Austin Bureau Report From 1972

Here's a Jan. 17, 1972, Austin bureau report from Roland Lindsey to Don Reed in Dallas covering the period from Jan. 2- 16, 1972:

We opened the month with fed ct hearings on redistricting suits, and CH handled them admirably fm his first day on the job here to present. Logs showed us slightly ahed on continuing redistricting play. On 1/4, we got on the wires a cycle ahead of Rox with the stri that Ralp Yarb had finally set the date for his news cnf to announce political plans. I called yarb's office about 11 a.m. To try to pin him down. He returned the call half an hour later, and said he wud hold the news conf 1/11, and would send around statement announcing that afternoon. I got a short day ld on CCC, and belled it to DAR's attention on buo wire in time to make noon newscasts. On 1/4, CH had one of best days on redist stri with lead tt politics is DA in afflicted by "legacy of slavery, racism and prejudice." Tt one hit hard enough to make DA News respond with editorial tt it ain't so. On 1/4 we had a welfare enterpriser, suggested by DPM/DA and done by RL, which scored well in a number of papers.

On 1/5, we were again ahead a full cycle on news tt Bob Bullock asked political parties to file financial statements with his office. We got his letter ahead of time, and were out with detailed ayemer before the news conference was held.

On Sunday, 1/9, got relatively good play with capsule of "capitol chatter" which we plan to maintain as a Sunday item, and with politicker on Yarb announcement to round out field of major candidates. KT, doing some last minute time-splitting between us and Tower, got a good lead fm Roy Orr saying Demos gg ignore Bullock's request for financial stmts on party spending.

On the week beginning 1/9, CH opened with good advancers--and good staffing--of Democratic rules cmt hrng. Rox didn't show with Monday advancers on this. CH did a Mon. Pmer, but we fumbled a bit by not getting a good carryaround for Tues ayems.

When Yarb finally held his news cnf 1/11, we broke ahead with the Bun, while Rox had trouble with new datafax machines and their lead got lost somewhere in the computer. Don't know how late they broke, but they're still griping about it a week later. CH again got played with sidebar on Smilin Ralph living up to nickname.

We were hurt bad on two insurance stories during the week--one on insurance board giving discounts to owners of cars with shock-absorbing bumpers, and second on adoption of new rules on policy cancellations. In the first instance, Rox just beat us to the punch by calling the board routinely and stumbling on the bumper order. We got it in the mail two days later. The second time, after I had just finished having a round with the board chairman on the long delay in announcing board orders, Rox again got a cycle jump on the cancellation order through another routine check. We've now advised the insurance bd we gg call them daily to check on orders. I blv this will be worked out shortly, as Bd chairman Larry Teaver realizes they have a real PR problem.

On Sunday, we again showed with capitol chatter capsule, plus a Sun ayemer on Smith pushing no-fault insurance plan so he can gain political ground by recommending it to xgr in special session.

CH got good play 1/14 with his coverage of Austin Munic Judge's ruling that student's death caused by overdose of methadone. We recovered somewhat with a 1/14 roundup on insurance board's action during the week on rates and cancellation rules, but it didn't come close to covering up our goofs on this subject earlier in the week.

As you notice, politics are picking up, and will continue to do so for the next several months. Beginning to look more and more like Smith may call special session before summer just to complicate matters.

Overall, I believe we're getting things organized now to produce an improved Austin report. CH is a fine hand--as you advised me before he came. He stepped in with absolutely no orientation, and he's handled some top assignments in fine fashion.

We're always opoen for suggestions, so feel free to offer any ideas you come up with on this end of the operation.

Regards, Roland Lindsey