Children’s lib comes to Austin The Observer has chanced across what is, to the best of our knowledge, the first chapter of Children’s Liberation anywhere. The founder is Miss Julie Wilkinson, age 10, of Austin. The Children’s Lib chapter is limited to five girls, since Miss Wilkinson is, for now, including only her closest friends. The group’s motto is “Do unto children as you would unto grownups.” They consider the practice of spanking particularly unfair. “When,” inquires Miss Wilkinson, “do you ever see a grownup spanking another grownup?” A subsidiary slogan of the Children’s Lib chapter is, “Everyone else is doing it; why can’t we?” In talking with Miss Wilkinson we were particularly impressed with the fact that what she is doing is not cute: hers is not an organization to be treated with condescension. It’s not that Miss Wilkinson is a dedicated revolutionary about to lead hordes of children out of the schools with clenched fists held high: it’s rather that her intent is not precious. We can recall, with some difficulty, having been children ourselves, a condition which led us to reflect at least a dozen times a day: “But it’s not fair. It’s just not fair!” For all the grownups who are tempted to react by saying good-griefly, “I knew it would come to this,” we suggest that IPolitical intelligence perhaps this is where it should all have started. State Rep. Rayford Price of Palestine says he will run for speaker of the Texas House, regardless of what Speaker Gus Mutscher does in 1973. Before news of the Securities and Exchange Commission suit rocked the Capitol, Mutscher announced he would seek an unprecedented third consecutive term as. speaker. Since the alleged stock fraud came to light, Mutscher hasn’t said much of anything. Price, a conservative, said the SEC action was “a contributing factor” in his decision to run for the speakership, but he added that he “had pretty well decided before the session started to either run or get out.” No doubt his decision also was spurred by the fact that Mutscher did not reappoint him to the much coveted chairmanship of the House State Affairs Committee. The House Appropriations Committee hastily approved Austin Rep. Harold Davis’s bill to increase college tuition on out-of-state students to at least $700 a semester, a 350% increase over the present $200 a semester levy on. non:residents. Other bills have been introduced to raise tuition on Texas students. The present $50 a semester fee for residents is one of the best educational bargains in the country. Cong. Bob Eckhardt and State Sens. Barbara Jordan and Joe Bernal have invited all Texans “willing to work for progressive legislation at all levels of government’ to a meeting in Austin Feb. 7. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at the Villa Capri. Gov. Preston Smith took a look at the state’s tax crisis and punted. In his budget message to the Legislature, the governor suggested the state borrow money rather than trying to come up with between $650 and $800 million in new taxes. His proposal, which has gathered absolutely no support in either the House or the Senate, would require submitting nothing less than five constitutional amendments to the state’s voters. Smith failed to point out that his deficit spending scheme would cost an additional $650 to $$00 million in interest at the very least. But then, as one observer commented, maybe he’s so used to getting cheap loans without collateral that he’s forgotten what interest, is.. February 12, 1971 17 Tiger Teague’s triumph Washington, D.C. When Anson’s Rep. Omar Burleson suggested some weeks ago that Rep. run for chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, “Tiger” laughed and went off to Miami to the Super Bowl football game. A dozen Texans not including Teague caucused on Jan. 18, one day before the voting, and Burleson then formally nominated Teague. “Will he take it?” someone asked. “Hell, I don’t think he’ll turn it down,” Burleson answered, and the deed was done. According to Rep. Jim Wright of Fort Worth, the move transpired “Because Texas didn’t have anybody in a leadership post, and we wanted to rectify that.” Rep. Jack Brooks, Beaumont, had hoped to become Whip should Michigan’s Jim O’Hara be elected majority leader but by Jan. 18, it was obvious O’Hara had no chance to win. That’s when the Texans decided to put Teague up. Representative Teague’s surprise candidacy benefitted from being closely held. “It created confusion,” said Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, Chicago, whom Teague overturned in a startling 151 to 92 upset. “If I had known Tiger wanted the damned office, I wouldn’t have run again.” “I didn’t want it,” Teague would later insist. “Honest Injun, I thought it was little more than a .joke. I voted for Danny Rostenkowski. Sure enough. I never was so surprised in my life.” Various theories were offered to explain Teague’s surprise victory, ranging from “Tiger hasn’t an enemy in the House” sentiments expressed by Arizona’s Morris Udall and Houston’s Bob Eckhardt to more sophisticated theories that Rostenkowski’s enemies and the supporters of varied Majority Leadership candidates conspired to do him in. One theory ran that Burleson, an early supporter of California’s B. F. Sisk for majority leader, thought to discredit a rumored deal between Hale Boggs, eventually elected majority leader, and Rostenkowski: the latter would become Whip if Boggs should be elected, the conventional wisdom ran, and the Sisk people saw a chance to torpedo him by a surprise loss of his chairmanship. Others who had their own potential majority leaders in mind and potential whips probably joined the Teague forces with the same purpose in mind. Teague disavows knowledge of any such plots. Teague, a conservative who came to the House in 1946, admitted that his new job might cause him some internal ideological struggles, although he claimed to have introduced and passed through the Veteran’s Affairs Committee which he chairs “as many education and housing bills as anyone.” “I’ll give my votes to the Democrats when my vote is marginal or vital,” he said. “I now have an added responsibility to my party. Actually, my feelings have always been more liberal than my votes.” Larry L. King
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