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to keep on trying every plan that commends itself to us. The challenge has been issued by the national parties, which through corrupt machines have been debauching our city government; therefore, the choice of weapons is ours and I believe in selecting that weapon whether it be the municipal voters' league or whether it be the city party or whether it be the city club or whether it be a vigilance committee or whether it be a detective bureau, which will prove most effective in accomplishing the utter annihilation of the enemies of good municipal government. [Applause.]

We have been in earnest in Cincinnati, and have considered this matter carefully. Of course we have made mistakes, but we did not intend to, therefore what we did do will give you the result of our best thought.

The Citizens' Municipal party was started in the spring of 1903. It grew up in this way. There was a factional fight in the Democratic party and neither faction could get control of the executive Cincinnati's committee. So a compromise was effected. They Municipal Party said: "We will appoint another outside committee of twenty-six citizens and will turn the entire campaign over to them." I was a member of that committee. At our first meeting twenty-five out of the twenty-six were present, and each man was asked as to whether it would be wise to stick to the regular Democratic ticket, Democrats from top to bottom, and also to have the party emblem at the head, which is a rooster in Ohio, or whether it would be better to nominate a non-partisan Citizens' ticket. When my turn to discuss the question came I put the following queries to my associates: "What is your object? Do you wish to make as good a showing as possible in the approaching election or are you willing to enter upon a fight for good city government on absolutely non-partisan lines and to keep up that fight until victory shall crown our efforts?"

Well, I think what they wanted to do was to make the best showing in the coming election. But they thought that they could do that by putting up an independent ticket. So the Citizens Municipal Party of Cincinnati was then started, and there was no Democratic ticket in the field, and the Democratic executive committee got together and they passed resolutions that for all time to come they would stick to that principle, the principle that we have been working for in the National Municipal League, in order that future generations might get the benefit of their action on that day. Well, if they had been honest and straight and had stuck to that determination, what better plan, gentlemen, could we have devised?

Well, we were very badly beaten. Then we reorganized and got the true reformers in charge of the city party. The next election was in the spring of 1904, and we thought we had better not tackle too much, and therefore we confined ourselves entirely to the improvement of our schools. Our schools had come to the very lowest notch, although twenty-five years ago they stood at the head of the list. All this was due to machine

politics. The school board had been turned into a kindergarten for the training of machine politicians. There was no salary attached, and the boss would say "go and carry your ward for the school board, and if I see you can do that I will take your case into consideration and give you some more lucrative position later on." In that election the school board ballot was a separate ballot, but party designations were permissible. Under the provisions of the then existing law we could have on our ticket in a school board election candidates taken from other tickets. We indorsed some good Democrats. Some of the others we could not indorse at all, and we nominated independent candidates. Perhaps the best result of that particular fight was that we defeated the bad Democrats even though we elected the men on the Republican ticket, who were very much better. We had to teach the Democratic party that it would have to respect us and take us into consideration.

In the fall of 1905 we won. That was due to several causes. The ticket that was nominated then was made up by the Democrats and with very little care because of the fact that nobody expected there was any chance whatever of winning. In a sense the result was an accident. The following causes, however, may be credited with having contributed to the successful termination of the campaign. An honest elections committee was organized for the purpose of preventing election frauds that had become most violent and flagrant. That had a great deal to do with arousing the electorate of the city. In addition to that, there has been previously no daily newspaper in Cincinnati that would stand for reform at all, but in our previous fight we had won over one of the dailies to our support and that newspaper-The Cincinnati Post-has stood by us ever since. You can imagine how much that means. Then Secretary Taft made his famous Akron speech, and that of course had a great deal to do with the result. More than all was the victory that had during the previous spring been accomplished in Philadelphia. We had all regarded Philadelphia as being at the bottom of the pit and Philadelphia having reformed itself to a certain extent waked us up not a little bit. It would not have done for Cincinnati not to have won that time.

School Board




Permit me to call attention to the fact that the Citizens Municipal Party executive committee when it was reorganized consisted principally of college men, and that half of them were Yale men and half Harvard men. I refer to the matter because I am so glad that Harvard and Yale men and college men generally are taking a greater interest in all movements which have been inaugurated to better municipal conditions.

Three men who went to the legislature and accomplished so much good, were Yale men, but they received the support of the Harvard men and all other college men in Cincinnati. They brought about a direct primary nomination law, a new municipal code putting the responsibility upon

the mayor, practically making him the real mayor instead of the figurehead. Civil service in all departments of the city is to be introduced. They also secured the enactment of a law for a small school board and a law prohibiting campaign contributions from corporations; a law providing for park commissioners; and a law providing for a small school board. We had a school board of twenty-seven; we have got it down now to a school board of seven. We spent in fifty years only one dollar per capita for high schools in Cincinnati, and this last year, in one year alone we expended three dollars per capita. That, it seems to me, shows alone progress in the reform movement in Cincinnati.

I find my time is about up, and I shall have to conclude by just telling you what was done in Cincinnati at the election this fall in order to show what progress independent voting is making in our country. Secretary Taft carried the county by about seventeen thousand. Judge Harmon for governor on the Democratic ticket carried the county by about nineteen thousand. Some of the local officers-and remember always that Cincinnati is normally and largely a Republican city-some of the local officers elected were Democrats. Most of the machine candidates were elected. But the big fight we made was for the prosecuting attorneyship. The Republican machine had elected its prosecuting attorney for twenty years, and we had been trying to get at municipal corruption through legislative committees, but the court stopped the investigation of these committees and the last decision of the court held: "The only way to do this is in the legal way, through the county prosecuting attorney's office." So we thought that was all we would fight particularly at this time, and we elected our man. [Applause. Notwithstanding the fact that Secretary Taft carried the county by seventeen thousand our man on the other side was elected to this particular office by about twentyfive hundred. [Applause.] The man who was nominated against him on the machine ticket had been the assistant county prosecutor. His chief, because he had served the machine so well, was nominated for the bench, and we also succeeded in defeating him.

Allow me in closing to refer to a few words of our great president. Although I do not agree with him in many of the things that he has done, I believe that President Roosevelt has done more for the advancement of reform by awakening the people of this country to appreciate the evils that are going on to a greater degree than any other president we have ever had in the White House. [Great Applause.] What a condition of affairs has been exposed in San Francisco, and if something is not done, my friends, the same condition will develop in all of our American cities. Some of us may be nearly as low as San Francisco is now. (A voice "Another earthquake will do them good.") Speaking about the earthquake: I have a cousin who lives there, whose property was principally real estate. When the earthquake and the fire came practically all of her fortune was swept away, certainly temporarily.

President Roosevelt and Reform

She could not get any money from any bank to pay for anything for the first few days. She wrote me during the first few days after that awful catastrophe: "Notwithstanding all that has happened if we can only reform our city politics I shall regard the earthquake as a Godsend." Now President Roosevelt telegraphed to Mr. Spreckels the other day this: "Every decent American who has the honor and interest of the country at heart should join not only in putting a stop to the wave of violent crime of which this man's act is but one of the symptoms, but also in stamping out the hideous corruption in which men like this would-be assassin are bred and flourish, and that can only be done by working, as Heney has worked, religiously against every man who is guilty of corrupt practices without any regard to his social standing or his prominence in the world of politics or the world of business."

Let us take the advice of the President and work as Heney has worked to get rid of and eradicate this corruption. [Applause.]

THE PRESIDENT: I will now call on Mr. John A. Butler, of Milwaukee, chairman of the Wisconsin Civil Service Reform Association. Mr. Butler. [Applause.]

MR. BUTLER: Not having had an opportunity to examine a copy of Mr. Binkerd's paper before reaching Pittsburgh, owing to causes which were unavoidable, I have not been able to formally discuss its various propositions, and my thought follows somewhat different lines. The principal contention, as I understand it, is that militant political work can be done more effectively through the methods of the voters leagues than through the attempted election of independent candidates. I think under existing conditions that that is probably true, but it does not seem as if the citizen ought to be so lacking in knowledge of policies and candidates, that he should need a voters league to tell him what to do, and it does seem as if he might reach a stage of development in which the national parties might be non-partisan locally as they are in England.

The work of the voters leagues is so admirable, as a temporary expedient, that it would seem ungracious to say that their existence indicates the local breakdown of popular government, the citizen being unable to know and judge for himself, and being further weakened by having such organizations investigate for him, and still there is some truth in that statement. It seems to me that the trouble lies deeper, and requires the development of a general militant citizenship, which can and will solve its own problems in its own way, and I should readily agree that all the methods now in vogue promote that development.

Leagues, a


But the qualities of militant citizenship cannot be instantly aroused, or created at will, or by anything less than the fires of inner conviction, though they will certainly be brought to bear upon the municipal, which is closely related to the social situation, as the struggle for a better and

higher future progresses, with imperative demands upon character and thought; and it may be that all the splendor of the past will be eclipsed by the mighty workings of the crucible out of which the future shall proceed.

There are militant citizens, far sighted, widely informed, and earnest men, but there is as yet no sufficient body of militant citizenship, inspired by the unity of purpose which springs from united opinion upon realized evils, and the development of that citizenship seems to be the only means by which an "awakened public conscience and an interest in public affairs" can be made available and effective. The fountain cannot rise higher than its source, and the effort for municipal betterment cannot be higher and greater than the ideas and beliefs of the people. Unity of effort and certainty of results are not probable, on any very considerable scale, until the people thoroughly understand both the problem and the remedy. The moment they are fully instructed and inspired, the change will amount to a virtual revolution, and the admirable paper of Mr. English at yesterday's session is significant of such a departure in a very important quarter.

There are temporary ebulitions of general interest in better conditions, to be sure, on the part of considerable bodies of men, under devoted leadership, but they are usually based upon the impulse produced by an inadequate realization, and rarely amount to anything but demonstrations which rapidly subside. They are nevertheless not without significance, and cumulative coherence and strength, as they succeed each other, preparatory to the general and more stable movement of which they are the forerunners. Excellent men, shocked by disgraceful disclosures, get together with a vague wish for improved conditions, and find themselves hampered by a narrow and shortsighted self-interest incompatible with a wholehearted crusade for political and social righteousness. Political allegiance sometimes blinds and impedes them, or they find themselves enmeshed in general commercial relations with public service companies, or politician controlled public institutions, to which they sell their merchandise, or by which they are controlled through a realization of past obligations, and a desire for future favors. Some of these relations, which are a part of the general texture of commercial and political life, are compatible with a high degree of personal integrity and public spirit, in many directions, but they are entangling alliances which can only be overcome by the consciousness of a greater danger, and a higher interest, and the earnest conviction, based upon adequate knowledge, of the gravity of the situation; and of the value of broad grounds of public policy as a safeguard for the justifiable private interests of all concerned.

That a new future is already at our doors no thoughtful man will deny, and it is quite as certain that its character will depend wholly upon the influences which inspire and equip the new citizenship, militant or otherwise. That the work of improving the conditions of urban life, that piv

Citizens, but
not Militant

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