The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, October 27, 1911, Page 6, Image 6

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The Commoner
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The Revolution in the Republican Party
Moro than two hundred insurgent republicans
from all-sections of tho country mot at Chicago
and in speeches and resolutions reflected tho
mighty revolution that is now going on within
tho republican party.
Tho gathering adopted the following p'iat
form: "We, republicans from thirty states In con
ference .assembled at Chicago October 16, 1911,
.believing in progrossivo principles declare:
"1. Tho progressive movement is a struggle
to wrest tho control of government in the na
tion and states from tho representatives of
special privilege, and restore it to the control
of tho people. Tho issue is the same in all tho
states of the union, though tho problem may be
presented in different ways.
"2. In the national field tho control of gov
ernment by special privilege is evidenced by tho
influonco and power of tho reactionary leaders
of both parties in checking or preventing the
enactment of the progressive policies pledged
by the republican party.
"3. Tho progressive movement aims to
nominate and elect as candidates of the republi
can party men who will with sincerity and
singleness of purpose represent its rank and
file, and carry out their will.
"4. The present condition of uncertainty in
business is intolerable and destructive of indus
trial prosperity. It is worse than idle to leave
tho question of whether great business enter
prises are legal or not, 'merely to judicial de
termination. Industrial corporations should by
affirmative legislative enactment, be given defi
nite rules of conduct by which business con
ducted in accordance therewith shall bo made
safe and stable while at the same time the in
terests of the public shall be fully safeguarded.
We seek constructive legislation not destruc
tive litigation.
"5. We favor the ascertainment of tho
choice of republican voters as to candidates for
president and vice president by a direct primary
vote held in each state pursuant to statute, and
where no such statute exists, we urge that the
republican state committee provide that tho
people be given the right to express their choice
for president.
"6. Constructive leadership being the urgent
need of the present time, it is necessary that
republicans support a candidate for president
whose record gives the fullest assurance of the
enactment and enforcement of sound progres
sive policies.
"7. Robert Marion La Follette, of Wiscon
sin, years ago found conditions in his state not
unlike those of the nation today. Under his
leadership, all opposition was overcome, and
there has been enacted in Wisconsin a system
of laws that stand as models for legislation in
all states of the union. Laws have been passed
in the state adequately regulating all publio
service corporations; equalizing the burdens of
taxation; providing for direct nominations by
the people; protecting legitimate business and
capital honestly invested; promoting the welfare
of labor in short, real representative govern
ment has been restored.
"8. The record of Senator La Follette in
state and nation makes him a logical candidate
for president of the United States. His ex
perience, his character, his courage, his record
of constructive legislation and administrative
ability meet the requirements for leadership
such as present conditions demand.
"9. This conference Indorses him as tho
candidate for the republican nomination for
president, and urges that in all the states or
ganizations be formed to promote his nomina
"Resolved, That we recommend to the pro
gressive republicans of all the states that they
at once organize by counties and precincts to
uphold the principles put forth at this conven
tion, each state to proceed in this movement
according to its local conditions, and we recom
mend that the chairmen of such organizations
report to and co-operate with the chairman of
the progressive republican campaign committee
already formed at Washington."
"In the raising of funds to carry on this
campaign we earnestly urge that a method of
popular subscription be devised so that the pro
gressive movement which is in behalf of tho
. people shall be financed by the people. We also
recommend that a permanent national finance
committee of flvo to take chargo of tho finances
of tho campaign be appointed by the chairman
of this temporary committee in consultation
with the chairman of this conference, and with
W. L. Housor, chairman of the progressive re
publican campaign committee."
The following telegram was read to tho con
vention: "San Francisco, Oct. 16, 1911.-
Deeply regret my inability to be present at the
progressive conference today. You are organiz
ing the people's fight against special privilege,
and if you succeed the next national adminis
tration will respond to tho best interests of tho
wholo people and at the same time safeguard
the interests of all legitimate business. Ninety
per cent of tho American people are progressive
at heart and it is but necessary to make the
republican party respond to the spirit of tho
people to assure success at tho next national
"I hope you will make an appeal to all good
citizens to actively Join and support the move
ment and give their financial aid as well. The
people must be made to understand that they
muBt finance their own fight. Let the average
citizen's dollar take the place of corporation
contributions and you will have an organization
that will be free to serve the best interests of.
the whole people. Business prosperity depends
upon tho confidence of tho people and this can
be secured by giving the people a voice in their
government and a fair deal for all legitimate
"In my opinion the one man who haB the con
fidence of the people and whose whole publio
career gives proof of his being safe and fair
for all legitimate business is Robert M. La Fol
lette, and I hope he will have the support of
your conference for the next republican nomi
nation, and if nominated his election Is certain.
Then the great and general unrest will end. All
honest business men can go forward in confi
dence and prosper.
"Health permitting I will soon be ready to do
my share in the fight you are waging for numan
rights. (Signed) RUDOLPH SPRECKLES."
Fletcher Dobyns, president of the Cook Coun
ty (Illinois) Progressive league (Chicago) ad
dressed the convention as follows: "Mr. Chair
man, and Gentlemen of the Conference: After
the many very able speeches to which we have
listened I shall not attempt at this hour to enter
upon any discussion of progressive principles
and policies, but I do want to say that although
we started s little lae In Illinois, that we have
started, and wo are going to be there at tho
finish, and we are going to be there strong.
"Last spring Mr. Merriam demonstrated to
the people of Chicago and Cook county and tho
state of Illinois, that it was unnecessary for
them to remain in bondage to the patronage
brokers and the bosses that have disgraced this
state for so long a time, and the people have
learned that lesson and the spell of bosses and
machines is gone. Now, we have started out to
win this fight in he state of Illinois. The
.bosses succeeded in defeating Mr. Merriam here
in Chicago because their spell had not yet been
broken, and they preferred to have a democrat
to a republican that they could not use for their
own ends. But they never can have that power
"Illinois Is a republican state, and we have
named for our governor a candidate who is a
thorough progressive, a man who for years has
been fighting for those principles in the legisla
ture of Illinois, a man who has been a progres
sive at heart and who has fought forjhose prin
ciples, and so we believe that in the coming fight
that we aTe going to win. We believe that Mr.
Jones is going to be tho republican candidate for
.governor. (Applause.) Wherever we go we
have found that the people are determined to
take the government of this state back into
their own hands. They believe that the patron
age brokers, the bosses, the spoilsmen have only
disgraced this state and have misrepresented and
betrayed the people and they are determined to
take the reins of government back Into their
own hands, and they are going to do it at once,
the very first chance they get which will bo at
the next primaries and tho next election.
"I want to say to you further that tho pro
gressive republicans of Illinois will stand be
hind Senator La Follette for president of the
United States. (Applause.) From every part
of this state has come the report from the
farmers, from the laboring people, from the
business men, those who want to see tho gov
ernment taken back into the hands of tho people,
who want to seo privilege and bosslsm over
thrown in this country and in Illinois, they say
they look to La Follette as tho great leader of
this cause, and wherever we have gone this has
been the sentiment and this is the sentiment ot
those who aro leading in this movement. So
we pledge you that the people of Illinois will
give their supoprt to the progressive republican
policies and to La Follette for president." (Ap
H. W. Rickey, editor of the Scrlpps' daily
newspapers, which are large in number and
powerful in influence, addressed the convention
as follows: "Tho spirit of insurgency, progres
sion, reform, or by initiative, or other name,
this great world wide movement for a square
deal for the common man may be called is just
as much alive and as militant in Ohio today as
in California or New Jersey or Wisconsin. What
is needed in Ohio is leadership and organiza
tion. "While I am not a politician and make no
claim to extraordinary political sagacity, I claim
to have some knowledge of political conditions
in my state.
"For 26 years I have been n the newspaper
business in Ohio; for ten years I was the editor
of an independent newspaper with the largest
circulation in the state; and for the past six
years have been and am now editor-in-chief of
a league of independent newspapers with some
400,000 circulation in the state.
"We have a primary law in Ohio providing
for the election of national convention delegates
by popular vote, and I have never been able to
figure out just why the political overlords of
the state permitted this law to be passed, but
we have it and in my judgment that it is the
opportunity which the, common people of all
parties in Ohio will take full advantage of to
put the state up in the van of those states that
have already emancipated themselves from the
grip of privilege.
"Robert M. La Follette can at least split even
with President Taft in the delegation to the
next republican convention. This is not a pre
diction, for I am neither a prophet nor the son
of one, but it is the statement of what my
observation and general knowledge of the situa
tion tells me is an obvious fact. But this dream
will not come true unless it is made to come by
leadership and organization.
"In the papers which I have the honor to
represent, and in dozens of others throughout
the state, we have ready to hand that vital
thing, a state-wide honest medium of publicity.
"Do not misunderstand me. Our newspapers
are not republican, they are not pledged, and
I distinctly disclaim that I am now pledging
them to La Follette or any other man. But we
stand for progressivelsm in both parties, and
the friends of Senator La Follette may feel sure
that when they throw down the gage of battle
to President Taft in his own state, they will
have honest and full publicity, and probably
"Just a word in conclusion. While progres
sivism in Ohio is ripe for picking, it can not
be picked by pussy foot methods or those gentle
men who, while calling themselves progressives,
are so judicial in temperament and so fearful
that business or some other conditions will be
"The leadership in Ohio must be aggressive,
as well as progressive. It must be undertaken
by men who are willing and will consider it a
privilege to make whatever personal and poli
tical sacrifice they may be called upon to make,
who are patriots before they aro partisans, who
are inspired by feelings of real sympathy with
labor, who are willing to burn their political
"The greatest care must be exercised in the
election of an executive committee to take hold
of the movement. I do not care to go further
into tho details of this particular phase of the
matter at this time beyond suggesting and
earnestly recommending to this conference that
you get busy in Ohio at once.
"It is 'not beyond reason, in fact It is quito
within the range of possibility, that before many
months have passed it will be apparent, even to
President Taft himself, that he cannot count
with any degree of certainty upon the support
of even his own state."
Senator Moses E. Clapp of Minnesota, de
livered the following stirring speech: "Mr.
Im. ?.