1524 E. Anderson Lane, Austin bonds stocks insurance mutual funds optional retirement program Union printing with competitive prices. Support the movement, help us build the ideal. Come to I.D.A. for your printing needs. 901 W. 24th St., Austin 477-3641 Offering Professional Word Processing Services as an Economical Alternative to in-House Production. Good books in every field JENKINS PUBLISHING CO. The Pemberton Press John H. Jenkins, Publisher Box 2085 Austin 78768 Sen. Carl Parker is 42 yrs. old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Letter from Madisonville among the ranchers and landowners seemed to be that the TMPA, bristling with all its official tax exemptions, eminent-domain powers and financial clout, was unstoppable. The TMPA let it be known that it agreed with this judgment. Last fall Jake came up here to my place, which is about twenty miles from his ranch. Somebody had told him that I might have some suggestions as to how to hold off TMPA. It was the first that I had heard that anything like the TMPA was running loose in Texas. I was sympathetic with Jake. We agreed that he was going to have to get the Grimes County citizenry together to really get anything worthwhile done. A couple of weeks later, Jake came by to tell me that they had gotten a meeting together in Anderson, the county seat. He asked if I’d come down and say a word. I went down to the meeting and found a courthouse-room-full of upset ranchers and landowners. A couple of Jake’s neighbors, Russell Butaud and Ray Trant, both working ranchers whose land was threatened by TMPA, had taken their stand with Jake, and wanted a head-on legal confronta Bob and Sara Roebuck Anchor National Financial Services tion with TMPA. However, that was a little too strong for most of those present. TMPA was too big and powerful to be stopped head-on, they felt. The best they could hope for was to try to persuade the 1977 Legislature to amend TMPA’s tax-exempt status and make it pay at ieast a measly 2 percent tax to the county to ease the burden the power authority would impose on county taxpayers. Jake and his cohorts didn’t buy that. “Ain’t no use trying to git that crowd of pussy-footers in the Legislature to do nothing that makes sense. It ain’t their nature,” he declared. “They’re the ones that set up the mischief in the first place. It’s going to be up to us to bring it down.” Nevertheless, the group decided to give it a try. They formed the Grimes County Taxpayers Association and sent a delegation to Austin. A futile gesture. Jake’s prediction was a bullseye. The TMPA went merrily along with its plans, smiling smugly the while. It didn’t need friends in Grimes County. Or at least it acted that way as it went forging ahead. Then it happened. Jake, all excited, came up to see me this June. Wayne Baker, a sharp. articulate rancher over in Bedias, took a long look at the TMPA and declared it a menace not only to Grimes County but to our whole system of free enterprise and justice. He had joined with Jake, Russell Butaud and others and pushed through a decision to hire the best lawyers they could find in Texas and go after TMPA’s jugular vein: its constitutional right to exist. Forget trying to get the Legislature to reform its offspring. A week later, the prestigious Houston law firm of Sears and Burns, experts at such litigation, were hired. I went to a meeting at the Grimes County courthouse and watched as more than ten thousand dollars was raised in less. than ten minutes from about two dozen nonaffluent but very angry and determined Grimes County ranchers. I can’t say for sure, of course, how the suit is going to come out. I can say a couple of other things for sure: TMPA’s going to know it’s been to court before the case is over, and the Texas Legislature better think a long time before it fools around and makes Jake Howard mad again. 0 AUGUST 12,1977 17
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