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Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
Newspaper Page Text
SEPTEMBER 14t 1905
Gfo-ttobraslxa. Independent PAGE S the trusts and cannot favor higher internal revenue duties without alienating many voters. But a way must be found to meet govern ment expenses and the standpatters have decided that the only way to do this is to decrease appropriations. A few years ago when the parties of protest were advocating retrenchment they were dubbed "Little Americans" by the repub licans who were then purse-proud and confident. These arrogant spendthrifts declared that we had become a billion dollar nation and could never again limit expenses to anywhere near half that sum. But in the day of their distress, even though confronted by the neces sity of building the Panama canal and of providing for an expanding rural delivery of mail, they have bethought themselves of economy. But here again they will find themselves annoyed by the al legiance they owe to the trusts and .the pretense they must make to the people. Would it not be a wise action if congress should break up the combination that exists among the railways for the transporta tion of the mails ? Many millions could be saved to the national treasury if a government commission should fix freight rates for the 'carrying of mails. But the friend of the trusts is also the friend of the railways. He will oppose railway regulation as firmly as he will oppose "tariff tinkering." He will slash the appropriations for public buildings and improvements of rivers and harbors, but will protect as a sacred thing the railway pool or the pool existing among the manufacturers ot armor piate. n me goveimu., with the trusts as it should it could reduce public expenses by an amount. President Roosevelt thought it wise to buy canal supplies abroad rather than pay trust prices at home, but even the president seems to have changed front lately. He is now willing to leave that question to congress, and the republican congress, although anxious to reduce expenditures, will be implored by the trusts to prevent the purchase of canal supplies outside of the United States. The only honest way out of the difficulty the standpatter refuses to see. A tariff for revenue that would increase our Importations would supply the government with all, or almost all, the money it needs, but should there be a deficiency still congress has the.power to so control the railways and trusts as to make it possmie ior me government not to be robbed at every turn when it purchases supplies. Truly, the ways of the transgressor and the standpatter seem to be converging among the rocks and thorns. ., NO PALTERING WITH PASS QUESTION I' The republican state convention meets in Lincoln this, after noon and the railways will be compelled to make some sort of . showing as to their designs. The selection by the state committee of Lieutenant Governor McGilton for the temporary chairmanship is viewed with suspicion by many observers, who think they see in it an effort on the part of the railways to obtain a moderate plank such as was adopted by the Hall county convention. The Hall county platform favors "the enactment of a law at the first op portunity making it a crime punishable by fine or imprisonment, for any railroad company in this state to issue or grant free transporta tion to any member of the legislature, representative in congress or United States senator during their term of office, to any judge of any court in this state during his term of office or to any delegate to attend or return from any political convention." v State officers are not mentioned in this plank, and all who are """mentioned must only do without passes while in office. The pass system as a whole is not condemned. . , , . ' The Independent has often taken occasion to show that men who mve rib their annuals when they are inducted into office and ,who accept them again , as soon as they quit office are riot to be trusted by those who demand the abolition of free pass bribery. The Independent has also shown that the bribery evil of thepass system is not its only evil. It is a discrimination by the railways against those who do not use passes. It gives an unfair advantage to shippers who accept passes; it keeps passenger rates high and forces the non-users to pay for the transportation of the users. . Until the people insist that every party shall pronounce with1 entire frankness upon this question and hall stick to that pro nouncement until the pass system is abolished the rail ways will 1 continue their tactics of hitching their political wagon to the party that consents to be moderate and therefore meaningless in its dec larations against free transportation. The Lincoln Star, which is generally recognized as the Bur lington organ, began recently to hedge on the pass question. In a long article, cunningly devised, the accomplished editor strove to ! make the free pass appear in the guise of a perfectly polite and 1 correct courtesy, while at the same time indicating that some steps should be taken to rid the state of free pass abuses. It was not clearly revealed just what view the honest and sincere voter should take of the pass question, but the general impression left by the article was that the seriousness of the pass evil had been overesti mated and that the people should turn their attention to much more important problems. . Some of the republican papers have been touched in a sensitive spot when populist and democratic papers have said ironical things about reform within the republican ranks. They have protested that the reform, on the pass question is real and that tho republican party has just as much right to reform as any other party. And when their critics have grown bold they have pointed to some his torical facts to show that their opponents have not always walked in the straight and narrow path. All this has added heat to partisan hostility, but it has merely confused the issue. The Independent would be the last paper to attribute unwaver ing virtue to any party. The railway influence has been felt in all parties in all states, and Nebraska has been no exception to the rule. AVhy then should critics carp at the present republican agitation against tho free pass system? Simply because for tho time being the republican party is, or seems to be, the dominant party. The lobby' works with the dominant party if it can, and who will bo so bold as to deny that the lobby's manipulation of the republican, machine has been a masterpiece of political engineering for many, years in Nebraska. That is why the people look with disgust on the spectacle of railway politicians posing as friends of a reform thatis urgently needed in this bribe-ridden state. The Independent would be sincerely glad to see the republican party freed from the shackles of servitude to tho railways, but those shackles will only be forged the tighter if the rank and file of that party continue to bo deluded by railway trickery. If the republican party denounces the pass this year and the jolly old elephant is driven back to his tent and tied to the railway stake for all succeed ing campaigns there is no hope for reform in the republican party of this state. ,ssss(yvw Policeman Jackson, of Chicago, who checked the speed of an auto by puncturing a tire with a bullet, has been held to the grand jury because a justice of the peace, although he could not find Jack son guilty of any crime, did not wish to see him go free. The police man's gravest offence seems to have been a desire to enforce the law against a wealthy and powerful citizen. This, is becoming a more serious crime'every day and tho rich will soon be demanding a law to punish those who seek to place the small offender on the same plane with the big offender. ' , The corporation congressmen are saying that the people have not given the question enough consideration to know what kind of legislation should be passed to regulate the railways. For twenty years the people have been considering this question and now that they demand corrective legislation their representatives in congress, who have been studying the railway side of the question since they were paid to do so, are demanding a campaign of education with themselves as sole instructors. . Chauncey M. Depew has paid back a big sum to save his repu tation. Some people will be so unkind as to think that a reputation requiring $250,000 to wash it clean must have been pretty dirty. The sum will not be credited tothe conscience fund because Chaun cey would not admit that he had done wrong. It might be well to credit it to the "corruption fund" for campaign purposes. , Gas Magnate Addicks, who tried to buy Delaware and almost succeeded several times, is said to have lost almost all his money, The time may come when he will be sentenced to ninety days for vag rancy, although as a rich man he could not be sentenced to even one day in jail lor corrupting the politics ot an entire state by bribery. 'An American officer at Manila has accused Aguinaldo of being ing in league with bandits and insurgents and this officer challenges him to prove the contrary. Under imperialistic rule the accused is presumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent. Each week brings a new revelation of graft at Washington and Lincoln Steffens, who has written up graft in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburg, . Cleveland and other cities, should buy a ticket for tho national capital. President Roosevelt got rid of the peace conference just in time to read the reports of the Britt-Nelson fight at his leisure.