Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Today -100: January 25, 1911: Of anarchists, senators, the size of Congress, and progressives

Twelve Japanese anarchists are executed for conspiring against the royal family (see the interesting ExecutedToday.com post on this).

The Nevada Legislature ratifies the results of the non-binding popular re-election of US Senator George Nixon, even though Nixon is a Republican and the Legislature has a Democratic majority, because Nixon and his opponent had agreed to abide by the popular vote.

The Democrats in the West Virginia Legislature didn’t wait for the fugitive Republican senators to return and went ahead with the vote for US senators. The R’s in the lower house didn’t vote either – presumably in protest, although the NYT doesn’t say – and not surprisingly two Democrats were elected, William Chilton and Clarence Watson. Accusations of bribery were made in the election of Watson, a coal baron.

Congress is considering reapportionment under something called the Crumpacker Act, which only sounds like a bizarre sexual act. To avoid reducing the number of Representatives any state has, the Act foresees increasing the size of the House to 433, and more when Arizona and New Mexico become states. Some people consider this too large and unwieldy, too difficult to assemble a quorum. And Republicans, who did so badly at the state level in the 1910 elections, are afraid that newly Democratic state legislatures will gerrymander the new seats in favor of the D’s.

Theodore Roosevelt has refrained from adding his name to the Declaration of Principles of the National Progressive Republican League, on the advice of the Progressives who wanted the League to look like a movement for progressive legislation rather than for the election of certain candidates for certain offices in 1912.

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