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`Gem of the wilderness’ Former U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough . is not letting the Constitutional Revision Commission take up all his time. He made one appearance at an Austin birthday benefit which raised $1,000 to reduce his 1972 campaign debt of $60,000. He made another at a meeting of the Big Thicket Association in Saratoga, where he delivered an appeal for a letter-writing campaign to help save “that wonderful gem of Texas wilderness,” the Big Thicket. \(He especially recommended President Nixon, Interior Secretary Rogers Morton and the Texas Congressional delegation as “The day is past for namby-pambyism; the time is here to call a spade a spade,” Yarborough said, going on to call Time, Inc., and the Santa Fe Railroad \(through and destroyers” for their continued logging operations in the Thicket area. “Since Time, Inc., is using its economic power against the hopes and the habitat and the natural wonder of Texas, the people of Texas should respond in kind” and boycott all Time, Inc., magazines, he said. U.S. Sen. John Tower has introduced his own Big Thicket bill in the Senate, one which would create a 100,000-acre biological reserve. Dr. Pete Gunter, president of the Big Thicket Association, says the Tower bill is similar to U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s with the addition of 25,000 acres \(but without the two extra bayou carridors included in U.S. bad bill,” Gunter told the Observer cheerfully. “A lot better than what Tower has suggested in the past.” Gunter also opined that lumber interests’ apparent willingness to accept a 75,000-acre preserve might have had something to do with Tower’s new ideas on the park. \(A Wall Street Journal reporter recently quoted Eastex, Inc., president R. M. Buckley and Time, Inc., chairman Andrew Heiskell as giving qualified support to the 75,000-acre A U.S. House subcommittee will hold hearings in mid-July on House Thicket bills. The Senate has set a June 30 deadline for House bills requiring appropriations, claiming it will not consider bills sent over after that date. But Gunter says his information is that a Big Thicket bill would receive consideration after the deadline. The inimitable Bob Bullock, former secretary of state, is about to announce for the office of state comptroller, thereby getting an early start. Bullock, an ex-legislator, ex-lobbyist, ex-Preston Smith aide, is a character of unusual dimensions \(See Obs., March 3, comptroller Robert Calvert is 82 years old 12 The Texas Observer Political Intelligence and may yet run again. If Bullock’s public style is as wide-open as is his private style, the race should be one of the funniest and guttiest in years. Hubenak may run Rosenberg is seriously considering a race for either Agriculture Commissioner or State Treasurer. Hubenak says there is a “groundswell” for him. He says he has heard that people are dissatisfied with the performance of Ag. Cmsr. John White. It has been known to happen in the past that lobbyists whisper in the ear of the chairman of the agriculture committee \(who the commissioner is doing a lousy job and needs a challenge. Most chairmen are too smart to believe them. Further proof that Attorney General John Hill can handle a clutch situation. The A.G. was on his way to the airport on a tight schedule on the 14th when the car being driven by his aide broke down. Hill, after making a few remarks unbecoming to an attorney general, stuck out his thumb and proceeded to hitch on out to the airport. Good, Dolph. The Governor’s reception room was jam-packed on June 13 with folks from all over the state who’d come to witness the guv signing a number of bills. The guv was only an hour and a half late. It’s a long walk over from the mansion. Briscoe named a new appointee to the Board of Dental Examiners in May, Dr. Foster Kidd of Dallas and the guy’s staff suddenly started getting calls from black newspapers demanding, “Why didn’t you send us a release?” “Where are the pictures?” Turns out the guv didn’t bother to inform anybody that the new appointee was black. Dignity & the Demos The first of a summer-long series of state Democratic Party picnics will be held on July 7 at the Rodeo Arena in Mount Pleasant from 5 to 8 p.m. The SDEC, which is planning these bashes, hopes to draw from 34 east Texas counties for the Mount Pleasant do. Among the honchos who will for sure be on hand are Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, Land Commissioner Bob A rmstrong and Agriculture Commissioner John White. Attorney General John Hill is a possible, Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby is a definite no show and no one ever knows about Dolph Briscoe. The picnics are part of the SDEC’s campaign to bring us together again: they think it’s time Texas Democrats got over the McGovern, Humphrey, Wallace, Uncommitted factionalism. There will be no speeches, but the pols are under orders to get out and Mingle. One bonny idea is to put the political biggies to work in the serving line, dishing up the beans, cole slaw, etc. Bentsen reportedly thinks it’s a dandy notion and has his ladle at the ready, but there are others who seem to feel it might be beneath their dignity. Phooey, when did Texas Deinocrats ever come on dignified? We nominate Briscoe for the potato salad detail. How to Make Everybody Mad and Not to Announce a Meeting. The National Charter Commission of the Democratic Party came through Dallas on June 7 and didn’t tell anyone. The Commission is charged with getting ideas for the re-structuring of the national party and is under the command of Terry Sanford, former governor of North Carolina. Sanford’s staff phoned Ag. Cmsr. John White, who is on the Charter Commission, on short notice and asked him to notify the leadership of last year’s assorted presidential preference caucuses in order to get a representative sampling of state party opinion. Unfortunately, that left out just a whole bunch of folks who were interested in testifying at the hearing. The McGoverns thought it was a conservative plot to shut them out, the