William T. Moore of Bryan and Max Sherman of Amarillo. Criminal element Some of the juicier tidbits from Corpus Christi, where State Sen. Jim Bates of Edinburg is on trial for allegedly receiving a stolen diamond from Adrian Lambert, a convicted slayer: Lambert, the state’s key witness, said he decided to aid the prosecution because he believes Bates “put out a contract” on his life. Lambert, it seems, had jumped bond, leaving Bates to pick up a $27,000 tab. The ex-con said that. if he were dead, Bates would not have to pay the bond. Under cross-examination, Lambert said he was “going to get Senator Bates politically and as a laywer.” Lambert testified that Bates gave him a Texas Senate telephone credit card which he used frequently. The witness said that he usually was armed when he visited Bates in the Capitol. \(The diamond transaction allegedly took he carried a .38 caliber pistol onto the Senate floor. A Rosenberg jeweler, John Herfort, said that Bates brought a number of diamonds to him for appraisal in May of 1969. “I went and put a pistol in my belt since I knew the type of man Jim Bates was,” Herfort told the jury. “I had been warned about association with criminals. I had been told Bates associated with diamond and jewel thieves.” Frijoles! A federal district judge has ruled that Houston citizens were so hostile toward Lee Otis Johnson \(Obs., Sept. 4, change of venue. Judge Carl 0. Bue has given the Harris County District attorney 90 days in which to retry the case or. give Johnson, a black militant, his freedom. In 1968, a Houston jury deliberated only 37 minutes before assessing Johnson a 30-year prison term for allegedly giving one marijuana cigarette to an undercover policeman. During the hearing in Judge Bue’s court, Houston Mayor Louie Welch said he was “shocked at the size of the sentence.” UT-Austin, University of Houston and Rice students are attempting to organize a Texas Public Interest Research Group. Students at the three schools will be asked to sign a petition asking their various regents to use school activity fees to fund a research group. UT students hope to have 15,000 names on a petition by the time consumer crusader Ralph Nader arrives on campus Feb. 9. Secretary of State Bob Bullock’s dicta on reporting campaign contributions should make the expense records filed in his office more useful than they have been in the past. Bullock says that henceforth political candidates must list contributors by full name and address. Campaign committees, often used to hide the names of reticent contributors, must report where they get their money. The secretary also has ruled that candidates must report not just cash but all contributions of value such as stamps, airplanes and the services of campaign workers. Texas Congressman Bob Price of Pampa has introduced a bill to sever U.S. connections with the United Nations. The measure would force the organization: to move its headquarters out of this country. He’s also sponsoring legislation that would reinstitute the bracero program, allowing Mexican nationals to enter the United States to work for farmers and ranchers. News editor loaned NBL funds Annual reports filed by National Bankers Life Insurance Co., Dallas, show that Dick West, editorial director of the Dallas Morning News, borrowed more than $20,000 from the, company at low interest rates prior to the company’s disastrous dealings with Frank Sharp and friends. According to the reports, C. Richard West was loaned $21,000 by the firm in May, 1967. The note was secured by collateral of 4000 shares of the A. H. Belo company, owner of the Morning News. West repaid $750.75 of the principal amount sometime between May and July of 1968, the records show, and then paid off the remaining $20,249.25 principal plus $823.33 interest in February, 1969. Although West’s borrowing was carried on NBL books as a 6% loan, the Morning News editor actually paid only about 2.4% interest for the 21-month advance. The 4000 A. H. Belo shares were listed as having a fair market value of $54,560 at the time the loan was made and of $60,000 when it was paid off. The Morning News, in the opinion of most observers, covered the NBL scandal more thoroughly and aggressively than any other state daily. As is usually the case with the News, however, the editorial page has been less enthusiastic than the news columns in pursuing the case. West has control over the editorial page. February 4, 1972 7 TEXAS OBSERVER!’ 1 600 West 7th Austin, Texas 78701 Enter a 1-year subscription, at $7.35 street city state [ ] Check enclosed [ j To be billed “… always impious. We recommend it.” I. F. STONE’S BI-WEEKLY, May 31, 1971. “I think The Observer ranks with The Progressive as one of the two most useful papers in the United States.” JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH, Sep. 16, 1970 “The Observer rates high among my favorite reading.” ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, JR., May 18, 1970 “One of the best publications in the. country remains The Texas Observer.” THE NEW YORK POST, Dec. 18, 1969 Cf … probably as close as any publication in America to the high European standard of informed reportage and corn mentary.” THE SOUTH AND THE NATION by Pat Wafters A journal of “considerable influence in Texas public life.” THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, Oct. 22, 1967 With “influence felt far , beyond the state borders.” TIME, Sept. 27, 1968 “The conscience of the political community in Texas ….” ‘ THE NEW . REPUBLIC, Nov. 20, 1965 “A respected journal of dissent. THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, March 2, 1969 . . that. outpost of reason in the Southwest .. .” NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, April 11, 1968 ti . . that state’s only notable liberal publication . . . ” THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 25, 1968 it . . delights in exposing the peccadil loes of the Texas establishment …” THE PROGRESSIVE, November 1968 “Time and again since its first appearance in 1954, the Observer has cracked stories ignored by the state’s big dailies and has had the satisfaction of watching the papers follow its muckraking lead.” NEWSWEEK, March 7, 1966 zip
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