LBJ to attend Barnes love-in Since the primary defeat of his old rival Ralph Yarborough, former President Lyndon Johnson has taken a sudden new interest in Texas politics. In the past two weeks LBJ has been on guest lists at a cocktail party for House Speaker Gus Mutscher of Brenham, in Brenham, and was scheduled to attend a $100-a-plate Austin love-in staged for Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes. LBJ is said to be helping with fund raising for Lloyd Bentsen in his campaign for the senate against Cong. George Bush, and may take to the stump for Bentsen. The executives of Texas railroads have been asked by Barnes to buy $100 tickets to his Aug. 14 appreciation dinner. “Lieutenant Governor Barnes has solicited assistance in the sale of tickets from the individuals with the Texas railroads, as well as individual members of other statewide organizations,” Walter Caven, general counsel for the Texas Railroad Association wrote to Texas railroad executives. Caven said the dinner “will be a prestige affair,” and he warned that the purchase of tickets “must be made on a personal rather than a corporate basis.” Texas Coastal Bend residents had both US senators and a flock of other politicians to contend with in the wake of Hurricane Celia, but President Nixon in contrast to his predecessor stayed out of it. Nixon did declare the area an emergency area within 24 hours after the storm wrecked the shore and moved inland, but instead of coming to see for himself he sent Commerce Secretary Maurice Stans and Small Business Administrator Hilary Sandoval in. Former President LBJ was one of the first on the scene in the aftermath of Hurricane Beulah, which hit in the same area and southward, in 1967. Smith preaching unity Gov. Preston Smith is appealing for peace and tranquility at the Sept. 15 State Democratic Convention in Dallas. In a mailing sent from the Governor’s Office to every convention delegate, Smith notes, “ours is a party of the people. Therefore, no element of Democratic Party philosophy will be excluded from our convention. While ours is a party of hard-fought primaries, it also is one of unified action in the general election.” The governor may feel that a raucus convention would hurt his chances for re-election. Smith declared Aug. 15-Sept. 15 “Venereal Disease Month” in Texas, probably not noticing that the final day coincides with the state Democratic Convention. Political intelligence Smith turned down a request by Sen. Chet Brooks of Pasadena for a top-to-bottom investigation of alleged political purges at the University of Texas. Brooks asked for a blue-ribbon committee to conduct the probe, but Smith said he had no information to support charges that Chapman item in error An item in the Aug. 7 Observer incorrectly reported that Dist. Judge Joe N. Chapman of Sulphur Springs was named in a 14-point Hopkins County grand jury indictment charging him with “judicial misconduct.” In fact, Chapman was not indicted nor were charges against him considered by the grand jury. He was named in a formal complaint before the Texas Judicial Qualifications Commission. The complaint filed by Sulphur Springs attorney J. Kearney Brim claims that Chapman committeed an indiscretion by quashing indictments against two brothers charged with swindling the city of Sulphur Springs. Chapman said he quashed the indictments after determining that a grand juror in the case was “prejudiced,” according to the Dallas Morning News. The News quoted Chapman as saying the charges are frivolous. “I’m going to ignore them,” he was quoted as saying. The Observer regrets and retracts the error. Dr. John Silber, Dean of the UT College of Arts and Sciences, was improperly dismissed. Smith said he was reluctant to enter into “a confrontation” with Frank C. Erwin, Jr., Austin attorney and head of the UT Regents. Erwin was not appointed by Smith, though Smith raised no objection to him when formei Gov. John Connally, in the last days of his administration, re-named Erwin to the Board of Regents. Erwin contributed $2,000 to Smith’s 1968 campaign, according to Smith’s campaign expense records. Dallas Sens. Oscar Mauzy and Mike McKool, who were among the first liberals to endorse Lloyd Bentsen after his defeat of Senator Yarborough, are urging the Governor to assemble a progressive platform at the state Democratic Convention. Mauzy thinks a liberal platform will encourage Texas liberals to vote for Bentsen and Smith in November, rather than staying home or supporting Republicans. McKool says he is worried by apathy and hostility among loyalists who backed Yarborough. Dowdy gets opponent Rep. John Dowdy of Athens, under federal indictment on charges of conspiracy, perjury and bribery, will face a 73-year-old write-in opponent in the November election. Gordon F. Wills, a retired Army sergeant also of Athens, is running because he says Dowdy has given the town a bad name. Wills ventured into politics once before and finished last in a six-way race for Henderson County sheriff in 1956. Wills says his campaign support is “meager.” He is barnstorming the 18-county district by public bus. On July 20 the Dallas city council outlawed walking about aimlessly without apparent purpose, lingering, hanging around, lagging behind, delaying and sauntering within the boundaries of that city. The ordinance is called the loitering law and 11 laggards have been arrested since it went into effect. Charges were dropped against four of them. The Dallas Civil Liberties Union will file suit in federal court to test the constitutionality of the cease-sauntering edict. To love or to leave Dallas Rep. Jim Collins has introduced a bill in the U.S. House which would enable those who do not love it to leave it. The bill would provide a free, one-way ticket for anyone over 25 to any foreign country in which they wish to establish residence. The applicant would only have to voluntarily relinquish his right to re-enter the United States for the next 65 years. According to a city official, Amarillo will pay for an outside air pollution study of a grossly polluting zinc smelting plant in their area to keep it operating. City Commissioner R. G. Mills told the Texas Air Control Board, “We just can’t afford to have this plant closed.” The American Smelting and Refining Co. plant. is seeking either an exemption or a permanent variance from state emission regulations. The Board delayed decision on the plant until September. August 21, 197’0
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.