ovation, drowning out the electrically amplified “Yellow Rose of Texas.” Yarborough looked young, like he was 50, and when he smiled and laughed, he looked even 10 years younger than that. He dashed around the hall trying to shake as many hands as possible before seating himself at the headtable. The word “banquet” was a euphemism for boxed fried chicken dinners and iced tea in Dr Pepper cups. It didn’t take long to finish, and kids walked around the hall with big plastic garbage bags to collect the boxes and bones. Then it was Ralph. He was in high gear that night. “Remember what’s happening in Washington,” he was yelling, jumping lustfully into the corruption issue, “where we just had a sell-out of the people of the United States by the attorney general and the White House of a hundred meel-yon dollar antitrust suit for a measly four hundred thousand dollar contribution to put on a convention in San Diego. I say that if it had been our Texas promoters, wheelers and dealers in politics, they’d have gotten more than four hundred thousand out of it.” The crowd was with him, and their applause and laughter pushed him on that much faster. “That’s the kind of government, what did ITT do, it shredded its files. It wasn’t content to burn ’em. You know that the FBI can take burned things and might read it sometimes. They shredded, they totally destroyed it so nobody could see it. Why were they so ashamed? Why, they were just as guilty as anybody ever was, of this government being sold down the river by the attorney general and by Klein dienst” his voice sweeping up “who now wants to be elevated, and if the Democrats in the Senate vote him into the attorney general’s office, we need some new senators from our own party up there for a change, with that kind of corruption.” Applause. And back to the economy. “When this Administration had, when Phase I and Phase II had failed, ’cause it wouldn’t save the working man and little businessman, and Nixon’s Phase II on television, y’heard it, said ‘I encourage higher profits.’ And the high interest rates were encouraged, they’re going back up the papers say everyday. And the situation’s getting so desperate, what did he do to solve it? Why, he went to China. Stayed five whole days. You saw it on television, greatest tourist show we ever had. And you saw him beat that chopstick with Chow En-lai’ for five hours over one man-dair-in duck. Why, if it’d been down there in Biscayne Bay he and Bebe Rebozo would’ve eaten it in 30 minutes.” Roars and whistles. “And now some people say that he’s getting soft on communism. Don’t worry about that. He didn’t join Chow En-lai. He couldn’t, `cause he joined George Wallace last night, and George Wallace’s the most anti-communist man we’ve got.” Applause, yells from the back. “So, with that kind of performance, it’s great on television, but it’s not so great on the economy of this country” suddenly menacing “It’s not great on the stability of institutions, it’s not great for the 75 percent of the people who really belong to the middle class in America.” He talked about Tower’s Lockheed giveaway and absenteeism record, and about the successes of the poverty programs under the Democrats. He talked about the millionaires who don’t pay any taxes, and the trade deficit and the budget deficit. And always, Yarborough and “the people” were the underdog. No one has enjoyed being the underdog so much. “I want your help,” he was nearing the end. “It will not be easy, we have little money, please help us in this campaign, talk door to door and person to person, they spent six and a half meel-yon to rip us out for the big boys in the last campaign, but after I got back to Washington, a politician said to me, ‘Ralph, you were elected three times without money, remember that the best communication on earth is man’s first invented communication, the power of speech, mouth to air, mouth to air, let people walk and tell each other, walk and tell each other, walk and talk, and if , people are interested enough, if they want good government, they’ll walk and talk and tell each other and then you can have good government. Fellow Texans, I’ve given you an example of honest government, not taking money under the table. It’s up to you to say whether you want that kind of government or the kind we’ve had in Austin for 20 years. Thank you for this helping, and God bless you.” The audience exploded into ovation, and Yarborough stood behind the table, triumphantly. He felt at home. He didn’t get back to Austin until two in the morning. He had to get up early the next morning to meet 600 Girl Scouts and their mothers. April 28, 1972 7 I We are interested in publishing I II books on Texas, etc. If you have I a manuscript, please write a short I we will advise you at once if we I, I are interested in looking at the I I manuscript. 1 FUTURA PRESS ‘MC 1 1 for READING… Titles listed below, and all others stocked by the Texas Observer Bookstore, are offered to Observer subscribers at a 20% discount. The Texas Observer Bookstore pays for the postage and handling. Amounts shown are the discounted prices, plus the 5% sales tax. To Order with your name, address and remittance to the Texas Observer Bookstore. Are you interested in receiving a more complete list of titles available from the Texas Observer Bookstore? 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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.