Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Today -100: November 5, 1913: Of the consequences of the intolerable conditions of a corrupt machine and leadership

William Sulzer, impeached and removed from the governorship of New York not three weeks ago, is elected to the state Assembly.

The NY general election is a disaster for Tammany Hall. Not only did Democrats lose seats, but many of the Democrats who were elected are independent or Progressive-backed (as are some of the Republicans) rather than cogs in the Tammany machine. Assemblymen who voted to impeach Sulzer are voted out everywhere in the state except the strongest Tammany strongholds in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The Republicans take control of the state Assembly. John Purroy Mitchell, the Fusion candidate (basically Republicans plus a few bits and bobs) for mayor of NYC wins easily. He says that Tammany candidate Edward McCall “reaped the whirlwind and suffered the consequences of the intolerable conditions of a corrupt machine and leadership.”

The loss of Democratic votes is confined to New York state. The Progressive/Bull Moose Party, however, is fading away everywhere in the nation (and nominal leader Theodore Roosevelt is out of the country on an extended trip to South America). For example, Everett Colby, running for governor of New Jersey with an endorsement from Teddy Roosevelt, gets only 38,693 votes.

James Fielder (D), acting governor of New Jersey since Woodrow Wilson resigned to become president, is elected in his own right.

The Socialist mayor of Schenectady, George Lunn, is defeated by an unholy alliance of the Republican, Democratic & Progressive parties (but the city elects the first socialist sheriff in the US, Louis Welsh).

David Walsh (D), is elected governor of Massachusetts, the first Catholic and the first Irishman to hold that office, defeating the incumbent, Eugene Foss. Not quite sure what happened there. Foss, who had only converted to the Democratic Party in 1909, was rejected by it for re-election earlier in 1913. He then tried to enter the Republican primary but failed to qualify, and finally ran as an independent. He came in a weak fourth, without carrying a single district.

China’s Pres. Yuan expels all 300+ Kuomintang members from Parliament for opposing his march to dictatorship.

Booker T. Washington suggests that for Thanksgiving, African-Americans count the blessings of being negroes in the South. Oh sure, there are “difficulties in the form of lynchings, mobs, &c.” but there’s always friction, why look at Mexico, in which there’s only one race (!). “But racial difficulties are growing fewer every year in the South, and a spirit of friendship and mutual recognition of the rights of each race is growing.” Blacks can buy land, and they understand how to grow and market cotton “almost by inheritance or instinct,” and they also understand mules by instinct.

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