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If you're in Texas politics, you want your name to be "Yarborough" And barring that you at least hope to make "Yarbrough".

The D.K. Elections Liveblog tonight mentions that "Grady Yarbrough" is doing well in his race for Congress tonight, and that takes me back to a story that I learned only because I was unfortunate enough to spend some time in a federal prison in Texas in the eighties.

Ralph Webster Yarborough made a real name for himself as a Democratic liberal Texas member of Congress in the sixties (and well earned by my estimation). And then along comes a "Yarbrough" in the eighties who wanted a cheap and easy ticket to the good life, so he registered as a Dem and ran for the Texas Supreme Court. And he won solely on the basis of name recognition. And I say "solely" because he was already under investigation for some fraud charges.

But first he got elected, and then he got charged, tried, and convicted. And, needless to say, the other members of the Texae Supreme Court could and did play all of the games necessary to keep him from having any meaningful role on The Court between election and "impeachment".

And then the sorry bastard had the unmitigated misfortune to move on to medical school in Grenada just almost exactly when Reagan sent our troops in to "liberate" the Island. So there was clearly one of our students there who did not kiss the runway before being "placed" on the flight "back home".

And then, a short time later, we crossed paths in Federal Correctional Institution Texarkana. I hung out in the law library, and he in the Chapel. I worked to help free folks as well as I could. He, on the other hand, worked not at all, as near as I could tell.

Chuck Colson, he was not. (Or maybe he was a whole hell of alot closer to it than anyone who has not been there would be able to tell.)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (11+ / 0-)

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:04:03 PM PDT

  •  Well, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, moonbatlulu

    thanks for reminding me of Ralph.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Tue May 29, 2012 at 09:19:15 PM PDT

  •  for those who didn't know Ralph Yarborough (5+ / 0-)

    from Wikipedia:

    Ralph Webster Yarborough (June 8, 1903 – January 27, 1996) was a Texas Democratic politician who served in the United States Senate (1957 to 1971) and was a leader of the progressive or liberal wing of his party in his many races for statewide office. As a United States Senator, he was a staunch supporter and author of "Great Society" legislation that encompassed Medicare and Medicaid, the War on Poverty, federal support for higher education and veterans. He co-wrote the Endangered Species Act and was the only southern senator to vote for all civil rights bills from 1957 to 1970 (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965). Yarborough was known as "Smilin' Ralph" and used the slogan "Let's put the jam on the lower shelf so the little people can reach it" in his campaigns.


    It's hard to believe that we ever someone like him from this state ... He, and Johnson, and Rayburn (I am only listing texans)... they were giants, willing to hoist others up on their shoulders ... they weren't perfect, but they did strive to work for others ... how did we end up with the politicians we have now?  (I am talking Texas) ... how did we end up with Cronyns and Perrys ...  

    and just whose is this Grady Yarborough?  when I google, I get a 'Christian counselor'

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:02:11 PM PDT

    •  not Grady Yarborough..but Grady Yarbrough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharon Wraight, Catte Nappe

      and all I can find is that he is a retired school teacher ...
      I can't find a campaign page ..or any articles about him...

      this is beginning to resemble the Eddie Murphy movie...with the line "the name you know"....

      oh, the Distinguished Gentleman...

      Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

      by moonbatlulu on Tue May 29, 2012 at 10:41:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Grady at a Dallas Mornging News forum (0+ / 0-)
        Yarbrough, who ran unsuccessfully for state treasurer and land commissioner in the 1980s and ’90s, complained that the press had “virtually anointed and appointed” Dewhurst as senator “without the people of Texas having anything to say.”

        The “50-year educator” was more specific than Sadler or Allen in his policy proposals: cutting defense spending by 25 percent, raising the retirement age for Social Security and reducing farm subsidies.

        You can see his response to the DMN voter guide questions here:

        Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

        Grady Yarbrough: They should choose me, because I have worked with parents, and students in the field of education for about 50 years. During that time, I have worked to solve the many difficulties facing families during these unuasual times.

        from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

        by Catte Nappe on Wed May 30, 2012 at 08:34:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The story here in west Texas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice, bumbi

    is in the 60's after a long day traveling from town to town politicking for his senate seat, Ralph emerged from the back of the car, walked around and shaking the hand of his driver said,
    "Hi, I'm Ralph Yarborough and I'm running for US senate and would like your vote"

    A tireless fighter for a better country


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