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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 11, 1913, NOON EDITION, Image 14

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-10-11/ed-1/seq-14/

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national Popular government league
to help real democracy
Washington, Oct. 11. A milestone
in the journey of the people toward
real democracyhas just been passed.
Aroused by the persistent efforts of
the enemies of popular government
to insert destructive jokers in initia
tive, referendum and recall provisions
for states and cities where their In
troduction cannot be prevented, and
realizing? the necessity for an easier
method of amending the federal con
stitution to make it responsive to
modern needs, a meeting last night
at ihe Cosmos Club here 'perfected
the organization of the Committee of,
Fifty to promote the National Popu
lar Government League.
The committee has been in process
of organization for some time. By a
recent referendum vote by mail Sen
ator Robert L. Owen' was chosen
chairman of the committee, and
three vice chairmen, Representative
Wm. Kent of California, and Senators
Nonas of Nebraska and Poindexter, of
Washington, were also elected. Jud-
Jp son King, writer and lecturer on
upuxai v ci ixuiGiib, naa cigicu aa
executive secretary.
This meeting marks the beginning
of a nation-wide, non-partisan move
ment among influential men who be
lieve httne-extension of and protec
tion of popular government princi
ples. The gathering was attended by
senators, congressmen -and other
members of the committee who are
in or near Washington, and tele
grams and letters from other mem
bers were read at the meeting. Plans
were laid to conduct an active mem
bership campaign throughout the
nation, and for a national conference
to be held in Washington before the
close of the present year. Any citi
zen who believes in the principles of
popular goverriment may bftcome a
member of the league by payment of
a, -nominal membership-fee of $1 a
-Senator Owen, chairman of the
committee, in discussing the objects
of the league, said: "The National
Popular Government League and
kindred organizations are absolutely
essential to speedily establish the rule
of the people and overthrow the in
fluence in government of the corrupt
and selfish elements of the nation
that are now organized for the de
liberate purpose of successfully op- "
posing or perverting the popular gov
ernment measures being urged by the
friends of liberty. It Is a war between
the friends of humanity and the sol
diers of organized selfishness," he
continued. "We must enthrone the
conscience iu:d intelligence of the
majority, if we are to have freedom
of opportunity and the best develop
ment of the American people. Popu
lar government measures are essen
tial to this end. All men who appre
ciate this contest should get on the
right side.""
The efforts of the league are to be
especially concentrated upon two
measures regarded as fundamental
to all others and absolutely necessary
if genuine popular rule is to be es-
tablished. There are the so-called
"gateway amendment," and the ini
tiative, referendum and recall for
states and cities. It win also promote
city government by commission, the
direct nomination and election of
president and vice-president, honest,
mandatory direct primaries, effective
corrupt practices preventive acts, and
the preferential ballot
-The gateway amendment is de-
signed to afford an easier method of
amending federal constitution. Or-
f ganizers of the league point out that
it has been possible to adopt only
seven amendments since 1791. The
last adopted amendment income tax
required 18 years of fighting to se
cure. During this time the wealth of
the nation has escaped just taxation
for the support of the national gov- .
eminent iri a sum estimated at iiot ""
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