The 310 liberals who attended Billie Carr’s San Antonio meeting didn’t reach unanimity on a strategy for the Texas presidential primary, but there were indications that they may still give Sen. Lloyd Bentsen a run for his money. Some 27.5 of the 31 senatorial districts were represented, and 21.5 \(Don’t ask how you get a half a district. We got this straight “free choice” slates of delegate’s in the May 1 primary. Austin and San Antonio decided to go with two slates eachFred Harris and uncommitted. Two districts voted to have Sargent Shriver slates. And the other districts were undecided or not represented at the meeting. Harris was the only presidential candidate to appear. After Bentsen and possibly George Wallace, Harris has -the best campaign organization in the state. He got a warm welcome from the San Antonio group, but the vast majority of the libs were simply not ready to commit to his Texas primary strategy at this point. On the left, only Harris and Shriver are actively seeking primary slates in Texas now, and they may reach an agreement not to run against each other in Texas districts. Harris would run in the areas where he’s the strongest and Shriver would run primarily in South Texas where there are still some Viva Kennedy troops. Former Sen. Ralph Yarborough, who had been touted as a possible favorite son candidate, announced he would not run because he couldn’t raise the money for a strong statewide effort. Carr was pleased that so many districts decided to hold their options open. She worked to keep the libs united as free choice delegates because she thinks it’s the only way to beat Bentsen in the Texas primary. A plurality is all it takes to win a district. She fears that if liberals insist on running competing slates it will benefit Bentsen. A straw poll at the meeting gave Harris 38.5 percent of the vote, Morris Udall 19.2, Shriver 18.7, Birch Bayh 9, Frank Church Sanford 3.2, Hubert Humphrey 1.0, and Milton Schapp 5 percent. 8 The Texas Observer A petition is necessary to get a slate of delegates on a district ballot. Some folks who have already started working on their petitions say it is very difficult to get the necessary signatures \(the average is 491 signatures per district, but in actuality the numbers vary from a high of 812 needed in Austin only sign one petition \(the penalty for signing more than one is a Class C misdemeanor, and that penalty is prominently listed on the petipetitions is 5 p.m. Feb. 2. No go The U.S. Justice Department told Texas Secretary of State Mark White not to implement the voter purge section of the new voter registration law. Asst. Atty. Gen. J. Stanley Pottinger said the Civil Rights Division’s analysis of the Texas law “has revealed nothing to suggest a discriminatory purpose to the purge involved here.” However, he added, “our review of recent registration laws in Texasthe poll tax, annual registration, re-registration in 1971in conjunction with our evaluation of SB 300 illustrates that the citizens of Texas have experienced several registration procedures within a ten-year period.” The rest of the law, the Justice Department said, is okay. Political updates: Young Fred Hofheinz trounced Frank Briscoe for a second term as Houston’s mayor. In the runoff Hofheinz got 56.7 percent to Briscoe’s 43.2 percent. Al “the Lip” Lipscomb, the subject of a recent ‘Observer feature, failed to make it into the runoff in the competition to replace George Allen on the Dallas City Council. Juanita Craft, an NAACP leader, led into the runoff with Joe Kirven, a black Republican, coming in second. Far be it from us to try to explain the . intricacies of America’s mercurial policy concerning Kurdish nationalism in a political intelligence item, but it should be pointed out that the London Observer says that John Connally had a role in helping the CIA send shipments of “untraceable” Soviet and Chinese-made weapons to the Kurds via the Shah of Iran. According to the London paper, “Former Treasury Secretary Connally, who represents several companies in the Middle East, was named in Washington as the contact man with the Shah, who was enthusiastic about the operation.” And other Connally news. The former Texas governor has been elected to the board of directors of Justin Industries, Inc., a company that makes high class cowboy boots. The Washington Post reports that -U.S. Sens. John Tower of Texas and Robert P. Griffin of Michigan are the two leading contenders to succeed Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania as Senate Republican leader. Scott says he won’t run for another term in Congress. Democratic National Chairman Robert Strauss of Dallas says the party will return that $50,000 illegal campaign contribution from Ashland Oil. Robert Mosbacher, a Houston oil and real estate man, has been named chief fund-raiser for President Ford’s 1976 campaign. Aside from the inevitable jokes about his name, Mosbacher seems well-qualified for the job. He’s a long-time Republican Party worker and a former member of the Republican National Finance Committee. He plans to devote full time to the Ford finance job. In sailing circles, Mosbacher is known as a tough competitor. His brother Bus, also a sailor, was chief of protocol under Nixon. With U.S. Rep. Bob Casey of Houston due to take a seat on the Federal Maritime Commission, the race to replace him in the House is hotting up. Sen. Bob Gammage, a moderate-liberal, is in the race, as is conservative John Brunson, an attorney who won influence and lost friends on the SDEC. A gynecologist from Lake Jackson, and several other contenders are lining up. O good. Gov . Dolph Briscoe has re sponded to the Associated Press’ series on his absenteeism by maintaining that he needs to get away from Austin’s “artifi cial atmosphere.” “The AP was critical of
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.