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Senator Yarborough and Health Austin In a generally admiring article Medical World News magazine recounts Sen. Ralph Yarborough’s assumption last year of the Senate Health Subcommittee chairmanship. “The senator has little patience with his opponents in the administration,” the article goes on then quoting Yarborough as saying: “You could take care of all health needs with rich abundance with less than half of what we’re spending each year on the war in Vietnam. We’re squandering the nation’s resources in that foolish adventure.” Describing the senator as “a unique blend of Southern loquaciousness, Midwestern populism, and old-style liberalism,” the article says that “Yarborough has never been a member of the Senate ‘club’ and is considered something of a lone wolf. He has Opposed the Southern Democratic-conservative Republican coalition on 63% of the legislation he has voted on since the Congressional Quarterly started keeping score in 1959. . . . “If his liberalism enrages his foes, his way with letters irritates even his most fanatical fans. With one of the largest volumes of incoming mail on Capitol Hill, Yarborough, to the despair of his staff, still insists on personally and laboriously reading and answering all his correspondence. “The turnover in his office is constant and is due primarily to hard work, frazzled nerves, and encounters with the famous Yarborough temper, which is quickly unleashed and but even more quickly turned off by the senator. A Baptist of the East Texas, hardshell variety, Yarborough refuses to say anything stronger than ‘darn’ in the presence of a woman, or drink anything more potent than an occasional cup of warm saki a holdover from army service in Japan… . it . . . I’ve always been in favor of better health programs [Yarborough says] , but in the past two or three years, I have become a strong advocate.’ “With Yarborough, advocacy is liable to amount to fervor. The senator is not a half-hearted legislator. After working a full day, he regularly returns to his office in the Old Senate Office Building at 8:30 or 9 p.m. and doesn’t leave before midnight. And this hard-driving nature carries over to his committee Work. . .” legislative interim he has lent his support when the question of rate increases proposed by Southwestern Bell and an independent phone company came before the Nacogdoches and Lufkin city councils. Both councils voted to refuse the increases. Wilson devoted most of his energy in the 1969 session to pushing a utilities regulations bill \(Obs., That got nowhere, of course, but he persists in his interest in the matter and hopes eventually to push the matter through successfully by marshalling public opionion. Nice Guy Rep. Bob Armstrong, Austin, who resigned a promising House career to challenge Land Cmsr. Jerry Sadler, continues to run a nice-guy campaign. This flies in the face of past experience of those who have sought to unseat Austin incumbents. There has been talk that Armstrong might open up in the last two weeks of the campaign, making issues of the dubious quality of Sadler’s stewardship of the land office. But that might be too late. Meantime, Armstrong persists in hitting the conservation theme mostly, saying he could do a better job of protecting Texas’ natural gifts. This, while a very important matter, is not the sort of thing that electrifies the electorate, even in these days of intensified and spreading concern about the environment. Sadler looks good for reelection at this point. A bit more moxie is being shown by “the third” candidate in the land commissioner race, Fred Williams of H o uston. Williams dislikes being overlooked when the land office race is discussed. He has run against Sadler twice before, being plowed under both times. Williams this year has raised some sand about Sadler’s allegedly using names of participants in the veterans land program, which Sadler administers, as an exclusive list with which to solicit votes. Williams has gone to court to force Sadler to release the names. Gov. Preston Smith, pressured during a meeting with some East Texas citizens for the state to take a stand against bussing of students to achieve racial balance in public schools, for a time proposed a referendum on the matter in the May Democratic primary. In the aftermath of that decision, there was a good deal of behind-the-scenes backing and filling on the part of state Democratic leaders who believed the governor had made a political blunder inasmuch as it would raise an emotional side-issue in the Demo primary. Some people thought the referendum might be a good way to lure conservative voters away from the Republicans and into the Democratic primary. But the Yarborough-Bentsen race will do a good job of that anyway. And as usual the GOP primary will have little of interest for spring voters. The welfare crisis now before Texas will persist after the primary elections and almost doubtless will cause another special session of the Legislatire. Probably Gov. Preston Smith’s main aim in coming up with a few million dollars more for welfare payments, achieved by some constitutionally dubious shuffling of legislative appropriations, was to permit the special session to occur after the primaries. Another debacle like the amateurish session last summer that almost resulted in a sales tax on groceries. Anyway, it presently appears the Legislature will be back in Austin this summer. Tick-a-Lock The Poor People’s Congress, organized by the National Welfare Rights Organization to pressure for improved status of persons on welfare, held a rally on the Capitol grounds last Saturday. Only 250 persons showed up in bad weather, and the rally doubtless had little impact, generally speaking. But one tangible effect of the gathering evidently was the changing of some locks on doors in the State Capitol. Locks on doors to the House chamber and to a passageway leading to an elevator that connects the House speaker’s apartment with the outside world were changed a day or two prior to the gathering of the congress. Evidently the apprehension was that some sympathetic House member or employee might give a key to those attending the congress so they could confront Speaker Mutscher in his digs. The Observer has not been able to ascertain whether locks similarly were changed on the Senate side of the. Capitol. The changing of the locks is reminiscent of the October Vietnam moratorium observance on the Captiol grounds when the west door of the Capitol, that nearest the demonstration, was locked and guards including Department of Public Safety part olmen were watchful at other entrances. Senator Yarborough decided not to attend the Austin rally of the Poor People’s Congress. Instead he sent a letter noting his many efforts in behalf of the dispossessed. He said he would have to return to Washington the day of the rally. But probably, as in the cases of most state politicians, the senator wished not to involve himself in something so politically unprofitable. Letters are coming into Texas and other states seeking funds to reelect the numerous liberal U.S. senators who are March 20, 1970 7