Democrats “more and more need the support of the liberals. They’ve got to have their support to win in the general election.” Barnes is, Senator Grover charged, leading the Democratic party leftward in
You May Also Like
The documentary in Falfurrias is sinister and spiritual.