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“I” -4101r ‘ ‘004i4.4400w , The water plan It is not too soon to re-open candid discussion of the “Texas Water Plan.” Evidently another multi-billion-dollar bond issue will be slicked through the 1971 Legislature with as little discussion as possible. There will probably be another public vote on this massively consequential matter less than a year from now. In my opinion, it is of first importance that the big water-users should pay for most of the water, not the general taxpayers. If the last go-round was any indication, most of the daily papers, in their editorials, will daily paper over the tax costs of the program for the next 50 years, especially the scandal that the bond issue three billion dollars, four? will actually be more than double, the stated amount enriching two or three generations of bankers, because of the interest charges. It would be all right to finance a specifically limited portion of a general water program out of general revenue if the Texas method of raising the general revenue was fair, but it is not; most of the general revenue comes from the sales tax. Only when the Legislature passes a personal income tax will it begin, perhaps, to make sense to talk about financing a 50-year obligation in part out of general revenue. The power-structure strategists expect people to go along with bonds in lieu of taxes and just forget about the fact that the money-controlled Legislature will not provide for the general revenue on a just and equitable basis. But when you get into 50-year bonds at present interest rates, the time has arrived for a taxpayers’ rebellion. I guess, as the public relations campaign revs up again, we will be told again that we are going to get the muddy waters of the Mississippi free and clear, presumably as a result of a poker game between Preston Smith and Winthrop Rockefeller on a stern-wheeler in mid-stream. The skeptical East Texans will be set in the corner like class dunces because they cannot quite see why they will be better off with less water. Ecologists who remain convinced that you cannot trans-cut the ecology of a coastal plain without damaging its natural balances will be called fanatics, or at least visionaries and bird-watchers. And anyone who asks the really forbidden question Exactly what big water-users will get how much of this water at what price? he will be identified as a family farm nut or a paranoid free-soiler. So grab your hat and keep your hand on your wallet it’ll be more fun than a barbecue in George Parr country, and much more expensive. Observations The chain gang The Parr empire is attenuated, but it persists. About 1,800 people, including officeholders and officeseekers from all over South Texas, attended a free barbecue at the 0. P. Carillo Ranch in Benavides, Duval County, on Sept. 27. Four thousand pounds of Grade A beef and 500 cases of beer were provided. Among the hosts who were introduced: County Judge Archer Parr. Although Gov. Preston Smith was supposed to be there, he did not make it. Perhaps he took a second look and figured that some Texans can remember as far back as 1948. But Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, House Speaker Gus Mutscher, ex-Gov. John Connally, and Lloyd Bentsen were there. Barnes said he was proud of everybody for being there, despite the bad weather. Bentsen said Barnes is a strong link in “the long chain of Democratic leadership from Texas.” That was a felicitous phrase. The signals have been somewhat mixed, or possibly they have been jammed by the Voice of Texas, about Robert Strauss, the new treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. He was a protege of John Connally, and everybody knows who John Connally is a protege of, so here was another member of the Texas Chain Gang in charge of raising and disseminating millions of dollars for the Democratic Party. But sapient national people who chatted with Strauss privately found him to be a pretty liberal fellow who was just keeping quiet about his actual views, you see, so he could raise money from all those fat-cats for the worthy Democrats. Well, maybe so. But now we have received a rather clear public signal from Mr. Strauss himself. He has called out for the scalp of John Kenneth Galbraith, who, Strauss says, should be purged from the Democrats’ policy council. Galbraith’s recited offense is his having asked the increasingly pertinent question, “Who Needs the Democrats?” Actually it all probably has more to do with his endorsement of George Bush as the next U.S. senator from Texas. As usual the “Texas Democrats” buy themselves some of the abstract art that’s fashionable in politics nowadays and then hang it on the wall upside down. Strauss calls Galbraith one of the “Kamikaze Democrats.” If Strauss, Connally, and, prowling around again behind them both, Johnson, have their way purging the likes of Galbraith, they will have earned that very sobriquet again in 1972, just as they did in 1968. Stanley Steingut and other leaders of the Democratic regulars in New York responded to Mr. Strauss’ demand for more decorous. Democratic dialogue by proposing, in league with foremost reform October 16, 1970 19 MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 po s 2eowiL MOTOR H01L Bayfront location in downtown Corpus Christi Balcony suites overlooking picturesque swimming pool or facing beautiful Corpus Christi Bay TV \(some Complete luncheon and dining menu in the Marine Club Coffee Shop and Gift Shop Entertainment and dancing. Commercial Rates Year ‘Round f twet… Tele 5121883-3520 al l –“` 1601 N. Shoreline Blvd. P. a Box 1248 MOTOR HOTEL Corpus Christi, Tex 78403 i