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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1895)
VOL. 10, No. 18.
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Lincoln, Nebraska, April 20, 1891.
A meeting of the executive committee of the
THE G1VIC civic federation was held this week. According
FEDERATION, to newspaper leport four committees of three
members each will be appointed in the near
future to look into the matter of municipal administration. One
will consider the question of water supply, one lighting, one paving,
and one legal affairs. There will also be numerous sub committes.
The civic federation started out to consider the different phases of
municipal government with a view to general improvement and
reform, but early in the campaign the organization dropped every
consideration save that of morals, and by a singular combina
tion of democrats, populists and mugwump office seekers, sought,
under the leadership of the man from Brownville, to convince the
people that its morality was the only proper kind of morality . Every
other kind of morality was cried down. The upotheosisof the man from
Brownville proceeded with much effect, Mr. Raymond and Mr. Hall
made daily exhibitions of their own rectitude and pleaded zealously
for the sanctitica tion of the city, the churches echoed the smooth
palavar of Mr. Bryan, and throughout the city there was much
talking and scheming and planning all under the guise of moral
reform. But it soon developed that the federation instead of being
managed by genuine moralists in the interest of genuine morality,
was in fact manipulated by genuine democrats in the interest of
genuine democrats; in other words, in the interest of the political
twins, tko man from Brownville and the man with the silver tongue.
Having departed from its original purpose as a non-partisan organi
zation to become the catspaw of two or three ambitious democrats,
the federation lost favor in the eyes of the peoplo and on election
day was engulfed in the sweeping tide of republicanism. Tho feder
ation by adhering to the purpose for which it was organized might
have obtained the co-operation of the majority of good citizens and
accomplished much good. But it allowed itself to be used, and tho
flickering torch of pseudo morality was snuffed out "mid cries of
derision. Citizens of Lincoln realize the necessity of a more econom
ical policy in the expenditure of public money and of a radical
reform in many of the business methods of tho municipal
corporation. They are, we believe, ready to lend hearty
assistance to a proper effort to bring about these reforms.
There is a field for an organization such as the civic federation at
one time promised to become, and if, upon reorganization, it shall
keep itself aloof from party politics and remain true to its purpose
it ought to receive the aid of all good citizens. The civic federation
can justify its existence by a general attempt to awaken the dor
mant public conscience, by trying to work inside of the political
parties to the eud that better men may be nominated for office by all
parties,by maintaining a vigilant supervision over all public acts by
considering and discussing publicly such questions as municipal
finance, paving, water supply, electric lighting, etc. etc. It must not
lend itself to any scheme to further the perBenalambitionsof any man
or set of men, whether they be republicans, democrats, populists or
prohibitionists. It may be in a sense political, but if it is to be suc
cessful it must be strictly non-partism,
Chancellor Canfield in resigning has imposed
a serious task upon the board
of regents of the state univer
sity. Tho university has made splen
did progress in the last few years, and there
must be no step backward now. It must not only not go backward,
but it must do better than keep even. It must continue to advance.
The success of the institution depends largely upon the chancellor,
Where will the board of regents find a man with the ability and the
energy to keep on in tho good work already begun? Tho position
is most difficult to fill. The regents have now to perform the most
important duty they have ever been called upon to discharge. The
selection of a chancellor is a much more serious and important
undertaking now than it was at tho time Professor Canfield was
chosen. The university is a much bigger thing now than it was
then. The present chancellor has lifted it up and placed it on a
high plane. Some names have already been suggested in connec
tion with the succession. They are the names of citizens of Lincoln
and Omaha, men of undoubted ability; but there is little
probability that the regents will select any one of
those whose names have thus far been proposed. To
to do so would be unwise, a? the selection of any of these men
would stir up jealousy that would be prejudcial to the university.
Probably the best result could be obtained by going outside the
state and keeping clear of all local interests. Somewhere in the
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