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House investigators see ‘plot’ House Speaker Gus Mutscher was conveniently out of town at a national legislative conference when his House General Investigating Committee met to look into the passage of Frank Mutscher took with him Reps. Bill Heatly and Tommy Shannon, who might also have had some embarrassing moments before the investigating committee. Committee members Jim Nugent and DeWitt Hale used the hearings to charge that the stock fraud investigation is a plot by the Republican administration \(see Ben Barnes’ speech in the Aug. 27 When former Texas Atty. Gen. Waggoner Carr appeared before the committee, Nugent asked Can, a defendapt in the SEC civil suit, if “you don’t think it’s a shame federal officials have given Sharp a license to smear.” The Wag allowed as how he felt exactly that. “When [Asst. U.S. Atty. Gen.] Wilson and his cohorts worked out this smelly deal with Sharp to parade around the state and ruin the prestige and honor” of high state officials “with hearsay and rumor,” it was “a political hatchet job by the Republican administration in Washington,” Can said. The House committee is making noises about calling Will Wilson down to Austin for some questioning. While the committeemen’s criticisms of Wilson rated some embarrassing headlines for the Republicans, they couldn’t save Gus Mutscher from receiving the most serious political wounds from the first round of hearings. In his best trial lawyer style, Representative Nugent tried to get Frank Sharp to admit that what seemed to be a “tacit agreement” to him might well have been an innocent smile to Gus Mutscher. It was a good try, but probably not good enough. Graves vs. Jordan Curtis Graves has announced he will oppose State Sen. Barbara Jordan for the 18th District congressional seat in Houston. The seat is generally regarded as having been created especially for Senator Jordan. Graves acknowledges that he is an underdog now, but claims that the black community will eventually choose him over Senator Jordan because she “has demonstrated a blind loyalty to the Democratic Party Machine.” A brief survey of prominent Houston blacks by the Forward Times indicates that they support Senator Jordan. In fact, they expressed some resentment towards Representative Graves for creating what they call “division” in the black community. Observers expect the campaign to be heated, in contrast to the low-profile effort made by Graves in the Houston mayoral race two years ago. Political Intelligence Hope springs eternal, or is at least . piped in by Water, Inc.: The organization organized a tour of the California Water Project for proponents of Texas’ own aqua-doggle. The corporation, headed by Rep. Bill Clayton of Springlake, is still engaged in promoting the Texas Water Plan, which is still unfunded. Ecologists in the state are still more concerned than West Texas agribusinessmen about the prospect of completely destroying the state’s estuaries. But then California ecologists are concerned about that state’s Feather River project, and it’s almost completed. Dallas’ finest Stoney Burns, alias Brent Stein, former editor of the Dallas Notes, alias the Iconoclast, was sentenced to three years in prison by Dallas Dist. Judge R. T. Scales. The sentence stems from Burns’ conviction ten weeks ago on charges of interfering with a police officer during a disturbance, alias the Lee Park Massacre \(Obs., expected, Burns’ account of his actions during the incident differs significantly from the police account. They claim he was leading a mob of 300 \(alias toward a policeman, urging them to “Kill that pig,. there.” Burns says his crime was nothing more than shouting, “Pigs, go!” The case is being appealed on constitutional and procedural grounds. _ Five Dallas area law enforcement agencies teamed up last week to arrest four of five young men they claim were planning to bomb sewage facilities there. The fifth is still at large, but the group’s explosives are in custody. According to the lawmen, the anti-pollution fighters “just said they were going to blow up some stuff to get people’s attention.” Some of their explosives were apparently stolen, others were government surplus; the stock was “enough to blow up a square block.” Fortunately, someone tipped off the police, who managed to save the polluting facilities. If Truman Reed is not on the Harris County payroll for doing nothing, he may be the county’s most dedicated employee. Reed, an executive assistant to County Judge Bill. Elliott, not only works a full 40 hours every week at his two bakeries, but also puts in 35 hours or more on behalf of the taxpayers, for only $1000 a month. That’s a substantial cut for Reed, who was getting $1245 a month for a time, when he worked for Commissioner Jamie Bray.. But then he’s hampered now by an infection of the inner ear. Poor Reed: not only has his pay been cut, but the people he works with don’t take much notice of him. Except for Elliott, no one could say exactly when they’d seen him last, or exactly what he does for the county. Elliott, though, says, “Reed has been performing services to my satisfaction.” Elliott probably wouldn’t say the same of H. N. McElroy, voting machine superintendent for the county, since he publicly rebuked McElroy for not informing him of bribery and conspiracy investigations involving ex-Commissioner V. V. Ramsey. Ramsey and Shoup Voting Machine Corp., which sold the infamous $1500 voting machines to Harris County, have been indicted by a federal grand jury. A Harris County grand jury found “no evidence of criminal activity” in its probe last summer. That might have been because it had no authority to subpoena out-of-state records, even though it apparently did have the authority to call a Shoup executive from Nashville. It will get another crack at the case if evidence that witnesses perjured themselves last year turns up, though it is not clear who has the authority to bring such evidence into Texas. Just in case some county official somewhere is thinking of pulling the same caper Ramsey is accused of, the election division of the secretary of state’s office plans to begin regularizing the purchase and use of voting machines. There may even be an attempt to tighten up a 1930 law that requires the certification of sample machines by that office, but exempts modified models of an already-certified type of machine. It is gratifying to note that Shoup Voting Machine Corp. has not used this loophole to escape its responsibilities to the Texas voter: the company actually did supply a sample machine, in 1938. Also in Harris County: no one knows yet exactly where the money is going, but it’s not where it should be. It seems that the county charges bondsmen 15 cents a mile to track down bond jumpers, and that the fee is supposed to be paid into the county treasury. But over the last seven years, since that policy went into effect, no payments have been made to the treasury. The warrant division of the Sheriff’s Department claims deputies get the money, since they make the trips on their own time. Deputies have stated that they go on county time and that they receive only 10 cents a mile. No records have been kept by the department. September 10, 1971 9