Newspaper Page Text
R. C. DUNN, Publisher. Terms $1.00 per Year. T/MJT BOOMER 1NG WITH STRONG SHOCK. Such is the Trespass ReportA Malicious and Contemptible Attack. Governor Van Sant's action in springing the timber trespass accusa tion against Robert C. Dunn, candi date for the Republican gubernator ial nomination, at this time has stir red up considerable indignation among the supporters of the Princeton candidate, but at the same time they say very positively that the net result will be to harm their opponents more than it will them. 'Governor Van Sant has killed Collins and himself, too, by this trick, and I think you will be able to notice that the effect is in this direction within a week," said a well-known Dunn factionist. "Why didn't they bring this thing up six months ago if it was so bad? They knew of it, and why did they wait to spring it after the State Republican convention had been called? It's the rankest conspiracy that I've seen for a long time. The people want fair play, and they are going to see that it is had, and for them to spring this thing at this time is an indication of the feeling of desperation that has gotten hold of them. "They don't accuse Dunn, if you notice, of any dishonesty, or of any crookedness of any kind. The law re quires that the auditor shall collect treble damages for State timber cut when wilful trespass is shown. "Now it's one thing to charge a man with wilful trespass and another thing to prove it, as anyone who has ever tried t'o prove a charge will readily tell you. You have to prove these things before you can collect the treble damages which the law specifies. When you think you have a man who has trespassed in his timber cutting, he can very readily get off for the mere value of the timber he has cut by saying that he did not know he was on government land. "Another thing is that the auditor has to depend on the report of his ^cruiser, as he cannot prefer charges against a taker of timber by guess work, but has got to make his recom mendations to the attorney general by the report that is made to him by the cruiser. If the cruiser reports that the timber appears to have been wil fully cut, then he is pretty nearly safe in recommending a prosecution, other wise not. "Governor Van Sant's anxiety to retain his hold on the State govern ment reins and keep his own friends in power is a little too much. He has liad his two terms, and now he wants to say who shall be put in to succeed him. He has done everything in his power to perpetuate his own influence, but the people have some rights to say who shall or who shall not be the next governor of the State, and I think they are going to be heard from. "In this case the evidence is all sprung from one side, without giving the accused a chance to met the charge. Now Judge Collins was on the bench for a number of years and he knows the value of ex-parte testi mony and I guess he would be glad to give anyone fair play on this point. It is all so malicious and contemptible that it is astonishing, but I think the Collins crowd will realize in a few daj that they have let out a boom erang which is going to come back to them and give them a strong shock. "Just what they expect the public to gather from these charges it is hard to say, but if the public reads over the whole matter it can draw its own conclusions. Mr. Dunn was for a number of years in the auditor's office and there is no doubt that he has siome knowledge of how it should be run. Do they accuse him of pocketing any money? No, they do not, but they simply charge that he did not col lect all that he might have collected not that he collected any which he did not turn over to the State. In fact they seem to labor to keep the people from gaining any such inference. "Their charges give a copy of a let ter that he wrote to T. J. Neary, of Walker? Does the letter read like the letter written by a criminal or a man who was afraid of anything? What does it look like? "Looks a little friendly, dbes it, for a letter written from a State official to an alleged offender? Of course it does. That's just where Dunn had no reason to be afraid of anything and he did write a friendly letter. There was nothing to be ashamed of on his part or he would never have written a friendly letter. No, he would have written nothing at all. Does a man who is going to take the State's money, or cheat the State, when he is paid for serving it, write a letter that will in criminate him? Not much. He would not put a scratch of the pen to paper that might ser\ to trip him into be ing caught. Does any man who starts to be dis honest do so by commencing a trap by which he may be caught? The most glaring feature of it all is that one might take the assumption that Dunn was possibly being lax for the sake of such a little money. If he had any in clination to be dishonest do you think that he would do so for a small amount of money? It does not stand to reason that a man in public life, such as he has been, and a candidate for office who is standing on his record, has anything to be afraid of. They have not accused him of taking the State's money and have not asked him to pay up."Duluth Herald. Partj or Office RingWhich Told the Truth? The quick recognition by the public of the low political motives that in spired the attack on the official record of ex-Auditor Dunn, a record that has been the boast of the Republican party and that has been influential in every recent State campaign, the dis gust that has filled every voter as he recognized the disreputable methods the capitol ring of officeholders are willing to adopt in their desperation, have driven the Collins organs to elaborate explanations in an attempt to show now that the attack was made only in the interests of the State. Their explanations are as flimsy as the charges which Sam Johnson con tributed as his share of the Collins campaign. Charges and explanations alike when tested by the facts in the memory of almost every voter in the State are transparent as the despic able motives that inspired them. Robert C. Dunn has personified for the Republican party of Minnesota the spirit of economy and upright ad ministration and there is hardly an official in office to-day who was not elected on a platform of which his record was a part. Has the Republi can party been deceiving the voters for these manj years or is this attempt to discredit his record at this late day an attempt of one of the most desper ate rings of office holders to maintain themselves in power? It is for the voter to decide. It is unnecessary at this moment to discuss all the ways by which Mr. Dunn conserved the State's property, increased the State's income, and re duced its expenses. It is sufficient to take up the State timber lands alone. The very beginning in the real protec tion of the State's lands was made by Mr. Dunn when a member of the legis lature. Under previous auditors where the trespasses owing to greater oppor tunities were infinitely greater, the amounts collected were ridiculously small. Mr. Dunn collected during his term of office fifteen times the amount collected by all preceding auditors. It is frequently impossible, as those most ignorant of the law can perceive, to prove wilful trespass. It is fre quently impossible to convict the offenders at all. Mr. Dunn in such cases secured the best settlements pos sible for the State and his actions were never impugned until he became a candidate for governor and the capi tol ring undertook to down him by fair means or foul. His actions were repeatedly investigated by legislative committees and were always com mended. A Democratic governor, John Lind, felt impelled by sheer jus tice to praise the administration of the auditor's office. Had Mr. Dunn stood on technicalities, brought suits at the expense of the State without the rea sonable possibility of recovery, his business judgment and his official ad ministration might well be criticised by every citizen of the State. This fact, however, blazes out so fiercely that Sam Johnson's little squirt gun cannot put it out,, that R. C. Dunn recvered for the State over $170,000 and all that his predecessors recov ered was $12,000. There was no attempt to cast doubt upon Mr. Dunnes wisdom or integrity until he became a candidate for gov ernor and interfered with the capitol ring who are using every means' to make their positions life affairs. An attempt was made by this same ring to get the last legislative investigating committee to hold back its report un til the coming session, intentionally forcing the inference that there was something wrong in the auditor's office, in order to hinder or defeat Mr. Dunn in his candidacy for the governorship The public, perceiving the despicable motive, demanded the report and Mr. Dunn was commended as usual, not criticised. It was in this crisis that Mr. Johnson remarked very sagely that if something were not found Mr. Dunn would be the next governor. He dug up these same charges which in this last report he has only amplified. The hollowness of these charges was immediately ex posed. To say to-day that a business action taken years ago with the best judgment and knowledge then avail able was not right and to assume years later that a suit could have been successfully waged when at the time it seemed a fruitless expense is the sort of criticism that the Sam Johnsons in life are constantly making. If this is a fair criticism there is hardly an act of business judgment that cannot be distorted and attacked in later years. But this attack fell flat and in this last period of desperation, when the call for the Republican State conven tion is already issued, a report con taining the same charges, a little more in detail, is submitted to the governor, by him transferred to the attorney general and by him given to the news papers. This was done with the in tention of galvanizing these dead charges into life enough by this formal action to injure Mr. Dunn as a can didate, and to do this at such a mo ment, if possible, that their unfairness and falsity and the despicable motive behind it all could not be successfully -exposed. If the attack on Mr. Dunn is not made by the ring of officeholders back of Judge Collins' campaign, why were these charges not brought months, yes, ears ago? It is only a few weeks back that these same charges were brought in a general way and ex ploded prematurely in Sam Johnson's hands. Since thenonly a few weeks he has had time to get at the details, it seems, so that, if Mr. Johnson's aim is of such unselfish character, he could have made this report four years ago. But Bob Dunn was not a candidate then and was not interfering with the plans of the capitol ring of officeholders. if the charges are brought without political motives, why did Judge Collins know about them days ago? He is not the governor, or the attorney general or the bank ex aminer. Simply because it was the desperate play of the capitol ring whose candidate Judge Collins is and he was posted by them on this as on all other plans. Why did the attor ney general immediately give the matter to the papers? If it is an hon est attempt to benefit the State it would be the natural course to serve the sum monses and complaints and not to notify the defendants in advance with a brass band accompaniment. If it is an honest attempt to act in the inter ests of the State then WHY DID NOT SAM JOHNSON BRING A REPORT ON SIMILAR CASES SETTLED IN A SIMILAR MANNER WITHIN TEN MONTHS? Because Sam Iverson is not a candidate for governor and be cause Robert C. Dunn is and because the latter's candidacy interferes with the plans of this ring of officeholders. Pioneer Press. Political Trickery. For years the News-Tribune has supported the candidacies and the official actions of Samuel R. Van Sant. It accorded him approval in positive language months before the Republican State convention of 1900. In the fall of 1901 this paper rebuked those who talked of refusing him a second term and showed that his -re- nomination was dictated by all Re publican precedents and principles. When the governor began the fight against the merger he was promptly assured of vigorous support in these columns. In the fall of 1902 no paper in Minnesota more vigorously and uncompromisingly resisted the attempt of corporate influence to punish him for doing an imperative duty. The News-Tribune always justified Gov. Van Sant in prosecuting the State suit against the merger and ever held that the failure of that suit in the PRINCETON, MILLE LACS COUNTY, MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, MAY 12, 1904. TRESPASS SETTLEMENT IMPORT AND WHAT INSPIRED IT 5o/ne Press Comments and Interviews Anent the Belated Boomerang Sprung by the State Capitol Ring-Clearly Evident gr That Report Was Inspired by malicious Motives-Cheap Device of Petty, Unfair and Indecent Politics. 3 courts in no sense reflected on his ac tion in bringing it. But the News-Tribune feels that the desperate attempt of this administra tion to perpetuate itself deserves the severest criticism, and that allowances cat no longer be made for Gov. Van Sant himself. He, too, has laid him self open to just rebuke. Those who have been reluctant to believe that he would so far descend from the dignity and duty of a governor of Minnesota as to employ the power, patronage and prestige of his office to the illegal and pernicious purpose.of dictating the choice of his successor can no longer doubt. Not only is the army of State employes busily engaged in promoting the candidacy of Judge Collins, to the damage of the public service, which is neglected, but they are doing this with the knowledge, the approval and the insistence of Gov. Van Sant. Not only is this the fact, but he, himself, is taking a direct per sonal interest and part in assaulting thecandidae of Robert C. Dunn. Tne books of Mr. Dunn, when State auditor, were at all times open to pub lic inspection. But it is now sixteen mohths since he left office. When go ing out he requested the legislature to appoint a committee to examine the records. The committee was ap pointed, it investigated and reported its approval. The question of his record was raised sixteen months ago, and raised because this very Van Sant crowd was circulating charges and rumors. The administration people, then, have had since January, 1903, to in vestigate Mr. Dunn's official record and make charges if they had any to make. It was not their policy, how ever, to act fairly and in good time. They held back what they had, to say as long as possible. Now, just before "tfee ^aujfeuses are to. be held, Gov. Van Sant comes forward with a report from Public Examiner S. T. Johnson, sends it to the attorney general recommend ing that suits be brought to recover money which they claim, State Audi tor Dunn should have collected years ago. The Johnson report specifies cases in which he claims that timber trespass suits were too cheaplv settled. But why is it that matters which were of public record and common no toriety years ago are brought forward and made the subject"" of charges against Mr. Dunn only on May 5, 1904? It is because the Van Sant-Collins ciowd knows that the facts given will not bear the construction put upon them and that all charges would have been refuted and have fallen flat if they had been made three months, or more, ago. With a disregard for common fairness and a contempt for public opinion that will recoil on them, they have held these things back until near the end of the campaign and have "sprung" them with the hope that there will not be time enough for Mr. Dunn's friends to refute and counter act them. Gov. Van Sant, Judge Collins, and their special advisers are all connected with this cheap device of petty, unfair and indecent politics and must be held responsible for it. This is not the first time that Mr. Dunn has been the subject of unscrupulous attacks, and is not likely to be the last, for, of such is the Collins campaign chiefly made. This unfair and impotent assault on Dunn shows how desperate is the Col lins cause in the estimation of the Col lins leaders. They seee the signs of the times and are cluthching at straws. Duluth News-Tribune. A Contemptible Political Trick. Sam Johnson, the public examiner, has made a last desperate and, unless we niistake the temper of the Republi cans of Minnesota, a futile effort to redeem his promise that he would drive ex-Auditor Dunn out of the gubernatorial race. The despicable character of the attempt reveals the desperation of Mr. Johnson and the ring of officeholders who are engaged in an effort to perpetuate themselves in office. There is little'that deserves serious comment in Mr. Johnson's re port to the governor. It contains only an elaboration of charges that Mr. Johnson has previously made and that have been met, explained and re futed. In brief, it is the charge that Mr. Dunn did not always collect treble damages in cases of wilful trespass upon State timber lands. As has been explained many times, in some instances it was impossible to prove wilful trespass, in other cases it was impossible upon the evidence obtain able to convict at all and the State auditor or his lawyers made the best settlement possible. One fact, how ever, stands out like the polar star: Robert C. Dunn, when State auditor, collected by many, many times a greater amount for trespass than was ever collected by any preceding audi tor. One of the leading cases cited was a case that was settled by the present auditor, S. G. Iverson, and as Mr. Iverson is not a candidate for governor it is presumed that he will be credited with acting in the interest of the State. Every legislature inves tigated the auditor's office during Mr. Dunn's tenure and the reports of the committees were always commenda tory. The last legislature appointed an investigating committee and no member of that committee was friendly to Mr. Dunn, but it had to report that his office was well administered. But where legislative investigating com mittees could find nothing wrong, it remained for Sam Johnson, the sleuth, to discover mare's nests. It is two years since Mr. Dunn went out of office, but Mr. Johnson did not think there was anything to investigate un til Mr. Dunn became a candidate for governor. Then to save himeslf and the capitol ring he tried and tried in vain to smirch the official record of Mr. Dunn. That he has accomplished nothing and will accomplish nothing to the detriment of Mr. Dunn is also certain, for the people know Mr. Dunn and the people are onto Mr. Johnson. It is not the character of the attack, for that is made up of exploded charges, that is worthy of notice, but the manner in which itj made. Dur ing all the months when that report could have been filed, nothing was leneHa*rthjra tfq tho een*re4 -commit tee has issued its call for the Republi can convention, this report is submit ted, promptly sent to the attorney gen eral and as promptly is given to the newspapers. Such a dastardly at tempt to injure a candidate, without cause, after his conduct in office had been commended again and again not only by his own party but by his op ponents, is almost without a parallel. Sam Johnson's personal part in the matter has the slight excuse that he dreads to retire into the insignificance from which he temporarily emerged through the influence of some per sonal friends, the ring that includes nearly every State officeholder, the ring that has traded and bartered offices, even to the supreme bench, in an effort to keep their grip on the State, will have to reckon, it is safe to predict,with the spirit of fair plav that animates the people of Minnesota*. Pioneer Press. NORTHERN MINNESOTA FOR DUNN. Duluth News-Tribune Correspondent Gives Many Reasons "Why. (Correspondence Duluth News-Tribune) Northern Minnesota, including Du luth, is almost solid for the nomina tion of Mr. Dunn for governor, and such a nomination in Minnesota is al most, if not quite equivalent to elec tion. The reason for Dunn's popu larity is very evident. He has hun dreds of friends over the northern part of the State, where he has always lived, and they are his friends on ac count of his big-heartedness, his liber ality, and his general good fellowship. He sees his acquaintances on the train or street or in the hotel lobby. He knows their names, and quite likely, their troubles. It is indifferent to him whether his friends are in broadcloth or red woolen jackets and German socks. A FRIEND TO THE NORTH COUNTRY. Besides this, Dunn knows the north ern country and how the peeople feel. He knows its wants, and in public life has always stood for this section. It would be difficult to name a single public institution north of St. Paul, from an experimental farm to a nor mal school, which Dunn was not efficient in bringing north. Dunn's friends only a few days ago attempted to bring the Republican State conven tion to Duluth. In this they were con sistent, and equally consistent were Dunn's opponents who insisted that it go to St. Paul, a Democratic city. In locating the normal school here, Dunn, as usual, was in line. No won der Duluth is for him. Duluth will want much of the State within the next few years. Just now we want the speakership. We won't get it if Dunn is beatennot at pres entbut Dunn will not be beaten. WHAT HAS COLLINS DONE? Duluth owes Collins nothing. He has never set his foot within our bor ders, except when he wanted some thing. An amiable gentleman surely, but what has he done? Just to please the St. Cloud coterie should the inter ests of Duluth be sacrificed? Hardly. Besides no one knows the judge's Xiem on Rublic questions, has VOLUME XXVIII. NO. 22. said little. Only once within thirtv years prior to Jan. 1 last, did Collins express himself, and that was about four or five years ago when he made a speech severely criticising the attitude of the McKinley administration on the questions arising out of the Spanish war. But Collins made that speech but once. Did he attack the adminis tration at Washington because he be lieved what he said or because he thought it a popular thing to do? Is he suppressing these views now, al though he holds them, because they are no longer popular, or has he changed his mind? But it is not im portant. DUNN AND STATE LAW. Undoubtedly Dunn has enemies. That is because of his energy and ac tivity. There is not a good law on the statute books of Minnesota placed there within ten years that Dunn did not have a hand in shapingnot one. And this made strife, and strife made enemies. Judge Collins made no enemies, for when any step in legisla tion was violently opposed even by a minority, the St. Cloud syndicate slip ped quietly into their storm cellars, there to remain until the storm was passed, when they emerged smilingly, loving everybody and everything. And when the big Senator Nelson was out on the firing line, about 1895, Dunn was with him heart and soul. When Moses Clapp was really in trou ble, where was Bob? Everyone knew. The Senator knew. Minnesota is proud of her senators, and Mr. Dunn had as much to do in elevating them as any other man in broad Minnesota. He was for them all the time. Really now does anyone recall that Mr. Collins raised a finger, expended a penny, said a word, or travelled a mile for either Nelson or Clapp? Northern Minnesota must stand firm for Dunn, and there will be no regrets. "INSPECTING" DUNN. Lately the officers paid to tend to the State's business have been "in- specting" Dunn. They have been try ing to "find something^" They have been at it two years. They have gone over the books, item by item, and not a corrupt penny have they traced to the hands of Mr. Dunn. They claim ^t^^ that he settled State claims against s&"_ Mr. C.'A. Smith, who is Collin's $&&&-- friends and banker, and others, on too easy terms. Now Mr. Smith is vouched for by Collins and Martin & and it is beyond doubt true that Smith's money is being spent for Col lins. Can Judge Collins object to Dunn because of a transaction with Smith and yet endorse Smith and take his aid? It won't work. It is too smooth too typical of St. Cloud. The fact is, while Dunn's honesty is admitted, it is only claimed now that he was not diligent enough. THE TRESPASS SETTLEMENT. He collected large sums from tres passers, and he states, as does former Deputy Iverson, who is at least neu tral, as yet, in this fight, that every settlement was honest and the best that could be had under the circumstances. This must be and is accepted because Mr. Dunn is the man who began vig orously to protect the State from tim ber trespass, and a large number of gentlemen whom he brought to book are Collins' men to-dav. And then the methods followed have been so in quistitorial and vindictive that no fair man can easily forgive the Collin's committee, however he might feel to ward Dunn. Just now Superior street rings with denunciation of the unfair tactics of the Johnson, Van Sant, Collins, Mar tin, Fullerton cabal, and Duluth is very solid for "honest Bob." ONE WHO KNOWS. Out of the Bushes. The Minneapolis Journal has long been the special organ and instrument of the State machine, which has so desperately striven to name Gov. Van Sant's successor, and which aims at 1 the establishment of a political dicta torship in Minnesota. While main taining the bold false pretense of editorial neutrality and fairness, the Journal has filled its political column with factional malice and misrepre sentation. But at this time the capitol machine is in a state of rage and panic. The Dunn candidacy is crowding down all opposition. In desperation the Col lins leaders have made a tricky and futile attack on R. C. Dunn, and the Journal has been stampeded into throwing aside the mask. A column and a quarter editorial and six editor ial paragraphs in a single issue all devoted to the exploitation of the at tack on Dunn's official record, which has cost Public Examiner Johnson so much time, the State so much money, the Van Sant-Collins clique so many anxious conferences, shows the Jour nal's real animus. After working off such an overflow ing opulence of political and personal malice the Journal must feel relieved, and the News-Tribune congratulates its contemporary on having come out of the bushes to take a stand in the open. By pursuing a straightforward and courageous course, the Journal may save some credit out of inevitable ~A defeat.Duluth News-Tribune. -v^ On the Rolling Deep. Young Mr. Martin, of St. Cloud, S has been swept gd far away from his prospect of being boss of Minnesota politics that he can't see it with a telescope.Duluth News-Tribune. 3 g "-X'& JZ$& s^^ll -ft "'Is?