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EDITORIAL PAGE OF THE MONTANA NONPARTISAN SEPT. 6, 1919
;;;E3E3- ;·;·;;;Z3;E;i Montana Nonpartisan OFFICIAL ORGAN OF NONPARTISAN LEAGUE IN MONTANA Pablished Weekly at Great Falls, Montana, by the Montana Nonpartisan. Entered as second class matter, November 80, 1918, at Great Falls, Mon tans, under the act of March 8, 1879. Place of Publication, Great Falls, Montana, November 80, 1918. b PUBLISHED EVERY SATURDAY ONE DOLLAR PER YEAR All communcations should be addressed to the Montana Nonpartisan, Box 165, Great Falls, Montana. The Montana Nonpartisan will accept advertise menats.of reliable firms desiring to do busines with the people of Montana. Advertising rates will be furnished on application. MONTANA'S TAX OUTRAGE Following close on the heels of the special session of the Montana legislature which robbed the people of the open primary in bold defiance of the will of the people as expressed in the referendum petitions, and refusing state aid to drought-stricken farmers, the State Board. of Equalization perpetrates another outrage in permitting seven big corporations of the state to escapt taxation on $105,000,000 worth of property! This action was taken in bold defiance of the law which plainly states that all property shall be assessed at its true and full value. Attorney General Ford, himself a member of the board, advised • them that they were wrong, and pointed out that cognizance should a be taken of the SWORN STATEMENT OF THE VALUE OF PRO PERTY FILED WITH THE UTILITIES COMMISSION BY THESE CORPORATIONS, UPON WHICH THE RATES ARE BASED UN- r DER WHICH THEY LEVY TOLL FROM THE PUBLIC. But no! This august body of men elected to serve the people, flauntingly decree that corporations can make rates which will pro duce a fat income on a high valuation, and be assessed on a valuation $105,000,000 less ! Farmers, small business men and laborers shall be assessed on a full and true valuation, while the fat boys can get away on about one third of their real valuation. So be it. If the Gangsters of Montana want to go before the people on such a record the Nonpartisan League and Organized Labor willingly accepts the challenge. We urge every resident of Montana to read the story of this outrage by the State Board of Equalization.......Read it carefully and then read it again. When you pay your taxes on your little home, on your mortgaged farm and your livestock all assessed at 100 per cent of its value, just remember the seven big corporations that have escaped without pay ing ONE CENT ON $105,000,000 THAT WE KNOW OF, and the good Lord only knows how much that we KNOW NOTHING OF. We invite the Loyalty League of Montana, which is fond of com paring Nonpartisan League stricken North Dakota conditions with Gang ridden Montana, to make a few comments on this proposition AND PLACARD BANKS AND ELEVATORS. Men and women of Montana, is it not high time to start a thor ough housecleaning in this state and get men in the state-house and legislative halls who will at least make an honest attempt to serve the people of the whole state and not the privileged few! "Gov. Sam V. Stewart's car and one driven by Miss Virginia Dutton collided in Helena near the Capitol. The Dutton machine was wrecked but no one was hurt" reads a news item from Helena. Gov. Sam's political car is also due for a collision soon, head on, and the League-Labor Chauf feurs in the other political car will have the throttle opened wide. In this instance some one WILL be hurt. Both Gov. Sam and his car will be completely wrecked. Even the copper trimmings will be nothing but scrap after the jolt. THE REMEDY It is at times interesting, at times amusing and at times distress ing to note what is said and written abouit the High Cost of living and its cure. It.is absolutely ludicrous at other times to note what is actually being DONE. In Montana the "investigations" will start, so the commission announces, about Oct. 1. Of course the law passed by the special session of the legislature provides that what is discovered by the investigation must remain a profound secret in the breasts of the investigators--it is a serious crime under the law proposed, to divulge any of the information to the people. The people must be content to kno~w that an investigation is going to be started-sometime-to attempt to locate the profiteers and hoarders. If some farmer is found with two fat pigs he is apt to be arrested as both a profiteer and a hoarder-spe ally f he belongs to the Non partisan League. We haven't Ipoked up the law to discover whether t is a crime for a laboring man to possess both working clothes and a Sunday-go-to-meeting outfit. However we will venture the assertion that the concern that per mits a carload of melons or potatoes to rot or freese while holding them off the market to keep the price up, is-in no danger of arrest or undesirable publicity from official sources. The remedy suggested by President Budden of the Cascade Trades, and Labor Assembly, namely that all producers be given a slightly greater share of what he produces, and the portion of the - profiteer shaveda littlre-it, mighth-rmiantm - r-c ie littl greater degree of attention with profitable results. And this holds true whether he produces wheat, beef, coal, beans or any other com. modity for the preservation or comfort of human beings. "The railroads are having such a tough time of it we will just make them a present of two thirds of the taxes they should pay" said the ma jority of the State Board of Equalisation. What a tenerous bunch! Just as like as net some low-brewed Nonpartisan Leaguer or one of Towney's joy-killHg papers will bob up with the gentle sugesti.a that it beinl up against tough times provides an excuse for viola the oath of office and eneouraging tandodins, there are quite a bunch of dried-out farmers in the state who would have a reasonable claim for some consideration. We hope no ene makes any such tofeel suggestio. AN EDITORIAL JUST FOR LEAGUE MEMBERS We want to take ydu out behind the cow-shed and have just two minutes private conversation with you about a little business matter. We want to ask you if you realise that your paper, the Montana Non prtisan, has the largest ciroulation, over 25,000, of any paper in Rontan? That means that it is read by 125,000 people every week. That means it is the best advertising medium in the state. You also notice that all the papers fighting the League carry more adver tising, than we do. ' Now you can help change things. First if you have anything to sell, advertise it in the Montana Nonpartisan; second, if you want to 'buy anything advertise for it in this paper, or buy it of some one who is advrtisng in this paper the thing you want. Advertise your breeding stock, your seed, hay, or anything you have for sale in the Montana Nonpartisan. Finally read the advertisements in the Montana Nonpartisan very week and make it a point to patronize the advertisers in your own papr f you want anything in that line, and write or tell them you read the advertisement in this paper. Of course this paper was no started as an advertising medium, but whatever is received from advertising means just that mnoh more money to be used in fighting YOUR battles, and the battle is going to be a big one because In eu. you are going "over the top" in Mon. tas. If the 25,000 subscribers will just bear this little talk in mind, advertisers will wake up to the fact that they cannot afford to ignore the farmers paper. No other paper can give the service that yoear i can, and while advertising is not the mission of the Montana iit should recive the recognition that its 25,000 farmer Big Business won't give us any advertising, and we don't want I any business from profiteers. We do want legitimate business and you can give us a lot and induce others to give us a lot more if you just think of it. Let's conduct just a little advertising campaigning all by our selves. Make it a point to see if what you need is advertised in the Montana Nonpartisan before you make .your purchase, and if you have anything to sell send the advertisement to us. You know that any project backed by 25,000 live subscribers is bound to be a success. That's all. Now we can finish slopping the hogs and then eat a" little snack. k Now watch carefully for the Kept Press to report or comment on ii the solution for the H. C. of L. problem offered by President Budden of the Cascade Trades and Labor Assembly in his Labor Day address at n Great Falls. It was very simple, and he spoke very plainly. "Labor must receive a greater share of what it produces, whether the product is over alls, coal or beans." No siree! the Kept Press will neither quote nor corn ment on any such seditious utterances. It would be malfeasance to its a masters. .. Montana Power Co. Is Chief b Beneficiary In Dodging Taxes (Continued from Page 1) e PERCENT as compared with increases of from 5 to 33 1-3 per cent n on farms and real estate and 5 to 100 per cent on livestock. Compare the gentle kid-glove treatment accorded the poor cor porations to the ruthless raise given the property owned by th8 farm rs and laboring people! THE WORST YET TO COME The manner in which the Montana Power Co. and its subsidiary companies, the Great Falls Power Co. and the. Thompson Falls t Power Co., were allowed to escape taxation, is, however the worst crime perpetrated by the State Outrage board. THE POWER TRUST JOKE Total assessments by countieh : Montana Power Co......................................$14,567,585 t Great FallsPower Co.............................. 7,436,540 Thompson Falls Power Co....................... 2,706,187 Montana Res. & Irrig. Co........................ 1,026,385 Total ........... ........................ ............ $25,736,697 Assessment made by State Board....... 4,905,950 THEIR OWN FIGURES Cost of Plant June 30, 1918, according to sworn Reports filed with Public Utilities Com. at Helena Mont. Power Co ....................................50,609,473.11 Great Falls Power Co ........................ 21,218,069.12 Thompson Falls Power Co................. 8,422,583.88 Total Value.......................$80,250,126.11 County Assessment, ..................$25,736.697 30 percent on local plants County Assessment .................... 4,905,950 40 percent on Power and Transmission Total assessment of all property $30,642,647 In other words, the State Board of Equalization boldly and de fiantly permitted $50,000,000 worth of property which is paying its i wealthy stockholders fat dividends- taken from its patrons TO ES CAPE TAXATION ENTIRELY, thus adding to the tax burdens which others must pay. LESS THAN LAST YEAR Last year the Montana Power Company and its subsidiary concerns paid taxes on a valuation of $10,846,000, while this year paying for taxation purposes on a basis of 30 per cent on 5 what it is assessed by the counties, and 40 per cent on power and transmission assessed by the state it will pay taxes on a total n valuation of but $9,783,789, OR ON OVER $1,000,000 LESS THAN LAST YEAR. e Everyone else sees their taxes boosted, but the Montana a Power Co., poor thing, GETS A DECREASE. o BELL TELEPHONE CO. HIT Just one corporation, The Mountain States Telephone and Tele g graph Co. was given a substantial increase of 35 per cent over last d year. This company (a part of the Bell System) filed a statement of the value of its property with the Utilities Commission, placing d it at $7,643,584 in Dec. 1917, and it is worth more now. It was L. assessed by the state board at $5,550,000.. This is $2,000,000 less than a it should be, but nearer correct than the other corporation property. a It was discriminated against probably because it is an outside corpora tion, or maintains a smaller slush fund. MEANS A TREMENDOUS LOSS The action of the State Board in permitting the railroads Power companies and other corporations to escape taxation of a Le total of $105,000,000, and probably considerably more than that, a means that the various counties and the State of Montans will lose in taxes collected anywhere from $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 ig a -taes-lr aullrxd- ear. ANIDWHATEVzE, I UM THBIN i RIOH CORPORATIONS ESCAPE BY TAX DODGING MUST . BE ADDED TO THE TAXES OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN HONESTLY ASSESSED AS THE NEW LAW PROVIDED. The Montana Nonpartisan will later have more to say regarding the Tax Outrage and the men who perpetrated it, and why they gave ear to the corporation attorneys and utterly ignored the advice of the attorney general of the state who is paid by the people to give them legal advice. Who are the state officials composing the State Board of Eqpal ization serving, the people or the corporations STILL AT IT AND ITS ALL S vo~UIVFOR Smooth tongued promoters are at work in Montana attempting to persuade the farmer to exchange his Liberty bond for worthless stock in various ventures.. DON'T LET THEM DO IT. EDITOR RHODES TELLS STORY OF INTERVIEW WITH TRAVELING MAN In the last issue of the Valley County News, Editor Rhodes has the following story relative to a certain type of commercial traveling men who, following instructions, insist upon talking things they don't know anything about or, knowing better, repeat, parrot-like, any story they are instructed to tell. .Ilere is the way Editor Rhodes puts it: "Some people wonder why so many commercial travelers or sales men spend more time talking politics, or against the Nonpartisan League, than they do selling goods to their customers. The answer is easy, and the cause just as easily explained. Traveling salesmen are representatives of that phase of commercial life known to be this side of the producer and manufacturer and above or between the lat ter and the retailer who sells direct[ 4.. . 41 .. . , , , I ,w,., , .. I ter and the retailer who sells direct to the consumer. These "go between" business manipulators, who are de scribed by Major Leo S. Horst as "the man on the bridge" who produces nothing and who irsists on toll for a service that is superfluous, repre sent to a large extent the "big inter ests' of the country, and they must necessarily depend on the perpetua tion of present business methods for their commercial existence. Just Following Instructions t Therefore, when you hear a travel- t ing salesman harping on the old ob- c solete campaign argument of protec tion for American industries, when c America is the greatest nation, com mercially, in the world, or you hear them delivering a tirade against the party in power or the Nonpartisan League, you can rest assured they are merely following the instructions of "the house." The writer encountered i one of these individuals at a railroad station some weeks ago, just after I the Townley trial (?) at Jackson, Minn. The traveling salesman was an elderly man, and was really old I enough to know better. Our conver sation soon drifted to politics, and he commenced to tell us some of the ridiculous things the League stands for. Story Well Learned. "We let him unwind until we found him nearing the close of his well learned anti-League story, and then we commenced to ask him a few questions. He endeavored to defend his story, and finally admitted that the League would put an end to the business methods that gave him his job. He tried also to prove that he was telling the truth about the League because he could read such reports almost every day in the St. Paul Dispatch, the Grand Forks Her ald and the Helena and Butte papers. We then commenced to tell him about the nine planks that make up the sum total of what the League stands for in the Montana program, and he swelled up and exploded: "So you are one of those Townley bolsheviks, are you?" Not A League Member We immediately corrected him and informed him that the writer was not; nor are we a member of the Nonpar tisan League but we have studied the League and all that it stands for, during the past two-years, and have worked with some of the League's leaders and most enthusiastic mem bers. "During that time we have found that its organization work is more representative of its membership than we ever found the Republican party to be, and that if Townley was the originator of the campaign plan used so successfully by the League, he should be commended as a great poli tical leader rather than attacked and persecuted as a despotic crook. Marvels At Small Fees. "After , going through one campaign in co-operation with the League, and seeing the per sonal sacrifices of some of the leaders and campaign speakers and organizers, we found out why it is that the League can carry on so great and successful a work on the suall membership of $8.00 per year-ess than any other organization, whether PO litical, fraternal or religious is doing. If Townley is getting rich out of the $16.00 membershp fees .-.-l.r~ ef~iifaje~wichi-- 1. never received in actual cash by the League beeause financial con ditions many times make it im possible for the farmers to pay t when due-then he must get it after it has puused thronuh the hands of Tin Li. Fcrd, heo telkeepers, railroad companies or auto garage men, because we know from experience that if the League workers from Townley down to the humblest organizer, were not a sincere, self-sacrific ing bunch, Imbued with a desire to help improve the lot of the av erage American cildzen, $50.00 a member would not accomplish what is being done by the Non. partisan League." To Be Found Everywhere. We will admit that you can find some individuals, in the League who are not a credit to the organization, but this fault cannot be held against the League, until you get rid of all the same kind of discrediting indivi duals in the churches, lodges, batri otic organizations and the Republi can and Democratic parties. A Parting Suggestion. "We would suggest that the Am erican Protective Tariff League, with headquarters at 339 Broadway, New York, make an effort to use their "commercial travelers" department I for the dissemination of anti-profit Seering doctrine instead of "protee tion" for the fellows who are respon sible for the present economic condi tions in this country, and they will be I promoting a vital, up-to-date bene ficial program for the protection of American's welfare, instead of wast ing their time on an absolute doctrine that has been a "protection' to prof Iteers only, whom we do not hesitate to call traitors to American .welfare in every sense of the word." W[LL, WHAT IS YOUR QUESTION? If You Have A Question or Want Any Subject Discussed, Just Write Box 1625. Beginning with the next issue a space will be set aside each week for an article dealing with the most important features of the Nonpartisan League. It will be the purpose of these articles to make clear to each member JUST WHAT IS NECESSARY TO BE DONE, to fulfill his duties, not i only to this Organization but to his family and to the State of e which he is a citizen. We want these articles to be considered AS A PERSONAL e LETTER to each member, and we will make it our duty to answer y all questions concerning the Non e partisan movement which is not e entirely clear to the membership. i- The articles themselves will be da concise review of the entire movement and an exposition of those fundamental facts which should be in ready possession of every good Leaguer. So, if there is any question you want answered, LET US HAVE IT, whether it touches on the prin. ciples of the League or member. ship in it. We are also prepared to answer, free of charge, all legal questions concerning citizenship, and matters pertaining to the eleo tion laws o this state. .. Let's wfpe away the cobwebs and VOTE AS ONE IMAN IN 1090 Send in YOUR question. You bet "WE'LL VOTE! The Secretary, Box 186. The Duy Lander's Selieq.y You called for our help and we heeded,ed We answered the call ef the land, - Till the last grain of wheat had been seeded, Altho all our debits must stand. We gave to you freely and gladly, And answered your every call. And now you desert us so badly And push us right up to the wall Your patriotism was splendid, You helped with your copper and coal, What mattered a billion expended Long as old Uncle sam paid the toll? We gave of our feodstuffs and money, We gave you our labor and sons And the outlook was then far from sunny, While they were out e harglng the Huns. But now when we need assistance You hand us two Judges or so You care not what looms in the dis tance, Or whether we like it or no. But Hlist to the tale that I'm telling, You'll all come to grief and regret For the sentiments even now swelling, That will cause you to worry and fret. Well take over the state from your clutches And judges will give you galore Youll be nicely supplied with crutches And escorted out of the door. C. L. McCracken, Sunburst, Mont.