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Sissy Farenthold, that veteran breaker of iron-clad political rules, has decided on the toughest race of all. The decision was typically Farentholdian made without much regard for what the smart money would have done. On the Friday before filing deadline, she huddled with her campaign manager Creekmore Fath. On Saturday, she consulted her family. And on Sunday, all hell broke loose. “I think half the citizens of Texas came to her house on Sunday and the other half called by phone,” said Fath. Noon of filing day found ol’ 1 1 th-hour Farenthold still undecided. She had to drive to Nacogdoches for an engagement there, and made up her mind en route, calling Fath with the decision at about 3 p.m., three hours before deadline. Her easiest race would probably have been for the Railroad Commission, although word was out that big oil would pay plenty to beat her. Many of her younger troops wanted her to take on Briscoe as an independent Democrat, thus staying out of the difficult primary and letting Henry Grover split the conservative vote with Briscoe in November. The chief opponent of that plan was Creek Fath, who has that old-liberal elephant-memory for the gory days of the 50’s, when the worst insult libs could throw at conservatives was that they weren’t loyal Democrats. “Suicidal,” snapped Fath. “It would kill her as a national politician.” At least part of Fath’s strategy involves using the similarity between Briscoe’s fundraising, particularly the big dinner late last year, and Nixon’s Watergate-style fundraising. Although many liberals were disheartened at the prospect of what looked like a long-shot \(it looked even for Briscoe to run a Nixon-style invisibility campaign and, of course, the more he shows himself, the worse he’ll look compared to Farenthold. For a while, it looked as though the Texas House would be getting three new chicano and three new black, legislators, plus a couple of Republicans thrown in for good measure. A triumvirate of federal district judges overturned the old multi-member districts in seven Texas counties on the basis of racial discrimination. Judges Irving Goldberg and ‘William Wayne Justice, collaborating on Political Intelligence the majority decision, tore into “lingering intimidation” of blacks and browns and a certain Texican mentality that considered minorities “a series of farm implement.” A number of ranking House incumbents, paired by redistricting, were in a state of high snit, but the governor and the attorney general saved the day by getting the U.S. Supreme Court to stay the decision. Legislators in the seven counties were, in Austin Rep. Ronnie Earle’s words, “bouncing off the wall” the night before filing deadline, trying to figure out what it all meant. Most of the people who had signed up as candidates in the short-lived single-member districts went back to their respective filing places and refiled . for the old multi-member districts. Best guess at press time was that the Supreme Court would give the Legislature time to draw its own single-member districts. There’s been some nastiness at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. According to Ed Wilkins, Jr., vice-president of the student body, Dr. R. G. Brooks, vice-president of academic affairs at the school, is a racist. Wilkinson is a graduate student in the school’s criminal justice department who plans to become a cop. He came home from Vietnam with a bucketful of medals and has been active in student affairs. Wilkinson says that during a discussion on Jan. 3, Brooks referred to the school’s only black teacher, a sociologist, as an “overpaid, high-priced nigger.” Brooks also referred to the black center on the school’s basketball team as “a six-foot ten-inch ape,” according to Wilkinson. Wilkinson volunteered to take a lie dectector test on these statements and the students put up the money for the test. Wilkinson passed. Brooks’ response to Wilkinson’s charges is curiously flaccid: in fact, he does not deny that he said such things. Brooks is unpopular with the students there was an effort to oust him in 1972 after he fired a popular professor. Rep. Mickey Leland of Houston is asking H.E.W. for a full investigation of the situation at the school and the governor’s E.E.O.C. liaison has been poking around Sam Houston State. No sequel The state press has been making a lot of noise lately about how the politicians don’t have enough guts to tackle the “sacred cows” in the constitution. Turns out the press has some sacred cows of its own. The Associated Press has killed a series on racism in University of Texas football. The series, by capitol reporters Jack Keever and Robert Heard, was a sequel to their 1972 series on the same subject. That series produced considerable controversy and brought the AP plenty of heat from UT fans and AP clients. It later won a citation in a national contest judged by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. The now-defunct follow-up series included interviews with black Longhorns Roosevelt Leaks, Lonnie Bennett, Raymond Clayborn and Lionell Johnson. Shoot if you must some old sacred cows, but spare Darrell Royal! It is a common belief that when the Good Roads Association eats beans, the State Highway Commission breaks wind. So Highway Commissioner Charles Simons should not have been indignant when Rep. Jim Vecchio of Dallas asked him about his banking partnership with the chairman of the highway lobby. Simons and Russell Perry, an insurance executive who heads the Good Roads group, are allied in an application for a new bank charter, but Simons does not see the deal as a conflict of interest. “I don’t think his being chairman of the Good Roads Association would influence me for five seconds,” Simons told Vecchio during a recent convention hearing. Study OKed The Legislative Property Tax Committee has passed a somewhat improved version of the Texas Research League’s idea of a property tax study \(see Obs., a lot to be desired, but the Research League’s version left even more to be desired before ‘ Rep. Luther Jones of El Paso and his friends started to work on it. The specific changes include some modifications in the process of selection of those school districts whose tax bases are to be studied. Random selection was not approved, but there is now less chance that oil-heavy districts will escape close scrutiny. Jones’ biggest victory was winning what is essentially a postponement. The method by which the selected districts are to be appraised is still open. Thus the committee has the opportunity to see to it that the study does something more than check over the districts’ property valuation figures, which are too often arbitrary, erratic and unfair, just to see that they’re added correctly. Jones did not vote for the study despite the improvements. “If the data [from this study] is used to allocate state school funds,” Jones told the committee, “it will be attacked in every court in the state.” Victory for Amalgamated Clothing Workers. The National Labor Relations Board ordered Farah February 15, 1974 9 She rides again