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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (June 14, 1912)
The Big Fight at Chicago
Tli Roosevelt and Taft forces assembled at
Chicago early In preparation for the big fight In
tho Chicago national convention.
R. B. Howell of Nebraska who at tho recent
primaries was elected national committeeman
,ln place of Victor Rosewater, demanded that h
be seated Immediately. The Taft men who com
prise tho majority of tho present national com
mittee announced that they would not recognize
Mr. Howell's claim. Later the Roosevelt forces
authorized the statement that they were not
behind the Howell demand.
Early in the day tho two managers, Dixon
for Roosevelt, and McKinley for Taft, issued
Senator Dixon's statement in part follows:
"Some of the Taft managers in their despera
tion have thrown out broad Intimations that a
majority of the republican national committee
would by revolutionary methods and strong
arm tactics- attempt to reverse the plain verdict
of the republican voters. I bitterly resent these
insinuations. We have no fear in resting our
case in the matter of contested delegates to the
' The talk of a bolt from the convention by the
Roosevelt forces Senator Dixon designated as
"junk." The senator pointed to the result of
the South Dakota primaries as evidence of the
triumph of Roosevelt, and added: .,
'"'The Taft machine in Ohio refused to sub
mit to the popular verdict the question of the
election of the six delegates-at-large'. They
boldly and insolently, in defiance of the express
wish of the republicans, stole the six delegates-at-large."
Congressman McKinley, in his statement, de
clared: "The sober second thought not only of
the republican party, but of the people, will be
further respected at tho pdlls In November by
the-, re-election of President Taft for a second
term. The campaign of bluff, bulldozing and
bluster which Mr. Roosevelt has conducted for
the nomination is drawing to a close. No ter
rorization or intimidation on tho part of Mr.
Roosevelt or his managers can change the re
sult. No compromise is possible as between
the candidates because the fight is already won
by President Taft."
,.R. B. Howell of Nebraska, later announced
at the request of the Roosevelt forces, he wouI4
not press his fight against Victor Rosewater.
Fred W. Upham, who will be a delegate from
Illinois, announced that he will introduce, at the
beginning of the convention, a resolution pledg
ing every delegate to support the nominee and
calling upon the credentials committee to deny
a seat to any delegate who will not make such
a pledge. It is claimed that a similar pledge
was adopted in the republican convention of
1880 at the time some republicans were talking
of bolting if President Grant were nominated
for a third term. . .
Washington dispatches said that the Taft plan
was to have Senator Cummins' name the first to
be presented to the convention. It was planned
to have Alabama, which is for Taft, yield first
to Iowa. Then Arizona, the next on the roll,
and also for Taft, would yield to New York,
when it would be necessary for some Roosevelt
delegate to present the name of his hero. Then
Arkansas, another Taft state would yield to
Ohio, and Ohio would nominate- the president;
then Wisconsin would come along with La Fol
lette, whose .nominating orator would, it was ex
pected, make a bitter attack upon Roosevelt,
leaving the worst possible impression with the
convention. Roosevelt representatives smile at
The first work of the national committee was
to elect Victor Rosewater its national chair
man. He will serve until the close of tho na-
. tional convention. The committee decided to
give 30 minutes to each side for state contests
and 15 minutes to each side for district con
tests. The committee also decided to have open
' hearings of the committee while the contest
is on. By a vote of. 39 to 13 the committee
is to give representation at the committee .hear
ings only to representatives of the five press
associations and not to any individual news
papers. Tho 39 represented Taft men.
Two hundred and thirty-eight contests are
pending before the national committee and
every hour will be taken up with this work until
the convention meets at noon on Tuesday, June
, , tfiyo proxies of absent members" of tho com
mittee were held as follows:
' Senator William E. Borah of Idaho for George
A. Knight of California. (Senator Borah thus
held two votes in tho committee.)
Thomas H. Dovlno of Denver for Charles Ca
vonder of Colorado.
Representative Henry Bartholdt for'Charlos
Nagel, Missouri. - . . ..-
Dr. 0. M. Landstrom for T. A.- Mario w of
Dennis Flynn for C. M. Sado, Oklahoma. .
- Senator Sanders, Tennessee, for S. A. Per
A. M Stevenson, Colorado, for N. B. Scott,
J. C. O'Loughlin, Chicago, for Sidney Blebor,
District of Columbia.
Senator Dixon, Colonel Roosevelt's manager,
had the proxy of P. T. Flanagan of Nevada, but
declined to use it because of his partisan in
terest in tho committee's activity. Ho turnod
this proxy over to ex-Representative Lucas N.
Littauer, a Roosevelt delegate from New York,
but the committee declined to admit Mr. Lit
tauer without a direct proxy from Mr. Flanagan.
Senator A. J. Gronna of North Dakota may
be chosen as the La Folletto candidate for tem
porary chairman of tho convention.
State Senator William Flynn, tho big republi
can politician of Pittsburg, visited Oyster Bay
for a conference with Mr. Roosevelt and then
hastened to Chicago to help in the Roosevelt
fight before the national committee. Newspaper
dispatches said that Mr. Roosevelt himself might
go to Chicago. Referring to the conference at
Mr. Roosevelt's home, an Associated Press dis
The question whether Colonel Roosevelt will
go to Chicago was discussed, but no definite de
cision was reached. The colonel indicated more
strongly than before, however, that there was
a chance that he would go by fixing approxi
mately the time at which ho would depart in
case he decided to make his fight at Chicago in
"I may go to Chicago at the end of next
week," he put it. "I have not decided yet, how
ever." The colonel was told of the report that Con
gressman McKinley, President Taft's campaign
manager, would invite him to attend the ses
sions of the national committee.
"I have not heard anything about it," he re
sponded. "If Mr. McKinley does extend the invitation,
will you accept?" was asked.
"I shall not answer any hypothetical ques
tions," he said. "If I do receive an Invitation,
I will say then what I shall do."
Colonel Roosevelt said he was in favor of the
widest publicity of the hearings before the. na
"I regret that all the representatives of news
papers were not admitted to the hearing," he
said. "I am glad that the press associations
were admitted, but that is not enough. In many
parts of the country, notably in New York, one
of our most serious difficulties has been the
constant suppression of the news, so that great
masses of tho people have been kept in ignor
ance of what has happened.
"I earnestly hope," he continued, "that the
roll call in the national committee on every
important point will be made."
Colonel Roosevelt said ho had heard that
republicans of Colorado had organized a pro
testing delegation to be sent .to Chicago In his
"The action of the Taft people in accepting
the, Taft delegates-at-large from Ohio," he said,
"after President Taft had been repudiated by
30,000, shows a deliberate desire to nominate
him against the will of the people. Such tactics
are bound to result in a reaction, whether In
Colorado or Ohio."
Following Is a special dispatch to the New
York World: Washington, June 1. President
Taft continues to maintain a fighting attltHde
and will not, he says, consider a compromise
with Colonel Roosevelt under any circumstances.
He and his supporters maintain that It is better
to sacrifice the republican party than to elect
Theodore Roosevelt president.
An early afternoon news service dispatch was
sent out of Washington today stating that Presi
dent Taft would not go to Chicago, that he
would be in Clinton, N. Y., at the time of the
convention, and that in case of his defeat he
would remain regular ,and not "bolt."
'The White house took cognizance of the dis
patch and categorically denied it. Presidential
Socrotary Miles gave out tho denial, which was
to tho effect, as stated exclusively in the World
of May 30, that President Taft and his sup
porters had but one aim in this campaign, and
that was "anything to boat Roosovolt." Ho de
nied the statement that Mr. Taft would not head
a "bolting" faction of tho republican party, If
ho failed to got tho regular nomination.
Tho national commltteo first took up tho
Alabama contests deciding ail of thorn In favor
of tho Taft dologates. Sonator Borah of Idaho
raised qulto a rumpus becauso tho chairman
put a Taft motion whilo Borah was speaking
but finally ho was given tho roll call ho de
manded and tho Roosovolt mon all voted with
tho Taft men In favor of tho Taft delegates
from Alabama. Tho Roosovolt mon said thero
was no good grounds for these contests and tho
Taft mon said that tho Roosevelt people only
voted that way in order to make a protenso at
fair play. Tho Arkansas contest was also
settled In favor of Taft.
On Juno 7th Colonel William F. Stone, sor-geant-at-arms
of tho republican national com
mltteo, asked Mayor Harrison to detail a num
ber of pollco officers for tho commltteo ses
sions. Colonel Stono said ho was promptod to
do this by roports that certain Roosovelt lenders
had prepared to tako stops to Intimidate tho
Tho Associated Press dlspatchos of Juno 7th,
said : Congressman William B. McKinley, director
of tho national Taft bureau, specified William
FHnn of Pittsburgh as tho Roosovolt leader
"whom he had boon Informed was expected' to
Btart trouble. Mr. McKlnloy also said ho had
received reliable Information to tbo,.offect that
Goorge W. Perkins of Now Y6,itf''bad been
called to Chicago by certain Roosovelt mem
bers of tho national committee to head off any
Flinn was expected to reach Chicago lato to
night. Senator Dixon said that if ho could pro
cure a proxy In tho national convention ho
would give it to Flinn.
Congressman McKinloy's statement regard
ing reported threatened trouble? was as follows:
"Rollable Information has been received in
dicating that the solo purpose of the coming of
William FHnn of Pittsburgh to Chicago, at tho
' instance of Theodoro Roosovelt, Is to take steps
to Intimidate the ropubllcan national commlttoe,
if possible, on its deliberations on the contests
of delegate's seats in tho national convention.
"It Is understood that tho plan which Mr.
FHnn Is expected to follow Is to organize
crowds of Roosovolt followers who shall make
demonstrations at the Coliseum for the purpose
of attempting to overawe the national com
mittee. "Roosevelt members of that body today
deprecated the plan, and it is said appealed to
Georgo W. Perkins of Now York, ono of Mr.
Roosevelt's most intimate friends to put an
end to it."
Mr. Perkins had made no comment on this
report up to tonight.
On Juno 7th, Sonator Dixon, a Roosevelt
leader, issued the following statement: "Until
tho roll was called on the Ninth Alabama dis
trict," says the statement, "I was not prepared
to believe that a majority of the national com
mittee was prepared deliberately to murdor the
republican party. The nation might as well
know the truth. Three minutes before tho roll
call was called on this contest Senator Murray
Crane of Massachusetts walked over to Mr.
Stephenson of Colorado, who holds tho proxy of
Senator Scott of West Virginia and said to him:
" 'Wo simply can not go on record in this caso
of seating the Roosevelt delegates; the case is so
plain the country will not stand for it.'
"Mr. Stephenson replied:
" 'We have to do it. Of course there is no
justification in fact, but if onco wo establish a
precedent we will have to yield in other cases."
"The theft was cojd blooded, premeditated
and deliberate. With the record of tho roll
call of the Ninth Alabama congressional dis
trict, I now deliberately charge that a majority
of the national committee, in violation of their
sacred trust as trustees of the republican party,
because of hatred of "Theodore Roosevelt, have
entered into an agreement among themselvs to
unseat all and every Roosovelt delegate regard
less of right.
"In his bitterness at being repudiated by tho
republican voters, Mr. Taft has now determined
If possible, to wreck the party rather than per
mit It to win with Colonel Roosevelt as its can
didate. But the national committee is not tho
national convention, as will be seen."
After deciding the Alabama cases the na
tional committee took up Arkansas, Florida and
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