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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 10, 1911)
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legislative bodies through direct primaries, elec
tions and legislation.
"States and governments wore mado for man;
and at the same time how true it is that his
creatures and servants have first deceived, next
vilified and at last oppressed thoir master and
Mr. Justice Wilson in Chisholm v. Georgia,
2, Dal. 455.
O. The Extension of tho System
1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
The systom of the initiativo and referendum
has boon adopted by popular votes as follows:
State Year Yea Nay
South Dakota 1898
Oregon 1902 62024 5668
Montana 1906 36374 6616
Oklahoma' 1907 180333 73059
Maine 1908 51991 23712
Missouri 1908 177615 147290
Arkansas 1910 91363 39680
Colorado 1910 87141 28698
Calif, (latest unofficial) 1911 '138181 44850
Utah voted an amendment for direct legisla
tion in 1900 but left it to be executed through
enabling acts of the legislature, which acts have
not been passed.
Thus eleven states have already incorporated
the initiative and referendum into their con
stitutions. The legislatures of- the following states have
voted to submit the initiative and referendum
for popular ratification: Nebraska, Wisconsin,
North Dakota, Wyoming, Washington.
In Nevada', whore the referendum is in the
constitution, the legislature passed this year a
resolve for the initiative for the second time,
and the amendment is to be voted on at the
.As such amendments (excepting a defectivo
proposal in Missouri in 1904) have never been
rejected by popular vote in any state, it is not
impossible that, by the time the court reaches
its decision in this case, these six states will
have been addod to the list and that seventeen
states will then have adopted this system.
2. MOVEMENTS IN OTHER STATES
The legislature of Idaho has submitted for
popular vote the constitutional amendment for
In New Mexico the democratic platform de
clared for the initiative and referendum, but
only tho referendum was incorporated in the
Illinois in 1901 adopted an advisory-initiative,
and as above stated (I. B. 2), the legisla
ture of the state has refused to accede to the
demands of enormous majorities in favor of the
constitutional amendment for the initiative and
In Illinois (in 1910) both party platforms
favored the initiative and referendum.
In 1906 the people of Delaware by popular
vote instructed their legislature to provide a
constitutional amendment for the initiative and
In Delaware March 17, 1911, the house of
representatives voted on the constitutional
amendment for the initiative and referendum by
16 yeas to 9 nays, two-thirds being necessary
for a passage.
The municipalities in morq than one-half of
the states of the union have received charters
containing the initiative, and referendum.
In Iowa the recent legislature rejected the
amendment in the house by a vote of 68 yeas
to 42 nays.
In Kansas all tho political parties declared
for the initiative and referendum in their plat
forms of 1910, but the measure failed of the
necessary two-thirds vote in tho legislature. Tho
house of representatives passed the measure by
107 yeas to 10 nays; the senate defeated tho
measure by a vote of 23 yeas to 15 nays, a
two-thirds vote being required in both houses.
Governor Stubbs was elected on the platform
pledged to tho initiative and referendum.
In Michigan a vote for the constitutional
amendment passed the house by 74 yeas to 20
nays, but the senate defeated the amendment
by a vote of 15 yeas to 14 nays, a two-thirds
Vote being required.
In Minnesota, tho democratic platform de
clared for this constitutional amendment, but
the resolve was defeated in the legislature.
In Massachusetts a constitutional amendment
was defeated June 27, 1911, by a' voto of 125
yeas to 75 nays, two-thirds being required.
In West Virginia Governor Dawson in his
annual messago indorsed tho initiative and
referendum and prophesied the passage of the
In Ohio, Governor Harmon was elected in
1909 on a' platform pledged to" the initiativo and
In New Hampshire the democratic platform
of 1910 pledged tho party to the initiative and
In New Jersey the present governor is in
favor of such amendment.
In Pennsylvania in May, 1911, the judiciary
committees of both branches of tho legislature
reported favorably upon the passage of a con
stitutional amendment for the initiativo and
3. NATIONAL MOVEMENT
The democratic national platform adopted at
Kansas City in 1900 declared for the' initiative
On the 12 th day of June, 1911, a memorial
was presented in tho senate of the United
States from both branches of the Wisconsin
legislature calling for the submission of an
amendment to the United States constitution to
provide for tho initiative, referendum and re
call for legislation and officials and the initia
tive for consittutional amendments.
Within the dominant party a new organiza
tion has ben formed entitled the "National Pro
gressive Republican league." It has leaders of
great ability, and from the Mississippi to the
Pacific is rapidly obtaining control; it proposes
to contest for the control of the next national
republican convention. Its platform of prin
ciples is confined to five measures, designed for
the sole end "that the people may control and
hold tho officers responsible." These are tho
1. Direct election of United States senators
by tho people.
2. Direct primaries for nomination of elec
3. Direct election of delegates to national
4. Constitutional amendments for initiative,
referendum and recall.
5. Thoroughgoing corrupt-practices' act.
Tho force of this movement is made more
powerful by tho fact that both political parties
are involved in it, and that In many states all
the parties have united in its favor.
Senator Works of California, April 10, 1911,
in the senate spoke as follows:
"Congress need not delude itself with the
belief that this demand for direct legislation
comes from fanatics and radical reformers only.
The demand is universal and is supported by the
best citizens in the country without regard to
party. The absolute necessity for some legis
lation that will put the people in possession and
control of their government, and drive the in
terests and political bosses out of politics, and
the official life of the nation is too evident to
admit of question."
This sweeping assertion of tho strength of
the popular demand has been justified by the
enormous majority of the votes recently cast
in the senator's own state in approval of the
initiativo, referendum and recall.
As in all the cases involving Art. IV, Sec
tion 4, this court has denied jurisdiction, scant
consideration has been given to the interpreta
tion and construction of the provision, "the
"United States shall guarantee to every state in
this union a republican form of government."
If in the case at bar this court should under
take to review the powers, political or judicial
which are conferred by this provision, it is sub
mitted that many statements made obiter con
cerning it, may need explanation and revision.
Many important questions yet unconsidered
may be or become of supreme importance, which
are involved in the terms of the guaranty.
The second installment of Mr. Williams'
brief will be printed in the next issue of The
WAIili STREET JOURNAL, ATTENTION
If the Wall Street Journal wan Indignant be
cause of the declaration by Mr. James C. Mc
Reynolds that tho tobacco trust reorganization
plan was a fraud what will It say of the conduct
of the attorneys general of Virginia, North
Carolina and South Carolina? These gentle
men are officers of the court and yet they
make bold to use stronger language oven than
Mr. McReynolds used.
The attention of the Wall Street Journal is
respectively called to tho following Associated
Press dispatch: "New York, Oct 20. After
thoroughly studying the plan of disintegration
tiled by tho American Tobacco company with
VOLUME 11, NUMBER 44
the judges of the United States circuit court tT,
attorney generals, of Virginia, North Carolina
and South Carolina, who have been in conference
here on the matter for three days, reported thn
conclusion today that the scheme proposed will
offer no relief to tobacco growers of this coun
try. They furthermore express the belief that
should this plan be adopted the victory of tho
government resulting from the decision of the
United States supreme court would be a baT
'The conferees decided to filo tnm,.. .
petition in the United States circuit court askinc
that the southern states represented at the con
ference be permitted to file written objections to
the plan of dissolution and to be heard at tho
hearing set for October 30.
Attorney General W. T. Pickett of North Caro
lina, Attorney General J. L. Lyon of South Caro
lina and Attorney General Williams of Virginia
participated in the conference to determine
whether the plan carried out the decree of the
supreme court and would give southern tobacco
planters and others interested in the tobacco
industry in their states the relief desired. They
talked over the , situation with Attorney Felix
H. Levy, who is associated with Louis Brandeis
as counsel for the independent tobacco concerns.
ASK THE CANDIDATE
W. C. Hedgpeth of Phoenix, Ariz., submitted
a list of questions to the various candidates
in Arizona who asked for the offices of United
States senator and representatives in congress
at the democratic primary. Mr. Hedgpeth's let
ter as printed in an Arizona newspaper follows:
"To the candidate for United States senators
and United States representatives on the demo
cratic ticket: Dear Sirs As a democrat who
will help to select our party's candidates at the
primary on October 24th, I desire to submit to
you some questions in order that I may know
your position on the important questions now
before congress, or which are likely to become
important during your tenure of office.
"1. Do you favor tariff for revenue only?
"2. Do you favor free raw materials and the
placing of a duty only on manufactured goods?
"3. What is your idea of raw materials? Is
it the idea lately advanced by Joe Cannon and
approved by some (so-called) democrats, or the
Idea advanced by W. J. Bryan?
"4. Do you favor the repeal of the crimi
nal clause of the anti-trust law, or do you be
lieve that in view of the recent legislation by
the supreme court congress should make it
clear that all restraint of trade is unreasonable?
"5. Do you favor Senator La Toilette's bill
requiring all trusts to prove that their acts are
not unreasonable rather than the government to
prove the unreasonableness of their acts?
"6. Do you favor the election of United
States senators by popular vote?
"7. Which do you prefer, the amendment to
the constitution as adopted by the house or as
amended by the senate?
"8. Do you favor national laws (or if neces
sary an amendment to the United States con
stitution) providing for the recall by the people
of United States senators and representatives,
similar to the provision now in the Arizona
"d. Do you favor an income tax?"
"10. If elected to congress would you, as
soon as the amendment providing for an in
come tax Is ratified by a sufficient .number of
states and proclaimed as part of tho constitu
tion, work to secure the enactment of an in
come tax act, so drawn as to place the least
tax on those of small .incomes and the greatest
tax on those of large incomes.
"11. What is your attitude in regard to
"12. Do you believe in the publicity of
campaign contributions and expenditures both
before and after election day?
"13. Do you believe in the support of the
state governments in all their rights?
"14. Do you indorse tho 1908 national
democratic platform in toto?
"15. Do you approve the plan known as tho
Aldrich currency scheme?
"16. Do you favor asset currency In any
form? If so, In what form?
"17. Do you believe in the establishment of
what is known as a central bank?
"18. Do you favor legislation compelling
banks to insure depositors?
"19. Are you in favor of the bill now be
fore congress prohibiting tho interstate ship
ment of liquors In violation of state liquor laws?
"20. Do you favor an act limiting the terms
of office of federal judges and prohibiting their
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