The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 27, 1907, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner.
Campaign Funds by Government
A reader of The Commoner calls attention
to the fact that the political fund contribution
suggestion made by Mr. Roosevelt In his recent
message was suggested by Professor H. J. Daven
port, Chicago university, in an article printed
in the June, 1906, Journal of Political
Economy. In that article Professor Davenport
"Meanwhile it is to be noted that President
Roosevelt has recommended, and a senate bill
under consideration proposes, that. corporations
shall henceforth be prohibited from contributing
to the expenses of election campaigns. A pos
sible connection exists between the customs of
campaign contribution and the established habits
of official remissness.
"But what, in careful analysis, is the basis
of this prohibition of corporate contribution?
One of two things must seemingly be assumed:
(1) That these contributions are made for good
and sufficient business reasons, or (2) that they
are not. Surely, If the danger to be guarded
against Is merely that the corporation managers
will, under the stress of partisan favor, be over
generous with the stockholders moneys and
will fail of sound business discretion in the
choice of expenditures, there is, then, good rea
son to distinguish between private gifts and cor
poration gifts though precisely how, in this as
pect, the question becomes one of federal rather
than of purely state concern is not readily made
"But if the legislation in question rests
upon no assumption so naive as this If the
proposed law really proceeds upon the convic
tion that all these contributions have distinctly
and dangerously a purely business aspect, why
continue to the individual the privilege of con
tribution as somehow justified under the induce
ment of profit, the while that the same privilege
is denied to the corporation on the ground of
"Recalling also that more and more are
great individual interests coming to dominate
entire groups of corporate organizations, and
are thus coming to furnish the unifying principle
under which groups of trusts are combining into
great central trusts of trusts, this prohibition
of corporate contribution alongside of the per
mission of subscription by individuals falls little
short of the grotesque.
"Back, however, of this seeming irration
ality are probably half consciously present some
considerations better worthy of respect.
"Our political system is perhaps to be re
garded as tho greatest educational force in our
American life, and the political campaign is, on
the whole, th.e leading educational factor in this
greatest of educational systems. For the maxi
mum of effectiveness in this direction campaign
orators and campaign literature are indispens
able means; these means and methods cost mon
ey. No small share, theifi of the expenses of
election rank as not merely permissible, but as
commendable. If, however, they are covered
by assessments upon the candidates, post-election
activities must be expected to make these
expenses good, and we must face further prob
ability of the lax enforcement of law.
"But that the political training of the elec
toral contest is indispensable for the purpose of
popular government that this political training
costs, and must cost, and must" somehow be paid
for is worlds away from justifying the permis
sion that these funds must be secured by the
methods under consideration. It may, indeed,
be possible that the necessity is of a character
to outweigh in importance the attendant dangers,
were it at the same time true that there is no
other and better Way open. In point of fact,
, however, the individual contribution, if truly a
pure philanthropy under the stress of some su
preme social need, could be justified only upon
the assumption that society were itself unable
to make its own provision for the social service
in view. That is to say, precisely to the extent
that the campaign funds are justifiable for any
purpose, there is on the one side, every reason
why they should bo provided for at public ex
pense, and on the other side, no possible excuse
for allowing them to be provided for at any
other than public expense.
"With adequate appropriations in favor of
the rival parties and there is little danger that
they would ever turn out inadequate no right"
- motive could exist and no possible excuse be
pleaded for the solicitation or the offer of private
contributions. It is, in truth, not in human na
ture that the individual consent to pay what the
public has recognized as its own obligation to
provide. It is precisely for this reason that state
educational institutions are so rarely able to
make effective appeal for private donations; if
the situation is safe to care for itself, why should
any philanthropist's attention be enlisted? It
is only when someone else will not do, that most
of us are able to recognize our own obligation to
do. And thus it falls out that if, for any par
ticular institution, any definite sect or any group
of men or any man has actually or apparently
assumed the responsibility, all other donations'
are on the way to cease. So all .public charity
discourages private benevolence."
Colonel A. S. Colyar, one of nature's noble
men',;.died December 18 at Nashville, Tenn. A
locai arucie m ine XNasnyuie American says:
uionei a. b. uoiyar, veteran lawyer, editor
And industrial leader of Tennessee, contempor
ary and biographer of Andrew Jackson, died at
his home here Friday morning in his ninetieth
year. Old age caused his death. The funeral
services" were held at the First Presbyterian
church Sunday afternoon and were attended by
SiSP 1SmbeJ ?f hl- friends many men promi
nent in the affairs of the city, state and nation
being present. wu
Colonel Colyar was a strong factor in the
progress of his state. He was born near Jones
boro, Tenn in 1818. His father settled in what
was then Franklin, but is now Coffee county,
Tj0 Colonel Colyar was a small boy. He was
admitted to the practice of law in 1846 and
opened a branch office in Nashville
He canvassed the state in the campaign
against secession, and unsparingly denounced the
"war nartv ." but. whon Tio , o- . ' ..
! lhtyazlhi . .. with.
Hwuwwi,iuuf tjiuuieu io ine confederate con
gress. After the war he associated with Henry
S. Foote in the practice of law.
In 1866 Colonel Colyar went to New York
as attorney for tho Tennessee creditors of the
Tennessee Coal & Railroad company, effected a
compromise with the New York creditors and
in the reorganization of the company he was
elected president. He held the position for many
years and the company developed greatly under
his guidance. Now, as the Tennessee Coal, Iron
nnnRni1,!,0ad mpany, lfc 1b capitalized at $50,
000,000, produces 5,000,000 tons of coal a year
500,000 tons of pig iron and 250,000 tons of
In the late seventies he ousted the Alden
ring of Nashville, throwing the city into the
hands of a receiver, this being the first time in
the history of English or American jurisprudence
that such a thing was done. "yruaence
H.eooas edItor of the Nashville American
from 1881 to 1884 and established h lmS as
one of the leading journalists of Tennessee hI
then resumed the practice of law, practicing til
!7 S? the 5upme uvt of the United
h?-foTe? Tr 1twelv,? y?ars ag0 he commenced
his 'Life of Jackson," which was published two
or three years ago. lvvu
xt ,5? olIoiylnS editorial appeared in tho
Nashville American: "The death of Colonel A
S. Colyar removes from Nashville the most
unique and forceful character that has ever lived
in Tennessee except old Jackson, whose make up
physically, mentally and morally, Colonel Colyar
very closely resembled. There certainly has
been no man for fifty years past whose life and
energies were so industriously and so success
fully devoted to the development of the state
through advanced systems for education in-'
creased facilities for transportation and Increased
knowledge and value of the resources of the
state in agriculture, minerals and timber All
over Tennessee and far into the sister states of
the south, the endeavors of Colonel Colyar found
their way ofttimes with just reward to him and
his associates, and again with disaster Lii
many men not half so good as he, he sometimpq
failed. Too often men judge by the lack of sue
cess, measuring a man's character by some niti
ful loss that may have come to him who judges'
forgetting the loss of years of health and some
times of life of him who strove only at last to
'. V0LUME 7, NUMBER 50
be misjudged. Who of us, who thmn
'whole of Tennessee, can claim th j iniHMiUt tho
organization, the gWtnco Srd C ?g u?e
has brought to all the south the D01 H ttat
tion and the money that came , SCg fef
and labor and endeavor of A. S. Colyar?
1 fe as shown in another column will at L?!
the world know of the man his wnrn, L st, let
ties and his achievements.' If Te'e be" !?I,U
who seeing an old man stride the wavs X?
past few years, bent but little beneath til fS
den of many more than three score ycnd
ten, who have forgotten the success of tint L.d
early life and middle age, those who on ??,!
member him in the sere and yellow when Z
sap was gone, let the announcement of his death
after ninety years of active, energetic vhnM
living deeply impress them that he whom toS
? daVred Wlth a loan ithou sed ty
of more than many another man's entire life'
deserves from poor living humanity at leas ta
EGS? fPalse' Tennessee is honored by ho
birth and life and achievements of A. S. Colyar
Nashville sharing in all this, yet shares a I
holding forever the dust of the honored dead
Washington Letter
Washington, D. C, December 23. Onco
again comes the proposition for the revision
of the tariff by its friends. And again tho
revision is to take the shape of an increase of
the tariff. Senator Gallinger of New Hamp
shire, who is serving his third term in the sen
ate, has offered a resolution which has for its
ultimate purpose the destruction of the reci
procity arrangement with Germany. Senator
Gallinger comes from a state in which there is
little manufacturing done. Tn the senate ho
is a sort of friend and philosopher of the repub
lican machine, not exerting any very wide influ
ence, but on the other hand having no serious
enemies. When he was elected to the senate
men laughed. He was a druggist and also had
a small practice as a physician. At first he was
known in Washington as Doctor Gallinger. Ho
has carefully eliminated that honorable title. In
the politics of the senate he has proved himself
a master. He has secured a position on tho
most eagerly sought committee, namely the Dis
trict of Columbia committee, and since the re
tirement of Mr. Babcock of Wisconsin is prac
tically the mayor of Washington.
Mr. Gallinger has alligned himself with the
men in the republican party who declare that
there shall, be no revision of the tariff unless
upward. His prominence gives especial force
to what he has to say.
These are the men who insist that the tariff
shall stand as it is or be increased: Senator
Foraker, Senator Dick, Vice President Fairbanks,
Speaker Cannon, Senator Lodge, Senator Crane,
Senator Gallinger, Senator Perkins, Senator
Guggenheim, Senator Cullom, Representative
Madden, Senator Allison.
But after all it is not worth while to enu
merate all. It is fair to say that the dominant
forces at the capital today stand against any
sort of tariff revision and that the Sixtieth con
gress will do nothing to relieve the burden of
taxation until after the presidential conventions
are held, and probably not until after the presi
dential election.
Following the lead of Senator LaFolIette in
defying that long established senatorial pre
cedence which cautions new members to be seen
but not heard, Senator Jefferson Davis of Ar
kansas, who has been but nine days in the senate,
delivered an address on Wednesday that at least
made the senate sit up and take notice. His
opening remark that he did not propose to re
tain his senatorial seat in silence until his hair
had become gray, or until he had grown out
of knowledge of, and lost identity with, his con
stituents, made many a gray haired senator
. wheel in his chair and eye the gentleman from
Arkansas many with astonishment, some with
disgust written on their features.
Senator Davis was addressing himself to the
features of a bill which he Introduced shortly
after congress opened, which provides for the
extinction of trusts and monopolies that con
spire to control prices and restrain trade, and
that also provides for the punishment of the
conspirators. The charters of such corporations
are to be Tevoked. Their officers and the co
conspirators heavily fined and imprisoned for a
long term of years, and the public allowed to
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