. , ” Appreciatin’ Timber Charlie Lufkin The gathering was vintage Charlie Wilson. Who but Timber Charlie would send out tickets to newsmen with the notation: “As you may have heard, I am giving myself a gala appreciation dinner on Sept. 22.” Wilson managed to recover from a brief bout with the flu sufficiently to be lauded by U.S. ,Rep. Barbara Jordan of Houston, former state senator and current State Insurance Board chairman Joe Christie and U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. “This is another first for me,” joked Ms. Jordan, the first black to represent Texas in Congress this century. “This is the first time I’ve ever appreciated you.” “The essence of the Democratic process is compromise,” said Bentsen, “and I think Charlie Wilson understands that very well.” Wilson, who Christie joked had raised the stature of Congress by about two and a half inches, responded in his typical fashion: “I can’t tell you how touched I am by all this, because I know how all of you were touched before you got here. . . . I appreciate all of this appreciativeness but the money’s important too.” Wilson said he raised about $30,000 with the event, for which tickets ranged from $25 for plain folks to $250 per couple for those who cared to have their name printed in the program. One Austin lobbyist noted to a friend that Wilson had called him to buy a ticket and said something to this effect: “These people down here in my district, I just can’t stop ’em; they want to give me this appreciation dinner. The problem is, they can’t afford it.” Wilson managed to put together, according to local sources, an unbelievably broad spectrum of contributors, ranging from the far right to the far left. Among the sponsors listed were Ben Carpenter \(of Harry Whitworth \(Texas Chemical Council Unions listed as sponsors included Communications Workers, Harris County AFL-CIO, Garment Workers, Electrical Workers, Machinists, Carpenters, Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers, American Federation of Teachers, public employes, Transport Workers, Automobile Workers, Steelworkers, United Transportation Union and the Texas State AFL-CIO, which had President Harry Hubbard on hand. Wilson said the proceeds would go to Communication I just thought I’d drop a few lines . . . re our governor and current affairs. I’m disappointed because I feel the Observer is not being objective about him. Even when it admits he made a good move it sounds apologetic, I would like to point out a few matters I wish you’d ask Molly, et al, to consider about the governor’s actions this session. 1.Is there any special interest bill he let slip by? By this I mean one of those “private tax” bills that has the effect of transferring funds from the people to some special interest group. 2.To my knowledge, he has vetoed those that reached him. Particularly S.B. 209. This would have raised the cost of home building to the people and put the extra money in the pockets of the mortgage lenders, banks and savings and loan associations. I don’t know for sure, but the Observer account of the west Texas land exchange help alleviate his debts of “in excess of $40,000, counting what I owed myself.” He spent more than $100,000 in defeating the wife of former U.S. Rep. John Dowdy, who had been indicted and convicted on charges of taking a bribe. Wilson said that the fund-raiser “is only the first of a series,” taking in seven of the 20 counties in his East Texas district. “This is Phase I,” Wilson said. “As far as I know, there’s been no money from Mexico. To the best of my knowledge, at this point in time, none of this money has been laundered.” Dave McNeeley deal sounded like shades of the old “relinquishment” acts wherein the Legislature gave special groups vast millions of public funds. The bill probably needed killing. I wish you’d check this one closer. October 19, 1973 15 AFTER YOU’ve read everything else, read THE TEXAS NEWSLETTER and find out what they said. 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