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Speaker Turman's Political Telecast for Lieutenant Governor

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1962

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  •  Time for the following was paid for at regular commercial rates by the Texas Committee for James A. Jimmy Turman for Lieutenant Governor, Bill Pieratt Chairman. 
  •  This is Jimmy Turman, Speaker of the House, your leading candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas. I know most of you listening share my own concern, and certainly you should, over the unfavorable publicity circulating in the press about the conflict of interest and the abuse of public office for private gain. This situation can be summed up in a single word: lobbyists. 
  •  One does not observe long in Austin without recognizing the lobbyists' powerful hand. You may recall the House of Representatives passed with my fullest support a strong lobby control act containing stiff penalties. My opponent in this contest, then a Senator and now a Senator, voted to water down and seriously cripple this bill so as to render it almost useless. 
  •  The point is my friends, the Lobby Control Act was written by the lobby itself when the Senate finished its compromising. Is it any wonder we have had a breakdown in the governmental process in our state senate? I want to preside over the Senate of Texas as Lieutenant Governor in the same manner as I have presided over the House as Speaker, with firmness and fairness, and with courage and conviction, to do the job you want done in the fair and statesmen-like way it should be done, and many of our senators agree it should be done in this way. 
  •  My opponent is not free of lobby control. Lobbyists are far too active in his campaign. They are directing his show day and night. His campaign headquarters seem to be old home week for the entire lobby fraternity of Texas. Why? 
  •  Perhaps my opponent would like to tell you himself. The most striking example of how the lobby works is the classic case of killing the loan shark measure during the last special session of the legislature. My opponent in this race has the unhappy distinction of being one of the sixteen senators who voted to kill this fine bill, a bill that was described by the state junior bar as the toughest loan control law in the United States.  
  •  What does the senator from Lubbock owe the loan sharks? My opponent upon advice from his lobby directors has sought to raise the worn out issue of liberal labor support. The issues for this contest of Lieutenant Governor are not liberal versus conservative, or big business versus small business, labor versus  management. The issues are the personal freedom, the personal integrity to preside over the Senate, to push for those areas of reformed legislation, the field of equal legal rights for women, for corrective automobile insurance premium measures, for strong and loan shark regulation, and for a strong lobby control act. 
  •  These are the issues my friends, and these are the issues a lobby-controlled candidate cannot solve. I recognize the importance of the small independent businessman's role in our free enterprise society. My opponent, however, is a theater owner. By his senate vote, he feels movies should be exempt from any effort to curb obscenity. His vote for the theater bill several sessions ago, also in Austin, favored his private business.  
  •  I speak to the votes of Texas as totally independent in this face for Lieutenant Governor. No insurance or loan shark lobbyist is going to name my senate committees. No gas pipeline or telephone industry lobbyist, or any other special interest organized group is going to control the Lieutenant Governor's chair, which Jimmy Turman occupies. 
  •  I hope you all will vote Saturday and will cast your ballot for Jimmy Turman for Lieutenant Governor. Thank you very much. 
  •  Time for the preceding was paid at regular commercial rates by the Texas Committee for James A. Jimmy Turman for Lieutenant Governor, Bill Pieratt Chairman. 
  •  The "Bill Pieratt" mentioned as chairman of the committee served as the assistant commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture in the 1960s and 1970s. The TDA seed laboratory in Giddings, Texas is named in his honor. 
  •  Turman says "I hope you will all vote on Saturday" (June 2, 1962, date of the Democratic primary runoff).  The reference to a day implicitly in the same week as the broadcast indicates it was filmed and aired during the week of May 28th-June 1st.See http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/arc/electionreg.html for dates of Texas primary, general, and special elections until 1980. 
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In this political advertisement, Speaker Turman speaks passionately about his intent to push for reform legislation, including equal legal rights for women, loan shark regulation, and strong Lobby Control Act, if elected Lieutenant Governor.

Born in 1927 in Leonard, James A. "Jimmy" Turman served as the 64th Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives from 1961 through 1963, and the first Speaker ever to hold a doctoral degree. In 1962, he ran for the office of lieutenant governor, narrowly losing to Preston Smith.

Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.