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D. B. Hardeman, Sam Rayburn’s man Notes on a native son D. B. Hardeman, one of the nation’s leading authorities on the Congress and its institutions, came to Austin and the University of Texas this week to take part in an LBJ School of Public Affairs conference, “Congress and the Presidency: A Shifting Balance of Power?” Hardeman discussed Sam Rayburn’s role in making the 1950s an era of congressional power. After a 20-year absence from his home state, D.B. \(christened D. Bernard, a name he has never as, probably to San Antonio. -Eds. By Johti McCully Austin “Of all the legislators I served with, Jim Sewell was the most colorful, Johnny Barnhart the bravest, Babe Schwartz the quickest, Joe Kilgore the best technician, but on balance the most important colleague I had in the Texas House was D. B. Hardeman. When D.B. wasn’t around, we liberals ate one another alive, but when he was on the scene, we went after the common enemy. In that regard he was absolutely magnificent.” Former State Rep. Maury Maverick Jr. For D. B. Hardeman, politics has been a way of life. As a 14-year-old orator in Goliad, he won a declamation contest with a speech in support of Tom Connally’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Nearly half a century later he can look back on a career that has included service as a state representative, manager of Homer Rainey’s 1946 campaign for governor, Texas director of organization for Adlai Stevenson’s presidential campaign in 1952, advisor and advance man for Stevenson in 1956 and John Kennedy in 1960, and intimate and biographer of Speaker Sam Rayburn. Hardeman has never committed himself completely to any calling. He quit newspaper work to enlist in the U.S. Army right after American entry into World War II, and was never again a full-time journalist. He has a law degree but has yet to practice law. D.B. entered the University of Texas in 1929 at age 15not quite in his first pair of shoes, as his friend Alex Louis tells it, but “darn near it,” according to D.B. He was already a good student. Growing up on his parents’ farm in Goliad County, he had learned to read and write well before entering the first grade. As a young boy riding cattle drives, Hardeman, like other cowboys, packed his saddlebags with necessities. His companions carried whiskey and tobaccoHardeman took books. He gobbled up the first three grades in one year in a one-room country schoolhouse. For the next three years, his mother was his teacher at an officially approved school she organized for D.B. and the neighbors’ children. Since there was no secondary school near his home, D.B. boarded in Goliad and graduated from the town’s high school at 14. At the university, D.B. studied history, government and economics, taking a couple of journalism courses on the side. He worked on The Daily Texan and ran three times for editor, the last time successfully. His second race, however, verged on becoming a campus cause celebre. It was 1933, and Hardeman and his opponent were six votes apart. D.B.’s friend Allan Shivers chaired the recount committee, and one John Patrick, a campus pol, published a few broadside attacks on Shivers and Hardeman. When the future governor ran across Patrick in a downtown cafe, words came to blows and the fight riled both camps. Hardeman lost the recount. He won the editorship in 1934 and kept up his interest in the paper’s fortune after leaving the University \(he returned to of 1936, the UT board of regents \(of which Madisonville oilman J.R. Parten sor in the Texan office to tone down or cut controversial political copy. The final straw for the regents was Texan editor Ed Hodge’s editorial supporting an investigation into alleged pork barrel deals and graft in connection with the construction of Lower Colorado River Authority dams. Hodge specifically at tacked Congressman James P. Buchanan of Austin, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, in whose district the dams were being built. Construction had been started by utilities magnate Samuel Insull who had fled the country after his house-of-cards utilities empire collapsed during the Depression. The federal government then had taken over construction of the dams. Although Parten and Hardeman were opponents in the censorship controversy, they eventually became close friends, and Parten was instrumental in getting D.B. to manage Homer Rainey’s 1946 gubernatorial campaign. And Hardeman made another lifelong friend during the censorship battleMaury Maverick Sr., a congressman from San Antonio who allied himself with Hardeman. \(After a year of controversy, the censor was removed. The regents’ policy had never been particularly effective because the Texan arranged for the Scripps-Howard newspapers in El Paso, Forth Worth and Houston to publish any blue-lined material. Offensive articles thus were read even more widely than they would have been without the cenWhile in law school, D.B. held a number of jobs, and engaged in a variety of political activities. He managed the losing campaigns of two liberal candi dates for statewide office and worked as an old-age pension investigator, a publicist for the newly created Texas Unem ployment Compensation Commission, an administrative assistant to Atty. Gen. Gerald Mann, and as a newspaperman. During his journalist phase, he and Alex Louis \(a friend from university days who was later to become one of Texas’ leadAustin bureau chief of International News Service and publisher of the State Observer, a predecessor of today’s Texas Observer. Louis and Hardeman even leased the publication for six months, but couldn’t make a go of it financially. D.B. wasn’t just Kennedy’s employee; he became his political protege, when Kennedy, for many years secretary of the State Democratic Executive Committee, steered him into political campaign jobs. Off to war Nine days after Pearl Harbor, D.B. and Louis, newly minted lawyers \(but jobs and went to San Antonio to enlist. 16 NOVEMBER 18, 1977