Newspaper Page Text
& #.'• ''$\% "C 2 6 0 0 Delegates Adopt Ringing Resolutions and Start State Cam paign for County Option. THE SPEECHES AND PLANS O ACTION MtKtir DiMMtritiM In thi Evening MakiRS tin World's Largest TMprance Melting SOVEMMR EHRHART'S STAND. County option is the paramount is sue in Minnesota. In every section of the state the people are protest ing against the domination of the liquor interests in politics and they are ready to back their opposition to the saloon, socially and politically, by whatever sacrifices are necessary to win All this and more was proved at St. Paul, March 2d, when 2,500 dele gates voluntarily gathered in the Au ditorium to further the cause of County Option. This was by far the largest and most unusual politi cal convention ever held in the state. And the' evening demonstration, fill ing that mammoth building from pit to highest gallery., constituted the largest temperance meeting ever held anywhere in the whole world. 2,500 DELEGATES. Those 2,500 delegates came from' every nOok and corner of Minne sota they represented a state-wide sentiment. Except for a few districts sending large delegations, the attend ance was evenly divided, every coun ty being represented except one. It is also significant that these farmers and merchants and professional men paid all their own expenses. They further indicated their self-sacrific ing interest an the cause of county option by raising a fund of $3,300 for the Anti-Saloon League to help carry on the fight against the brewers' com bine. J. N JOHNSON, CHAIRMAN. The convention was organized by the selection of. Representative J. N. Johnson of Canby, Minn., 3ne of the "strong insurgent leaders of the last legislature, as ^chairman, and E. L. Quist, of Red Lake county, as secre tary. The committee on credentials was composed of O. M. Levang of Lanesboro, Peter Bonde of Willmar. and Representative H. A. Putnam of Battle Lake. RINGING RESOLUTIONS. The committee appointed by Chairman Johnson to report resolu tions consisted of one from each congressional district, as follows: Representative Kerry E. Conley of Rochester A. C. French of Hills Osmond King, of Kenyon ex-Attor ney General E. T. Young, of St. Paul D. F. Swenson, of Minneapolis Rep resentative C. J. Carlson of Cokato Hon. T. F. Jacobson of Madison L. A.- Marvin of Duluth, and Repre sentative John Saugstad of Climax. The resolutions unanimously adopted are printed in full in another column. I YOUNG AND JACOBSON. Ex-Attorney General E. T. Young and Hon. F. Jacobson, Republican pasty leaders, were among those who took an unequivocal stand for coun ty option. Other speakers were: Hon. Elias Rachie, Dr. Andrew Gillies, Prof. P. M. Magnuson, Sen ator Ole O. Sageng, Representative E. E. Lobeck. Representative G. H. Mattson, Prof. Frank Nelson, Prof. A, J. McGuire, Hon. F. N. Stacy, League Supt. P. J. Youngdahl, Rev. Father James Reardon and Hon. Seaburn Wright of Georgia. We re gret that only extracts from these stirring speeches can be published. THE THE CONVENTION AND GOVERNOR. From start to finish there was not a dull moment. The program was admirably arranged and the speeches of extraordinary strength and inter est. The convention was called to order at 10 o'clock in the morning and con tinued with only short intermissions WILLMAR County Option Convention in St. Paul attended by Thousands. REPRESENTING STATE WIDE SENTIMENT. were at times almost wildly enthus iastic, yet all their actions were marked by a deliberation and sanity that predicted success^ for the issue. A notable feature of'the convention was Governor Eberhart's appearance and attempt to meet the demand for an expression from him as to his at titude on county option. As. chiefrex ecutive of the state, he was received cordially as a candidate for the Re publican nomination for governor, his refusal to commit himself, did not seem fair or manly to the conven tion, and his statement failed to satis fy. It is published elsewhere in this supplement. PURPOSE OF THE TION. Ex-Representative Elias Rachie in Stirring Speech Outlines Aims of Gathering. "Fellow Citizens of the Common wealth of Minnesota: This is indeed an unusual gathering. You have been called together for a great purpose. The meeting is designated as a Coun ty Option convention. We might as well have termed it" a conservation congress. It is true, we have not met for the purpose of discussing the conservation of our natural resources, although, being free from corporate control, we are, consequently, also enthusiastic supporters of the Roose veltian. movement for the conserva tion of our state's and our nation's natural resources but we have as sembled for a far nobler^purpose than that, namely, the launching of a cam paign for the conservation of the manhood and the womanhood of Min nesota. The true, greatness of a state* or a nation does not depend upon the products of her farms, her forests, her mines and her factories, but. upon the intelligence and the morality of her people. "There are two institutions in our state that we have special reason to feel proud of, and they are our schools and our churches. The high standard of intelligence and morality that the people of our state have at tained is principally due to these two institutions, and the citizens of Min nesota have been most liberal in their support oi them. The pioneer set tlers did not wait until they might become rich before they provided their children with secular as well as religious instruction. They frequent ly deprived themselves of the ordi nary comforts of life that their sons and daughters might enjoy those blessings that mean so much in a country of liberty and freedom. We of a later generation emulate them and honor them for their self-sacrifice and their patriotism. Nevertheless, while we have built schools and churches and have been liberal in our support of them, we have permitted another institution to flourish in our midst which cannot prosper except at the expense of the influences for good which our schools and our churches exert on our people—that institution is the American saloon. Can any one here name a single bless ing that it brings? None, none. You who have- sacrificed so much for schools and churches, are you willing to have their influences for good counteracted by the saloon which brings nothing but poverty, misery and despair? GREATEST POLITICAL EVENT IN HISTORYOF THE STATE CONVEN- LINCOLN'S ATTITUDE. "Our much beloved martyred presi dent, Abraham Lincoln, said shortly before that fatal hour when he was taken away from us by an assassin's hand, 'After reconstruction, the next great problem for the American peo-* pie to solve will be the liquor prob lem.' The prophecy has come true. The problem is before us. It is rath er strange,..that while the people of the North Star state were among the first to respond to President Lincoln's call for volunteers to fight for the preservation of the Union and the emancipation of the slave that they should be among the last to emanci pate themselves from the saloon power. Nine states, namely. Maine. North Dakota. Kansas, Oklahoma, for lunch and dinner, until nearly Mississippi. Alabama, Georgia, North midnight. The delegates and visitors Carolina and Tennessee, have already COUNTY OPTION SUPPLEMENT: secured state-wide prohibition, while a dozen or more other states have closed up thousands of saloons by means of county option, and we, of Minnesota, have, as yet, only a lim ited local option law that does not even include cities. Does Minnesota no longer stand for patriotism? Is it possible that we have become so busy in our pursuit of wealth, pleas ure or fame that we have forgotten our civic responsibilities? 65 COUNTIES WOULD GO DRY. "There is no valid reason why the right to vote on the saloon question should be limited to the people living within the confines of a town or vil lage, or even a city. The saloon is just as much of a temptation to the farmer's boy living outside of the village boundary as it is to the boy in town. The saloon is just as much of a curse to the farmer as it is to the man in the village.or city. The farmer has also to bear his propor tionate share of the. public burdens created by crimes and poverty result ing from drink but, as it is, he has no voice in the matter. As a matter of fact, most of our saloons with their accompanying evils are forced onto communities that do not want them. «For these and other reasons the farming population of our state ask for county option—which" will give the right to every voter in the county to say whether there shall be saloons in the county or not. The people in the villages and in the cities who stand for sobriety, law and order also demand county option. They say, "We want the people of the country to stand by us in this fight against the saloon and in the interests of clean citizenship and honest government." From experi ences in other states we have all rea-. son to suppose that saloons voted out under county option would almost without exception stay out for. good. More attention could, consequently, be given to law enforcement. I am satisfied that under a county option law over 65 of the 85 counties in the STATE SUPERINTENDENT P. YOUNGDAHL Whose Address of Welcome and Speech In the Evening were Features of the Convention. NELSON TALKS OF KANSAS. Saloonless Kansas Held Up As Ex ample for this State to Follow. Prof. Frank Nelson told of his ex perience in Kansas where there have been no legalized saloons for thirty, years. He said: "During these thirty years there has grown up in that splendid state a generation of men and women who have not seen either the outside or the inside of the saloon, save and except as perhaps some of them have strolled across the line into Missouri. They have a citizenship there that is responsive to the highest and to the cleanest, and to the best things with- 7 V? Vw^*^tf state would banish the saloon at the very first opportunity. The law would also be reasonably well enforced, as the majority of the people in almost every county in the state stand for the strict enforcement of our liquor laws. For proof, look at Indiana and Ohio where most of the counties have already been voted 'dry.' LIQUOR INTERESTS CONTROL. "As far as temperance legis lation is concerned, county opr tion is the issue for the pres ent. County option will not only be an improved method of closing out saloons and of inestimable value in the pror motion of law enforcement but, under present conditions in our state, it will furnish the easiest and most* effec tive way of ridding our legislative halls of corpor ate control. The majority of the people in our state demand it. The only reason why our people have not se cured it is because the poli tics of our state has been con trolled by the liquor 'interests.' Tens of thousands, yes, hun dreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in our state to defeat county option. The enactment of a county option law would mean a loss of-mil lions of dollars to the brewers and distillers hence, it is a paying investment for them .even if they have to pay a big price for the control of politi cal conventions and the legis lature. OFFICIALS AFRAID. "Some of our public officials are talking a great deal about the con servation of our natural resources, prevention of disease, reduction of public expenditure and the like. This is all Very well but, tellow citizens, why not go to the root of the evil! Are bur public officials so far within the grip of the liquor interests that they dare not tell the truth? Are they afraid that the political power of the liquor interests in this state is so great that they dare not breathe one word that could be construed to hurt the saloon business—for fear that their political ambitions might there Ay be defeated? Gentlemen, elect a county option legislature, and I will assure you that there will be no dif ficulty "in -securing^ from- theJhands of: such a legislature all reasonable legis- in that state largely because of the. fact that that citizenship has not been contaminated by the debasing and de moralizing influence of the saloon, and, when I lived in Kansas I was glad and proud to say that Kansas is one of the best states in the Union and I felt that I could say that be cause of the fact that we didn't have any saloon. When I came up here to Minnesota among 'the first scenes that met my gaze was the saloon, and I feel that I cannot say of Minnesota as I did of Kansas, that Minnesota is one of the best states in the Union. Because, gentlemen of this conven tion, no state is as good as it ought to be as long as it allows within-its borders the existence of the saloon." si lation for the .conservation of our na tional resources as well as the pro tection of the health of our people —yes, there will be less 'graft' and less, waste in public expenditures as well. BE PATRIOTICALLY NON-PAR TISAN. "As legislative superintendent of Minnesota Anti-Saloon League, I ap peal to all of you who stand for clean citizenship and honest government— whether you are Republicans, Demo crats or Prohibitionists—to unite in the selection of a county option leg islature. Get together in conferences in the various legislative districts. If the majority of you find it most advisable to elect a Republican, elect a Republican. If a good Democrat can the most easily be elected, se lect a Democrat. If the county op tion forces can the most' easily be united to the support of a Prohibi tionist, why, rally around a Prohibi tionist. Do you suppose that the brewery interests care much as to what party a candidate belongs to, as long as he is willing to stand by them? Should we who believe in county option be so partisan as to sacrifice principle to party expedi ency? In this big battle, we can ill afford to have dissension and strife among ourselves but we must stand together until victory has been achieved. "County O :ion Republicans and Democrats, wake up! Make your in fluences felt for what is highest and best in your party. Exercise your rights of citizenship from now on until the nominations are made' as well as afterwards. Shall we stand idly by and let the liquor interests dictate the candidates and then be driven by the party 'whip' to shout and vote for our party's nominee, ir respective of merit? If you are pa triots—and I know you are, as soon as you realize what we are drifting to—you wijl do your utmost in bring ing about the nomination of such can didates that need no. apology and who will, if elected, serve the peo ple without fear or favor, according to the best of their ability. Let the people of the state of Minnesota nom inate their own candidates for the campaign of 1910, for it is not safe to leave the nominations to thebrew ers and their allies. "Let us not be satisfied with a candidate for governor who merely pledges himself to sign a county option bill, if passed by the legislature. County option being the lead ing issue, our candidate ought to be heart and soul in favor of it and be willing to fight for it. We cannot afford to nominate and elect a man who will do all in his power.to pre- vent a county option bill from reaching the governor's office, in order that there may be no call for his signature. Our standard bearer must be a man of high principles and of un daunted courage—a man who dares to take a noble stand in the coming fight for the puri fi cation of our politics arid the conservation of the bodies and souls of our people—such a man, and only such a man, can be relied upon to lead the county option forces on to victory. The Leading Issue. This convention was called to gether primarily for the purpose of giving the county option sentiment in this state a chance to show its strength. This splendid gathering of delegates from all portions of-" the state? constituting the biggest state convention of any kind that has ever been held in the state of Minnesota, proves beyond a doubt that county option is considered the leading polit ical issue among the people. The of ficers of the Anti-Saloon League will not attempt to dictate as to what should be done by this convention. The meeting is in the hands of the delegates to the convention. We sin cerely expect, however, that, before you adjourn, you will pledge your selves to work and to vote for only such candidates for office who will take a definite stand in favor of coun ty option, that you will pledge your selves to continue to work for coun ty option immediately after you get home, attend the caucuses of your respective political parties, see to it that countv option delegates are elected to the county conventions and to the state convention, in Order that your party may take a right stand on this all important issue and nominate noble and courageous candi^n^s to fit the issue and that you will pledge yourselves to do your utmost from now on until the polls are closed next November to secure county option for Minnesota- in 1911. We further trust that whatever you do will be done judiciously that nothing will be done for the mere purpose.of fur thering the political ambitions of some candidate or candidates for of fice, or for the mere special benefit of some political party but. that every thing, irrespective of what effect it may have on candidates and parties, will be done for the furtherance of our great and noble cause." "Fellow citizens, you have been called together for a no less purpose than to start a movement for the crystallization of the county option sentiment in this state to such an extent that political conventions dare not ignore it and candidates for the legislature tainted with brewery^ in terests' support will be relegated to the rear in the great majority of the' legislative districts at the coming election. "As we enter upon this campaign, let our prayer, be that of the poet when he says: 'God, give us men. A time like this demands Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and"ready hands. Men whom the lust of office does not kill Men whom the spoils of office can not buy Men who possess opinions and a will Men who have honor men who will not lie Men who can stand before a dema gogue And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog In public duty and in private think ing—' ELECT A LIEUT. GOVERNOR. Senator Ole O. Sageng Emphasizes Importance of this Position. I just want to impress upon you one fact," said Senator Sageng, "and it is this: In the next campaign you want to make sure that you elect the right kind of man for presiding officer of the Senate. Indeed, I am here to say that in my judgment just as much will depend on the character of the presiding officer of the Senate as will depend upon the character of the man who will occupy the position of chief executive. "Don't you for a minute forget that that position is important and very important. I want to say to you, and I say it regretfully, that things haven't been what they should have been in the past i» that respect. They haven't been what they should have been during the last two sessions of the legislature in that respect. "It would have been far better not to have had any temperance committees than to have the kind of committees we have had in the past, because they have simply been cemeteries for tem perance legislation. The Figures 8 to 1. "I haven't much courage and nerve, but I say to you that had I been in the Govern or's. position this morning when he stood before this audience and spoke of his in terest in temperance legisla tion, I should have been in deathly terror that some un seen hand had written upon the walls of the Auditorium «the figures '8 to 1'. They are not written here, but Fll tell you my (friends that those "It would have been far better to the minds of tens of thousands of voters in this state, and they will tell some day in No vember next. "There is only one thing, and that is that we will have to steal the method and work of our opponents. For a long time we have been mak ing this fight and going through these battles with very little avail because our opponents, our enemies, were wiser than we were in the way in which they were working. Their plat form has been: 'Remember your friends, and do not forget your ene mies.' That is the platform of the liquor interests. "We can win just as soon as we can forget trifles and remember our friends, and don't forget our ene mies, and above everything else not tolerate anything that is simply astraddle of this great vital question about which every man ought to have some conviction of some kind. Let us go forth from this splendid convention with the determination to win this battle." STRADDLING IS UNPLEASANT. Prof. P. M. Magnuson Makes Telling Points Against the Governor. "I am a democrat, but I do not have to wait for the next democratic convention to find out where I stand on county option," was the opening shot of Prof. P. M. Magnuson. The applause was deafening and plainly indicated that the convention agreed with that position, rather than Gov ernor Eberhart's contention that he should not decide until after the re publicans had adopted a platform. A moment later Prof. Magnuson again aroused the enthusiasm of the delegates by asserting that "since, fences were 'now. made of barbed wire it is no longer comfortable to straddle the fence" on any issue. GREAT SPECIAL OFFER. Wet desire at once 10.000 new sub scriptions of the Minnesota Issue and we propose to offer an unusually attrac tive inducement to get them. The sub scription price of the Minnesota Issue is $.50 per year and it will be sent to the subscribers, beginning with March 1, more than twice as often as ever in the past. The year book of the Ameri can Anti-Saloon League is just off the press filled with information and in spiration at the price of $.35 post paid* The Haines history of the 1909 legisla ture, the most sensational political docu ment of the year, sells post paid at $.60, making a total of $1.45. From now until May 1, we will receive orders for all 3 at $1.00. Send in your orders at once to Minnesota Issue, 12 Franklin Bldg., Minneapolis.