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GALLERY 600 Contemporary Paintings, Sculpture, Prints THE FINEST TRADITIONAL FRAMING Custom Plexiglass and Custom Welded Frames 600 West 28th at Nueces . . . phone 477-3229 Reply to Dugger By Harvey Katz Washington, D.C. The last issue of the Observer contains Ronnie Dugger’s rather ungentle remarks about my book, Shadow on the Alamo editors for giving me this opportunity to reply. For his report, Dugger singles out several statements from Shadow. Placed end-to-end, those statements would fill less than two pages of a 285-page book. Dugger does not refer to the remaining 283 pages. The statements he does mention were apprently selected because I did not, according to Dugger, give some of the parties involved an opportunity to explain or deny the matters in question. For the most part, this is true. Had Dugger asked me, I would have admitted as much and saved him considerable postage money and two pages of valuable Observer space. I would have said: “No, I didn’t ask him that. So what?” After at least twenty readings of Dugger’s report, I am still asking that question. If Dugger is intimating that the statements from Shadow are untrue, he is wrong. In several cases, Dugger’s respondents apparently admitted the truth of those statements. For example, Dugger reports Sen. A. R. Schwartz as saying that he is indeed a lobbyist-lawyer for Shearn Moody, Jr. Whether Schwartz “follows the rules” in this regard is really immaterial. I did not accuse him of breaking any rules. Furthermore, following the rules of the 62nd Legislature is hardly a commendable achievement. As for the sale of the Stephen Austin Hotel, Schwartz apparently admits that he proposed the insertion of that item to the appropriations conference committee, that Shearn Moody owned an interest in the hotel at the time and that Moody wanted to sell the hotel. When an appropriations item is inserted in a bill without public notice and without an opportunity for legislative debate, I believe it is entirely reasonable to say that the item was “slipped” into the bill. According to Dugger, Sen. Charles Herring admits that his law firm does do business before the Banking Board. Records of the Banking Board show Herring as being personally involved in several cases during the past four years. My remarks about Glen Castlebury in Shadow were clearly based upon and limited to his published writings. His party affiliation and personal feuds do not change what he wrote. statements in Shadow concerning Ben Barnes was apparently limited to the question of whether those statements “should be published.” I have no idea what Dugger means in this regard. His letter to a “named lobbyist” was not answered and he did not write to Jim Hogg or to a “named state representative” who passed several water district bills. This leaves one statement from Shadow, my report of a meeting between Terry O’Rourke and Sen. Roy Harrington. Harrington denies that the meeting took place. O’Rourke says it did. I’ll continue to ride with O’Rourke. Dugger may not be questioning the truth of the statements he selected. Rather, he may be accusing me of lack of diligence in verifying my information. If so, he is wrong. Since he did not ask me where I got my information or what I did to verify it or how much time I devoted to researching my material, Dugger cannot know that I spent a year with court records, SEC documents, depositions, land records, government files, and informants of high repute; that I checked the reputation of every source I quoted and relied only on those individuals whose honesty was praised by numerous individuals and questioned by no one. I asked Dugger himself about Terry O’Rourke and Dugger lauded O’Rourke as a man of honor, sincerity and principle. A Texas political journalist like Dugger, whose livelihood depends on maintaining a rapport with his subjects and his sources of information, must extend certain courtesies to people like Barnes and Harrington. Even if the facts are in his hand, Dugger must give those involved an opportunity to deny the facts. Otherwise, he will encounter only closed doors and sealed lips the next time around. Of course, I am not a Texas journalist and, once the book was published, I had no intention of seeking more information from the people Dugger mentions in his report. It is interesting to note that Ronnie Dugger did not extend to me the courtesy that he accuses me of not extending to Harrington et. al. Surely, if I were a Texas officeholder, he would have contacted me. However, I am not one of his sources of information and he obviously saw no reason to remain on good terms with me. I made a similar determination regarding certain people I discuss in Shadow. But in Dugger’s case, there is more. In compiling his report on Shadow, Dugger apparently directed his inquiry almost exclusively to those people who had every reason to mislead him. He did not contact Terry O’Rourke. O’Rourke called him. And, according to O’Rourke, Dugger admitted that he had not intended to check with O’Rourke before publishing his report. Apparently, Dugger did not read the Castlebury columns upon which I .based my statements about Castlebury in Shadow. Apparently, he did not look at the Banking Record files to determine how often Herring appeared there. I am forced to insert “apparently” throughout this reply because Ronnie Dugger refused to discuss his report with me when I telephoned him. I do know that he did not attempt to discover the identity of my informants and determine whether it was reasonable for me to have relied on them. I know there are a lot of people in Texas who would have been much happier had Shadow on the Alamo never been written. It is depressing to find Ronnie Dugger among them. But I have no regrets. n September 22, 1972 13