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Governor of an American commonwealth. caused some persons, usually not his friends, An explanation was requested. Governor to attribute to him a stubborn disposition ; Johnson said that he was at a loss to explain he is certainly constitutionally opposed to the article in print, that his automobile was compromise on essential principles. an old one of domestic manufacture, void of As a speaker Governor Johnson is forceful ornamentation, that his chauffeur had been and convincing. He admittedly is one of the brought up on the sand lots of San Fran- best public speakers in the country. He cisco, and that the most royal thing about his marshals his facts with the consummate skill uniform was an old, dusty, weather-beaten that a veteran field marshal displays in disduster.
posing his armies. He analyzes them with Governor Johnson was unable to account the ability of a trained lawyer. His voice has for the yarn, and later made some remark trajectory power. It is not a musical voice, about it while lunching with his chauffeur by although by no means unpleasant. It is not the roadside.
full, rounded, and deep, but it has a human, “ Governor,” said the graduate of the sand appealing cadence that grips and holds the lots, “ I guess that is my fault."
attention. When he addressed the memo“ How is that?” he inquired.
rable Chicago Convention in 1912, he was the Why, it is just this way," the chauffeur only Progressive who compelled the attention replied. “I was very busy attending to the of a hostile majority, and was heard from car, and was bothered by the crowd asking beginning to end without interruption until me various questions. I had no time to an- his time had expired, and then it was exswer them, and finally said, “ Me no speak tended. He uses few gestures. His most English.”
characteristic one is a downward drive with Out of that remark was constructed the story his right arm and closed hand. Occasionally published in the opposition paper. Inciden- there is an extension of both arms toward his tally it illustrates just about how much foun- audience with open palms; and occasionally dation many sensational political stories have. his right arm is raised perpendicularly with
His two inaugurations were simple in the index finger upright as he makes some strikextreme. He dresses plainly; a dress suit ing point. He never sways or bends his is an abomination ; receptions and banquets body, nor does he move about the platform are things which have to be endured if they while he is speaking. I have heard him cannot be avoided. He is sedentary in his speak for an hour and over without moving habits. A good ball-player in his youth, the from the position first taken, unless it was to games of the Sacramento Club of the Pacific take a drink of water. Coast League were his great diversion. He Governor Johnson has not been an opporhas been deprived of this form of relaxation, tunist, and has not once during the six years however, since the disbandment of the club. of his administration sacrificed principle to Recently horseback-riding was recommended expediency or built success on policy. His as a desirable form of exercise, but his friends consuming passion when he became a candihave an idea that it has not progressed beyond date for Governor and then the chosen chief the arnica stage of equestrian progressivism. executive of this great State was to restore
He has the saving grace of humor, and it the government to the people and provide has helped him many times to be able to see for the crying social and industrial needs of the humorous side of things. Simplicity, the day. After those great aims were acfrankness, and directness are strong charac- complished facts his purpose has been to teristics, and his mental processes are rapid safeguard and protect the people from the and conclusions quickly and logically formed. attacks of those who would despoil them of But he does not act independently and with- what had been secured after so hard a fight out consultation in framing legislative pro- and after so long a time. Governor Johnson grammes, shaping public policies, or arrang- has grown with experience and the exercise ing political campaigns. He freely consults of power. legislators, but naturally does not find them He knows and understands the people and in the opposition camp, and advises with magnifies the trust reposed in him by them his friends. His final action has been well and his duty to them. That a Governor considered, and has the force and deter- should be something more than a mere mination of a fixed purpose and definite executive is his conception of his office. He conclusion. Perhaps it is this that has feels that he is more like the head of a great
THE MAN WHO SWEPT CALIFORNIA
corporation, with the people as its stock- trolled Legislature threw a sop to the people, holders, who have chosen him to represent who were at last waking up to a realization them, and that he should consult and advise of conditions and the necessity for a change, with them. He accepts the drudgery of ex- by passing a direct primary law. It was ecutive routine, but he does not subscribe to framed in the interest of the machine and the old doctrine that the big bosses and little was an imperfect and unsatisfactory law. bosses should look after the interests of the However, the reformers defeated the machine people while he does executive knitting. The with its own imperfect instrument, and result is that the great body of the people succeeded in nominating their candidate under have absolute confidence in his sincerity, it for Governor. In the Legislature of 1911 honesty, and integrity, and his desire and they had sufficient strength to make it one of purpose to do the right thing undismayed by the best direct primary laws of any State. and unafraid of the hostile criticism of those The Lincoln-Roosevelt League had been who are wedded to the old order. And he formed as the result of much hard work on has abundantly demonstrated by this time the part of unselfish citizens of the State who that democracy with him is an abiding pas- placed patriotism above partisanship. When sion, not a temporary expedient.
the time came to agree upon a candidate for Every State of the Union has had its expe- Governor, the League decided upon Hiram rience with boss rule and corporation dom- W. Johnson. He had taken up the task of ination, and with waste, corruption, and ex- prosecuting Abe Reuf when Francis J. Heney travagance to a greater or less degree at had been shot. Mr. Johnson was reluctant some period of its history ; but no State was to make the fight, desiring to continue his so completely dominated by corrupt influ- law practice. He yielded to the demands ences for so long a time and suffered so that he make the sacrifice and consented to severely as California. During the decade make the fight. But he insisted on making preceding the year 1910 the commonwealth his own platform, saying, “If I go into the was prey for the plunderers, and was con- fight, I go in with the understanding that if trolled in every department, executive, legis- I win the Southern Pacific will be kicked out lative, and judicial, by big business and of the politics of the State.” Mr. Johnson corporate interests. A place in the public had been active in organizing the League service carried with it license to loot. The and was then vice-president. He had been sessions of the Legislature were eras of extrav- an active participant in several reform camagant saturnalia, the pay-roll often amounting paigns in San Francisco; had demonstrated to $10,000 for a single week, and a short his capacity, ability, and courage as a leader week at that. A regimental company of and his power as a public speaker. Mr. doorkeepers were appointed to hold guard Johnson had retired from the graft prosecuover a single door which led nowhere. Ste- tion on account of his public labors in its nographers were appointed who could not tell behalf, and did so in order to remove any a shorthand mark from a Chinese character. criticism of personal selfish motives. He
The various institutions offered inviting courageously took up the work of prosecution fields for thieving through padded pay-rolls, again when Mr. Heney was shot. the farming out of inmates as laborers, the Governor Johnson entered the campaign sale by the superintendents of property for the gubernatorial nomination with all his owned by the State back to it, the making of tireless energy and boundless enthusiasm. fat contracts with themselves by officials, the Everything was against him so far as politifurnishing of supplies by favored rings at cal organization, prestige, and resources were profits running from one hundred to one concerned; but, undismayed, he tackled the thousand per cent. The limit of freight big job energetically, and with an automobile charges was the ability of shippers to pay, covered thousands of miles in a canvass which and express rates were oppressively high. took him to every city, town, and hamlet in
The shame of it all was that this condition the State. Communities which had never of affairs was quite thoroughly understood. before heard a candidate for the nomination The corrupt legislators and office holders for Governor or had collectively seen a Govshared in the plunder ; those personally ernor met and heard one for the first time. honest condoned it, and the people were As a physical feat the campaign was extraorindifferent or unable to make a change. In dinary, and as a reform crusade in the bossthe year 1909, however, the railway-con- ridden State there had been nothing like it. Everywhere he went he uttered the shibbo- legislation made effective during Governor leth, “I will kick the Southern Pacific out of Johnson's administration may be summarized the Government of the State." By the evi- as follows: dent sincerity of his purpose and strong com- A Board of Control which is the business pelling personality he secured the nomina- agency of the State.
This department has tion, receiving 100,000 votes, or as many as stopped underdraining of the treasury, wiped his two competitors combined. He later out corrupt practices, systematized the methstarted out on his campaign for election, and ods of doing business, including an audit of duplicated his former canvass. In all of his all the books and accounts of the State every campaigns Governor Johnson has probably six months, and making the management of covered 50,000 or 60,000 miles by automo- its affairs comparable to that of any efficient bile. He therefore knows the State and peo- business corporation. It costs $119,360 to ple as no other man in California. It is one do this, but the Board has effected savings by of the reasons why he has smashed prece- economies resulting from the adoption of a dents. Up to his renomination, no Gov- budget system and competitive bidding, which ernor had been renominated and re-elected. amount to more than $2,500,000, it is estiAlthough party custom divides the two mated United States Senators between the north A Railroad Commission which has regulated and south, he secured the nomination as public utilities corporations justly and fairly, Senator against a man south of the Tehachapi. and, without depriving them of reasonable
The convening of the Legislature for 1911 profits or imposing burdensome regulations was a somewhat anxious time for Governor and restrictions, has saved consumers and Johnson and his supporters, for it was not shippers $7,000,000 a year. certainly known that the Progressives would A 'Workmen's Compensation Insurance show sufficient strength and unity of pur- and Safety Act which safeguards the rights pose to carry out the reform legislative of injured employees and protects those deprogramme.
pendent upon them in case of death. DurThe Governor's message to the assembled ing a period of two and a half years 2,822 legislators was a masterly one, strong, vigor- applications for adjustment of controversies ous, clean cut. It cleared the air and blazed were filed with the Commission, and on July the trail, and a majority of the Legislature, 1, 1916, 2,407 of these had been decided. despite vigorous opposition, carried out the Only 94, or 3.9 per cent, were appealed to the programme of reform to the last measure. courts, and of the cases decided the CommisThe legislation promised by the platform on sion was sustained in 35 of them, and reversed which Governor Johnson was nominated in 16. embraced a simpler primary law; direct elec- A Civil Service Commission which operates tion of United States Senators ; abolition under an advanced and comprehensive law. the “party circle” on the ballot ; non-parti- When it is asserted that Governor Johnson san nomination of judges ; initiative, referen- has built up a great political machine by the dum, and recall; simpler criminal procedure ; use of patronage, all that is necessary in business reforms in administration; conser- answer is to point to the drastic Civil Service vation legislation ; larger powers for railway Law under which the chief executive was decommission, public service commission; shorter prived by his own act of the control of thouballot; county home rule ; workmen's com- sands of positions. pensation act; and submission of a woman's A Superintendent of Weights and Meassuffrage amendment.
ures under an Act which is designed to obtain Every promise made in this advanced for every purchaser exactly what he is programme was either effective within the charged for in weight and measure. short space of ninety days after Governor A Labor Bureau which has been an effiJohnson's inauguration by measures enacted cient and helpful department to labor, aiding into law or submitted to the voters of the those without means to obtain justice, ard State for adoption as amendments to the also, through a free employment bureau, Constitution. Every one of the measures so obtaining positions for the unemployed withsubmitted was ratified, and became part of out cost to them. Positions have been found the organic law of California at a special ses- for 28,339 persons during less than a year sion of the Legislature. The gain to Cali- in operation. Approximately $4,000,000 has fornia by the comprehensive constructive been earned in wages by the men and women
THE MAN WHO SWEPT CALIFORNIA
who have secured these positions at an esti- raised, the charges of the public utilities mated saving to them in fees of companies have been reduced by the decis$50,000.
ions of the Railroad Commission as stated. The finest system of highways constructed And, notwithstanding this, the corporations anywhere has been built and $18,000,000 have done more business than ever. This economically and honestly disbursed.
illustrates very strikingly how the people of A State Market Commission. Colonel the State were robbed by excessive charges Harris Weinstock, one of the State's most before a "nagging," " demagogic," and "resuccessful merchants, a man of National pressive ” administration controlled the Govreputation, is working out the problem, as ernment. Market Director, for the fruit-grower and The published statement, the origin of farmer, of how to market the product of which was not political, but was made to orchard and farm so as to obtain the results serve politics, that the per capita tax of of their toil to which they are entitled. California is the second highest of any
Child labor abolished, and children given State, has been unfair to the Government a chance to go to school to learn instead of and has placed California in a false position. the factory to work.
The only way to ascertain the per capita An eight-hour day for women and the for the maintenance of a State Government, right of suffrage.
proper, and to make comparisons worth while The solution of river power and the con- with the per capita of other States, according servation of overflow waters for the irrigation to Comptroller John S. Chambers, the of arid lands.
efficient head of the Department, is to elimFree text-books.
inate all transactions in which the State acts A modern system of wharves for the port either as an agent or a trustee. The Wisconof San Francisco.
sin Tax Commission, which probably is the A corporation commissioner who is doing ablest commission of the kind in the United highly efficient work under the Blue Sky Law States, in a recent pamphlet sustains this view in protecting the unsuspecting and too easily very emphatically. It is the common sense deceived public from unscrupulous and de- view, of course. California expends upon signing speculators.
education about $9,000,000 a year, of which An Industrial Welfare Commission which sum over $5,000,000 goes for the support of investigates and deals with the employment its common and high schools; this is merely of women and minors and secures to women collected by the State, as agent, and turned a living wage.
back for the support of the schools. An Immigration and Housing Commission There is refunded to the various counties whose duty it is to secure for industrial work- and cities on account of the bonded indebteders wholesome and sanitary conditions of ness of the State, counties, and cities outlabor.
standing when the present system of taxation Under the administration of Governor went into effect, and also to certain other Johnson State institutions have been modern. counties as reimbursement for the loss of ized and equipped at great expense, an im- railway property for local tax purposes, nearly provement long needed but always post- $1,000,000 a year. There is also handled poned.
for the San Francisco Harbor receipts, say, Since the beginning of Governor Johnson's of $1,500,000 a year, and this money can administration nearly the entire burden of be used only for harbor purposes, and not for maintaining the government is met by the general State purposes. The State is also re. various corporations, steam railways, street funding to the counties, at this time, nearly railways, electric light and power companies, $900,000, their half of .the motor vehicle insurance companies, banks, telegraph and taxes as collected.
Because of wrong assesstelephone companies, and express companies. ments, erroneous taxes, etc., a large amount They pay ninety-five per cent of the cost of of money is refunded each year, and government and the remaining five per cent there are other transactions, agent-like in is derived from fees. And it may be said in character, that probably would make the total passing that this ninety-five per cent does not of such matters $13,000,000 or $14,000,000. come out of the consumer by increased Now, by deducting this sum from the gross charges to the people. Instead of being expenditure of $36,000,000, and dividing the difference by, say, 3,000,000 (the approximate population of California), you will get a per capita of between $7 and $8. Some difference between $8 and $21 |
Thus it was that within a year after Governor Johnson's inauguration every platform pledge had been enacted into law. This was one hundred per cent. More or better could not be done. This justifies Theodore Roosevelt's tribute to this accomplishment as " the most comprehensive programme of con
structive legislation ever enacted at a single session of any American Legislature."
Here we have the mighty political revolution of a great commonwealth, held as a chattel and exploited as personal property, reformed, regenerated and reconstructed, and reactionary domination in behalf of corporate interests giving place to Progressive control in the interest of the people. Can any American commonwealth show a record in any wise approaching it ?
THE LAST STAND OF POLITICAL
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE BY FREDERICK M. DAVENPORT
During the past nine and a half months Mr. Frederick M. Davenport has been observing for The Outlook the course of political events in the United States. His series of articles on “The Pre-Nomination Cainpaign” attracted very wide attention, and his diagnosis of the situation proved accurate. Though affi.iated with the Repubiican party as a member of the New York Legislature and with the Progressive party as a candidate for the Governorship of New York, and now an enrolled Republican again, he has proved his understanding of the point of view of the Democratic party under President Wilson's leadership. His article on President Wilson was recognized by Democratic leaders as a fair and broad interpretation of the President. During the Presidential campaign he traveled through the West on the Hughes trips as a staff correspondent of The Outlook, and his acute observation of political conditions in the West will be remembered by The Outlook's readers. In the following piece of special correspondence Mr. Davenport interprets the election in the light of his experiences during the campaign.
Incidentally we remind our readers that in The Outlook for October 25, under the title of * Political Miracles in California,” was printed an account of the situation in California, from which we quote the following sentences :
“No one . . . questions the election of Governor Johnson to the Senate. According to one of our correspondents, no one guesses his majority as so little as a hundred thousand.' ... The Old Guard attempted to capitalize Mr. Hughes's visit and to make it useful for their own return to power. . . The Old Guard were not thinking of Mr. Hughes, but of their own political rehabilitation. Almost anything-except the defeat of Governor Johnson--can happen to California. . . . California might be ordinarily termed normally a Republican State. California, however, is doubtful to-day because there are many independent voters . . . who feel that President Wilson has had a hard time of it, and has done well to keep the country out of war, and they intend to vote for him. . . . Even those who believe that the State will be carried by Hughes admit that the vote is likely to be close."
Mr. Davenport's account of the situation in California from a Republican point of view is based on facts that were recognized before the election.—THE EDITORS.
HE Far West turns out to be the crux begins clearly to come into vision. The
and the surprise of the election. It Bourbon escort and leadership of the existing
was not cold to Mr. Hughes when Republican organization, which Mr. Hughes he campaigned in that section of the country. was practically forced to accept in certain The audiences which he met were every- pivotal States or else go again into the headwhere large, eager, attentive, and thoughtful. breaking business which had disrupted the But the aftermath of his visit, particularly to Republicans in 1910 and 1912, appears to Washington and California, seems to have have been misunderstood and misinterpreted been unhappy. And the reason for it now in its relation to the candidacy of the Repub