The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, July 29, 1910, Image 1

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The Commoner.
VOL. 10, NO. 29
Lincoln, Nebraska, July 29, 1910
Whole Number 497
A Brave Governor
Governor Shafroth of Colorado has called a
special session of the legislature to carry out
the pledges of the democratic platform. The
first one is the submission of the initiative and
referendum and the others are equally demo
cratic. Governor Shafroth is a conscientious and
consistent democrat; he believes that platforms
are binding and is brave enough to insist upon
the keeping of the pledges made in the platform.
Success to him; he is making a record that will
give him national prominence and make him an
important figure in the counsels of the party.
Governor Shaf roth's proclamation follows:
"The purposes for which it is to assemble are
specially named in the proclamation as follows:
"First To enact a law providing for the sub
omission to the qualified voters of the state of
Colorado amendments to sections one (1) and
eighteen (18) of article five (5) of the consti
tution of the state of Colorado, providing for
the initiative and referendum, so that the legis
lative authority of the state shall be vested in
the general assembly, consisting of a senate and
a house of representatives, both to be elected
by the people, but the people reserving to them
selves power to propose amendments to the con
stitution and power to propose laws, and to
enact or reject the same at the polls independent
of the general assembly, and also reserving
power to the people at their own option to ap
prove or reject at the polls any act of the general
assembly. . . ' ' t- -
"Second To enact a law providing " for the
official ballot and the method of voting at elec
tions in this state by the headless ballot, and
prohibiting the use of any emblem, device or
political party or organization designation on
such ballot by which a voter can vote for more
than one candidate by placing a single mark on
the ballot, or by writing thereon any political
party or organization name or other name or
designation, or if a voting machine is permitted
It must not enable the voter to vote a straight
party ticket, or for more than one person by
the operation of one movement or device.
"Third To enact a direct primary election
law, or laws, for the nomination of candidates
for political office, and for political party posi
tions, and concerning and regulating the govern
ment of political parties and political organiza
tions, and a law, or laws, concerning the nom
ination, expression of choice for, by the people
pledging of legislators for, and election of United
States senators for the state of Colorado, and a
law or laws, concerning the registration of voters
and concerning elections in the state of Colorado.
"Fourth To enact a law, or laws, relating to
banks and banking, and requiring the guaranty
of deposits therein.
"Fifth To enact a law or laws, establishing
a public service commission, and prescribing Its
powers and duties, and to provide for the regu
lation and control of public service corporations.
"Sixth To enact a law, or laws, to define,
Tegulate and control common carriers in this
state; to create a state railnoad commission;
to prescribe and define its powers and duties;
to give to such state railway commission power
to fix rates and enforce its orders; and to enact
a law forbidding the issuing of railroad passes
and the acceptance thereof, and prescribing pen
alties for the violation of such lawB. Also to
enact a law prohibiting the ownership or control
of the capital stock of any corporation by an
other. "Seventh To enact a law, or laws, authoriz
ing the transfer of funds not needed in any
branch, department, bureau or institution of the
state to the general fund and to make an ap
propriation to defray the expenses of this special
Public Ownership of Public Government
As a people, we of Colorado aTe set on the
road to the better things In public life.
It has been easy In the demanding hurry of
business, In the struggle for material progress,
In the duty and aspiration of personal life and
its responsibilities, to leave politics to the politi
cians and government to the "governing classes,"
And the result has been the Inevitable, which
history has again and again recorded: The poli
ticians have conducted politics for their gain; the
"governing classes" have directed government
its legislative, Its executive and Its judicial func
tions,, splely for the enhancement and protection
of their special privilege, until politicians and
"governing classes," by their long usage and the
people's default, have assumed a possessory right
mid a clulm of Irrefragable title.
By happy circumstances, oy courage and wis
dom among publicists, and, most of all, by the
reawakened purpose of the electorate, we have
beon "sot on that road to better things" the
-public ownership of public government.
That Is the whole issue of these uprising
times: A renewed public ownership of public
government against the long prevailing private
Ownership of public government.
It is strange that the political prognostlcators
for the parties have failed to see In "Insurgency"
as It is variously manifested the new revolu
tion of the whole people against conditions which
oppressed the whole people. This revolution can
not be called by any existing party name; It is
not bounded by any particular party lines; It Is
not against one's party tyranny any more than
the other party's corruption, and It can not be
stayed by any piteous demand for loyalty to
regular party organization.
The News welcomes, from whatever quarter
and under any worthy leadership, every move
ment of the new revolution. We have no 'parti
sanship to be wounded by the defeat of private
ownership of public government, and no purpose
which is not to be fulfilled by a restoration of
authority to the hands of a' free people. And in
this respect The News Is but holding Its place
in the ever-growing ranks of a patriotic citizen
ship, which has determined that parties may be
useful agencies, but are dangerous commanders.
It is from this ground that the people of
Colorado will greet the proclamation issued yes
terday by Governor John F. Shafroth. It will
be long remembered as a call upon this state
for enlistment in the army of progress. A ful
fillment of its terms will be a compliance with
the pledge of patriotism given by a majority of
legislators when the people entrusted to them
the authority of law-making; a fulfillment will
enroll this state as a leader of the new revo
lution. The legislature will make a choice between
loyalty and torylsm.
It will take its stand as a representative body,
knowing and expressing a' people's purpose.
- Or it will be a tory body, coerced and cajoled
by old tyrannies and corruptions.
The governor has given his proclamation chal
lengingly. Ho is with the whole people of this
state for public ownership of public government.
And the whole people are with their own cause.
And the legislature must meet this issue.
Chicanery, evasive promise, multiplication of
questions and hair-splitting dalliances are now
alike useless. The Colorado legislature will te
with the state In the new revolution, or it will
brand itself as a tory mlsrepresentative of this
commonwealth. Editorial in Denver News.
Porto Rico
The United States Is In Porto Rico (and Porto
Rico In the United States') as a. result of tho
Spanish war. Tho acquisition of iho Island was
not contemplated In fact, although thoro had
In former years been talk of tho annexation of
Cuba, little Porto Rico seems to havo beon over
looked. And yet It now turns out that Porto
Rico was ripe for annexation, and is tho very
base needed for tho extension of our trade with,
and our influence over, tho republics of Vene
zuela', Brazil and Argentina. It is the key to
tho east coast of South America, as tho canal
zone Is the key to tho west coaBt.
Havo you ever seen Porto Rico? If not, you
havo a picture In your mind and It may bo as
Imperfect a one as I formed before going thoro.
I had learned that tho Island was, roughly speak
ing, one hundred miles long and fifty miles
wide. I could easily picture such an island.
I had heard that a military road crossed tho
Island from San Juan on tho north to Ponco
on tho south, and that in tho center of tho island
the road was about three thousand feet about
the level of the sea, and I pictured an Island
rising gradually from all sides to that height.
But when I reached Porto Rico I found a mina
turo Switzerland. Tho beauty of tho island sur
passes anything I had heard or read our people
do not know what a gem they havo In Porto.
Rico. Its mountains, its canyons, its deep
gorges, its rivers, Its water falls, Its fertile
plains, its rich valleys, it innumerable hillgIU
fields of cane and pineapple, Its cocoanufgroves";
Its coffee plantations, its orchards of orange and
grape fruit and Its quaint old Spanish towns
all combine to mnJcn the Inland OI10 Of lliu moat
delightful places to visit. To add to Its natural
attractions they havo built hundreds of miles
of roads so that one can now travel by automo
bile some seven hundred miles and see some
thing worth looking at every mile of tho way.
When Porto Rico Is known, It is certain to
become a winter resort for tho people of tho
north Atlantic states. Tho hotel accommodations
at San Juan are not tho best at present, but
arrangements havo beon made for a $400,000
hotel on the beach which will meet the require
ment of transient guests, while the moro per
manent ones will prefer a cottage homo sur
rounded by fruit trees and flowers.
It now takes five days to make tho trip from
New York, but it is only a question of timo
when larger and faster boats will bring the isl
and within three days of the mainland.
It Is about 1,375 miles from New York, 1,250
from Norfolk, 1,100 from Savannah and 1,000
from Key West. A new line from Savannah and
Charleston is already being discussed and it is
not improbable that tho railroads will one day
be advertising a "To Porto Rico by land" trip
by way of Florida and Cuba. A regular boat
already connects Florida and Cuba and a lino
from the east end of Cuba to the west end of
Porto Rico would reduce the water part of tho
journey to a minimum.
The effects of American occupation are very
apparent. First, in sanitation. Great progress
has been made in locating and eradicating dis
ease. Some three hundred thousand cases of
hook worm have been treated all but thirty
thousand by the official physicians. An appro
priation of $375,000 is asked for the completion
of the work. There Is no yellow fever there or
bubonic plague. Second, the products of the
island have largely Increased in quantity and
value. The cane, crop has risen from 70,000
tons to 300,000 tons and there has been a largo
Increase In the production of grape fruit, oranges
and pineapples. The grape fruit and oranges
are equal in flavor to any In the market and the
pineapples grow to enormous size fmme exceed
ing twenty pounds in weight.
But the most noticeable result of American
occupation is the Increase in the school atten
dance. It was less than 25,000 in 1898; it Is
now more than 100,000, and increasing. While
the United States has furnished the initiative
and done the directing, the Porto Ricans must
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