Gold Frankincense and Myrrh And Booze and Hams and Pecans Austin As the year’s biggest season of giving has rolled by once again, you can be sure that the Texas Capitol’s year-’round donors of largesse, the lobby, are busy distributing goodies. One group of recipients high on the lobby’s list is the Austin press corps though frequently these gifts are declined or passed on to others \(perhaps gifts offered that the Observer had includes: A case of beer for each scribe from the Texas Brewers Institute. A three-pound ham from Edmunds Travis, formerly a Humble Oil and Refining Company lobbyist. Two bottles of whiskey from the Licensed Beverage Distributors, Inc. Newsmen were given a letter entitling them to purchase the booze at the liquor store of their choice, the total purchase not to exceed $14. Two packages of freshly shelled pecans from the Texas Midcontinent Oil and Gas Association. A turkey from Gov. Preston Smith. \(One newsman commented that the governor has waited all year to give the A theatre pass for two people, good at most theatres in Texas, the gift of the National Association of Theatre Owners of Texas. One newsman is known to tear up his theatre pass and mail it back to NATOT. Several reporters are said to be refusing the beer this year on the grounds that the beer lobby caused the two special sessions of the Legislature. But many of the reporters keep most of the gifts, it depending in each case on who is giving and who is getting. And of course there are holiday parties. In late November the Texas Chemical Council hosted the reporters at the Austin Country Club. On Dec. 2 the Texas Railroad Association held its annual press party at the Green Pastures restaurant. On Dec. 12, an Austin American Legion post had a state affair for reporters at which Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes was the main speaker. And on Dec. 21 Darby Hammond, an insurance lobbyist, entertained the reporters at his home. Governor Smith had reporters into his office for an hour last week for a social visit partly in honor of the holidays perhaps but mostly in honor of the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Sam Kinch, who retires on Jan. 1. And House Speaker Gus Mutscher had the press up to the Headliners Club one evening earlier this week. G.O. BUMPERSTRIPS: 4 for 50c, 15 for $1, 100 for $3, 500 for $14, 1,000 for $25. Send check and Zip Code; we pay postage and tax. IFFUTURA PRESS INC Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS the Interagency Committee on Mexican-American Affairs, are working up political opposition to Gonzalez. Parks vs. Pavement Transportation Secretary John Volpe still hasn’t decided whether to approve that controversial North Expressway in San Antonio which would pave some 150 acres of Brackenridge and Olmos Parks, the Alamo Stadium, 8 The Texas Observer Incarnate Word College, the zoo, the Sunken Garden area, hiking trails, and other recreation areas. Wolf Von Eckhardt of the Washington Post reported in November that Volpe was expected any day to approve the freeway. The decision will be a litmus test of Volpe’s feelings on the issue of parks versus pavement. Senator Yarborough is on the side of the conservationists who want to save the park. Senator Tower originally was reported to be aligned with Mayor W. W. McAllister and other city fathers who believe the freeway must be built at the expense of the public grounds. Tower now is said to be neutral on the subject, possibly due to his discovery that the conservationists’ alternate route for the expressway would take fou’r high-priced suburban homes on the outskirts of the Olmos Park community, one of which belongs to one of Tower’s major campaign contributors, ATHENA MONTESSORI SCHOOL Leo Nitch, Director NEW NORTHWEST LOCATION 7500 Woodrow Phone 454-4239 Poage May Retire Food industry lobbyists and others in Washington believe Cong. Bob Poage of Waco, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and a Central Texas congressman for three decades, may retire at the end of this term. If so, it would open up another congressional seat for the 1970 campaign. Poage is 70 years old, and his wife is said to be in poor health. Bill Black of Temple, who was formerly Bell County judge, came to Washington last year for a stint as counsel to Poage’s committee staff, but Black returned quietly to Temple and resumed his old county post a few weeks ago. Black, a conservative, as is Poage, is likely to run for Congress should the vacancy occur. Others who may be interested in the job include State Rep. Tom Moore of Waco and Sen. Murray Watson of Mart. Lacey C. Sharp, who served on the Washington staffs of Poage and the late Cong. Albert Thomas of Houston, has replaced Black on the House Agriculture Committee staff. Luis Diaz de Leon and a band of militant Mexican-Americans from Laredo picketed Sen. Ralph Yarborough when Yarborough and Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota visited the Rio Grande Valley for migrant health hearings recently. Now Yarborough associates are suggesting that de Leon and the protesters were subsidized by anti-Yarborough political forces, perhaps Republicans, for their travel from Laredo to Edinburg. No real evidence of Republican involvement has come forth. Texas AFL-CIO chicanlo staffer Henry Muiloz raised funds to provide transportation and lodging to some of the hearing witnesses. Telles to Run The announcement by former El Paso Mayor Raymond Telles that he will oppose Cong. Richard C. White’s re-election in the Democratic primary may help lagging voter registration in West Texas, but liberals and Mexican-American activists seem unexcited by Telles’ candidacy. There appeared to be a preference among liberals and chicanos for State Rep. Paul Moreno to make the race. But Telles lined up his financial support and jumped into the race first. That left it to Moreno to decide whether to risk splitting the anti-White vote. He decided no.
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.