Remarkable Scenes at the Meeting Place
June 20, 1908
Results from the race for seats in the Republican National Convention prove that “under present political methods the country is suffering an era of political corruption, jobbery, thuggery, and thievery.”
During the past week the Republican National Committee has heard contests involving 219 seats in the convention. This committee, controlled by the National Administration, allowed no possibility of interference in the in the plan of assuring the nomination of Secretary Taft. Of the 219 contests decided, the body supposed to represent the Republican party, but controlled absolutely by the Administration, seated 216 Taft delegates. These contests have been decided as follows: For Taft--- Alabama, 22; Arkansas, 2; Florida, 8; Georgia 16; Kentucky, 8; Louisiana; 6 North Carolina, 18; Ohio, 7; Oklahoma, 10; Pennsylvania, 18; Texas, 36; Virginia, 18; Alaska, 2; Arizona, 2. Total, 216. For Foraker-- Virginia, 2; Ohio, 1. Total, 3. The only complete defeat sustained by the Taft delegates in the contests was in the Fifth Virginia District, where a Foraker delegation was seated because a man was allowed to act as secretary of the district convention who had issued a call for a convention in his own country “for white men only.” And with regard to these 210 contests; they came from over a dozen States in the Union-- Ohio, native State of Taft, the leading candidate not even accepted-- and far from the political corruption exposed by The American in New York being local, these contests over seats in the Republican National Convention show that under present political methods the country is suffering an era of political corruption, jobbery, thuggery, and thievery that is nation-wide. It is not confined to either of the old political parties, but, curiously and in substantiation of the facts which the American has brought to light, and which the leaders of the new Independence Party have insisted upon, the two old parties are found working hand in hand-- aiding each other to preserve the status quo-- the minority party in one section swinging along with the majority party to secure delegates for the organization, to bring in the repeaters, pack the conventions, stuff the ballot boxes and overawe the respectable elements. In the South, the Republican Party is a Democratic Party annex; in the North, where the Republicans are strong and the Democrats are weak, the conditions are reversed. Everywhere, a perfect understanding exists between the rival organizations, and the party that best serves the purposes of the big fellows behind all wins at the general election. In every instance these charges of gross fraud were supported by affidavits of members of the contesting delegations. The facts published herewith are taken from the briefs and sworn statements that were presented to the Republican National Committee last week. Each and every statement reveals a condition that should appeal to every right-minded man who believes in the purity of the ballot. It didn't require these contests at the Republican convention to acquaint some of the people with such conditions; but the contests come at a timely moment now to illustrate to the whole country the political methods by which governors are elected, United States senators chosen, and Presidents made by the politicians. In Texas and Ohio, in Virginia, Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Alabama and the Carolinas the same old tricks are in vogue that it has been fatuously believed were peculiar to New York alone...
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“Remarkable Scenes at the Meeting Place,” Black Virginia: The Richmond Planet, 1894-1909, accessed October 27, 2020, https://blackvirginia.richmond.edu/items/show/638.