Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Today -100: March 3, 1910: Of ballots, guns, and sleeping bull moose

In an editorial on the Massachusetts ballot system, the NYT argues against its alphabetical listing of candidates and in favor of some system that allows voters to vote the party ticket, without bothering themselves to inform themselves about individual candidates. The real problem with elections is not straight-party voters, the Times says, but the large number of offices electors have to vote on. The “short ballot” would be a much more helpful reform than direct primaries or referenda.

Rep. Henry Rainey (D-Illinois), later Speaker of the House, accuses Bethlehem Steel, which has been getting increasing numbers of War Department orders, subcontracted from government arsenals, of doing shoddy work and of underpaying its skilled workers. A 14-inch gun burst during ordinance trials, Rainey says, and this was hushed up.

It is feared that Teddy Roosevelt, still on safari in East Africa, may have contracted sleeping sickness!

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