Independent Star-News from Pasadena, California on February 25, 1968 · Page 31
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Independent Star-News from Pasadena, California · Page 31

Pasadena, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 25, 1968
Page 31
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PAGE C-l · PASADENA, CAUF., SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1968 a n o r a m a In This Section Editorial Opinion Home and Gardens Travel Entertainment . Where to Dine Business arid Finance He?d End the Riots With Bullets.,. George Wallace, His By Hal D. Steward llIE FIGURE of George'Corloy Wallace looms larger over the national political scene now that his'American Independent Parly lias achieved a place on California's ballot. Neither Republican or Democratic Party leaders seem to know what to do about him, and they appear amazed that he and his supporters garnered in California several thousand more registrants than the 66,059 needed to get on the state's ballot. ' . The former Alabama governor obviously is pleased.with', his party's, show.of strength, as Wallace'said he was getting ·tired, of waiting for .the .Republican and Democratic .Parties to "straighten-, up ·nd fly right.'"' · Many political observers here in California and elsewhere believe the major impact of the Wallace movement may be to darken · most the Repub! i can cha n ces In the_1968election, .. \ .His success in California could galvanize the entire Wallace movement. .: And, as one, said, "If the Democrats and Republicans think they can tuck Wallace under the bed, or 1 forget about him this year in .the presidential election, they ought to have their heads examined." Few, if any, political experts give Wallace any chance at all of winding up in the While House. But they do agree he could become the "political spoiler" in national politics this year. His candidacy could lip the balance between the Demo-. 'cratic and Republican nominees, possibly even throwing the election into the House of Representatives".' Third Party Wallace himself said here he'll use his third party mechanism in California to give voters a choice in the race for Presi- de-t, something in his opinion the candi- d?.'es of. the two major parties won't do. But which of the major party' candid- es would he hurt most? '.Her completion of a survey on Wallace strength, pollster Louis Harris wrote: - . . "Although most Americans believe Wallace wants lo run for President to Etop Lyndon Johnson, tlie facts show that Wallace would likely take almost twice ·s many votes away from the Republican nominee 'as lie would from the President." George Gallup, in his opinion poll survey, said: "Wallace is clearly a greater threat to the Republicans than to the Democrats." Wallace's achievement in California already has done these things; It has stimulated .campaign contributions across the country. Wallace refused to say where.the money to support the California registration--a n estimated $59Q,0007-came from, beyond the explanation that a lot of little people were l"he'ppin' out." · .! It has impressed .waverers, especially in. the South. Louisiana's powerful segregationist Leandor .'./I!. Perez, Sr., has stepped up his efforts in support of Wallace. In Texas, segregationist Weaver Moore plans to open a Wallace campaign headquarters in Austin. Wallace is to campaign in Texas in February. It has strengthened Wallace's political organization. He said he has a national. organization now working for him--he plans to get on' the general election ballot in at least 49 states (Ohio still is in doubt because of its rigorous third-party requirements)--and that he has more momentum going for him. Support Source The oft-asked question is: From where does Wallace's support come that makes him believe he can influence national politics by running for President^' In .California, :for instance,:lie galvanized the extreme right wing like no politician since Barry Goldwater. His strength in the Southern Slates comes, primarily, from segregationists. ' . - · . . The West Coast supporters are a diverse- group, predominantly ultra-conservative, angry property owners peeved by the California GOP establishment's . failure to call for "outright repeal" of the Rumford Fair Housing. Act;, blue collar and .white-collar worker's fearful of black faces in schools and suburbs; average persons seeking pat solutions to warfare in the ghetto and Vietnam; and bona-fide patriots attracted by Wallace's call for "law and order." They share Wallace's demand for swift ..punishment of urban rioters^ Like him, they believe property rights are threat- ened anil that police are America's bastion against anarchy. · · " "If we could let the police run this country for two years," said Wallace, "the streels would be sale." Not surprisingly, many policemen support Wallace. At California rallies some could be seen wearing Wallace buttons and registering for his third party. W a l l a c e t a l k s about "individual rights," "bedrock principles," "Constitutional rights," "law and order,",and the "meddling of the federal government in' local affairs."..... . . . · ·"'. He tells his audiences that the "little · people" are unheard-arid-alone,-that the ·government has-ceased to be their servant arid instead has become their callous and uncaring master. . - ' · . " : . ' Racial Overtones . ; Racial references sometimes creep into Wallace, remarks.; When ;he. first appeared in California,-for example', he talked about the criminal '.'who didn't get any'watermelon to'eatlwh'en he was Id--years old." . . · · - . ' . · - ' Early in the' California registration campaign he asserted that American sanctions against the white supremacist regime in Rhodesia were "the most ludicrous and asinine thing I've ever heard of in my entire life." Nevertheless, toward the end of his California tour, he said this: ', "I've never made a statement, in my life, that reflected on anyone because of race or color or national origin," arid he sees no conflict in this with his pledge of ."segregation forever" when he was inaugurated Alabama's governor in-1963. . In almost every speech and news, con-- verence he works in denunciation of university professors and other brainy types, whonr he calls "intellectual morons." Often he manages to tie this in with an attack on the press. . , Wallace, who has called for a military victory in Vietnam unless a peaceful set-', tlement can be reached there soon, plans, a trip to the Southeast Asia nation early this year. It's an odds-on bet that after visiting U.S. fighting men, the World War IT Air. Corps sergeant will call on Gcii. William C. .Westmoreland to "destroy the Commie supply routes and kick the daylights out of the Viet Cong." These are the kinds of statements Wallace believes'appeal to those "little people" on whom he's pegged his presidential hopes and who he says arc gelling tired of the theoreticians and the bureau- . crats telling them what to do with their children. And he's counting on these "little people" to finance his campaign, which by the end of last year was costing an estimated $25,000 a month. His backers say his campaign plans call for between $10 .million and $13 million so he can go all the ^yay as a.third party candidate. Wallace is direct about asking for campaign funds. "If you want .to contribute to my campaign," he says, "send it to P.O.. Box 1968, Montgomery, Ala." To Kelp, him get the most from the .campaign funds provided him, Wallace has enlisted the aid of some top conservative political organizers-. , One is Willard S. Voit, .until recently vice -president of Robert Welch, Inc., ^publishing arm of the John Birch Society. The'29-year-old Call.fornian .said he resigned from the Republican State Com- ·mittee and the United 'Republicans of California arid has re-registered with the American Independent Party. Voit said, "It seems clear to me-that- the Republican Party will not provide the conservative, anti-Communist alternative in the 1968 presidential election to the Johnson ticket. The American Independent Party is providing that alternative." Another key figure is William Shearer, Wallace's national "ballot qualifications" expert, a professional Los Angeles campaign consultant and secretary-treasurer of the California Citizens Council. Shearer talks about the need to protect the white majority against the "organized minority bloc." Shearer's wife, Eileen, a former reporter, left the California State Republican Committee last June to back Wallace. It is because of such support from a vocal segment of the citizenry and as well ..·· as the backing of some professionals that Alabama State Senator George Lewis ·Bailes Jr., who has known Wallace since they were in college together 25 years ago, says "It's a mistake to pooh-pooh him."' "He (Wallace) set his mind back then that he wanted .to be governor and then President," Bailes said. "I don't think he can make it, but he thinks he can. He figures he can parlay a protest into the presidency." Wallace appears to believe he's the only candidate in America who knows the -olution to the problem of urban violence. End the Riots Women like his smiling black 'eyes. Men say; 'Wallace has got a lot of common-sense.' He would end the riots with bullels. In His presidential campaign speeches, .Vallace raises his arms, holds an imagi- iary-rifle and tells his audiences precise- .y how he'd do it: "Bam, shoot 'em dead on the spot Shoot to kill if anyone throws a rock at a policeman or throws a Molotov cocktail. Don't shoot any children, just shoot that adult standing beside the kid that throws the rock. That may not prevent the burning and looting, but it sure will stop it after it starts." Such comments and the manner in which he makes them -- jaw jutted, eyes narrowed and arms flailing -- reflect a mood Wallace sometimes tempers in public, especially as he travels about the country campaigning. When the thunder is turned off, turned- on believers surge forward to press his hand and murmur, "God bless you, we're with you, George." "You tell us what we want to hear." "Keep after the Communists." Women supporters appear enraptured by the five-foot-seven, 150-pound Wallace, his dark hair slicked back, his black eyes smiling and his cleft chin working rapidly under a wide-projecting mouth. Men in the audiences tell each other, "He's got a lot of common sense." Wallace also has a lot of bodyguards. In his just-concluded campaign in California, ho was accompanied by 16 Alabama State Police officers, eight state officials and six legislators. When he \yas asked about his large state-paid entourage, Wallace said that . as a member of the governor's family (his wife, Lurleen, is governor) he's entitled fo protection. He said threats received because of his attacks on anarchists, revolutionists and Communists made a large security force necessary. He didn't explain why the presence of state officials was necessary. This, then, in brief, Is Wallace's approach to campaigning for President as he attempts to enlist more and more supporters. While Wallace has gathered in tens of thousands who support his political philosophy, he's naturally picked up some powerful enemies along the way. One is Sen.itpr Wayne Morse, D-Orogon, who has referred to Wallace as a "punk" and "a disgrace" whose legal acllvities "are those of a shyster." Wallace, in turn, has called Morse * "nink." It was Morse who first disclosed that soon after Wallace was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps in 1945; he started drawing a $10-a-monlh compensation for 10 per cent "damage to the nerves," reportedly growing out of combat fatigue. When asked about this, Wallace was emoted as saying, "Why the hell shouldn't' I take the money? At least I have papers certifying my mind is 9D per cent sound. Can Wayne Morse say that?" While Wallace has his detractors, he also has strong political allies. ' One is Leander H. Perez Sr., segregation leader and political boss of two Louisiana parishes, who calls Wallace "America's white hope." Perez, who was excommunicated in 1962 by the Romar, Catholic Archbishop of New Orleans for his racist activities, says Wallace's presidential campaign would draw support from both Republicans and Democrats. There are, admittedly, few men in public life who can stir such heated emo- . lions as George Wallace. His Alabama supporters say (hat Wallace, a former circuit judge, learned to swap punches as a teen-age Golden Glover and that he's been exchanging blows with his opponents ever since. Wallace earned a name for himself by winning the featherweight Golden Glove litle two years in a row. In 1958 he slugged it out with (he then Atty. Gen. John. Patterson only to lose in the Democratic primary for the governorship. Their platforms were similar, but Pattersqn had seized the racial issue first and had the support of the Ku Klux Klan. Wallace today denies a slalement attributed to him at the lime: "They ou- niggered me that time, but they'll never do it again." If Wallace didn't say it, there's no question his supporters said it for him, including former Gov. "Kissin' Jim" Folsorri. From 1959 on, through his winning campaign for governor in 1952, no one did "out-nigger" George Wallace. He said, for instance, in his 1963 inaugural address: "In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod (his earth, f draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say: "Segregation now--segregation tomorrow -- segregation forever." Poor Farm Boy Wallace came by his racist views as a dirt-poor farm boy who was born in the small town of Clio in Barbour County, lo- · cated in the heart of Alabama's cotton- growing Black Belt. His father, a farmer died when George was 18. Those who knew him well say he began campaigning for the governorship afler he graduated from the University! of Alabama Law School. Upon graduation he look a parttime job driving a state dump truck for 30 cents an hour. "My life hasn't been an easy one," says Wallace. "We never had a silver spoon in our family. I can remember when I was going fo the university I had to sell some old clothes and coat hangers to collect $4.50 to help meet tuition ex- .penses." .' It was while he was a penniless law school graduate and a part-time truck driver that Wallace met a 16-year-old dime store clerk, Lurleen Burns, and married her. Later, as the wife of an Army private in World War II and the mother of an infant daughter, Lurleen Wallace walked the streets of Alamogordo, N.M., with her husband looking wearily for living quarters. They found them in a converted chicken shack. In the wooden shack with a concrete floor, she learned fo cook for George, their daughter and herself on a hot plate. · ' Today the Wallaces and three of their four children live in the white-columned governor's mansion with two cooks to prepare the meals. The oldest child, BoV bi Jo, 23, is the wife of James Parson of Birmingham. After the war, In 131C, Wallace was appointed assistant attorney general and later was elecled to the'legislalure. 1 He became the "bantam judge" of the Third Judicial District in 1952. Wallace first came on the 'national scone in 1950 when he was elected to the Democratic National Convention 'arid fought against civil rights legislation while at Chicago. He also appeared before-the U.S. Senate Judicial Committee in opposition to the bill which created Ihe Civil Rights Commission in 1957,' and he threatened to jail any FBI ; agents-" who Iried to take records from his circuit. Tlwn, in 19G5, Wallace attempted"' lo have the Alabama Constitution dmended so he could succeed himself as governor. When he failed, lie ran liis wife! She Avon easily. Today Wallace's only official position with the slate government is that of chief advisor to his wife, the -governor. 'But no one in the state· doubts .who's actually running the state. ';·· The state, legislators refer to the governor as "he" without embarrassment. George Wallace doesn't seem to mind. The political plans of Wallace could be radically altered this year because nf Ihe recurring illness of his wife, Lurleen, Alabama's governor. His enemies have repeatedly accused Wallace of furthering his polilical ambitions at the expense of a 'critically ill wife. The charge was made as recently as December when Mrs. Wallace accompanied her husband to California while he campaigned to get his third party registered for the election ballot--he succeeded. Reporters have been unable to learn precisely how serious Mrs. Wallace's cancerous condition's because those who know refuse to talk. It is speculated, however, that she may become so incapacitated thai she may feel compelled to resign as governor. Lieutenant Governor If this were to happen she'd be succeeded by an ambitious young lieutenant governor,who could well chart a political course independent of her husband. He is Albert Brewer, 38, a Decatur attorney who has been a Wallace ally, but who has a reputation for independence. Privately Brewer has been critical of Wallace's praclice of taking a large retinue of stale officials and bodyguards with him on out-of-state campaign trips. If Brewer were to succeed Mrs. Wallace this could rob her husband of his power base and perhaps force him lo change his. plans, . Wallace might, for instance, decide lo run against U.S. Sen. Lister Hill, D-AIa., whose term expires this year. He's said he's not interested in doing this, but the loss of the governor's office could change his miml. Wallace could run simultaneously for the Senate and presidency. Early this year Mrs. Wallace returned to Houston to undergo radiation treat- men! for a newly discovered growth--apparently the third outbreak of cancer in three years. When she was operated or. in July 1967, her second in 18 months then, surgeons removed a malignant tumor the size of a lemon from her lower abdomen and part of her colon. Mrs. Wallace underwent radium treatment in late 1965 for a malignant tumor of the uterus. The latest growth is in the pelvic region. Legally, Mrs. Wallace could remain governor even if she were physically incapacitated, but observers here believe she'll resign if she finds herself unable to perform her duties. Since Brewer, the lieutenant governor, has been aiming for the 1970 governor^ race ever since his election, it is doubtful he would let George Wallace dictate stale policy ; to him should he assume the governor's chair on the resignation of Mrs. Wallace. So, whatever Wallace's wife's illness or anything else may do to affect his polltl' cal plans, George Corley Wallace has arrived on the national polilical scene where he Intends to stay, at least for a while. Xorlh A m e r i c a n Xewsimper Alllanci

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