official Ranger film: “The Texas Ranger: A. Certain Kind of Man.” The 42-minute color feature was narrated by Slim Pickens and, since he was speaking with his usual mouthful of mush, it was a little difficult to follow parts of the story line but the message seemed to be that the Ranger is your friend. Hiring a PR agency certainly seemed to be paying off. Dolph was made an honorary Ranger Captain by Clint Peoples, who told him, “Governor, I don’t think that you could have received any greater honor bestowed upon you because you are only the ninth honorary Ranger Captain in Texas and it gives me no greater honor than to present you with a badge that gives you authority to do whatever you please because you are the chief law enforcement officer in Texas.” Any man who can shut down the chicken Ranch by God deserves that title. Democratic nitty-gritty Austin While the stench from Watergate rolls across the land and Spiro makes interesting headlines, the Democrats are enjoying their own battles royal in happy obscurity. The Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure held forth in Denver, Colo, on Aug. 3 and 4 and while the hearings lacked Sam Ervin, they did boast Barbara Mikulski of the Baltimore city council as chairperson. Mikulski is a sage, salty and kinetic soul who once snatched a vote card back from a sexist who was unwise enough to ask why she wasn’t home doing the laundry. “I don’t want your vote,” snapped Mikulski. The Commission was in DenVer attempting to get a reading on the wishes of Democrats in 10 western states as to what, if anything, should be done to the McGovern-Fraser guidelines. Their task was complicated by the presence of Texas Democrats. Texas was shifted out of the Southern and into the Western regional party grouping just last year. Coloradans, Wyomingites, et al, seemed a little stunned by their first exposure to Texas Democrats’ idea of party unity. Texas pretty well dominated the hearings, bringing in a contingent of 56 folk representing 56 points of view. Just for starters, the two Texans who sit on the commission itself, Claudia Brummet and Carrin Patman, .were’t even speaking. Actually, Brummet wasn’t speaking to Patman: Patman would chat cordially with the Devil Hisself if she thought he could be induced to help with party rules reform. Brummet is a self-proclaimed moderate \(she proclaimed it with great drahma at the conservative. Patman is considered a liberal by conservatives and a hopeless, compromiser by liberals. Liberals also call those who compromise sell-outs: Patman’s fate is frequently not a happy one. Both women are indefatigable Democratic workers. NEW WRINKLE-WISE, the Briscoeites seem to have found their feet, or at least a line, since last they waffled publicly at the September state convention. The Briscoe line is: We are moderates, or at least we are not the same kind of conservative Democrats as the old conservative Democrats. Since Juan John has jumped ship, the Briscoeites can afford to cut bait. They claim they shouldn’t be held responsible for all the evil done by Shivercrats, Connallycrats, etc. Liberals, the unforgiving, unforgetting little stinkers, keep looking at the likes of Will Davis, ex-Connally henchman, and John and thinking that nothing has changed. The fact that Robert Strauss is now heading the party on a unity platform is enough to make any self-respecting Texas liberal gag. Texas Wallaceites, rather like Texas Republicans, seem to come in two flavors reasonable and unreasonable. Hall Timanus is their Fred Agnich an intelligent man with conderable political skill. Timanus delegated his spokesperson role at the Denver hearings to Emma Nugent, who said nothing remarkable. On the other hand, Dr. Glen Jones, who teaches political science, of all things, at East Texas State University, seemed to feel that a Wallaceite couldn’t possibly be in favor of anything with the name McGovern on it. He could not be dissuaded from giving a wildly inaccurate account of how the Texas delegation to the 1972 national convention was chosen. Having the facts pointed out to him impressed him not in the least. He came thumping out against proportional representation. The fact that Wallace, would never have gotten a single Texas delegate under the old rules swayed him not. Lieutenant Governor Blair Lee of Maryland weakly inquired if Jones favored what was fair. “Fair means different things to different people,” announced Jones. “Only in Texas,” murmured Lee. The word quota was waved like a bloody shirt throughout the proceedings, despite the fact that the McGovern-Fraser guidelines never required quotas. \(Will Davis, who served on the McGovern-Fraser commission, has claimed that he personally saw to it that quotas were specifically written out of the guidelines. At the June state convention, which Davis effectively ran, he apparently fell back on using an approximation of a quota system as the simplest way to get through the convention without mass murder. Liberals have since asserted that Wily Will planned all along to stick the onus of a quota system on the THE BRISCOE TEAM of Harrison Vickers, executive director of the state party, and Gordon Wynne, Jr., SDEC member, came up with an interesting alternative to the hated McGovern “quota” system, to wit, a quota system. Instead of considering women, young people and minorities “in reasonable relation to their proportion in the population,” Wynne proposed “proportional representation based upon participation in party affairs … those who are actually in attendance and participating in the process. . . . For example, if a precinct convention was 20 percent youth, 30 percent ethnic minority and 40 percent females, then those percentages would be applicable in determining the composition of the delegation to the next highest convention.” As black Rep. Anthony Hall of Houston pointed out, that idea builds on a historical process by which minorities and women delibrately have been excluded from participation. One of the ideas behind the McGovern-Fraser guidelines was to draw them in, promote their interest and advancement in the party. Hall further pointed out that blacks, while they traditionally have had little or no say in how candidates are selected, have participated with their votes. In fact, they went for the Democratic ticket by better than 90 percent last fall while the whites who had gone to precinct conventions and even the national convention were flaking all over the place. Vickers, serving in Denver as a representative for ailing party chairman Calvin Guest how to put it kindly did not make a brilliant showing. When questioned about what the Texas party was doing in terms of affirmative action to bring in women and minorities, he first said frankly that the party isn’t doing a thing because they’re hoping the rules will be changed. The members of the commission, incredulous, pressed him further. Vickers mumbled that party leaders were holding “a series of meetings, uh, to restructure the party.” He was referring to the series of August 24, 1973 5
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