The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, January 05, 1906, Image 1

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V. . M
Vol. 5. No. 51
Lincoln, Nebraska, January 5, 1906
Whole Number 259
Munger Vindicated?
gortelyou's defense
:. "- humiliating
7. Details Wanted
"TJncle Joe's" Straw Man
At the T3ide-a-Wee Home
The Meldeeskin's Cargo
Christmas Burdens
"": Senator Tillman
Comment on Current Topics
.The Primary Pledge
; .News op the Week
A New York newspaper referring to the re-
niblican fight in the Empire state warns Mr.
tposevelt that "if the party is to be regenerated
from a commt and debasinff bossism it will not
fr- i ift,W!Pii.'i - i- t-4.'-r'-,1 &.ym'vim'Zi
gjy uyuc .yyHinv iu. uu tj""B iulu uauu uuu cv
falting another gang to the seats of the mighty."
The "gang" which Mr. Roosevelt is fighting
moves under the leadership of B. H. Harriman
land Former Governor Odell. The other "gang"
is represented by Piatt, Governor HIggins and the
.insurance magnates. While Odell and Harriman
'should be shelved, Mr. Roosevelt would win no
f victory for good government if he simply sub
stituted the Platt-Hlggins gang ror the Harriman
Odell gang.
In this connection a New York dispatch print
ed November 23 in the Kansas City Journal, a
l republican paper, is interesting. The Commoner
reproduced that dispatch in last week's issue. It
was said in that dispatch that Senator Piatt
was determined to unhorse Odell and that in
this effort he would have the co-operation - of
Mr. Roosevelt and New York's' insurance bosses.
It was claimed that part of the program was
to put a stop to insurance exposures. It would
be well for public interests if Mr. Roosevelt
could crush the Odell machine, but it will be a
sad day for the people of New York and a most
inglorious day for Theodore Roosevelt if he un
wittingly lends the prestige of his name toward
carrying out the designs of 'the insurance mag
nates and giving new power' to such men as
Piatt and Higgins. -
Those who had expected great things from
the change in the management of some of the
insurance companies are doomed to disappoint
ment. The reliability of Thomas F. Ryan's phil
anthropic professions concerning his acquisition
f life insurance companies is described by the
Journal of Commerce when it says: "The testi
mony of the president of the Washington Life
insurance company in regard to its management
Mnce it passed under the virtual control of Mr.
I nomas F. Ryan and the Morton Trust company
t the beginning of the present year is not par
'icularly reassuring. It contained no evidence
of excessive salarie'g or extravagant or illegiti
mate expenditures, hut the method of investing or
lather of employing the funds of the company
pan not fairly bo called conservative, or even.
: j'udent, and it casts a shadow of suspicion upon
A'r. Ryan's professions in regard to making the
control of life, insurance serve tiis own financial
i.n crests." v: ' ' : ' -
W "
Has Munger Been Vindicated?
United StatdS District Judge Munger at
Omaha imposed upon Richards and Comstock,
two land monopolists, a fine of $300 each, and sen
tenced them to "six hours in the custody of the
These men were charged with the illegal
fencing of government land.
Secretary of the Interior Hitchcock publicly
expressed great indignation because o the light
penalty imposed upon these violators of law, and
Judge Munger publicly retorted:
"You may quote me as saying, however,
that I think the result which the govern
ment hoped to attain has been effected. The
indictments and the prosecution waB primarily
for the purpose of obliging ranchmen to aban
don their unlawful fences. Now the enclosing
of the public domain is not a crime per so.
It is nothing more than a statutory offense.
"In view of this fact and of the additional
fact that the defendants declared that they
had removed their unlawful fences in part and
avowed their intent of taking down any
fence which might still remain on govern
ment land, I believe the sentence passed upon
them was sufficient to meet the situation."
Evidently Mr. Roosevelt was not satisfied
with Judge Munger's explanation. He was not
able to draw the fine distinctions observed by the
federal judge at Omaha; and so indignant was
Mr Roosevelt that he summarily removed the
United States marshal and the district attorney.
The marshal wa3 removed on the ground that
Instead of keeping the defendants in his own
custody he had turned them over to the custody
of their attorney. It was contended in the.
marshal's behalf that the sentence was a farce
and that the marshal was justified in so regard
ing it. The district attorney was removed In
spite of the fact that he pointed out that the
defendants had pleadod guilty and that he had
had nothing to do with the imposition of the sen
tence.. Spokesmen for the administration? have
said that it was not within the iower of tho
president to remove the judge, so he dismissed
these two officials by way of giving expression
to his indignation.
Judge Munger's statement that Richards and
Comstock were not charged with a real crinio
but rather with a mere statutory offence was
laughed at by representatives of the administra
tion and by republican editors.
Now comes Mr. Roosevelt's secretary of the
treasury, Leslie M. Shaw, and with respect to
his failure to prosecute John R. Walsh of Chi
cago makes a plea almost identical with that
offered by Judge Munger.
Will Mr. Roosevelt dismiss from his cabinet
Secretary Shaw, and will he appoint, as he did
in the Omaha cases, special counsel to prosecute
If Mr. Roosevelt does not call Secretary
Shaw to account for his failure to prosecute
Walsh then he tacitly endorses the defense of
fered by Judge Munger.
If the position of Secretary Shaw Ib correct,
then the position of Judge Munger Is correct;
and there being no fault to find with either po
sition, then .Messrs. Matthews and Baxter, the
men who were summarily dismissed from office,
should be reinstated. - y
Note the similarity between the defense set
up by Judge Munger, and the defease set up by'.