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[To be released Saturday p. m., June 20,1914.] Duty and Opportunity of the Present Ruling Majority in Congress. SPEECH OF HON. R OB E R T OF I n th e S en ate L. O W E N , O K LA H O M A , of th e U n it e d S tates , S a tu rd a y, J u n e 20, 191k- Mr. OWEN. Mr. President, the Democratic national plat form includes the following pledge: W e call attention to the fact that the Democratic Party’s demand for a return to a rule of the people, expressed in the national platform four years ago, has now become the accepted doctrine of a large majority of the electors. W e again remind the country that only by the larger exercise of the reserved power of the people can they pro tect themselves from the misuse of delegated power and the usurpation of governmental instrumentalities by special interests. For this reason the national convention insisted upon the overthrow of Cannonism and the inauguration of a system by which the United States Senators could be elected by direct vote. The Democratic Party offers itself to the country as an agency through which the complete overthrow and extirpation of corruption, fraud, and machine rule in American politics can be effected. No plank in the Democratic platform was o f greater im portance than the pledge to overthrow corruption, fraud, and machine rule in politics. Machine rule and corruption in party government has been the bane o f both the Republican and Demo cratic Parties, and one of the greatest difficulties in the way of perfecting true and honest democratic government. The means by which machine rule and corruption have accom plished their sinister designs are perfectly well understood, and the remedy is perfectly well understood by students of government. The Democratic Party and the members of the Republican party as well, should join with enthusiasm in eliminating cor ruption and machine rule. The Republican Party was torn in half by machine rule in Chicago in 1912. No Senator on this floor, I believe, would venture to say that he thought it a wise policy to permit in any way machine rule, fraud, or corruption in our election machinery. But no individual seems to feel charged with the responsibility of preparing the necessary meas ure and urging its passage which will make effective the right of the people to express themselves freely and to have au thoritative knowledge of the claims o f the candidates and of measures and have their will made effective. I propose, therefore, a resolution charging the Committee on Privileges and Elections with this duty, in the hope that it may meet with the sympathetic cooperation not only o f all Democrats, but of all the Republican and Progressive Senators as well. To facilitate these reforms I have prepared and submit here with four proposed bills. 2 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES. First. The first law requiring important amendment is the law preventing private individuals from contributing unlimited amounts of money in the campaigns relating to the Presidency and to the Members of Congress and Senators. I have had this statute carefully examined and prepared by one of the ablest experts in the United States on this question. Mr. George H. Shibley, and I have introduced it and had it referred to the Committee on Privileges and Elections, Senate bill 5810. The present law permits any amount of contribution to be made and expended by private persons in relation to these elec tions and permits intrastate committees the liberty of doing as they please with regard to the nomination and election of Sen ators and Congressmen, without any conditions being imposed by the Federal law. The plan which I have proposed is to lay down a minimum o f requirements in the way o f contributions and expenditures by corporations, committees, or individuals; and if passed, this bill will have an important effect upon diminish ing fraud in the election o f Congressmen and Senators, and would have an important effect on overthrowing machine rule and corruption. P U B L IC IT Y PAM PHLETS. Second. In order to enable the people to have knowledge of the claims of the candidates or the public measures upon which they vote there should be a public pamphlet issued at Govern ment expense and delivered by Government Postal Service to the hands of each citizen, giving proper space to each candidate and to each measure voted on. In like manner, I have had prepared and submitted a bill, Senate bill 5865, covering this subject. This bill would permit a man without wealth to make the race for the Senate, and also for Congress, and would place his claims before every voter. The bill proposes a partial con tribution, so as to prevent irresponsible candidates entering the field. PR E F E R E N T IA L BALLO T. Third. I propose a preferential ballot in order to prevent minority or plurality nominations, which is the most important instrument in the hands o f the machine politicians who have always a highly organized, militant minority under their con trol, led by captains and lieutenants. They divide the un organized but more honest majority into three or four or more groups by bringing out a number of unsophisticated candidates, each of whom can command a popular following because of indi vidual merit, and with an organized minority of twenty to thirty per cent o f the voters, aided by selfish interests and by fraud, the machine can put over its plurality nomination and win the party nomination and then demand party allegiance and party loyalty in support of their unfairly minority-nomi nated candidate. The preferential ballot automatically coheres a majority of electors in favor o f the candidate most acceptable to the ma jority and destroys the plurality nomination, which, as I have stated, is the chief agency of the political machine. The Demo cratic Party can not make effective its platform pledge unless it disarms the political machine. I have had prepared a suitable statute, as above, on this point, Senate bill 5S09, which I urgently commend to the attention o f the Senate, not only the Democrats 3 but the Republicans as well, because it is equally important to honest Republicans as to honest Democrats that a majority of the Republicans should be permitted to nominate candidates acceptable to a majority o f their party members, as it is to the Democrats to have the right to nominate candidates acceptable to a majority of their members. I remind the Senate that the preferential ballot was adopted by both branches of Congress in the Federal reserve act, sec tion 4, for the selection of the directors of the 12 Federal reserve banks, and this system is perfectly well understood by the country. CORRUPT PRACTICES. Fourth. I have also had drawn in like manner Senate bill 5864, to define corrupt practices in connection with campaigns for the nomination or election of United States Senators and Congressmen, and to provide punishment therefor. I believe that every Senator will agree, whether he be Democrat or Re publican or Progressive, in the importance o f having the nomi nations and elections of the Congressmen and Senators free from corrupt practices. These and other steps are obviously necessary to carry out the pledge of the Democratic national platform at Baltimore, in which the Democratic Party offered itself to the country as “ an a g e n c y th ro u g h w h ic h th e c o m p le te o v e r th r o w a n d e x tir p a tio n o f c o r r u p t io n , f r a u d , a n d m a c h in e r u le in A m e r ic a n p o litic s ca n he e ffe c te d .” PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY. I think we should provide for the nomination o f candidates for the Presidency and the Vice Presidency by the preferential primary ballot, and that proper statutes should be drawn and enacted covering this point along the line recommended by the President in his annual message last December. The Democratic platform upon this point declared: The movement toward more popular government should be promoted through legislation in each State which will permit the expression of the electors for national candidates at presidential primaries. In order to have uniformity in the 48 States. Congress should lay down a few fundamental rules, which would be a minimum condition imposed upon the States in this legislation. At pres ent Congress requires the States to conform to certain rules in selecting Senators, and the constitutionality of the imposition upon the States of a reasonable requirement in regard to this matter will not be denied, since it is the practice o f a hundred years. The State primaries on presidential, senatorial, and con gressional candidates could be ordered to take place the second Tuesday in June, beginning in 1916, and the national conven tion authorized and required to meet within 30 days thereafter for the sole purpose of ratifying the primaries and writing the platforms. The conventions should consist of nominees for Congress, for the Senate, and of hold-over Senators not defeated in the primaries. The Federal Government within its sphere is as sovereign as are the States within their sphere, and the Federal Government can and should by statute indicate the minimum requirements that should be provided by the laws of the several States in 4 perfecting the right of the Federal Government to have its officers nominated and elected by a majority of the people, safeguarded against fraud and corruption. If the minimum requirements are not provided by the State law, then the Federal requirement should apply, as in the case of the recent statute for the election of Senators. If the Democratic Party now in power leaves the country un der tlie machine-rule system, with the door wide open to fraudu lent practices in nominating and electing Senators and Members o f Congress, after its solemn promise to the American people and after it has been trusted with i>ower by the American people, for the chief purpose of controlling the special interests and the vicious alliance between corrupt business and corrupt poli tics, it will undoubtedly receive severe condemnation for vio lating these vital promises so intimately affecting integrity of government. I move, therefore, the following resolution : Whereas the party now in power appealed to the American people in 1912 upon the following statem en t: “ The Democratic Party offers itself to the country as an agency through which the complete overthrow and extirpation of corrup tion, fraud, and machine rule in American politics can be effected; ” and Whereas it is the sincere desire of all patriotic men of every party to terminate corruption in governm ent: Resolved, That the Committee on Privileges and Elections prepare the bills necessary to more strictly control corruption, fraud, and machine politics in the nomination and election of the officers of the United States, and to enable the people to have authoritative knowledge with regard to the claims of candidates. o