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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Sept. 9, 1910)
BEPTEMBER 9, 1910
municipality can repeal it for itself until ex
pressly authorized to do so by the entire state,
and this would not be done by the adoption of
No. 10. The state might adopt a state-wide
prohibition law, allowing no exemptions and no
county or municipality could then exempt itself,
though its voto were unanimous.
The amendment plainly means that the peo
ple of the state reserve the right to legislate
directly on state matters and that tho counties
and municipalities are to be allowed to regulate
matters of local concern, subject always to tho
constitution and laws of the state. If tho
amendment is full of the monstrosities imagined
by its opponents, they owe it to the people to
ferret out its authors and reveal their motives.
How about the principle of tho initiative and
referendum? Some of tho opponents of tho
amendment appear to bo hiding out on this.
Judge Rose indicates his opposition. Let others
show where they stand. If they really favor
the principle, let them draw up such a form as
they are willing to support. Then we shall bo
better able to divine the motive back of all this
opposition. DAVID Y. THOMAS.
Fayettcvillc, Ark., August 27, 1910. ,
SAME OLD FIGHT
George Judson King, field lecturer of tho
International Referendum League, prints in the
Arkansas newspapers tho following reference
to "Tho Joker inHho Bill."
"Aro you a friend of tho initiative and refer
endum and taking seriously this talk that
amendment No. 10 contains a 'dangerous joke?
"Do you know that just this kind of talk is
heard in every state where tho question is un
der consideration? Is not tho samo sort of a
yelp emitted every time the people are about to
take a .forward step of any kind, in any age?
Very truly, yes.
"If you knew tho fight has been made by the
corporations in other states you would under
stand exactly just what this attack amounts to.
Let me tell you just a little about it.
"Says Dr. William P. Hill, president of tho
Referendum League of Missouri, in a very re
cent letter: 'Corrupt interests are opposed to
the referendum and prevent its submission when
they can, and when they see opposition is use
less, they take the plan of submitting as bad
an amendment as possible.'
"It cost the Missouri League twelve years of
hard work and thousands of dollars to get a
good amendment submitted and they would
have given up but for the final strong support
of Ex-Governor Folk.
"In Ohio the light has been carried on for
eight years, and has cost some $15,000 from
hundreds of contributors and there has been no
amendment submitted yet. In Ohio the people
are demanding action and the corporation lob
byists are howling about the 'dangerous provi
sions of the proposed amendment.'
"In Massachusetts an amendment passed the
lowor house and was amended by tho politicians
so that it took twenty per cent of the voters
to sign a petition for a referendum. Even that
"was killed later.
"In Montana they fixed it so that they have
to distribute the petitioners over the state, which
makes it more difficult for the people.
"In all cases they demand a majority of all
votes cast in the election necessary to pass a
law. By this trick all the ignorant, uncast votes
are counted against the people's measures every
time they bring one to a vote. Enough.
"Do you know that amendment No. 10 con
tains none of these fatal restrictions, but is a
good amendment. And that is why all the cor
porations are fighting it. They want to scaro
you into rejecting this good amendment, and
then prevent the submission of another for
years to come, or else fix up ono for you to
vote on which wiU not be workable, and worse
than none at all."
ItOOSEVEIE AND THE TARD7F
It is to be regretted that Mr. Roosevelt did
not come out stronger on the tariff. Possibly
he Is waiting to discuss that more at length in
another speech. In denouncing special privi
lege, he ought not to overlook the fact that tho
tariff is tho mother of privilege and the greatest
corrupting agency In the United States. It is to
bo hoped that ho does not tio himself to tho
commission idea. Tho way to reform the tariff
Is not through a commission but by the election
of tariff reformers to the senate and house of
Progress in Kansas
Just read tho republican platform in Kansas
and seo what headway democracy is making
there. And if democracy is good enough to
endorse why aro tho democratic candidates not
good enough to voto for?
Tho democratic and republican state conven
tions for Kansas met at Topeka August 30.
Tho Kansas democratic platform follows:
Wo, tho representatives of tho democratic
party in tho state of Kansas, hereby commend
the following platform to tho votors as embrac
ing needed progressive legislation, imperative
and essential at this time.
When great men and newspapers deny tho
self-evident truth "that governments derivo
their just powers from tho consent of tho gov
erned" and substitute tho despotic doctrine that
"governments exist for tho benefit of tho gov
erned," when thousands of dollars aTo used to
corrupt the -electorate and our representatives
and cabinet officials use their delegated powers
to make laws and decisions to enrich themselves
and their friends, it is time for those who would
perpetuate freedom and establish justice to act.
Statistics show that $1 out of over $5 expend
ed for the necessities of liftf is paid in increased
prices due to our tariff system, thus robbing
every family of $100 a year, and wo demand
that all articles manufactured hero and sold
abroad for less than they are sold to tho people
of this country shall bo placed upon tho free
We reaffirm tho declaration of the national
democratic platform that privato monopoly is
indefensible and intolerable and must bo de
stroyed through tho power of taxation.
We condemn tho present republican tariff
law, drawn by tho few against tho interest of
We denounce the present national adminis
tration for having broken the pledges made to
the people two years ago and for having sur
rendered tho rights of tho people into tho hands
of predatory wealth.
The corrupting system of patronage has be
come a national and a' state scandal. That the
evils of this system may bo destroyed wo favor
the election of all officers, including United
States senators, federal judges and postmasters,
by a direct voto of tho people.
Until the constitution can bo amended wo
favor the Oregon plan of electing United States
senators and denounce the present state admin
istration for defeating such a law in 1909.
We favor an income tax law by means of
which the vastly rich shall bo required to bear
their just share of the expenses of government.
We denounce tho present so-called postal
savings bank law, enacted at tho behest of
President Taft, as a short cut for tho savings
of the Kansas people into banks of Wall Street
and demand its 'repeal and the enactment of
a true postal savings law in tho interests of
the whole people a law that will leave deposits
in the community where savings aTe deposited.
" Wo favor the enactment of laws prohibiting
corporations from issuing fictitious stocks and
bonds and for the physical valuation of railroads
and other public service corporation properties
to the end that these corporations shall bo lim
ited to just and fair compensation for services
rendered to the people, and bo required to pay
their just proportion of the taxes necessary to
support the government.
We pledge our congressional candidates to
the policy of conserving all natural resources.
We reaffirm our past declarations in favor
of tho enforcement of all laws.
In 1897, under Governor Leedy's administra
tion, with 1,366,787 population, tho state taxes
'were $1,333,954. In 1902, with a population
of 1,464,629, the state taxes were $1,997,354.
In 1909, with a population of 1,707,491, tho
state taxes were $3,193,074. An increased pop
ulation of 242,863 and an increased state tax:
of $1,141,720 is out of all proportion to tho
growth and development of the state and shows
waste and extravagance on the part of the
dominant party. We pledge ourselves to an
economical state administration and to require
all public servants to devoto their entire timo
to the business of tho state.
Believing that tho Intelligence of the voters
of Kansas is such that they do not need pictures
or emblems to guide them in the selectior
their candidates for office, and believing that
In a spirit of fairness it should bo as easy for
an elector to voto an Independent ticket as a
party ticket, we pledge our senators and repre
sentatives In tho Kansas legislature to voto and
work for a measure that eliminates what is
known as tho straight ticket, and provide for
a ballot stripped of all emblems over parly
candidates, and to provide that the names of all
tho candidates for each office on ull tickets shall
bo printed under tho samo head. This form of
ballot is known as tho Massachusetts ballot. In
enacting this measure into law it shall bo ho
written that no olector shall bo assisted by (ho
judges or clerks of tho election board to cast
his voto unless suid olector bo physically dis
abled from so doing.
Tho settlement of labor disputes concerns tho
general public together with tho employer and
tho employed. The state should intervene either
through receiverships or compulsory arbitration
to compel tho operation of tho industry affoctod
until a settlement is obtained.
Wo domand that tho present follow servant
law bo extended to cover employes in coal mines.
Wo demand tho recall and wo reitorato tho
demands of our state platforms for many years
for tho inltlativo and referendum.
Wo believe that our judiciary and public
school systems should bo removed from tho in
fluence of partisan politics and favor tho olectlon
of judges and school officers on non-partisan
Wo favor tho abolition of all unnecessary
Wo aro In favor of extending tho power of
tho stato railroad commission over all state
wide public utilities.
Wo commend and indorso tho state bank
guaranty law, passed by non-partisan voto of
the last legislature, and particularly call atten
tion to the fact that this is the only law that
has stood tho test of the superior federal courts;
and wo re-affirm our faith In tho principles of
our platform of two years ago as provided in
We aro in favor of amending tho present
direct primary ballot law so that a voter may
cast an independent voto.
Wo pledge ourselves to an aggressive and
progressive policy looking to tho development
and improvement of tho common schools of
the state, especially the rural schools, and
charge tho republican party with neglect and
indifference toward these schools of tho people.
Wo pledge our support to tho educational in
stitutions of tho stato wisely and economically
administered, and favor a policy that will re
move them from political influence. Money ap
propriated for education should bo considered
as an investment and not an expense, and boards
of regents and school officials should bo held
rigidly responsible for adequate returns on this
Wo bellevo that tho law known as the In
heritance tax law Is an unnecessary burden on
tho people of this state and should bo repealed.
Wo favor increasing the powers of the inter
state commerce commission so that It shall havo
effective Jurisdiction over all interstate business,
including express, telephone and telegraph com
panies. Wo favor amending tho long and short
haul clause of tho Hepburn bill so as to mako
effective the provision that a common carrier
may not charge a higher rate for tho short
haul than for tho long haul In tho samo direc
tion, thereby removing tho discrimination be
tween jobbing centers.
We demand the enactment of a maximum
railroad passenger rate law of two cents a mile.
We favor the publication of campaign contribu
tions and expenses beforo tho election.
Republican Platform '
The republican convention was presided over
by Senator Bristow. Tho Kansas City Times
report of the convention says:
"Tho platform was chock full of progressive
Insurgency. Every paragraph fairly bristled
with square deal sentiments. Furthermore,
every pledge was given boisterous applause, tho
ono regarding Colonel Roosevelt almost bring
ing tho council to its feet. 'Wo send our greet
ing to Theodore Roosevelt,' read Victor Mur
dock, chairman of tho resolution committeo in
that megaphone voice o .s. There was a
comma in tho manuscript from which ho was
reading but the council was not paying attention
to punctuation. It mattered not whether the
stenographer had written a comma or period.
The reading had to rftop while tho members of
tho council cheered and cheered again."
Tho republican platform follows:
x We, tho republicans of Kansas, In party
council, desiring to express our pride in the
traditions of our party, feel that respect and
veneration to those traditions and for tho his
tory we have made may bo most adequately
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