Texas liberals organize Houston It’s spring of a non-election year so naturally Texas liberals are once again attempting to organize themselves. Only Texas liberals would be silly enough to try a thing like that every one else gave up on them years ago. This year’s successor to DOT, the Coalition, TOLD, TLD, TDC and ACT* is called Texas Democrats. As veterans of previous attempts know, liberals use up most of their creative energy and a good deal of their natural combativeness in trying to decide what to name themselves. The name debate this year raged until 2:30 a.m. on the eighth of April and continued for another gory few hours that afternoon. The walls of the Continental Houston Hotel in downtown Bayou City reverberated with familiar acrimony. There was a strong minority camp in favor of reviving the name Democrats of Texas, DOT having been the first and probably most successful of the Texas liberal organizations. The pro-DOT faction felt it would fit in nicely with the nostalgia craze, and besides, there is some similarity in the historical situations. When DOT was founded in the 50’s, Texas liberals kept trying to be Democrats but Texas Democrats wouldn’t let them. The state party was busily supporting Eisenhower and Nixon, while the liberals, eternally foolish, felt that Democrats should support Adlai Stevenson. You see the parallel, of course. THERE IS A degree to which Texas liberals are always organized: they simply call Billie Carr. Those who can’t stand to speak to Can just call someone who can and thus we all know what the game plan is. Can, a protege of the late Frankie Randolph, is the primary genius behind Harris County Democrats, which is one of the most successful precinct organizations in the country \(the Washington Post philosophical about her army of enemies, many of whom are liberals who don’t care for her style. She has a new business card she’s giving out which reads “Billie Can: Bitch.” She is actually an enormously good-natured lady who laughs frequently and does unspeakable things to grammar. But her idees on proper political tactics tend to be fixes and that has led some liberals to accuse her of dictatorial ego-tripping and other less printable activities. Can is also a full-fledged Old Lib and there are more than a few politically ambitious young lawyers and college-age McGovern supporters who think they already know everything there is to know about Texas *Democrats of Texas, Texas Organization of Liberal Democrats, Texas Liberal Democrats, Texas Democratic Coalition and the Action Coalition of Texas. politics. They could not be more bored by yet another tale of the evil Allan Shivers. Unfortunately, the fights of the 50’s are all too frequently opposite to Texas politics in the 70’s. Carr’s leadership also aggravates the old liberal geographical divisions. There is some hope that Houston may eventually be to New York. But in the meantime, Harris County and East Texas generally rank somewhere behind Gross Glockner, Austria, in the interest of West Texans. Nevertheless, Can, who is a dedicated proponent of grubby old nuts-and-bolts precinct politics, may finally have hit on the only way to organize Texas liberals, which is not to organize them at all. Taking advantage of the ingrained Texas liberal tendency toward anarchy, TD \(our nothing and no one. It’s all up to us denizens of the boonies this time. TD will be nothing more than a communications center, providing, at most, ideas, information and moral support. The goal is to set up a TD club in every county and every senatorial district in Texas. This time there will be no statewide organizer: it’s. do-it-yourself. What you do is, you call the other liberal in your county, get together and announce that you are a TD club. Then call Can and tell her you exist. \(Someday soon, maybe, TD will have a touch with some other liberal within about 300 miles and eventually you will all get together for regional workshops and seminars, at which Can et al may or may not be able to provide some expertise for you in the form of experienced precinct organizers. TD’s organizational meeting in Houston provided a preview of the kinds of gripping and exotic subjects these proposed Organization county, senate, legislative, precinct financing all aspects of and standardization of state and local files. which will draw people to your candidates and running campaigns. The topics were not what you could call grabby, but unfortunately, they constitute about the only way to succeed in politics while really trying. About 50 folks showed up for the organizational meeting, half of whom were speakers or workshop leaders while the other half included a subtle contingent of spies from YAF. \(The YAFers wound up having lunch with guest speaker Leon Shull, the executive director of Americans organizing letter sent out by Carr and Bob Hauge, who headed the Harris County effort for McGovern, “This letter is being sent to the list of McGovern delegates we had as well as persons who attended the Austin workshops. Please notify anyone you feel we overlooked.” Do-it-yourself Billie Can apparently did not work in this case. No one who was not specifically invited seemed to have heard of the meeting, including some die-hard Houston McGovernites. One state senator professed to be highly insulted at not having been invited. One suspects the exclusion of elected officials was deliberate. Can is one of those political organizers who could do just as well without politicians, thank you. She calls them alligators. \(“Aren’t alligators the ones that bite you if you don’t feed them? Politicans are like that. If you don’t to its founding statement, will not be a publicity-seeking group but a working and organizing group. Hence, no alligators allowed. THE OLD STALWARTS present at the organizing meeting \(Carr, Margaret Carter of Fort Worth, Sue Estes of what they consider the mistakes of the past. For one thing, TD will endorse . candidates. “A political organization that does not endorse is like a bee without a sting,” said Carr. By concentrating on April 27, 1973 5 … once more with feeling
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