The Texas Observer 615 Peacock Ln. ustin, Texas 78704 512/444-7102 There was no mention of the fact that there were organizational meetings in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio the week following the conference the foundations were laid to begin voter registration drives as soon as the books are reopened . . . all in conjunction with COUNTDOWN ’72. There was no mention of the fact that 1,500 people went away from Austin on August 7 armed with renewed inspiration and motivation for young people to organize and change the direction of Texas and the country, beliving, possibly for the first time, that they can make a difference. Significant numbers of people across the state contributed their time and effort to making COUNTDOWN ’72 a successful conference, and have committed themselves to making it an on-going organization to strengthen the political voice of young people in Texas which can only result in a change in the politics and policies of the state and its leaders. Significant obstacles had to be overcome. Significant problems and battles took place but in the end, the motivation of people, committed to ending the war, defeating Richard Nixon and bringing honesty and integrity into Texas governmentin the end, these things won out. Stolen files and attempts to sabotage conferences cannot will not dampen the enthusiasm or hinder the determination of people all over Texas to get rid of politicians who employ those very same kinds of deplorable tactics. I feel encouraged by the strength and will power exhibited by the people who put COUNTDOWN ’72 together and who are still working with it. I cannot be discouraged by those who would stand on the sidelines screaming foul and attempting to hinder the efforts of the truly dedicated people of Texas. The steering committee was not a “compromise steering committee” as you reported. It was selected because it was comprised of honest and committed people who are not afraid to speak out on the issues before us in the coming election year, and who will lead COUNTDOWN ’72 in that direction. If there are those who are skeptical of COUNTDOWN ’72’s success and potential effects because the only accounts they have read are those which repeat the problems and mistakes, then I can only say that time will tell the potential political impact of our effort. But no one can deny that the sentiments expressed at the COUNTDOWN ’72 conference by the young people there are those which definitely speak against the war, against Richard Nixon, against the establishment machine politics of Texas. For the older liberals of the state to abandon these young people in their commitments is a tragic mistake and I trust it will not happen. The time is NOW for change and regardless of the roadblocks any group throws in our way, we SHALL overcome. As a “carpetbagger” and “outsider” from the distant place on earth called Oklahoma City, I consider it a privilege and an honor to have worked south of the Red River doing what I can to get rid of the Johnson-Connally-Nixon politics which are threatening the very base of my country . and please know that if I felt it necessary, I would return to lion’s den of Texas to continue that battle. Cleta Deatherage, Countdown ’72 organizer, 1255 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., Apt. 808, Washington, D.C. 20036. On Texas scandal The current scandals in Texas mesh with the numerous scandals of the last thirty-five years sufficient to let all open-minded people know that Texas has been governed by a corrupt few during all of this period. The open admissions of Frank Sharp as to how he dealt with state officials, including Senator Babe Schwartz, reveals the absolute lack of conscientious scrupples and honesty in effect during the last thirty-five years. The cynical manner in which our state officials have been paid off during this time is painted in this word picture from Frank Sharp. The only state-wide publication which has crusaded against this gross, constant and substantial dishonesty among government officials and their rich benefactors has been The Texas Observer. Every subscriber and reader should take it upon himself to purchase as a gift or obtain at least ten subscribers each to the Observer and as a result of the increased readership, perhaps the public would become aware before these unscrupulous rulers can totally destroy our wonderful state. The Observer has constantly warned in advance the nature of the people that Texas has been electing but because of their limited readership, and only because of this, the Observer’s advice is not heard and the corrupt few continue in power. Only the increased circulation of the Observer will give us a chance of breaking the vicious chain. David G. Copeland, 530 New Road, Waco, Tex. 76710. Another university Hope you abandon your “super liberal honkie I’m a real shit-kicker but I got class” pastime. And there really is another university besides that goddamn outhouse in Austin. Look at its graduates, which should tell you something. Charles Keener, 711 Apollo Drive, Denton, Tex. 76201. Thicket I am new here, so I don’t know much about your Big Thicket problem, or HR 3618, or who votes for what. I do know that in California we laid our bodies on the ground in front of dozers, and when they arrested us, others took our place. It became NEWS, the good guys and the bad guys were easy to identify, and soon congressmen and senators had to answer questions and take positions, and judges, with an eye on the next election and feeling the popular sympathy for people who would risk being crushed to save a tree, found that there already were laws enough to stop the cutting, and so we saved one small ridge. Letters and legislative support are fine, but I don’t know how else you stop them right now. Stephen Schmidt, Film Department, SMU, Dallas, Tex. 75222.
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