Political Intelligence After meeting with Harrison-Panola county commissioners and administrators of the local 0E0 program last week, Gov. Preston Smith granted the commissioners’ request to oust VISTAs from the two-county area \(Obs., “If there is any vestige of local self-government left in our nation, it must reside in locally elected officials,” Smith explained. “While regretting the necessity for this action, I cannot in good conscience continue to force upon a local area a federal program not desired by locally elected officials.” This is the second group of poverty workers Smith has removed. The precedent is set. As soon as other conservative county commissioners discover how ready the governor is to ditch the federal program, more of the state’s 270 VISTAs can expect to lose their jobs. The Republican Party is holding ten fund-raising dinners this fall. “The knowledge’ that the liberal Democrats intend to spend $300,000 on a voter registration program makes the success of these dinners imperative,” Mrs. Nancy Palm, Houston GOP leader said. Barry Goldwater will speak at a dinner in Houston Nov. 15. The state GOP is putting pressure on Cong. George Bush to run against Senator Ralph Yarborough in 1970. At a State Republican Executive Committee meeting recently, State Sen. Henry Grover, who has an eye on Bush’s House seat as well as Yarborough’s senate post, virtually demanded that Bush immediately announce his intentions. He said that if the Republicans do not offer a strong candidate, former Governor John Connally will challenge Yarborough in the Democratic primary. Bush, carefully watching the polls, so far has demured for announcing his intentions. At the same meeting, Sen. John Tower said he is “about 75% sure” that Bush will run. Leaders of the liberals’ newly organized voter registration effort emphatically deny that the campaign budget will be anywhere near $300,000, even if Matt Reese is retained. The Observer last issue took note of reports that Reese’s fee alone would be $300,000. Support for RY The National Committee for an Effective Congress is soliciting campaign funds to support the re-election of Texas Sen. Ralph W. Yarborough. In a letter signed by Henry Steele Commager. and John Kenneth Galbraith, the committee warns that .”almost limitless” resources of the military-industrial estate will be made available to opponents of Yarborough and other liberals who fought deployment of the ABM. The letter is going out to active liberals around the country. Officials of labor’s Committee on Political Education at the national AFL-CIO convention in Atlantic City, N.J., gave the re-election of Senator Yarborough top priority for the campaign of 1970. AFL-CIO President George Meany and COPE Director Al Barkan told a number of delegates that Yarborough, chairman of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee, must be returned to the Senate. John Tower is still the stoutest hawk in the U.S. Senate. While President Nixon is scaling down the U.S. troop commitment in Viet Nam, Tower, who holds some sway with the president, is saying the United States might be smart to abandon the Paris peace talks in favor of escalating the war. At a recent press conference, he said, “our restraint seems to have failed . . . there is a strong feeling in the grassroots that if we determine to fight a war, we should fight to its conclusion.” He mentioned mining the port of Haiphong and resuming the bombing of the North. Sen. Wayne Connally of Floresville has announced he is a candidate for re-election, thus stifling rumors that he might run for lieutenant governor or land commissioner next year. Connally said he expects Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes to seek re-election next year or “get out of politics,” but that he’s personally not interested in the position in 1970. Dean Recants A UT associate professor backea down last week after booting a member of the armed forces out of his graduate seminar in Latin American history. The affair was taking on the proportions of last year’s Larry Caroline case, in which everyone from the chairman of the board of regents to the head of the offending teacher’s department had his say before Caroline lost his teaching contract. Dr. Warren K. Dean said he could not teach the Army major because of his association with the military. “I am a pacifist and do not believe in killing,” Dean explained. After reasoning with UT President Norman Hackerman, Dean wrote a letter which said, “I have since reconsidered this action because I have come to see that as a principle of professional ethics I am bound to respect the academic right of every student to equal access to all university facilities.” Hilary Sandoval, the El Paso businessman who is President Nixon’s Small Business Administrator, may be returning home soon. Rumors have circulated since mid-summer that Sandoval would be replaced. Latest word is that Berkeley Burrell, a Washington laundry Republican, is the president’s new choice. Sandoval’s appointment came at the recommendation of Texas Senator John G. Tower, who argued that the appointment of a Mexican-American would assist GOP efforts to crack that traditionally Democratic vote bloc in the Southwest. From his first days in office, however, Sandoval has been under attack by black activists who claim he is insensitive to the needs of would-be black capitalists. Sens. Jacob Davits of New York and Charles Percy of Illinois, both Republicans, also have been critical of Sandoval. October 24, 1969 9 There’s always a way to get around nitpicky hiring provisions to help a friend. Governor Smith appointed Richard Lee Penn, his private secretary’s husband, to a $19,000-a-year position with the . Industrial Accident Board. State law requires that the position be filled by a person who at the time of the appointment is an employer of labor in some industry or business; so Penn left his $13,500-a-year state post as an administrative assistant to the executive director of the State Building Comfnission on a Friday to become executive vice president of the Flahive-Ogden Co. in Austin. Having fulfilled the requirements of the job, he left Flahive-Ogden the foll6wing Monday to go to work for the Industrial Accident Board. Governor Smith has stated opposition over the plan to scrap the tax-exempt status for state and local government bonds. He called the proposal “more spiteful and coercive than reformatory.” The bill is directed at a “handful of investors” who lend money to state and local governments at low interest rates and stand accused of taking advantage of a loophole to minimize their income tax abilitY, Smith says. Doing away with the interest free bonds would force states and their political subdivisions into greater financial dependence “upon the monster of bureaucracy,” he believes Active Agnew A press release touting a $100-a-plate GOP dinner for Spiro Agnew in Dallas said the vice president is “considered by many one of the most active and daring vice presidents ever to assume office.” Yes, indeed.
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.