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strengthening of local governments close quote. I yield to no member of this House, regardless of how powerful, in my support of strong pollution laws. And I would submit to your judgment and to the judgment of the people of this state that it was not the Dirty Thirty, it was not those who signed knock-off slips who killed strong pollution laws. It was the leadership of this House that killed strong pollution laws. Everyone with eyes to see and ears to hear and a nose to smell knows that to be the case. . . . No more raw case of the pot calling the kettle black has ever been witnessed than the attempt by the leadership of this House to label . . . the Dirty Thirty . . . as being responsible for killing these bills. That press release with its . . . aim of the blunderbus and its cannon shot of misrepresentation won’t be able to stand tall enough to look an honest man straight in the eye not even if piled high on an overloaded stack of National Bankers Life stock on the counting tables of Sharpstown State Bank. All Texas knows who killed strong anti-pollution laws and fireman and policeman’s benefits . . . the leadership of this House. Rep. Curtis Graves of Houston on the last night of the session in what he calls his “biannual personal privilege speech”: . . . A few minutes ago . . . we dealt with a matter of appropriations and the sponsor of that bill stood before you, obviously a person of a different era from this era obviously somebody from another century and he brashly and forcefully said that this is the way it’s going to be, so like it or lump it. There is something wrong with this kind of system. We call ourselves Americans yet we vote for dictatorship. . I really only have one regret for this session. The other night when we were debating the redistricting bill I really should have introduced , that amendment that would have put Walker County in the district with Washington and Waller Counties [Mutscher’s district] . You see, the Huntsville State Prison is in Walker County. And we know that bill was designed to help the incumbents in the leadership of this House. And you know the current incumbent from Washington and Waller just may be forced to move up there to Huntsville. Possibly he could be re-elected from behind the walls. . . . Austin Even before the regular session dropped dead at midnight, May 31, House Speaker Gus Mutscher’s support was collapsing. Practically everybody who is anybody, not to mention a whole bunch of nobodies, is now running for speaker. Meanwhile, Mutscher formally announced, for the zillionth time, that he will run again. The occasion was a party on May 30 given for him by the lobby, or, as he put it later, “a party given by some professional people.” Rep. Walter \(Mad ultra-conservative Republican who, by the logic of Texas politics, frequently votes with liberals, wandered into the party by mistake. He makes an hilarious tale of what ensued. “I didn’t see too many people there I knew,” Mengden said. “But there were a lot of people I recognized who hang around outside the House door, you know? The place was jammed and I had just fought my way over to the bar when they shut it down. They wanted everybody to be quiet because Gus was going to talk. Well, he started off by comparing himself to Sam Rayburn. He kept calling everyone there his ‘dear friends,’ which really made me want a drink. He said that he, like Rayburn, had won his first term as speaker without a single dissenting vote and he was a bachelor then. Then he said he’d gotten married and he wasn’t sure, if he could win again he didn’t explain why anyone would think his wife was a handicap but he said he ran again for Donna. Then he said that he’d had some criticism this session, but with a little help from all his 6 The Texas Observer Dump Gus’ dear friends there he was going to run again this time it would be for little Gus Hurley.” Mengden reeled out muttering, “Win one for the gipper, Gus.” One has visions of a round dozen of little Mutschers yet to come, each of them serving as an excuse for yet another term. But the alternate candidates are now legion. Jim Slider of Naples, a solid team member, started an abortive contingency campaign even before the end of the regular session. Slider was soliciting pledge cards on an only-if-Gus-doesn’t-run basis. He said he had between 12 and 15 second-choice pledges when he called the campaign off. Slider told the press that the campaign was creating too many rumors. However, it seems likely that Mutscher himself called a halt to it after a little birdie dropped one of the pledge cards Slider was distributing onto the speaker’s podium. Will Smith of Beaumont, another solid team man, says he is considering a run for the speakership, not on a contingency basis. Rayford Price of Palestine is an announced opponent of Mutscher and is picking up some team support. Several team members are reportedly considering making a run and one frequently mentioned is Jim Nugent of Kerr, the Machiavellian chairman of the Rules Committee. Nugent is quite possibly the most intelligent member of the team, but he has a reputation for being devious. And although he can be charming when he chooses to be, he also has a rotten temper. On the liberal side, Price Daniel Jr.’s campaign \(see Observer, between 40 and 45 pledges. Daniel is expected to come out with a sort of manifesto or platform after the special session, outlining his plans for reform in the House. The Thirty, in many ways, is now sitting pretty politically, despite the redistricting job done on them. If the voters still remember the stock fraud scandal by 1972 as well they might, since the SEC will dredge it all up again late this summer the Thirty are the only House members who can honestly claim to have tried to get to the bottom of that mess. The Thirty have been meeting and have decided to organize along the lines of the Democratic Study Group in Congress. They are also laying plans for a state-wide “Re-elect-the-Thirty” campaign. It was pointed out to them that a state-wide fund-raising dinner in their honor is apt to bring together such political oxymorons as Ralph Yarborough and Nancy Palm, the ultra-conservative Harris County Republican, but they remain undaunted. They are busy acquiring mailing lists and making plans to move their homes so they don’t have to run against each other. They point out that they’ve the start of a big, fat mailing list just from the unsolicited letters of support they’ve received this session. Meanwhile, the “Dump Gus” movement continues to grow. Sam Coats, the very bright, polite and appealing freshman representative from Dallas, wrote Mutscher to inform him of his non-support for Mutscher’s re-election. Freshmen Tom Niland and James Kaster of El Paso also wrote “Dear Mr. Speaker” letters. Six of the 10 members of the San Antonio delegation announced their opposition to Mutscher: of those, only Wayland Simmons, Guy Floyd and Tony Dramberger could be considered surprise defectors, as the others rad already made it clear they were not Mutscher men.