half years’ ago, the wife and I built a house. We’d only been in it a short while when I got a call from Roy Orr one night. He called to welcome me to DeSoto and this and that and the truth is, I was kind of flattered because I already knew he was kind of a big deal out here and I thought it was real nice of him to call. And then he said I’d need some insurance on that new house and maybe I would like to buy through him. I told him thank you, but I had been dealing with the same firm for about 15 years and had real good relations with them. But I told him that if that picture should ever change I’d give him a call. And then his tone changed and he said, ‘All right, but if you don’t buy insurance from me, you’ll never get a loan in DeSoto.’ He was big at the bank then.” Another businessman, who decided not to settle in DeSoto after being shown around by Orr, said, “He made it clear to me that I couldn’t pee in DeSoto without going through him.” BILL ETTER, the head of the American Independence Party in DeSoto and a friend of Orr’s, believes that reactions to On area matter of taste. “He’s a real aggressive, dynamic personality,” said Etter. “He really likes to get things done. A lot of people don’t like him, but they don’t seem to be able to say why. One fellow told me he thought Roy was too aggressive.” “He’s a domineering, pushy type and a lousy loser,” said a DeSoto official. “But he’s a hard worker, by golly.” “His motto is rule or ruin,” said one of the numerous ex-mayors. By way of example, he cited the case of the DeSoto bank. The opposition’s version of the bank story was made public during the 1967 mayoral race by city councilman Bill Crawford. Crawford’s letter to DeSoto citizens read in part: “Roy Orr has stated several times recently how much he has done for the City of DeSoto. ‘I helped form the DeSoto State Bank.’ This he did . . . along with several other residents. And then when the Board of Directors failed to make Roy the president, as he demanded, he sold -his stock. In May, 1966, Roy Orr became a stockholder in the First Bank & Trust of Cedar Hill, and has since that time spent much of his energy in an effort to undermine the DeSoto State Bank. HE IS TRYING TO CREATE A FINANCIAL HARDSHIP ON YOUR BANK BY SOLICITING BUSINESS FOR HIS BANK, THROUGH HIS PAPER, IN YOUR TOWN.” The DeSoto Star, while it was owned by sore point with his opposition. Crawford pointed out that in one issue during the 1967 campaign, Orr’s name . was in the paper 47 times. His opponent, Carroll .. Moseley, was mentioned eight times. In those glory days, front-page pictures of Roy were almost a standing feature. The campaign literature from Roy Orr’s early races has a quaint charm. One marvelous piece from his unsuccessful mayoral race in ’67 begins: “Dear Citizen: As I indicated to you from the beginning I am dedicated to conducting a high caliber, aboveboard campaign.” It ends: “P.S. Did you know that members of the closed political group supporting my opponent went down to the Dallas County warehouse and doctored the voting machines that are to be used in our election? Had these people not been caught and their alterations corrected, our entire election would have been voided and the taxpayer would have been burdened with the cost of a new special election.” After considerable soul-searching, the members of the closed political group supporting Orr’s opponent realized that what On had reference to in his P.S. was the fact that the city secretary had called downtown Dallas and asked to have the name of a candidate, who had withdrawn at the last minute, removed from the ballot. The stories of Orr’s wheelings and dealings in DeSoto are nigh endless: there was the time he talked Bill Etter, the George Wallace man, into running for school board, unsuccessfully. The time his hand-picked mayoral candidate blew it. The good-bad old days when he ran the school board with an iron fist and hired Joe Rich, the Dallas architect and super-conservative who founded the DCRG, as the school district architect. When a new board came in, they had to pay off Rich’s contract and were pretty mad about it. And the tax assessor-collector Roy fired, and everyone was so mad about it but no one can quite remember why now but it was a big thing then, by golly. And on and on. None of which quite explains how and why this go-go little mayor “of the greatest city,” as his campaign literature calls it, wound up at the top of the state party. For the most part, Orr’s “bigtime” connections are limited to the Dallas establishment. Lew Sterrett, Bob Collum, John Stemmons, Bob Strauss, Jesse Price, Earl Luna those are Orr’s connections downtown. Luna is said to be the brains behind Orr’s SDEC election. The story is that Luna got solid conservative support lined up behind Orr. In the meantime, Preston Smith, in a not unfamiliar role, blew it and the liberals, in a not unfamiliar role, couldn’t get their act together. \(See Observer, reportedly went to Ben Barnes and said, in essence, here’s a chance to put a hitch in Preston’s getalong. Baines has since denied to some people who are close to him but anti-Orr that he had any role in Orr’s election. But the state political columnists wrote, at the time of Orr’s election, that Barnes had put the word out that he favored On over White. Orr, meantime, had some less parochial connections of his own. His brother Fred is in the House of Representatives and has compiled therein an unremarkable record. He voted in favor of the bread tax during the 61st and down the line with Mutscher in the 62nd. By that time the Orrs not only had the Cedar Hill and Red Oak banks but also had obtained a charter, on April 1, 1970, during the time Elmer Baum was on the state Banking Commission, for the Security Bank & Trust in Oak Cliff. When some questions about that charter came up just before the SDEC election, On said the application for that charter had been made two years before it was granted. During that same period, Roy Orr spent a good bit of time in Austin moving with the insurance biggies. At one point, he angled for an appointment to the State Insurance Commission. It didn’t come through. . But Orr’s election as mayor of DeSoto finally , did come through. His old opponents can sit and grouse all they like about how all those “new people” who didn’t know Orr were fooled by him, but the fact remains that On won and he won big. His tenure as SDEC , chairman is obviously limited he will go whether courtesy of Bullock, rules reform; defeat or resignation is the only question. The important question for Orr is whether he can win the commissioner’s seat. There are a sight of folks in Dallas ready to bet he can’t. Redistricting has cut the commissioner’s district there so that it’s even less likely to favor an establishment candidate than it was before. And Rep. Dick Reed, one of the gutsiest of the Dirty Thirty regulars, is odds-on likely to oppose On in the race. M.I. February 4, 1972 5 IDA PRESS 504 West 24th Multi copy service. Call 477-8351 now open for registration a new art school HOTSUN ACADEMY 110 degrees in the. shade 5119 East 7th Austin phone 385-5998 or 452-4596 courses in design, color, figure painting, drawing, ceramics, music art symposium
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.