Sunday, April 02, 2017

July 31, 1977, New York Times, Ex-Official Says He Stole 1948 Election for Johnson; Most Involved Are Now Dead,

Published the same day as the much longer version of the Associated Press article found here:

July 31, 1977, AP - Corsicana [TX] Daily Sun, pages A1, A5, Judge admits Johnson fix; 1948 election fraud confirmed for 'peace of mind', Associated Press,
the New York Times did more than truncate the meaning to save space. Gratuitous edits look like a plagiarist was trying to hide his tracks. And some questionable insertions serve to weaken the piece.
On purpose I wonder?

July 31, 1977, PA - New York Times, Ex-Official Says He Stole 1948 Election for Johnson; Most Involved Are Now Dead, [PDF] [TimesMachine] [NYT Uncorrected Text] 807 words

ALICE, Tex., July 30—A former Texas voting official, seeking "peace of mind," says he certified enough fictitious ballots to steal an election 29 years ago and launch Lyndon Johnson on the path that led to the Presidency.

The disclosure was made by Luis Salas, who was the election judge for Jim Wells County's Box 13, which produced just enough votes in the 1948 Texas Democratic primary runoff to give Mr. Johnson the party's nomination for the United States Senate, then tantamount to election.

“Johnson did not win that election—it was stolen for him and I know exactly how it was done,” said Mr. Salas, now a lean, white‐haired 76‐year‐old.

The election has been a subject of controversy and conjecture for nearly three decades, since Justice Hugo Black of the United States Supreme Court abruptly halted an investigation, but the principals have been silent.

Most Involved Are Now Dead

George B. Parr, the South Texas political leader whom Mr. Salas served for’ a decade, shot and killed himself in April 1975. Mr. Johnson is dead and so is his opponent. Mr. Salas, retired from his railroad telegrapher's job, is among the few living persons with direct knowledge of the election.

Mr. Johnson's widow, Lady Bird, was informed of Mr. Salas's statements and said through a spokesman that she “knows no more about the details of the 1948 election other than that charges were made at the time, carried through several courts and finally to a Justice at the Supreme Court.”

Despite frequent requests in recent years, Mr. Salas only recently agreed to tell his full version of what happened. In his soft Spanish accent, Mr. Sales said he decided to break his silence in quest of “peace of mind and to reveal to the people the corruption of politics.” He said he had first ascertained that he would face no legal problems as a result.

Mr. Salas says now that he lied in an aborted investigation of the election, in 1948 when he testified that the vote count had been proper and aboveboard. “I was just going along with my party,” he says.

He said Mr. Parr ordered that 200‐odd votes be added to Mr. Johnson's total from Box 13. Mr. Salas said he had seen the fraudulent votes added in alphabetical order and had then certified them as authentic on orders from Mr. Parr.

The Associated Press interviewed everyone connected with the case still alive to corroborate Mr. Salas's story. One man who got a brief look at the Box 13 vote tally in the original investigation was a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, T. Kellis Dibrell. He confirmed Mr. Salas's statement that the last 200 votes had been in alphabetical order.

“It stuck out like a sore thumb,” Mr. Dibrell said. “Also. the last 202 names were made with the same colored ink. and in the same handwriting, whereas the earlier names in the poll list were written by different individuals and in different color inks.”

The final statewide count, including Box 13 votes, gave Mr. Johnson an 87 vote margin in a total tally approaching 1 million, earning him the tongue‐in-cheek nickname “Landslide Lyndon.”

The vote in the July primary had been 405,617 for Mr. Johnson to 477,077 for Coke R. Stevenson, a three‐time governor of Texas. But a third candidate, George Perry, siphoned off enough votes to deny Mr. Stevenson a majority, forcing the Aug. 28 runoff between him and Mr. Johnson.

The night of the runoff, Jim Wells County's vote was wired to the Texas Election Bureau, the unofficial tabulating agency: Mr. Johnson 1,786, Mr. Stevenson 769.

Three days after the runoff, with Mr. Stevenson narrowly leading and the seesaw count nearly complete, Mr. Salas said, a meeting was called in Mr. Parr's office 10 miles from Alice.

Mr. Salas recalled: “Lyndon Johnson said: ‘If I can get 200 more votes, I've got it won.’

“Parr said to me in Spanish: ‘We need to win this election. I want you to add those 200 votes.'”

Mr. Salas said he had told Mr. Parr he would add the votes, “because I didn't want anybody to think I'm not backing up my party—I said I would be with the party to the end.”

Mr. Salas said he was M. Parr's righthand man in Jim Wells County from 1940 to 1950, but quit over Mr. Parr's failure to support a fellow Mexican‐American who had been chargtd with murder.

“We had the law to ourselves there,” • Mr. Salas said. “We had iron control. If a man was opposed to us, we'd put him out of business. Parr was the Godfather. IHe had life or death control. We could tell any election judge: ‘Give us SO per 1cent of are vote, the other guy 20 per cent.’ We had it made in every election.”

No comments:

Post a Comment