interest in the strike of Corpus Christi garbage collectors, the convention would have been deadly dull had it not been for the political race. When Brown sounded the last rap of the convention gavel for another two years, the delegates’ voting on numerous resolutions and a political race had said, in effect, “Let’s have more of the same.” Evans emerged victorious in his bid for a fifth consecutive two-year term, though his 52.2% of the 141,719 secret ballot votes cast was hardly a mandate of the delegates. Perhaps more significant than Evans’ victory was Brown’s defeat. Brown was reelected unopposed to his fifth consecutive two-year term as president after Evans calmly refused to accept a nomination to run against Brown. Evans was nominated for president by a Sapp supporter. . Brown was actively and openly out to get himself a new secretary-treasurer. Several delegates said privately during the convention that Sapp agreed to run against Evans after anywhere from six to 12 other labor leaders from throughout the state had refused. Two delegates said they personally knew of six men who had declined to run against Evans. To veterans of the Texas labor movement, the political battle was the biggest and hardest fought within the Texas AFLCIO since the 1961 convention in Galveston, when the “team” of “Hank and Roy” was first put in office. Eight years later in Corpus Christi, the two men were no longer operating as a team. The question that the convention and the election did not answer is, will Brown and Evans be able to work together peacefully for the next two years, particularly as the Texas labor movement prepares for next year’s “big politics?” THE CONVENTION did answer a highly publicized constitutional question about the power and authority of its president. The delegates voted to overhaul a constitution that many felt the labor movement had outgrown since the 1959 Texas merger of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. \(The merger occurred naBut the constitutional change was tied into the race between Evans and Sapp. The new constitution, as revised, states that the president will have final say anytime there is a disagreement between the president and secretary-treasurer over a policymaking decision. Under the old constitution, such disputes could be resolved only by the executive board, which meets every few months, or a convention, which is held every two years. There’s no question that Brown has made a lot of enemies within the Texas labor movement during his presidency. His rhetoric is that of the former San Antonio union plumber he is. But despite Brown’s iron-fisted leadership of the state labor federation, his intimidating manner, and his skillful, though controversial, wheeling and dealing, Brown does his job effectively. “Hank is a no good son-of-a-bitch who gets the job done,” as one old-time friend of Brown’s and a Sapp supporter put it. Another Sapp supporter said, “If it were not for Hank’s ability with the Legislature, Poor Richter’s Almanac Reports Austin The rumored impending replacement of Walter Richter as director of the Southwest regional Office of Economic Opportunity \(Political Intelligence, July though his successor is not yet known. Other rumors have it that the new director will be James Griffith, Republican from San Marcos who has a chicken ranch. Griffith’s poultry connections were the referent of some parts of this following series of items, both lighthearted and otherwise, published in Poor Richter’s Almanac, a daily intraoffice bulletin at the regional OEO: July 14: “OEO Instruction No. 9-69 provides that broasted chicken, along with other things, will be served to Southwest Regional Office employees at high noon each Monday. Cost to employees is undetermined at this time.” July 15: “TWX FM OEO HQ TO SWRO: ALL RIGHT YOU CLUCKS DOWN THERE NO MORE CHICKEN JOKES.” July 16: ‘Notice to all employees: In the interest of quieting the rumor mill, I am taking this means of informing you I will definitely be resigning as director of the region at a date as yet undetermined; unequivocally verified by an appropriate top-level Washington source has not, repeat NOT, been selected. . . .” Since then, it has developed that Sept. 12 will be the date Richter leaves his present job. He has said he plans several things for the near future, among them, perhaps, a race in 1972 against Sen. John Tower. the labor movement ‘Would have outgrown him.” on the highly publicized dissension that had developed between Brown and Evans. Brown told delegates on the opening day of the convention, “Today, the dissension, the the anomosity and bitterness between your president and secretarytreasurer is almost unbearable. It’s been so bad that I’ve almost cried like a child. “I support a pilot a president and a co-pilot a secretary-treasurer but I shall vigorously oppose two pilots copresidents. If he [Evans] thinks he is better qualified to be the pilot . . . let him put his name on the ballot.” Evans, however, told the delegates immediately after Brown’s speech, “You’ve got to have a president, but you’ve got to have checks and balances on that president. There’ll be a president and there’ll be a check and balance, the secretarytreasurer.” The only way to change that is to elect a new secretary-treasurer, said EVans. Two days before the convention began, Evans told another labor convention, “For every pain that Hank’s had, I’ve had three. I’m not opposing Hank. I’m for him being reelected as president, not as king; as president, not as boss.” The nature of the political battle left Sapp almost like an interested bystander unable to grasp the handle that would determine his own destiny. A belated campaign leaflet began with, “Jesse Sapp needs no introduction to the labor movement in Texas.” The third sentence and second paragraph stated, “However, for the newcomers to the Texas labor movement, this will introduce you to Jesse Sapp.” Sapp did need introduction. As president of the McLennan County Central Labor Council since 1966, there is no. question that Sapp has been active in the labor movement in his own backyard of Waco before and since 1966. However, with the exception of his 12 years as a Texas AFL-CIO convention delegate, and his service on the United Labor Legislative Committee in Austin during “the past two or three sessions” of the Legislature, Sapp had had little exposure on a statewide basis. And just by being secretary-treasurer, Evans got exposure during the convention that Sapp never equalled and seldom tried to equal. THE DIFFERENCES between the two campaigns were dramatically shown at a Sapp rally and an Evans caucus the night before the Texas AFL-CIO convention began. Sapp’s rally consisted of many people in a large room with liquor flowing freely although in stingy quantities per drink. Everyone talked, socialized, and did some politicking. An hour after Sapp’s rally began, the Evans caucus started in a much smaller room with no alcohol in sight, except for that carried in by occasional visitors from the Sapp rally, bringing their drinks with them. The Evans caucus had people sitting and standing, listening to speakers supporting Evans. The Evans supporters presented the facts, as they saw them, on the major issues of the campaign. The audience of delegates was quiet and attentive. A man was fighting to protect his job, and the August 15, 1969 7
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