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When Long realized his oil-tax bill was doomed, he tried to bring the special session to an end without a vote on the bill, thereby sparing himself the humiliation of a resounding defeat. By this time, however, several conservative legislators, calling themselves the Dynamite Squad, decided that the time was ripe for impeachment proceedings to be brought against Long. On March 25, a resolution calling for Long’s impeachment was introduced in the Louisiana House, charging Long with nineteen counts of high crime and misdemeanor. These included: using his appointing powers to influence the judiciary and boasting of his control over judges; removing school officials for political purposes and intimidating teachers; using abusive language to officials and private citizens; usurping the powers of the legislature and its committees; attempting to intimidate Charles Manship, a Baton-Rouge State-Times editor; forcing the state penitentiary to construct a refrigerating plant without asking for bids; and intruding on the legislature and interfering with its conduct of business. That night a mass meeting was called in Baton Rouge to protest “the attack on the prosperity and credit” of the state. Music for the meeting was provided by the Standard Oil band. The meeting passed a resolution that condemned “as being vicious, dangerous and utterly without merit, any and all systems of taxation” which ” . . seek to impose tax burdens upon industries.” According to Williams, those assembled moved to act on an impeachment indictment because Long had tried to impose an oil tax. “The truth is,” a surviving conservative legislator told Williams, “the Standard Oil business was what brought the impeachment on.” Long reacted to the impeachment call first by falling into a deep depression, from which he soon rallied and went on the offensive. He printed circulars and distributed them via ward healers all across the state. The first read: “I had rather go down to a thousand impeachments than to admit that I am the governor of the State that does not dare to call the Standard Oil Company to account so that we can educate our children.” [On July 28, Mattox told a state AFL-CIO convention that he was looking into a possible boycott of Mobil Oil. “They’ve taken $102 million off the schoolchildren of this state. You bet it’s proper,” he later told reporters. On another date, Mattox told reporters: “We’ve got a very easy choice in this case. It’s a choice between whether I’m going to run this office or Mobil Oil is going to run this office. I’m going to run this office. . . . It’s a job I’ve got, and it’s a job that the people elected me to do. And I can assure you I’m going to do it for as long as I’ve got the strength in me to do it.”] Among the charges against Long that were investigated during the impeachment were those involving the mishandling of state funds. Long had received $6,000 from the state to entertain governors at a governors’ conference in New Orleans in 1928. There had been no official accounting of the money. The legislative investigation revealed that the money had been deposited and drawn out in twenty-dollar bills. Of this money, $3500 had been paid to a hotel for the governors. The legislators were curious about the rest. When it soon became evident that the money had gone to pay for illegal liquor and other New Orleans pleasures for the governors, the charge was forgotten. At the same time, however, the legislators learned that Long had paid $1300 in twenties for a “sporty red Buick.” He had made the purchase after the legislature had denied his request for a car. Long had traded in his old. auto and painted “Not State Property, Executive Department” on the side of the Buick. The legislators decided the circumstantial evidence against Long in this matter was too weak to pursue much further. [For Mattox it was a used yellow Cadillac supposedly purchased for his sister at a bargain-basement price from oilman 0. W. McCurdy, Jr. , a friend of Clinton Manges. “I just sold him a damn automobile,” McCurdy said. “I wasn’t doing him a favor; he was doing me a favor. I was thrilled to death to get rid of it. ” It was an oil-field car with a lot of miles on it, Mattox told the Observer. His sister ended up driving it, he said, because it wasn’t a particularly “masculine” car.] Regarding the charge that Long used vulgar and abusive language, Williams writes, “The impeachers had no difficulty in finding witnesses who would testify on this count; the state was rife with people who had been denounced by Huey.” The anti-Long legislators viewed this charge as important for public relations; such conduct violated the proper decorum of the South. Throughout the proceedings, Long charged that votes against him were being bought and that Standard Oil Company had brought enough money into Baton Rouge “to burn a wet mule.” “His charges,” writes Williams, “have received scant attention in the works about him or the impeachment. . . . Practically all of the commentators assume, however, that Huey used various forms of pressure to influence legislators. . . . Those who write about Long, like other chroniclers of the American scene, have been unknowing victims of the genteel tradition. They saw that Huey’s opponents were gentlemen, and from their observations they predicted a mode of conduct. Cultured, gentle people do not do evil or corrupt things therefore the Louisiana conservatives could not have done anything immoral. Huey, on the other hand, was not a gentleman. He was a crass popular leader who had bad table manners. A politician of his type might have some sound ideas, but he would be careless in the methods he selected to achieve his goals. Ergo, the stories told by anti-Longs that Huey had improperly influenced legislators must be true. Actually, as the evidence makes clear beyond a doubt, both sides engaged in some practices that violated the code of pure conduct as prescribed in the civics books.” Long set out on a speaking tour of the state to defend himself. “They may put me out,” he told huge crowds, “but damn them, they will have to fight.” [Mattox speaking to the press: “I got into a fight with the big boys, and the big boys play plenty rough, and I may take some bruises. They may even bump me off. But I guarantee you this: I’m going to fight until the last breath. “] In the end, Long mustered enough support to quash the impeachment charges. Some contemporaries claim the ordeal made Long vicious. According to Williams, however, “what the impeachment did was impress on him the length to which the conservatives would go to destroy anyone who proposed change. . . . He would try to see to it that his enemies could never again place him in danger.” “I wish we could have good decent government without all the fighting it takes to get it,” Long said shortly after the impeachment. “You have to risk something to get the right kind of government.” IN CONSIDERING the plight of Texas’ own latter-day populist, it is helpful to keep in mind Williams’ consideration of class. Mattox is also a “crass popular leader with bad table manners.” \(Whatever he said to the Mobil lawyers, from the wrong side of the tracks, and this may affect his THE TEXAS OBSERVER 3