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Pat man Notions Austin As Hoyt Purvis’ article in this issue points out, the removal of U.S. Rep. Wright Patman from his committee chair was more than a little ironic. The “young Turks,” the “reformers,” the 75 freshmen in the House who were the shock troops of the fight against the chairmen, are thought to be liberal, and Wright Patman has been fighting for things they would support for a long time. In fact, he has supported the movement for House reform in the last few sessions. He was the first committee chairman to hold open mark-up sessions the important meetings where bills are put into their final form. In the Sixties, when House rules were changed to allow televising of committee meetings, he was the first chairman to welcome more thorough coverage of his committee \(though, the state of reporting on the Congress being what it is, he has not been besieged by the Democratic Caucus to support the idea of open meetings of conference committees. Beyond that, Patman has consistently done the one thing reformers are supposed to value most highly. He has resisted the pressure to become a partner of the interests he regulates. Not only has he personally feuded with the big banks and with the Federal Reserve: he has refused to allow the committee to evade issues, to come to “agreement” in private and parade the results, as “efficiency,” in front of the public. As one legislative aide said, “Patman is the kind of guy who forces issues out on the table, forces members to vote publicly, to take stands on things that maybe they’d prefer not to take stands on. He’s bruised a lot of people, frankly, people with good liberal reputations, who look good in the press releases but who prefer to deal with special interests behind the scenes. The way he ran the committee didn’t allow that.” If Patman’s uncompromising stance on the issues antagonized members of his own party, they positively enraged the big banks. No one has accused the banks of openly campaigning against him, but no one doubts they are glad to see him gone, even if his successor has a progressive reputation of his own. His successor, Henry Reuss, has been talking about running against Patman, on and off, for two years. He made his more-or-less definitive announcement of candidacy at Kansas City during the Democrats’ mini-convention in December. Patman’s supporters point out that this fact makes the Caucus vote less a straightforward rejection of Patman than a choice of Reuss over him. They are generally complimentary about Reuss, though their references to his “ambition” betray some of the bitterness they feel. Mostly they speak of what has been a fairly close cooperation between the outgoing and incoming chairmen, and of their hope that Reuss will continue some of Patman’s work. And they point out that Patman will continue as chairman of the committee’s Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee, which will allow him to continue that work himself. Patman has never succeeded in obtaining the two results he most passionately desired, lower interest rates and a less independent Federal Reserve System. In 12 years as chairman \(he was kept off the Banking and Currency for his first four terms, which mightily delayed his rise to strong legislation requiring audits of the Fed. But his career has not been devoid of victories. As a freshman, he took on then-Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon for practicing his trade as a banker while in public office, and Mellon eventually resigned under the fire. In his first fight as chairman, he staved off legislation exempting banks from some parts of the antitrust law. He presided over monumental studies of true bank ownership, the operations of tax-exempt foundations, and those of bank trust departments. His committee’s work has been the basis of some of the most important, though least reported, legislation of the last decade. It may yet be the basis of more. Mr. Reuss has a large chair to fill. J.F. CORRECTION One of our more knowledgeable Dallas political sources points out a perfectly wretched number of errors in our Feb. 14 story “Is Dallas falling apart?” We said that the Citizens Charter Association was the political arm of the Dallas Citizens Council. Our friend notes that this is true only for city elections. The Committee for Good political arm in school board elections and the Democratic Committee for its arm in Democratic primary races. Also, we said that only four or five independents had beaten CCA candidates in the last 30 years. That should be seven independents in the last 15 years \(although two of those Further, our friend says that our assertion that it takes a quarter of a million dollars to win a city job in Dallas may be strictly justifiable in a couple of instances, but it is generally way high . . . some uncontested races call for only a token thou or so. In a paragraph about the Dallas legislative delegation, we stated that they no longer needed CCA endorsement. That should have been DCRG endorsement. The Dallas delegation is more mixed than our reportage suggested: there are 18 members; seven are Republicans, three are blacks, three white liberals and five are conservative Demoocrats. We talked about LEAD, the opposition to CGS in ‘school board races: our friend says LEAD was initially supported by a large chunk of the Establishment, as well as blacks and liberals. name Stewart. We said that George Allen was the only CCA-backed black o n the city council, but Councilwoman Lucy Patterson is also black and CCA-backed. We said that Tecog Services, Inc., the building maintenance firm in which George Allen is involved, has city contracts: it doesn’t: it merely has contracts with folks who have interests in zoning matters that might come before the council. Very sorry. February 28, 19 75 13 ALAN POGUE Photographer of political events & pseudo events, of people in their natural surroundings Rag office 478-0452!478-8387 Austin