Page 12


Kalmbach and Parkinson were indicted for Watergate activities that had nothing to do with this transaction or with the dairy co-op. In Documents introduced in the government anti-trust case against AMPI quoted David Parr, the number two man in AMPI, as saying in February of 1969, “We now have the major chairmen of the powerful committees, such as Mills, Poage, Mahon and Carl Albert, who can stop anything in Congress and obtain most anything. However, we must work for the day when these men will not be there. We must develop the power ourselves.” Mills, of course, is U.S. Rep. Wilbur Mills of Arkansas, an old, old friend of the milk industry. Texas’ own Rep. Bob Poage of Waco is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and Rep. George Mahon of Lubbock is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. A confidential report written by former LBJ aide Horace Busby for AMPI came to light in San Antonio. Busby was hired to make a private analysis of AMPI’s p.r. image following the brouhaha over political contributions and price supports. George Mehren, the co-op’s present general manager, told lawyers he “was impressed by the intellectual quality of the report.” Dated April 11, 1973, Busby’s analysis pointed out that reaction to the well-publicized dealings of the co-op was, for a time, “sufficiently volatile to inhibit the USDA from adopting any policy course which might be construed as favorable to the interests of milk producers. . . . With the passage of time, however, the Washington situation has changed substantially. This is not to suggest that the change has yet been or soon will be sufficient to remove the political problem. Objectively, the onus of the 1972 controversy could well continue as the inhibitory, if not controlling, influence on support policy for the life of this administration. “In this context,” Busby continued, “the so-called ‘milk-money’ accompanied, as it was, by favorable action on milk supports received instant attention and notoriety, being taken by watchdog groups as a textbook example of the kind of cause-and-effect situation for which such groups are on the alert.” Busby said the dairy contributions appeared to be “the best case, from both a legal and a partisan standpoint, directly linking the White House to allegations of bought and sold favors. Hence the political circumstances escalated milk producers’ contributions in the media and in political importance as a means of serving partisan ends.” “At no time,” Busby wrote, “was there genuine public or political outrage against milk producers. Indeed, as previously reported orally, the political press in Washington was and is ill-informed about the interest of milk producers and baffled about the producers’ involvement in the political campaign arena.” As for the fallout from the scandal, Busby concluded, “Only time can erase such stigma time and silence.” And the veteran political adviser cautioned AMPI, “Another lesson from business experience is the likelihood of problems arising from disgruntled employees. Today many private organizations in Washington simply assume they are infiltrated, if not by government informers, then by individuals Well! Did. we ever think to see Texas liberals behavin’ so tacky? UnChristian is all we can call it. Folks who are well known for their bleedin’ heart compassion were actually seen dancin’ in the aisles, on the floors and in other inappropriate places upon receivin’ word that John Brunson had been indicted not convicted, just indicted on 15 counts of fraud. John S. Brunson, Houston attorney, is a member of the SDEC, a double-dipped conservative-to-reactionary and a fellow described by a liberal very close to us as, “the kind of man you just love to kick when he’s down.” Much as the Observer deplores all this rejoicin’, it is nevertheless our duty to report that Brunson may well have earned some of this unseemly glee by his own past performance. He has been the Chuck Colson of the Texas reactionary movement. John Brunson is accused, along .with six other individuals and three corporations, on federal charges of looting a Chicago insurance company of $5.5 million. The indictments, brought by a federal grand jury in Illinois, were announced by Atty. Gen. William Saxbe. Saxbe said the charges were the result of a four-year investigation by postal authorities of the alleged looting of the Fidelity General Insurance Co. The 15 counts of fraud brought against Brunson include mail, wire and security fraud. Brunson is a Briscoe man. It seems to us not unfair to say that, nor by it do we intend to spread a guilt-by-association smear. Nevertheless, there are certain political facts that should be examined. Brunson became a strong influence on the SDEC before ever Briscoe was elected. He was one of Roy Orr’s henchmen. Orr, former SDEC chairman, had the singular quality of sounding and acting more unreconstructedly reactionary than any state party chairman since the 1950’s. The kinds of gross abuses, e. g., the unit rule, we had asssumed were behind us, enjoyed who will, at some point, turn over incriminating files or other information to media, consumerists, Congressional committees, etc. This is part of today’s Washington climate. It argues for simplicity and leanness in staffing offices in the capital city and for maintaining higher standards of discretion in the conduct of Washington affairs. . . . The purpose of this emphasis is to stress that attention should be given to the internal aspects of milk as well as to the external factors.” The italics are Busby’s. K.N. Political Intelligence an attempted renaissance under the Orr/Brunson regime. Brunson further has right-wing ties of his own. He is a close friend and political associate of Hall Timanus, another Houston lawyer who is the brains and the clout behind the George Wallace movement in this state. Brunson was Briscoe’s Harris County campaign coordinator in 1972 and he was Briscoe’s chief organizer at the 1972 September state convention. He was later rumored to be Briscoe’s choice for secretary of state, but said at the time, “I can’t afford to take that position.” Though he turned the post down, he continued to be one of Briscoe’s key advisers. On letterhead stationery, dated Oct. 3, 1973, members of the SDEC received a communication from Brunson touting the forthcoming Briscoe appreciation dinner \(since the object of a The letter includes a promotion for the delights of the upcoming dinner, two unsolicited tickets and instructions of where to write for more if they were needed. Brunson signed himself “Participation co-chairman.” Calvin Guest, chairman of the SDEC, has not returned the Observer’s phone calls of recent days. But he is reported to have told friends that the indictment of Brunson was March 15, 19 74 7 Brunson indicted