Byers, Bo 1973-08-22

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Bo Byers, political correspondent for the Houston Chronicle, reviews Preston Smith’s career, discusses his political strengths and weaknesses and his relationship to the press. He examines various issues within the Smith administration and expresses his opinions on the Sharpstown scandal.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Bo Byers

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: August 22, 1973

Location: Austin, Texas

Interviewer: David Murrah

Length: 2 hours, 20 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: Review of personal career, Early recollections of Preston Smith, Campaign for Lt. Governor in 1950 mentioned, Kilmer Corbin's career recalled, Characterizes Smith's career as a legislator, Outlines campaign for Lt. Governor in 1962, Political skills reviewed, Support from economic groups surveyed, Describes newspaper survey, Cites Robert Baker's attitude toward the 1962 campaign, Discussion of James Truman's strength

Tape 1, Side 2: Smith's relationship with the press examined, Comments on Smith's personality, Relationship with press, continued, Smith juxtaposed to John Connally and to Ben Ramsey, Analysis of leadership and ambition as factors in Smith's political behavior, Smith's support from special interest groups reviewed, Notes awareness of Smith's intention to become Governor, Preston Smith-Ben Barnes conflict discussed, Attitudes toward 1968 campaign for Governor explored

Tape 2, Side 1: Campaign of 1968 discussed, Houston Chronicle's policy on newspaper political surveys expressed, Anecdote concerning editorial policy, Claims constant relationship between the press and Smith, Rationale of financial supporters to political races examined, Recollections of John Hill, Dolph Briscoe, and other politicians, Welfare crisis explored, Note possible unconstitutionality of Smith's action in transferring funds to meet the crisis, One-year appropriation attempts traced, Discusses possibility of conspiracy in the Sharpstown scandal, Views on Sharpstown related

Tape 2, Side 2: Sharpstown (continued), Lobbyist Ed Clark mentioned, Outlines a number of outstanding banking bills, Insurance proposals in 1971 examined, Comments on Smith's attitude toward the press in 1972, Opinions on Sharpstown and unfair treatment by the press expressed, Summary of the strengths of the Smith Administration, Speculation on Briscoe Administration, Summary and examples of weaknesses in the Smith administration

Tape 3, Side 1: Smith's achievement in vocational education mentioned, Cites appointment of first Negro student to a university board of regents, Expansion of Smith's political viewpoint claimed, Attitude toward Smith's staff expressed, States opinion of Briscoe's staff

Tape 3, Side 2: Blank

Range Dates: 1950-1973

Bulk Dates: 1950-1973

Access Information

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Recording Format Notes:


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