Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Today -100: June 25, 1913: Of the confusion of the multitude


NY Gov. William Sulzer’s bill for direct primaries is defeated in the lower house of the Legislature, where his high-pressure tactics made him no friends: “the Judas of the Democratic Party,” “a traitor to those who made him politically,” “liar” were some of the words used to describe him during the debate. The bill was defeated 92-54. He did gain 8 votes since the last defeat, which just shows what the awarding of lucrative road contracts can (and can’t) get you. The vote did not split on party lines, which seems to mean that the Dem & Rep party establishments want to retain their power base, the conventions (Democratic majority leader Levy says primary elections would just provide for “the confusion of the multitude, which serves the purposes of the demagogue and the wielder of the Big Stick”), while many in the rank & file support greater voter democracy. The Bull Moosers supported primaries.

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