The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 24, 1911, Image 1

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The Commoner.
VOL, 11, NO. 7
Lincoln, Nebraska, February 24, "1911
Whole Number 527 .
The Denver Platform
VThe Denver platform contained the following
plank-on the - publishing of campaign contri
butions: "We demand federal legislation, forever ter
minating the partnership which has existed be
tween corporations of the country and the repub
lican party under the expressed or implied
agreement that, in return for the contribution
of great sums of money, whereby to purchase
elections, they should be allowed to continue,
substantially unmolested, in their efforts to en
croach upon the rights of the people.
"Any reasonable doubt as to the existence of
this relation has been dispelled by the sworn
testimony of witnesses examined in the insur
ance investigation in New York and the open
admission of a1 single individual, unchallenged
by the republican national committee that he,
himself, at the personal request of the then
republican candidate for the presidency raised
over a quarter of a million dollars to be used
in a single state during the closing hours of
the last campaign. In order that this practice
shall be stopped for all time we demand the
passage of a statute punishing by imprisonment
any officer of a corporation who shall either
contribute on behalf of or consent to the con
tribution by a corporation of any money or
thing of value to be used in furthering the
election of a president or vice president of the
United States or of any member of the congress
thereof. We denounce the republican party
liaving complete control of the federal govern
ment for its failure' to pass the. bill introduced'
in the 4as!brCongrest-o!?i;.7PUblicationa
of the names of contributors ''aW'tne amoiinfr
contributed toward campaign funds and point
to the evidence 6f the Insincerity of republican
leaders when they sought, by an absolutely ir
revelant and impossible amendment to defeat
the passage of the bill, as a further evidence of
their intention to conduct their campaign in
the soming contest with vast sums of money
wrested from favor-seeking corporations. We
call attention to the fact that the recent republi
can national convention at Chicago refused,
when the issue was presented to it, to declare
against" such practices.
"We pledge the democratic party to the en
actment of a law prohibiting any corporation
from contributing to a campaign fund and any
individual from contributing an amount above
a reasonable maximum and providing for the
publication before election of all such contri
butions above a reasonable minimum."
The republican platform contained no plank
on this subject but the republican candidate de
clared in favor of publicity AFTER the election.
Since the. campaign a -republican congress has
endorsed the democratic position, but it was
compelled by -the senate to accept the ropub
m lican pish in 'order to secure any Jaw on the
f subject. .""
- .For,-the first time in thefnatlon's history light
has been thrown upon campaign expenditures
and the source from which the contributions 'aro
drawn. Its is a step in advance and the demo
cratic party deserves credit for forcing the issue.
The fight will be continued until the publication
1b made before the election.
A formidable array of republicans have at
tached their names to the declaration of prin
ciples issued by the Progressive Republican
League. Read these, names carefully. This
declaration of war recalls the fight commenced
in the democratic party in 1895 sixteen years
ago. Will the progressives succeed in obtain
ing control of the republican party? Wo shall
see. They have an administration to fight, just
as the progressive democrats had;. they have the
special interests to fight, just as the progressive
democrats had; theyhavo the big newspapers
against them, just as the progressive democrats
had. Let us hope that the progressives will
control BOTH parties and give the people a
chance to win, no matter which partyv succeeds.
The men who ate and drank and celebrated at
Baltimore should give special attention to the
Progressive Republican League. If they (the
Baltimore crowd) succeed In nominating a Wall
Street democrat and the progressives put up a
real progressive republican the democratic
ticket will come out worse than H.did in 1904.
Keep your. eye on the Progressive Republican
League; and, by the way, is it not .about time
for the progressive democrats to get to work?
i mmm0
A Washington dispatch says: "President Taft
today. commuted the sentence of Fred. D. War
ren, socialist editor of the Appeal to Reasdn.
Warren was sentenced to six months' Imprison
ment and fined $1,500 for sending libelous mat
ter through the mails. Commutation was grant
ed without any appeal by Warren for mercy. The
case was presented to the president by Repre
sentative Campbell of Kansas. As commuted,
the sentence for imprisonment is eliminated and
the fine reduced to $100, to be collected by civil
process only."
The president is to be commended for his
good sense. They "made a mountain .out of a
mole hill" in the Warren case and Warren's im
prisonment would have made much trouble for
the administration. Already men in every sec
tion of the country were asking, "Why does not
the administration reserve some of its prosecu
tion energy for trust magnates?"
The New Orleans Picayune, in criticising
the Arizona constitution, attacks the recall,
especially as applied to judicial officers. The
Picayune says: "An elective judiciary is about
the limit of the concessions that it is safe to
make to popular opinion." "Concession" that
is good. Who is this superior person who is
making such concessions as are safe to "popu
lar opinion?" One might suppose us living under
a monarchy and securing such concessions as
the king felt it safe to grant. The Picayune
uses the language of the aristocratic and' pluto
cratic crowd which fears "popular opinion" and
steadfastly believes that unpopular opinion
should cbntrol. The recall is feared by such
because it is democratic and increases the power
of the people.
Henry Wade Rodgers, dean of the Yale law
school, speaking at a dinner given at Providence
recently said: "I was saying to one of the
members here this evening that I had been told
that a few years ago eight per cent of the voters
of Rhode Island ruled the other ninety-two per
cent. He replied that I was misinformed, for
at the present time it was four per cent."
i And this is "popular government!"
Arizona at the Door
. To President Taft: Arizona stands at tk
door and knocks will you admit her to tfct
sisterhood of states'? She deserves well at tht
nation's hands. Her people aro the bravest of
the bravo, and they are as intelligent as they
are bravo, and as industrious as they aro intelli
gent. They havo forced the mountains to give
up their wealth of mineral treasure; they havo
converted vast stretches of desert into gaTdons
and fields; and, they aro patient, too. They
havo desired statehood for years' and they have
deserved It, too, but hope has boon deferred.
At last, an enabling act was passed, and a
constitutional convention was elected. That
convention prepared a constitution and that con
stitution has been ratified by an overwhelming
majority. Will you extend the hand of welcome
or will you ubo your position to deny them
the recognition that they crave? A corporation-controlled
press and some ambitious office
holders seemed to speak for you and threaten
the people of Arizona if they dared to adopt
such a constitution as they desired, but they
did you honor to believe that you would havo
spoken to them directly, rather than through
such agents, if you had desired to warn them.
It ought to bo gratifying to you to know that
they have shown an independence which proves
their capacity for self-government. If Ihelr con
stitution contains anything repugnant to the
constitution of the United States, tho supremo
court can be trusted to nullify it. Can you ask
more? , If, however, there is any provision
which, while not a violation of the federal con
stitution, is so objectionable to you that you
wish it submitted separately, ask congress "to
authorize a vote upon it where state officers
are eledtod. If there is any provision so objec
tionable as in your judgment to justify you
Jn rejecting the constitution unless amended,
do not put the people to the delay and trouble
of writing a new constitution, ask congress to
make the elimination of such provision a con
dition precedent to admission. They can
eliminate it when they hold their state election.
Make any conditions you please, but do not
reject their constitution.' Let them come in,
and tho career of the state will be such that
you will find increasing pleasure in the fact
that you proclaimed Arizona a state.
Abstract of address delivered by Mr. Bryan,
at Tucson, Arizona, February 7, 1911, in favor
of tho ratification of the Arizona constitution:
The Constitution should be ratified, first, be
cause it is good and deserving of approval, and,
second, because it contains provisions by which
any defects found in it may easily be corrected.
. It is good because it contains all the safe
guards which experience suggests. It keeps
pace with the progress of tho time. Govern
ment, liko all other institutions, grows. Our
government is the most perfect form yet
devised, because it most nearly reflects the senti
ments of the people. That government is the
most perfect which can most easily be made
to reflect the virtue and intelligence of tho
people it improves, as the people improve.
Progress is evident all over the world. There
is not a country with any degree of civilization
in which the government does not show signs
of growth, and everywhere the growth Is in
the same direction, namely, in tho direction of
bringing the government nearer to the people,
and making It more responsive to the will of
the people. Our nation is no exception to the
rule. We have, within the last two years,
submitted an amendment to the federal con
stitution, specifically authorizing an income tax,
and this amendment is being ratified by the
states. We are just about to submit an amend
ment providing for the election of United States
senators by direct vote of the people. This
will bo submitted by the next congress, if not by
this, and is sure to be ratified by the people.
The change will mark an epoch in our nation's
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