Austin Bureau Report From 1972



Here's a Feb. 18, 1972, Austin bureau report from Roland Lindsey to Don Reed dated Jan. 31, 1972, and covering the period Jan. 31-Feb. 18, 1972:


Political news has just about taken all the space in the Austin report the past couple of weeks, and we've had our share of wins and losses in the logs.

We were exclusive with a story 2/1 that Speaker Gus mutscher would file for re-election a few days later. This was one of those breaks. I had started back to Mutscher's office to try to get into see him to ask that question, and saw him heading into the John. I cornered him there, and he told me when he'd file and we used it for our nighter on texas politics. Rox played catchup on it the next day via a handout from Mutschcer's office.

CH got good play abut that time by staying on time of a couple of brief stories about John Gronouski and Frank Erwin, both LBJ cronies, being hauled in on DWI charges. Rox got some house, and we got some complaints, when they wrote and we skipped a supreme court story about a UT professor who had been talked into willing his estate to the school, and the heirs were taking it to court to challenge the will.

On 2/3, CH dug up an exclusive saying the dps reports $750 million in illegal football bets were placed in texas in 1970. This one got good play, and we're planning a followup interview with the dps director to find out where the betting centers are, and what they're doing about it.

In this period, rox hit us on staffing of insurance board and water quality board hearings. We knew about the hearings, but couldn't spread thin enough to get there.

On filing deadline day, rox and us used the same tactics and split play. But we picked up some slight advantage by using some quotes from Bob Looney (an appropriate name) that he's a reformed alcoholic, and if anybody offered him a drink he's sell his soul for the second one. We even got calls from Cronkite onthat one.

Rox finally picked it up five days later when he made a second statement picking the alcoholic rehab center as his campaign hq.

On 2/8we had a junket that paid off. I went to Odessa to cover smith's campaign opening, and he gave everybody hell on the Sharpstown issue and barely mentioned his prepared text. We got full details of him blaming the whole mess on Will Wilson, and rox had his prepared stmt.

CH had a good sunday ayemer for 2/13 on a student who is fighting the Demo establishment at the precint level.

Rox beat us 2/15 on an insurance board hearing. we were there and got out 400 words on it, but they stayed longer and picked up a quote that won them the play.

CH sat outside a closed house investigating committee mtng 2/16, and got a story we shared only with the Hs Post, which was also eavesdropping on the cmte planning to give Mutscher a forum to blast his critics if he's found innocent in Abilene. Rox never could retaliate on tt one.

We fumbled twice during this period on oil allowable stories, simply because they broke during the afternoon rather than in the morning as usual, and DA onite assumed they had been carried two cycles and didn't onite them. We should have passed the world along to make it clear when the item broke. And tts about it.

Regards, Roland Lindsey UPI/Austin

CC: LAH_REC_DPM_FJS_PV_GB