Part 4 out of 6
On the other hand, the amendment had strong backing. It had been drawn
up at the instance of the Direct Legislation League, which numbers among
its members many of the foremost bankers, capitalists, educators and
public men of the State - Rudolph Spreckels, Francis J. Heney, James D.
Phelan, of San Francisco, and Dr. John R. Haynes of Los Angeles, and
others fully as prominent being among the League's most active
In addition, the amendment had the endorsement of the State Grange, of,
the Labor Unions, of the State, county and municipal Democratic
conventions, and of many of the municipal and county Republican
But there were plenty of reasons given why the amendment should not be
submitted to the people. Perhaps the most amusing came from Senator
Wright, of Direct Primary and Railroad Regulation notoriety. Senator
Wright held that inasmuch as the Direct Primary will result in the
election of high-class legislators, the initiative will not be
But the two principal objections raised to the initiative were that:
1. It would lead to a flood of bills being submitted to the people.
2. That the people would not take sufficient interest in the proposed
laws to consider them carefully.
Both these objections were readily answered by the proponents of the
amendment, who gave the experience of States in which the initiative has
Oregon, for example, adopted the initiative in 1902. In 1904 but two
proposed laws were introduced under it; in 1906, five; and in 1908,
nineteen. Inasmuch as in 1908 California voted upon twenty-one
constitutional amendments and statutes which had been submitted by the
Legislature of 1907, it will be seen that Oregon was not particularly
submerged by a flood of elector-initiated legislation.
In Canton Berne, Switzerland, where for half a century all the laws have
been adopted by the initiative system, the average of laws proposed has
been only two and a half a year.
As to the second objection, it was easily shown that in Oregon the
keenest interest is taken in the measures proposed through the
initiative. Some were shown to have been adopted by enormous majorities;
others to have been rejected by majorities as large.
Thus the objections to the amendment were easily disposed of.
Their arguments answered, the opponents of the amendment schemed to
prevent its consideration until the closing days of the session or
prevent consideration entirely.
In the Assembly, the amendment had been introduced by Drew of Fresno. It
was referred to the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, where it was
smothered to death. Although referred to the committee on January 11,
the committee took no action upon it. Coghlan of San Francisco was
chairman of the committee; associated with him were Legislators of the
types of Johnson of Sacramento, McClelland and Baxter. In vain those
advocating the adoption of the amendment urged the committee to act.
Meetings were indeed arranged, at which the proponents of the reform
would be present, but the committeemen would fail to attend.
A less exasperating, but no less effective fight was carried on in the
On the Senate side, the amendment introduced by Black went to the
Judiciary Committee. This committee was made up of the nineteen lawyers
in the Senate, every lawyer going on the committee. But Warren Porter
named the order of their rank, and the chairman and the four ranking
members of the committee voted eternally with the Wolfe-Leavitt faction.
On a straight vote the majority of the committee was against the
machine, as was shown in the fight for an effective railroad regulation
bill. But when it came to getting results in the Senate Judiciary
Committee, craft and leadership, as has been shown in previous chapters,
not infrequently overcame numbers.
On February 16, the reform element of the committee insisted that action
be taken on the amendment. Chairman Willis was reluctant to put the
question. Few machine members of the committee were in attendance. The
anti-machine members were insistent. Willis was finally forced to put
the question, and the amendment, after the percentage of voters required
to sign a petition for the initiation of a law had been raised from
eight to twelve per cent, was favorably reported back to the Senate.
But Senator Willis was able to do on the floor of the Senate what he had
been unable to do in the committee, namely, secure further delay. He
protested to the Senate at the "snap judgment" of his committee, with
the result that it was re-referred to that body. The committee, however,
for the second time sent it back to the Senate with the recommendation
that it be adopted.
Then followed a series of delays in the Senate, so that the measure was
not brought to vote until March 11th.
For the adoption of a Constitutional amendment, a two-thirds vote -
twenty-seven - is required in the Senate. The proponents of the
amendment had good reason to believe that that number of Senators would
vote for its adoption. The Senators counted upon to vote for the
amendment were: Anthony, Bell, Birdsall, Black, Boynton, Caminetti,
Campbell, Cutten, Estudillo, Hare, Kennedy, McCartney, Reily, Roseberry,
Rush, Sanford, Stetson, Thompson, Walker, Welch - 20, who actually voted
for the amendment; Finn, Strobridge, Cartwright and Holohan, who were
absent when the vote was taken, but who were pledged to the reform;
Lewis, Bills, Curtin and Miller, who were counted on the side of the
amendment until it came to a vote. This made twenty-eight votes, one
more than enough for adoption.
Kennedy, Reily, Welch, Finn and Hare, usually against reform
legislation, were counted for the Initiative because of convention
obligations which could not well be ignored. Lewis, McCartney and Bills
were counted for it because of their alleged promise of its support;
Curtin and Miller because the Democratic State Convention had endorsed
the Initiative, and for the further reason that Curtin and Miller were
ordinarily for reform legislation.
But on the vote, the unfortunate Hare, Kennedy, Reily, McCartney and
Welch remained true to their obligations, while Curtin and Miller
disappointed those who had expected their support. The negative vote of
Bills and Lewis did not cause much disappointment, for little else was
to have been expected, and anyway, the negative votes of Curtin and
Miller were enough to defeat the amendment.
Curtin and Miller, in spite of their party's endorsement of the policy,
expressed themselves as "scandalized" at such an idea as the Initiative.
But as good men as Miller and Curtin were scandalized at the idea of
abolition in 1860, only to become the most earnest supporters of the
Emancipation Proclamation three years later.
Reform waves, like the Atlantic Ocean, are not kept back with brooms -
or Gus Hartmans.
 For example the charters of Los Angeles and of Berkeley. The
Berkeley charter is a model in this respect. It provides that any
qualified citizen may become a candidate for municipal office, by
petition of twenty-five electors, AND IN NO OTHER WAY. The party tag is
thus done away with. At the election, if a candidate receive a majority
of the votes he is declared elected. If no candidate receive a majority,
then a second election is held at which the two candidates receiving the
highest pluralities become candidates, the names of all other candidates
who participated at the first election are dropped. The candidate at the
second election who receives the majority is declared elected. A
movement is on foot to have a similar provision incorporated into the
San Francisco charter.
 "As a source of public education upon which free government must
always rest, as a means of conservative progress, upon which the
continued life of all nations depends, as a check upon paternalism and
rich gifts calculated to lull to sleep the love of freedom, as the key
that may be used to open the door to equal opportunity, the Initiative
is fundamentally more important than all other proposed reforms put
together. " - Arthur Twining Hadley, LL. D., in "The Constitutional
Position of Property in America."
It is interesting to note, that nearly a quarter of a century ago. Bryce
in his American Commonwealth, pointed out that this country could not
without the initiation of laws by The People enjoy the fruits of its
Defeat of the Anti-Japanese Bills.
Stir Storm in the Assembly, But All the Bills Were Finally Defeated -
Grove L. Johnson Denounces Action of Governor Gillett and President
Roosevelt - Speaker Stanton Places Himself in a Very Embarrassing
Position - His Effective Speech Becomes a Joke.
The Japanese problem under the bludgeoning of the big stick in the
skilled hands of President Roosevelt, and free application of the
organization switch in the hands of Governor Gillett, was kept fairly
well under control during the entire session. That the problem is real
was demonstrated by the numerous resolutions and alien-regulation bills
which were introduced in both Houses. The Assembly, however, was the
scene of the final defeat of the anti-Japanese element. There the
legislative campaign against the Japanese was fought out, and there it
The contest in the Assembly narrowed down to three measures, Assembly
Bill 78, introduced by Drew of Fresno, known as the "Alien Land Bill";
Assembly Bill 14, known as the "Anti-Japanese School Bill," and Assembly
Bill 32, known as the "Municipal Segregation Bill," both introduced by
Johnson of Sacramento. The final defeat of these bills settled the
Japanese question so far as the legislative session of 1909 was
Drew's Alien Land bill was by far the most important of the three. It
was in effect a copy of the alien land law at present in force in the
State of Illinois, and generally known as the "Illinois Law." Under its
provisions an alien acquiring title to lands situate in this State, was
given five years in which to become a citizen of the United States;
failing to become a citizen, he was required to dispose of his holdings
to a citizen; failing so to do, the necessary machinery was provided for
the District Attorney of the county in which the land was situated to
dispose of it, and turn the proceeds of the sale over to the alien
owner. Ample protection was provided for alien minors who might possess
or might become possessed of California real property. Furthermore,
under the provisions of the law, the leasing of land to aliens for a
longer period than one year was prohibited.
Though the word, "Japanese," did not appear, the bill's introduction was
a shot which if not heard round the world, at least reached Washington
on the East and Tokio on the West. Finally, on January 25, Governor
Gillett made the Alien bills pending before the Legislature subject of a
special message to Senate and Assembly, in which he urged the
Legislature to do nothing that would disrupt the pleasant relations
existing between America and Japan, and recommended that an
appropriation be made to enable the Labor Commissioner to take a census
showing the number of Japanese now in the State, with such other
information regarding them as could be used in making a proper report to
the President and Congress[87a].
Governor Gillett in the paragraph of his message which dealt with
the Alien Land bill, stated that the measure might be amended so that
its passage would not embarrass the Federal Government. Mr. Drew
promptly sent the Governor a note, inquiring "how amended." The Governor
replied, stating that, in his judgment the best possible law that
could be passed on the question of alien ownership of land would be the
law which had been adopted by Oklahoma. Furthermore, the Governor
expressed the opinion that such a law would be satisfactory to President
Roosevelt and Secretary Root.
Mr. Drew was quick to act on the suggestion. He not only yielded to the
Governor's wishes, but in the teeth of the severest opposition from
the San Francisco delegation, forced delay of the passage of his bill
until the Oklahoma law could be substituted for that taken from the
The substitute measure provided that "no alien shall acquire title or
own land in the State of California," but the provisions of the act
further provided that the law "shall not apply to lands now owned in
this State by aliens so long as they are held by their present owners."
The substitute measure was introduced on February 1st; it came up for
passage on February 3rd. In the two days which elapsed between the
introduction and final action on the bill, the high State authorities
decided to oppose it. Speaker Phil Stanton employed his influence
against it; one by one its supports who could "be reached" were "pulled
down." Drew found himself at the final with slight following. The bill
was defeated by the decisive vote of 28 to 48. Mott gave notice of
motion to reconsider, but the next day reconsideration was denied.
The day following the defeat of the Alien Land bill, February 4th, the
"Anti-Japanese School Bill" and the "Municipal Segregation Bill" came up
for final action. There was also Assembly Bill 15, classed as an
anti-Japanese measure, which came up on the same day. It, as in the case
of the two others, had been introduced by Johnson of Sacramento, by far
the ablest parliamentarian in the Legislature. Drew had used facts and
figures when arguing for his alien land bills; Johnson seasoned his
statistics with a sarcasm as peppery as one of Mr. Roosevelt's
ingenuous opinions on "nature fakers." But while Mr. Johnson entertained
with his wit and his invective, he failed to overcome the tremendous
influence, State and Federal, that had been brought to bear against his
bills. Assembly Bill 15, denying aliens the right to serve as directors
on California corporations, was defeated by a vote of 15 for to 53
against. Assembly Bill 32, the "Municipal Segregation Bill," was
defeated by the close vote of 39 for to 35 against, 41 votes being
required for its passage.
And then the Assembly took another tack, and by a vote of 45 to 29,
passed Assembly Bill 14, the Anti-Japanese School bill. Leeds changed
his vote from no to aye to give notice that he would the next
legislative day move to reconsider the vote by which the bill had been
passed. The Assembly then adjourned. The day had been eventful. A more
eventful was to follow.
The passage of Assembly Bill 14, after the defeat of the other so-called
anti-Japanese measures, brought a characteristic telegram from President
Roosevelt to Governor Gillett. "This (Assembly Bill 14) is the most
offensive bill of them all," telegraphed the President, "and in my
judgment is clearly unconstitutional, and we should at once have to test
it in the courts. Can it not be stopped in the Legislature or by veto?"
Governor Gillett incorporated that telegram in a message which he sent
to Senate and Assembly the next day. "A telegram so forcible as this,"
said the Governor, "from the President of the United States, is entitled
to full consideration, and demands that no hasty or ill-considered
action be taken by this State which may involve the whole country. It
seems to me that it is time to lay sentiment and personal opinion and
considerations aside and take a broad and unprejudiced view of the
important question involved in the proposed legislation, and in a calm
and dispassionate manner pass upon them, keeping in mind not only the
interests of our State, but of the Nation as well, and the duty we owe
to it in observing the treaties entered into by it with a friendly
"I trust," concluded the Governor, "that no action will be taken which
will violate any treaty made by our country or in any manner question
its good faith. I most respectfully submit this message to you with the
full hope and belief that when final action shall be taken nothing will
be done which can be the subject of criticism by the people of this
Nation, and that no law will be enacted which will be in contravention
of the Constitution or any treaty of the United States."
The Governor's message was not at all well received; in fact,
Governor and message were denounced by both Republican and Democratic
From the hour that the bill had been passed, the Governor had been in
consultation with his lieutenants in the Assembly. Speaker Stanton made
canvass of the situation. But little headway was made. That
reconsideration would be denied was evident. Leeds, to save the
situation, moved that reconsideration be postponed until February 10th.
An amendment was made that it be re-referred to the Judiciary Committee.
It was on this amended motion that the issue was fought out.
"I know what you want," declared Johnson of Sacramento in his opening
speech, "and you know it. You want to bury this bill. You want time to
hold another caucus on the question and decide what you will do. You
want time to take another canvass of this Assembly."
Had the question been put when Johnson had concluded, reconsideration
would unquestionably have been denied. In the emergency, Speaker Stanton
left his desk and took the floor to plead for delay. For once in his
life, at least, Phil Stanton was impressive. He did not say much, - and
as the sequel showed he had little to say - but there was a suggestion
of thundering guns and sacked cities and marching armies in his words,
that caused the listening statesmen to follow him with unstatesmen-like
"It was not my intention," said Stanton, "to take the floor unless we
were confronted by some grave crisis. Such a crisis is, in my opinion,
upon us. I not only believe it, but I know it. But my lips are sealed."
"I would that I could tell you what I know, but I cannot for the
present. But I can tell you that we are treading upon dangerous ground.
I can feel it slipping from under my feet."
"In my judgment this matter should be postponed. I believe that further
information will, within a few days, be given you."
The psychological moment had come in the history of Assembly Bill 14.
All eyes were turned on Johnson of Sacramento. It was for him to say
whether the postponement asked should be granted. Had Johnson said "no,"
such was the attitude of the Assembly at that moment, reconsideration of
the measure would unquestionably have been denied, and Assembly Bill 14
declared passed by the House of its origin.
But Johnson did not say "no." Instead, he entered upon a rambling
excuse for advocating acquiescence in Stanton's request for delay. He
rambled on that he believed that Governor Gillett had been indiscreet;
that he (Johnson) did not propose to be dictated to by a "fanatical
President eternally seeking the limelight."
"But," concluded Johnson, "I have listened to the words of our Speaker,
and I see that he is profoundly moved. For this reason I am willing that
the bill go over until Wednesday, but out of respect to our Speaker, and
for no one else on earth."
When Johnson sat down, one could have heard a pin drop. Not a dissenting
voice was heard. Further consideration of the measure was postponed
until February 10.
The day preceding final action on the bill was given over to conferences
and caucuses. The Democrats caucused and agreed to stand as a unit for
the bill. Grove L. Johnson's immediate followers rallied to its support.
On the other hand, a conference of those opposing the measure was held
in Governor Gillett's office. Grove L. Johnson is alleged to have been
called to the carpet. He was asked to withdraw his support of the
measure. Johnson is quoted as replying:
"Show me why I should not support it. Give me the reasons, the facts
and figures, why Roosevelt has any right to interfere with this
measure. I want something definite. I have heard these suppositions
and insinuations for years and years. Let me know, gentlemen, what
information you have confided to you that should induce me to
withdraw my support and bow to the telegram from Roosevelt."
The hour for reconsideration of the bill, 11 a. m. of February 10,
arrived with the situation practically unchanged. Assemblyman Transue,
Stanton's right hand man in the fight against the bill, presented an
elaborate resolution, laboriously prepared by the opponents of the
measure, setting forth why it should be defeated. In it the right of
the State to pass such school-regulating laws as it may see fit was
affirmed, and the constitutionality of the pending measure alleged, but
the Assembly was urged to do nothing to disturb the relations existing
between this Government and a friendly power. The resolution did not
strengthen the position of the opponents of the bill in the least. In
fact, several of their number were estranged. So worked up had the
Assemblymen become, that Beardslee of San Joaquin moved that Transue's
resolution be considered in executive session, but the motion was lost.
The resolution was later withdrawn.
The debate turned principally on demands from the supporters of the
bill, that Speaker Stanton tell why he had felt "the ground slipping
from under his feet" in his speech of six days before. But Stanton
wouldn't or couldn't tell. He leaned on his gavel through it all looking
very foolish indeed.
These speeches of denunciation pleased the supporters of the bill
immensely, but the luxury of denouncing Stanton defeated the bill. Had
the vote been taken at the forenoon session, reconsideration would
undoubtedly have been denied. But so much time was taken in making
Stanton feel foolish, that the hour of recess arrived, and the Assembly
scattered until two o'clock.
This brief respite gave the opponents of the measure a last opportunity.
They improved it by bringing over to their side enough members of the
San Francisco delegation to win reconsideration, and the measure's
defeat. When the Assembly re-convened after the noon recess, the members
by a vote of 43 to 34 granted the bill reconsideration, and by a vote of
37 ayes to 41 noes defeated it.
Although the Senate escaped the sensational scenes that attended the
suppression of the Japanese problem in the Assembly, nevertheless
Japanese bills and resolutions, with attending debates, made their
appearance there. Caminetti, for example, introduced a duplicate of the
Johnson anti-Japanese School bill, which was referred to the Senate
Committee on Education and never heard from again.
Senate Bill No. 492, introduced by Senator Anthony, made more trouble.
This measure gave the people of the State an opportunity to express
themselves at the polls on the Japanese question. The Committee on
Labor, Capital and Immigration recommended the measure for passage, and
it was finally forced to a vote, being defeated by twelve votes for and
A series of Senate anti-Japanese resolutions which were finally included
in Senate joint Resolution No. 6, almost led to a riot in the
Assembly. After a deal of pulling and hauling in the Senate the
resolution was finally adopted and went to the Assembly. In the
Assembly, Speaker Stanton, as "a select committee of one," took the
resolution under his protection. The indications being that the "select
committee of one" would fail to report, a storm was started by an attack
on Stanton's authority to be a "select committee of one" at all. The
assailants were repulsed. Nevertheless, "the select committee of one,"
after holding the measure a week, recommended that it be referred to the
Committee on Federal Relations. The measure was finally adopted and went
to the Governor.
 The Assembly vote on the four principal Japanese issues will be
found in Table I of the Appendix.
[87a] A bill providing funds for such a census was introduced and became
 The paragraph in Governor Gillett's message which deals with the
Alien Land bill, read as follows:
"If you believe the general policy of this State and its future
development demands that all aliens, that is, citizens of other
countries, should be discouraged in making investments here, and that no
alien should be permitted to become the owner in fee simple of any lands
within this State - agricultural, grazing or mineral, or of any city
property for the purposes of trade, commerce or manufacturing - then
enact a law forbidding the same, but see to it that it affects the
subjects of all nations alike, and that under its provisions the
citizens of Japan shall have equal privileges with those of England
and other favored nations; otherwise you might create a situation which
may prove to be embarrassing to the Federal Government. Mr. Drew's bill
might be so amended, but in its present form it clearly, as no doubt was
intended, discriminates against the citizens of China and Japan. Whether
any bill should pass at this time which will discourage foreign capital
from seeking investments in our State is a most serious question and one
not lightly to be considered. But that is a question I leave for you to
 The Governor's letter was in full as follows:
Hon. A. M. Drew: Your little note was received.
"I am inclined to think that the best possible law that can be passed on
the question of alien ownership of land would be the law adopted by
Oklahoma. You will find it in the session laws of the State of Oklahoma,
1907 and 1908. The book is on file in the State Library. The Act is on
"I would strike out of the first line the words 'who is not a citizen of
the United States,' because that is useless. No alien is a citizen of
the United States, and cannot be.
"Then I notice the second line of Section 3, instead of having 'devise,'
the word is 'device.' I suppose this must be a typographical error.
"To this bill might be added the last section of your bill, extending
the time in which leases can be given - so many years on agricultural
property and so many years on city property. I think one year is rather
short; inasmuch as this would apply to all aliens alike, I would be
reasonable as to the length of time for which leases should be granted.
"I am also of the opinion that President Roosevelt and Secretary Root
would agree that this bill would be all right - in fact, I have
telegrams from them which would indicate such to be the fact. Of course,
the question whether or not it would be policy to pass an alien law in
this State is something that the Legislature would have to consider, but
if such a law is to pass, as I say, I am inclined to believe that one
like the Oklahoma law would probably be the best."
 Assemblyman Drew's reply to the Governor's letter suggesting that
the Oklahoma law be substituted for the original bill, was as follows:
"Your esteemed favor of the 26th inst., is before me, and I can assure
you that I appreciate the spirit in which you have considered the Alien
Land bill, presented by myself in the Assembly. I am strictly in accord
with the changes you suggest. The words 'who is not a citizen of the
United States' are surplusage and could easily have been left out, but
they are found in both the Illinois and Oklahoma laws. I am glad the
President takes the view of the matter that he does, and you may rest
assured that I will work in harmony with yourself. However, I deem it
advisable that some law should be enacted at this session of the
Legislature. I think it will be wisdom on our part to take this step,
and surely our neighbor, Japan, cannot complain so long as the bill is
applicable to all aliens alike. I will submit to you a draft of the
amended bill as soon as I can get it in shape."
 Johnson addressed himself directly to President Roosevelt and
Governor Gillett. The following paragraphs are taken at random from his
"I expect some member of the Assembly to introduce a bill here, the
first section of which shall read: 'Before any legislation is enacted it
shall bear the approval of James N. Gillett and President Roosevelt and
if it is denied, the bill shall be withdrawn.' "
"Some of you think legislation is like patent medicine. It must bear on
the bill, the label: 'None genuine without the note, This is a good
bill, James N. Gillett.' "
"What right have we, mere Assemblymen, to have an opinion on any matter?
Why should we, who were sent here by the people for the sake of
convenience and formality, have any independence in our thought? What
right have we to do anything but listen in awe and reverence to the
words of wisdom that drop from the tongues of Governor James N. Gillett
and Theodore Roosevelt?
"Of course we must surrender our individual opinion, and bow to the
superior intellects of the 'Imperial Power,' which Mr. Beardslee loves
so well. Since we must vote, as a matter of course, what right have we
to vote otherwise than as the distinguished Governor and President say
in their infinite certainty?"
Johnson complained bitterly of the interference of the President with
the State and of the Governor with the Legislature.
"I have," said Johnson, "all respect for the intellect of James N.
Gillett, Governor of California, and for his superior, President
Roosevelt. But I am sent into this Chamber by my constituents and not by
Governor James N. Gillett. I have been returned here again and again,
and not because I bowed to the authority of James N. Gillett. I am here
for the good of my people, the people who supported me, and who expect
me to support them. I know more about the Japanese than Governor Gillett
and President Roosevelt put together. I am not responsible to either of
"I am responsible to the mothers and fathers of Sacramento County who
have their little daughters sitting side by side in the school rooms
with matured Japs, with their base minds, their lascivious thoughts,
multiplied by their race and strengthened by their mode of life."
"I am here to protect the children of these parents. To do all that I
can to keep any Asiatic man from mingling in the same school with the
daughters of our people. You know the results of such a condition; you
know how far it will go, and I have seen Japanese 25 years old sitting
in the seats next to the pure maids of California. I shuddered then and
I shudder now, the same as any other parent will shudder to think of
such a condition."
 The purpose of the Municipal Segregation bill, as set forth in its
title, was "to confer power upon municipalities to protect the health,
morals and peace of their inhabitants by restricting undesirable,
improper and unhealthy persons and persons whose practices are dangerous
to public morals and health and peace to certain prescribed limits, and
prescribing a punishment for a violation of this Act."
The bill in full was as follows:
"Section 1. Whenever in the opinion of the governing body of any
municipality the presence of undesirable, improper and unhealthy
persons, or the presence of persons whose practices are dangerous to
public morals and health and peace is deemed to exist in the said
municipality and to be dangerous to the public morals and health and
peace of said municipality and its inhabitants, the said governing body
is hereby empowered to so declare by ordinance and is hereby empowered
and authorized to prescribe by ordinance the district and limits within
which said persons shall reside in said municipality, and thereafter it
shall be unlawful for any person of the class so declared to reside in
any other portion of said municipality than within the said district and
limits so fixed.
"See. 2. A violation of the provisions of this Act shall be deemed a
misdemeanor and shall be punished as such."
 "Never before have I heard of a time," said Assemblyman Cronin,
"when a Governor has sent such a message to a Legislature. I am
responsible to my constituents for my actions on this floor and I resent
such interference. I hold the Governor's action to be indiscreet. He has
no more right to send such a message to this House than have we to
dictate to the Supreme Court a policy on any action pending before it,
on the ground that the best interests of the State depend upon their
regarding our Instructions.
"Can we dictate to the Governor the course that is to be pursued in an
executive matter? Let us stand by our guns."
"If the men change their votes on account of this fanciful talk from the
President and the Governor," said Johnson of Sacramento, "I shall
certainly be pained and surprised. They do not know the conditions as I
know them. We have a right to protect our State, and it will not
interfere with any international relations, and they know it. Their
specious argument will not change my vote one bit. I know what The
People want - what I want. I know influence has been brought to bear. It
will be further brought to bear. Now I trust this vote will not suffer
by you men changing your minds for such groundless reasons."
"Since yesterday," said Assemblyman Gibbons, "I have changed my views. I
thought there were three departments in this Government, but I find I
was mistaken. I recognize the error of my youthful belief. I know now
that the Legislative and the Executive are one, or, rather, that the
Executive is the Legislative."
 The question has been asked - was Johnson sincere in his advocacy
of the Anti-Japanese measures? The writer does not presume to answer;
the workings of Grove L. Johnson's mind and conscience are, for the
writer at least, too intricate for analysis. But Grove L. Johnson voted
for anti-racetrack gambling bills for years, spoke for them and fought
for them as keenly as he did for the Anti-Japanese bills, always on the
losing side. But when an anti-racetrack gambling bill was before the
Assembly with some prospect of passage, Grove L. Johnson was found the
leader of those opposed to its passage. In the case in point, to Grove
L. Johnson, and not President Roosevelt or Governor Gillett, or even
Phil Stanton, is due the credit for postponement of consideration of
Assembly Bill 14, a postponement which meant its defeat.
 The Transue resolution will be found in full In the appendix.
 Speaker Stanton very modestly took much credit for the defeat of
the bill. The following telegram was on its way to Washington almost
before the vote had been announced:
"Sacramento, February 10.-Theodore Roosevelt, White House Washington, D.
C. - The Assembly just reconsidered and refused passage of the Japanese
School bill. My congratulations.
P. A. STANTON."
The reply was as follows:
"Washington, February 10.-Hon. P. A. Stanton, Speaker of the Assembly,
Sacramento, Cal. - Accept my heartiest thanks and congratulations for
the great service you have rendered on behalf of The People of the
United States. I thank the people of California and their
representatives in the Legislature.
A further telegram was sent to Governor Gillett:
"Washington, February 10. - To Governor J. N. Gillett, Sacramento Cal. -
Accept my heartiest congratulations. All good Americans appreciate what
you have done. Pray extend my congratulations individually to all who
have aided you. I feel that the way in which California has done what
was right for the Nation makes it more than ever obligatory on the
Nation in every way to safeguard the interests of California. All that I
personally can do toward this end, whether in public or private life,
shall most certainly be done.
 The vote on Senate Bill 492 was as follows:
For the bill - Anthony, Black, Burnett, Caminetti, Campbell, Cartwright,
Finn, Hartman, Holohan, Reily, Sanford, and Welch - 12.
Against the bill - Bates, Bell, Bills, Birdsall, Boynton, Curtin,
Cutten, Hurd, Leavitt, Lewis, Martinelli, McCartney, Miller, Price,
Rush, Savage, Strobridge, Thompson, Walker, Weed, Willis, and Wright -
Absentees - Estudillo, Hare, Kennedy, Roseberry, Stetson, and Wolfe - 6.
 Senate Joint Resolution No. 6, which, as finally adopted, was a
committee substitute for Senate Joint Resolution Nos. 6, 7, 11 and 17.
Whereas, The progress, happiness, and prosperity of the people of a
nation depend upon a homogeneous population;
Whereas, The influx from overpopulated nations of Asia of people who are
unsuited for American citizenship or for assimilation with the Caucasian
race, has resulted and will result in lowering the American standard of
life and the dignity and wage-earning capacity of American labor;
Whereas, The exclusion of Chinese laborers under the existing exclusion
laws of the United States has tended to preserve the economic and social
welfare of the people;
Whereas, We view with alarm any proposed repeal of such exclusion laws
and the substituting therefor of general laws;
Whereas, The interest of California can best be safeguarded by the
retention of said exclusion laws, and by extending their terms and
provisions to other Asiatic people;
Whereas, The people of the Eastern states, and the United States
generally, have an erroneous impression as to the real sentiment of the
people of the Pacific Coast relative to the Asiatic question;
Whereas, We think it right and proper that the people of this country
should be advised as to our true position on that question; therefore,
Resolved, by the Senate and Assembly jointly, That we respectfully urge
the Congress of the United States to maintain intact the present Chinese
exclusion laws and instead of taking any action looking to the repeal of
said exclusion laws, to extend the terms and provisions thereof so as to
apply to and include all Asiatics;
Resolved, That our Senators be instructed and Representatives in
Congress requested to use all honorable means to carry out the foregoing
recommendation and requests;
Resolved, That the Governor of California be, and he is, directed to
transmit a certified copy of these resolutions to the President and
Speaker, respectively, of the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States, and to each of our Senators and Representatives in
The resolution was adopted in the Senate by the following vote:
Ayes - Senators Anthony, Bates, Bills, Birdsall, Black, Boynton,
Burnett, Caminetti, Campbell, Cartwright, Curtin, Cutten, Finn, Hare,
Hartman, Holohan, Kennedy, Leavitt, Lewis, McCartney, Miller, Reily,
Rush, Sanford, Savage, Walker, Welch, and Wolfe - 28.
Noes - Senators Bell, Price, Roseberry, Stetson, Thompson, Weed, and
Willis - 7.
The resolution was adopted in the Assembly on March 23. There was no
call for the ayes and noes, and no record was made of the vote.
The Rule Against Lobbying.
Scandals of the Session of 1907 and the Dread of Pinkerton Detectives
Led to a Rule Under Which Machine Lobbyists Could Work with Perfect
Safety, While Advocates of Reform Measures Could Be Barred From Both
Senate and Assembly.
One of the principal scandals of the Legislative session of 1907 was the
openness with which machine lobbyists invaded Senate and Assembly
chamber. They went so far as to move from member to member during
roll-calls, giving Senator or Assemblyman, as the case might be, a
proprietary tap on the shoulder, to direct his vote.
Word of the scandal got as far away from Sacramento as San Luis Obispo
County, where A. E. Campbell became a candidate for the Senate against
H. W. Lynch, largely on the machine issue. Campbell pledged himself ,to
denounce such lobbyists as Jere Burke, the Southern Pacific attorney, if
they appeared on the floor of the Senate, and to have them ejected from
When Campbell reached Sacramento he let it be known that such would be
his policy. Campbell is thickset and shaggy of eyebrow; his beard shows
black on his face two hours after shaving. He has all the earmarks of a
born fighter. He didn't look good to the machine, and his words didn't
sound good. Incidentally, Jere Burke discreetly kept out of the Senate
chamber while the Senate was in session.
Another thing which gave machine members of both Houses, as well as
machine hangers-on, much concern, was the rumor started along in
December that certain public-spirited citizens of Los Angeles and San
Francisco would maintain at the Capital during the session a lobby to
protect the interests of the people, just as the machine lobby looks
after the well-being of machine-protected corporations and individuals.
This rumor caused great distress. It had all sorts of versions. One
story was that a corps of Pinkertons would be employed to look for bugs
in bills, boodle in sacks, and boodle-itching palms. Another account had
it that the supervision was to be carried on by the San Francisco graft
prosecution, and that Burns men would be in constant attendance. A
report, started early in the session, that a Burns detective had secured
a job as Assembly clerk almost threw that body into hysterics.
Campbell's threats and the anti-machine lobby rumors seem to have had
their effect upon the Committee on Rules of each House. At any rate,
both Senate and Assembly adopted rules that no person engaged in
presenting any business to the Legislature or its Committees should be
permitted to do business with a member while the House to which the
member belonged was in session. Persons transgressing this rule were to
be removed from the floor of the House in which the offense was
committed, and kept out during the remainder of the session.
The rule was employed in one instance only. George Baker Anderson, of
The People's Legislative Bureau, was ruled out of the Assembly, and, in
effect, out of the Senate Chamber. Jere Burke kept away from both, but
it was probably Campbell's threat more than the rule that influenced
Burke. With these two exceptions, the lobbyists had pretty much the run
of both chambers. It should be said, however, that while none of those
lobbyists were threatened with expulsion from the floor of either House
for advocating machine-backed measures and policies, persons advocating
reform measures were threatened with the anti-lobbying rules. But
Anderson was the only one to suffer because of them.
The curious feature of Anderson's case was that nobody seems to have
been able to discover that he ever did any lobbying, or asked a member
of either body to support or oppose any measure or policy, or that he
even so much as spoke to a legislator while the House to which the
legislator belonged was in session.
Anderson was in charge of a Legislative Bureau, one purpose of which was
to keep the newspapers of the State which were not represented by
correspondents at the Capital, informed of the votes on the various
measures, and other items of importance or interest. Somebody early in
the session called the bureau a "lobby," and somebody else improved the
title by calling it "People's Lobby."
And then certain Senators and Assemblymen awoke to the startling
discovery that in the Legislative Bureau, presided over by Anderson, was
the People's Lobby that was to employ Pinkerton's or Burns' men to watch
the Legislature. Anderson was a marked man from that moment.
Curiously enough this theory of Anderson's purpose didn't anger a single
member of Senate or Assembly who, during the nearly three months that
followed, voted against machine-advocated measures, and for measures
which the machine opposed. Assemblymen of the type of Bohnett, Hinkle,
Cattell, Callan and Drew, Senators like Bell, Black, Campbell and
Holohan either treated the Pinkerton story as a joke or thought that a
little Pinkerton watchfulness might be a pretty good proposition, all
On the other hand, many of the Senators and Assemblymen who were in
constant opposition to reform policies, were very much exercised that
anybody should have the audacity to have a watch kept upon the
Legislature. This intense feeling found perhaps its best expression in
Assemblyman McManus' denunciation of Anderson, when the question of
having Anderson "investigated" was before the Assembly.
"It is a sad state of affairs," said McManus, "if a band of Pinkertons
are here to follow the members up. We aren't everyday street-car
conductors. We don't have to have spotters to watch us."
But perhaps the most astonishing feature of the whole astonishing
Anderson incident is that nobody was ever able to connect him with a
detective of any stripe whatsoever, Burns, Pinkerton, or unclassified.
But this did not prevent his being ruled off the floor of the Assembly,
and, in effect, of the Senate.
As the most amazing rumors about Anderson - many started as jokes -
multiplied, the indignation of certain Assemblymen and Senators
increased. Matters came to a climax when Anderson sent a number of
letters to members who had been absent from the chamber when the first
vote was taken on the Walker-Otis Anti-Gambling bill, asking them if
they would be willing to give the reasons for their absence.
The difference in the effect of the letters was astonishing. Assemblyman
Prescott F. Cogswell, who had been favored with one of them, stated on
the floor of the Assembly that he had been glad of the opportunity to
make known the cause of his absence when the vote was taken. On the
other hand, Assemblyman Wheelan, who had received a duplicate of the
letter which Cogswell had welcomed, was very much cast down. Wheelan,
arising to a question of personal privilege, read the letter, and wanted
to know if he hadn't been "insulted."
Assemblyman Beardslee hastened to assure Mr. Wheelan that he had been.
Furthermore, Beardslee thumped his ample chest a thump, and announced:
"I, too, am insulted, for my brother has been insulted, and who insults
my brother, insults me."
That seemed to settle it. The Committee on Rules was instructed to
investigate the letter incident.
The Committee on Rules consisted of Johnston of Contra Costa, Transue,
Grove L. Johnson, Beardslee and Stanton, the Committee, by the way, of
"gag rules" notoriety. The investigation was held behind closed doors.
Anderson was asked about the letter and his purpose in writing it, to
all of which he replied directly and without hesitation. And then came
the burning question of the hour:
"How many Pinkertons are there in your employ in Sacramento, Mr.
Anderson?" asked Johnson.
Anderson refused to answer the question. His wiser course would perhaps
have been to answer truthfully, "None at all," and end the joke. But
that was Anderson's business. He declined to answer.
Anderson's refusal to answer was solemnly reported by the committee back
to the Assembly. Some members when the report was read laughed, others
were made very serious indeed. It was finally decided that the
investigation of Anderson should be turned over to the Judiciary
Committee, of which Grove L. Johnson was chairman.
The Judiciary Committee was solemnly authorized to send for persons and
papers, and administer oaths. While the investigation was pending,
Anderson was denied admittance to the Assembly chamber. As the press
badge, admitting Anderson to both Assembly and Senate chambers had been
taken from him, he was unable to enter the Senate chamber either.
And the Assembly Judiciary Committee failed to investigate. Although
Anderson demanded that he be given a hearing, and the matter settled,
one way or the other, the Judiciary Committee would not and did not act.
Under the Assembly resolution ordering the investigation, however,
Anderson was for nearly two months barred from both the Assembly and
Senate chambers. The session closed without the investigation being
It may be said in this connection that neither in the State Statutes,
nor in the rules of either Senate or Assembly, is there a word which
prohibits the employing of detectives at a Legislative session. Even
though Johnson's committee had investigated Anderson's case, and
discovered that he was really employing detectives, it is difficult to
see how his punishment could have been justified. The incident is
certainly one of the most extraordinary of the session - of any
Legislative session ever held in this State, in fact.
The most interesting point in the Anderson case was that when pinned
down for a reason for excluding him from the Assembly chamber, the
offended Assemblyman would invariably reply that he was excluded under
the rule which prohibited lobbying.
Curiously enough, however, lobbying, in spite of the rule, continued on
the floors of both Houses even during sessions.
When the Islais Creek Harbor bill was under consideration in the
Assembly, for example, Carroll Cook, and others interested in the defeat
of the measure as it had passed the Senate, appeared openly on the floor
and in the lobby of the Assembly, even when the debate was going on, and
worked for amendment of the measure to suit their aims. All this
resulted in the greatest confusion. But Speaker Stanton seemed
absolutely unable to cope with the situation. The lobbying and the
confusion continued in spite of Stanton's efforts to enforce something
of the appearance of order.
Such scenes were often duplicated in the Senate. When the fight over the
Direct Primary bill had the Senate by the ears, Johnnie Lynch, George
Van Smith, even President of the Senate Warren Porter, exerted
themselves to compel concurrence in the machine-backed Assembly
amendments. This was done in the Senate chamber, when the Senate was in
session, and Johnnie Lynch and Van Smith in particular were conspicuous
in the work in behalf of the machine's policy.
But it was noticeable, that those who advocated reform policies took no
such liberties on the floor of either House. They knew better. The
danger involved for the lobbyist for reform measures was emphasized the
night the measure prohibiting the sale of intoxicants within a mile and
a half of Stanford University passed the Assembly.
Charles R. Detrick of Palo Alto, during the call of the House ordered on
account of the Stanford bill, was discussing the merits of the measure
with Assemblyman Bohnett, who was leading the fight for its passage. It
was not a case of lobbying at all, for both men were for the bill,
Nevertheless, Assemblyman Schmitt[99a], who overheard Detrick mention
the measure, warned the Stanford man, that if he (Detrick) did not cease
his "lobbying" for the bill that he (Schmitt) would have him (Detrick)
excluded from the chamber.
Senator Walker, although a member of the Senate, had much the same
experience. Walker was discussing the Stanford bill with a friend, when
one of the opponents of the measure threatened him with expulsion from
the floor of the Assembly if he did not desist.
And even while these threats were being made against the proponents of
the bill, opponents of the measure were working openly on the floor of
the Assembly chamber against its passage. No suggestion was made that
the rule prohibiting lobbying be enforced against them.
 A party of newspapermen were in Anderson's office one evening, when
two or three machine men came in. With a wink to Anderson one of the
newspapermen asked - "The head of your detective bureau is that keen
looking young fellow, with reddish brown hair and brown eyes, is he not,
Anderson?" Anderson joined in the Joke and nodded. One of the machine
men left the room immediately. Within an hour, a hunt was being made
from one end of Sacramento to the other, for a "keen-looking young man
with reddish brown hair and brown eyes."
 The communication which insulted Wheelan read as follows:
The Hon. Albert P. Wheelan,
Member of Assembly.
Dear Sir: -
The People's Legislative Bureau, organized chiefly for the collection
and dissemination of accurate information regarding legislation, and the
attitude of members of the Legislature thereon, notes that you are
recorded as having been absent when the roll was called on the motion to
refer the Anti-Racetrack Gambling bill back to the committee.
As our record is intended to be permanent, and will be placed in the
hands of all the newspapers and civic organizations throughout the
State, we wish to ask if you have any objection to furnishing us the
reason for your absence, so that we may enter it upon our record.
GEORGE B. ANDERSON,
[99a] This is the same Schmitt who objected so strenuously to professors
of the State University being identified with reform movements.
The Machine Lobbyist At Work.
How, Jere Burke Arrayed the County Officials of the State Against Two
Beneficial Measures - How the Power of the Southern Pacific Was Employed
Against a California Enterprise - Danger Which Constantly Menaces
The problem of drawing the line between legitimate and reprehensible
lobbying has perplexed wiser men than sat in the California Legislature
On the side of the lobbyist it may be said there seems no good reason
why a citizen or representative of a corporation which is interested in
pending legislation should not appear at the Capitol and in a legitimate
way present his case to the members of the Legislature. In fact, the
theory of committee consideration of measures introduced in Senate or
Assembly, is based on the principle that it is the citizen's right to be
heard on any matter that may be pending before the Legislature. The
citizen cannot be heard before either the Senate or Assembly; he can,
however, present his case to the committee the decision of which carries
weight with that branch of the Legislature for which it acts. No one can
object, for example, that Mr. P. F. Dunne appeared before the Senate
Committee on Corporations, when the Railroad Regulation bill was under
consideration, to present the railroad's side. Mr. Dunne appeared openly
and aboveboard, and although he sought deliberately to misrepresent the
situation to the Committee, nevertheless to object to his visiting
Sacramento, or even to the work which he did while there, would be
forced and far-fetched.
In the same way, Mr. Seth Mann, representing the shippers of California,
appeared before the Committee and presented the side of the shippers.
Mr. Mann spoke for the shippers precisely as Mr. Dunne spoke for the
railroads. Mr. Mann, however, did not stoop to misrepresentation and
But if Mr. Dunne for the railroads or Mr. Mann for the shippers had
departed from openly-presented argument to buttonhole Senators or
Assemblymen to tell them they must vote for or against a given measure,
or look out for trouble, immediately would he be open to criticism. If
either went during roll call from Legislator to Legislator to tell the
members how they were to vote, again would he be justly criticized. Or
had Mr. Dunne employed the influence of the great corporation which he
represents to defeat or pass a measure in which his company can have no
legitimate interest, again would there be good reason for complaint. Mr.
Dunne could very properly - while acting as agent of the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company - urge in a legitimate way the corporation's
objections to the Demurrage bill, to the Full Crew bill, to the Railroad
Regulation bill, or any other measure affecting common carriers. But for
Mr. Dunne to have employed the influence of his position as political
representative of a common carrier to force the passage of the Change of
Venue bill for example, or defeat an effective Direct Primary bill, or
the Party Circle bill, or the Judicial Column bill, would have been most
reprehensible, for the Southern Pacific Company can have no legitimate
interest in any of these measures.
So far as the writer knows, Mr. Dunne did not concern himself with any
measure, except those in which his company was legitimately interested.
But paid servants of the Southern Pacific Company were at Sacramento
throughout the entire session, and managed to have their fingers in
about all that was going on. The most conspicuous of them was Mr. J. T.
Burke, more familiarly known as "Jere" Burke.
A fair sample of Burke's methods - and Burke is merely typical of the
objectionable lobbyist - is found in the campaign which was carried on
against Senate Bills 1229 and 1230. Had these measures become laws, it
would have been possible for county assessors to discover property,
owned principally by public service corporations, which at present
escapes taxation. It is estimated that the total taxable value of this
untaxed property is $100,000,000. It is not taxed because assessors have
no means of reaching it. Mr. Burke's company could have no legitimate
interest in Senate Bills 1229 and 1230. This statement is made, of
course, on the assumption that the officials of the Southern Pacific
Company aim to make honest returns to the tax collector. But to return
to Senate Bills 1229 and 1230, and Burke's connection with them.
The two measures were intended to amend sections of the Codes relating
to the assessment of property. Section 3681 of the Political Code
provides that "during the session of the Board (of Supervisors sitting
as a Board of Equalization) it may direct the Assessor to assess any
taxable property that has escaped assessment, or to add to the amount,
number and quality of property, when a false or incompetent list has
Under this section, as it at present reads, the Supervisors may direct
the Assessor to assess property that may have escaped assessment, but
there is no machinery provided by which the property may be discovered.
Senate Bill 1229 provided the machinery by which the unassessed property
might be discovered, by adding to the section quoted above: "And the
Board (the Supervisors sitting as a Board of Equalization) may employ
legal or other assistance in discovering any taxable property that has
escaped assessment in the performance of their duties under this
Senate Bill 1230, the companion bill, provided that the Supervisors may
subpena witnesses in all matters pending before them when sitting as a
Board of Equalization. Under the present law, they can compel attendance
of witnesses only upon the particular point under consideration.
The necessity of the amendments was generally admitted. The task of the
Assessor is at best no easy one. Through his deputies he must list all
the property in his county - that he can find.
The holdings of the small property owners are in sight, and, down to the
last chicken, go on the assessment roll.
The property of the large corporation is not so readily discovered and
$100,000,000 worth of it, according to conservative estimate, escapes
assessment. The Assessors, with comparatively small force of deputies,
have no way to force its assessment.
The Board of Supervisors, sitting as a Board of Equalization, may know
that the unassessed property is in existence, but has no way to reach
it. The Board may, under section 3681 of the Political Code quoted
above, direct the Assessor to assess it, but the law stops there. There
is no machinery provided for the discovery of the property. Senate Bills
1229 and 1230 provided the machinery. They were introduced by Senator
Sanford of Mendocino. Before their significance was appreciated by
Southern Pacific lobbyists, the Senate Judiciary Committee had
recommended them for passage.
When Burke did grasp the significance of the measures, he demanded of
Sanford that they be withdrawn. The argument which Burke advanced
against them was in effect as follows:
"These bills are the most un-American propositions I ever heard of,"
said Burke. "They make of the Boards of Supervisors inquisitorial
bodies. The corporations have property which they prefer to conceal.
They prefer arbitrary assessments. They do not care to make returns to
the Assessor. The passage of these bills would compel them to make
In other words, the corporations, if Jere Burke, their legislative
representative, reflects their sentiments, prefer that the Assessors
continue to guess at the value of their properties. If the guess be too
high, the corporations can compel reductions; if the guess be too low,
they rest content. But, however the corporations may approve the
guessing method of assessment, it has not proved equable, has not been
fair to the farmer, the merchant and the householder, who under oath
make honest returns to the Assessor.
Burke's argument, however, failed to move Sanford. The Senator from
Mendocino refused to withdraw the bills. And then a curious thing
happened. The members of the Senate were, within three days after
Sanford had refused to withdraw the bills, fairly swamped with telegrams
and letters from County Assessors and County Supervisors, protesting
against the passage of the bills, on the ground that their passage would
be a reflection upon the County Assessors of the State. Many who thus
telegraphed or wrote, stated that they had not seen the bills but added
in effect, "We understand that they are bad bills and should be
Of course, there was no evidence that Burke or his agents had instigated
the telegrams. But there was a shrewd suspicion that such was the case.
Sanford's answer to the Supervisors and Assessors was most effective. He
mailed them copies of the Sacramento Bee which set forth the actual
purpose of the bills, and copies of the bills themselves. Immediately
Assessors and Supervisors who had wired their Senators to oppose the
bills, sent telegrams withdrawing their opposition.
In passing it may be said that neither bill passed the Senate. Bill No.
1229 passed second reading, but was amended on third reading, March 11,
and was not heard of again. Bill No. 1230 passed second reading, but was
not read the third time. There are other ways to kill good bills than to
bluff their authors into withdrawing them, or by stirring up State-wide
antagonism to them. The incident shows, however, the State-wide
ramifications of the machine. Within three days it was possible for the
machine to create the impression from one end of the State to the other,
that Senate Bills 1229 and 1230 were bad bills, measures casting
reflection upon the County Assessors. Only the prompt action of Senator
Sanford dispelled this impression. It also demonstrates the powerful
backing behind the machine agents kept at Sacramento during a
It is bad enough when the far-reaching influence of the machine is
employed to defeat measures which provide the machinery to enable public
officials to enforce the law, against beneficiaries of the system, but
when one of the agents employs this influence to promote his personal
interests in a matter in which the particular corporation which he
represents can have no interest whatever, particular emphasis is given
the evils of the machine domination and reprehensible lobbying. To
A peculiar situation which has developed at Owens Lake in Inyo County,
made it necessary and proper that slight amendment be made to the law of
eminent domain. The water of Owens Lake is heavily charged with soda.
Some years ago, the Inyo Development Company was organized to recover
this soda. The company invested $200,000 in establishing a soda-ash
plant at the lakeside. This does not include the cost of building a
railroad from the Lake to Mound House, Nevada, a distance of about 400
miles. The investment proved a success. The company harvests as high as
10,000 tons of soda ash a year. As the product is worth as high as $30 a
ton at San Francisco, the enterprise adds an important industry to the
developed resources of the State. The method of recovering the soda is
simple. The water is drawn from the lake into vats, where it is left to
evaporate. The soda is then recovered.
Owing to the fact that the waters of Owens Lake are constantly receding,
a considerable strip of land has, during recent years, been uncovered
between the company's holdings near the lake. and the water. The water
from which the soda is reclaimed has to be piped over this land.
Recently former employees of the Inyo Development Company took up the
land lying between the company's property and the lake, and under the
name of the Natural Soda Products Company, propose to go into the
business of manufacturing soda ash on their own account.
Not long since the new company began to complain of the old company's
pipe, which crosses the new company's land. The old company saw that it
had trouble ahead unless it could condemn a strip of the recently
reclaimed land for a pipe line. It was found, however, that there is no
law in California by which this could be done. Under the law of eminent
domain land could be condemned for almost any other purpose than to
establish a pipe line to carry water not to be used for irrigation or
domestic purposes. An attempt was therefore made to have the law
governing eminent domain amended so as to read that land could be
condemned "for oil pipe lines and pipe lines for conducting the waters
of any lake which are not fit for irrigation or domestic purposes, and
which contain soda or other minerals' or chemical substances in
solution, and also pumps and machinery for raising the same and forcing
the same through such pipes."
This amendment was included in Senate Bill 797, and in the companion
Assembly Bill 815. Senate Bill 797 passed the Senate and was referred to
the Judiciary Committee of the Assembly, where the amendment providing
for the soda water pipe line was added. This bill received a favorable
recommendation from the Assembly Judiciary Committee and was returned to
the Assembly. And then a very mysterious thing happened. Without
apparent reason the bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on
Corporations. Provision for soda water pipe lines, so far as the
Assembly was concerned, came to a sudden ending.
At the time Senate Bill 797 was undergoing suppression in the Assembly,
the companion bill, Assembly Bill 815, was pending before the Senate
Judiciary Committee. The measure was amended to make possible the
condemnation of land for a soda water pipe line. Chairman Willis of the
Committee expressed himself as satisfied with the amendment. And as
amended, the bill was referred back to the Senate with the
recommendation that it do pass as amended. Two days later, however,
Senator Willis stated on the floor of the Senate that he had information
from Inyo County which convinced him that the amendment was not
desirable, and should be excluded from the bill. He stated that the
county officials of Inyo County opposed the amendment, and for that
reason suggested that the amendment be dropped. He stated that the
Assembly would refuse to concur in the amendment even though the bill
were passed with it. Mr. Willis' wishes were respected and the bill
re-amended. Provisions for condemning land for soda water pipe lines
came to as dead a stop in the Senate as in the Assembly. The next
development in this comparatively unimportant incident of the session,
was the discovery that Mr. J. T. Burke of Berkeley, member of the
Southern Pacific law department, the Jere Burke of Southern Pacific
lobbying, is one of the directors of the Natural Soda Products Company,
which owns the land over which the Inyo Development Company would build
a pipe line, a pipe line upon which the future prosperity of the Inyo
Development Company largely rests. Burke was alleged to have opposed the
amendment - and so far as the writer knows the charge was never denied -
and with having brought about the defeat of the amendment. In other
words, Mr. Burke is charged with throwing the full weight of the
influence of the large corporation (the Southern Pacific Railroad
Company, which he represents) on the side of a small corporation in
which he is a director, and against a third corporation, which has large
interests at stake. And the citizen who stands for fair play should not
lose sight of the fact that Mr. Burke's corporation, the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company, is the principal factor in the machine which
works against good government, fair play, the "square deal" in business
and politics which President Roosevelt insisted upon. The Inyo
Development Company failed in its perfectly legitimate purpose because
arrayed against it was in effect the political influence of the Southern
Pacific Railroad Company, the tenderloin, and all the other elements
that go to make up the political machine in California. And the fact
should not be lost sight of that no other independent enterprise in
California, even where it has, as has the Inyo Development Company,
hundreds of thousands of dollars invested, is immune against similar
Early in the session when the lobbying question was, because of the
excitement over Anderson, decidedly prominent, Sanford in the Senate and
Callan in the Assembly introduced bills requiring lobbyists who appear
at the Capitol during a legislative session to register their names, the
names of their employers and the amount and nature of their compensation.
At the close of the session they were, under the terms of the measures,
required to file a detailed statement of their expenditures.
Had these measures become laws they might have proved very embarrassing
to certain gentlemen who were very well received by the machine element
in both Senate and Assembly chamber.
But they didn't become laws.
The Assembly bill went to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, which held
it two months, finally, on March 16th, reporting it to the Assembly
without recommendation. On March 19th, the measure was refused passage.
The Senate bill went to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Committee
referred it back to the Senate with the recommendation that it do not
pass. On January 29th, it, too, was defeated.
The lobbying problem, like Jere Burke, continues with us.
Influence of the San Francisco Delegation.
Casts Nearly Twenty-five Per Cent of the Vote in Each House - Majority
Invariably Found on the Side of the Machine - Opposed Passage of the
Walker-Otis Bill - Instrumental in Amending the Direct Primary Law -
Defeated Local Option Bill.
The popular idea that the State outside San Francisco is not concerned
about political conditions at the metropolis is not borne out by the
record of the legislative session of 1909. The San Francisco delegations
in Senate and Assembly had, as they always have had and will have for
many a year to come, the deciding voice in practically all important
San Francisco elects within one of 25 per cent of the members of the
State Senate, and within two of 25 per cent of the Assembly. In other
words, nine of the forty Senators come from San Francisco, and eighteen
of the eighty Assemblymen. The nine San Francisco Senators and the
eighteen San Francisco Assemblymen join with the outside members in
making laws not for San Francisco alone, but for the entire State. Their
numbers give them decided advantage. The character of the laws passed at
a legislative session almost invariably bears the stamp of the character
of the San Francisco delegation. The character of the delegation depends
upon political conditions at San Francisco. The whole State, then, is
concerned in the efforts of the best citizenship of the metropolis to
oust from power the corrupt element that has so long dominated San
The record of the San Francisco delegation at the session of 1909, while
better in the Assembly than in the Senate, is not one for San Francisco
- or the State for that matter - to enthuse over. The votes on test
questions of the eighteen members of the Assembly and of the nine
members of the Senate, will be found set forth in tables in the
The table showing the votes of the nine San Francisco Senators covers
sixteen roll calls, on which the San Francisco Senators cast 128 votes,
ninety-nine of which were in support of machine policies and only
twenty-nine against. Thus the nine Senators averaged on sixteen roll
calls, eleven votes for the machine and three votes against. Had the San
Francisco Senators broken even on the issues involved; that is to say,
had sixty-four of the 128 votes been cast for the machine, and
sixty-four against the machine, and the sixty-four anti-machine votes
been evenly distributed among the several issues, the machine would have
been defeated on every issue coming before the Senate.
The Assembly showing is not quite so overwhelmingly machine as that of
the Senate, but it is bad enough. Eleven roll calls are considered. On
these the eighteen San Francisco Assemblymen cast a total of 165 votes,
of which 108 were for machine policies and fifty-seven against. Thus,
even in the Assembly, the vote was approximately 2 to 1 in favor of the
machine. Of the fifty-seven anti-machine votes, eleven were cast by
Callan, who made an absolutely clean record, nine by Gerdes and seven by
Lightner, a total of twenty-seven for the three. Deducted from the total
of anti-machine votes, this leaves only thirty anti-machine votes for
the remaining fifteen members of the delegation. Or to put it the other
way, Callan, Gerdes and Lightner cast among them only four machine
votes, which leaves 104 machine votes cast by the other fifteen San
On the individual issues the San Francisco Senators and Assemblymen made
as bad a showing as does their vote in the aggregate. The passage of the
Walker-Otis Racetrack Gambling bill for example demonstrates that the
poolsellers had little hold upon the legislators of any community of the
State outside of San Francisco. In the Senate but seven votes were cast
against the bill. Five of the seven came from the San Francisco
delegation - Finn, Hare, Hartman, Reily and Wolfe. The two remaining
came from Alameda and Shasta-Siskiyou Counties. Leavitt, representing
Alameda, and Weed, representing Shasta and Siskiyou, voted with the five
San Francisco Senators against suppressing bookmaking and pool-selling.
The record of the San Francisco Assembly delegation on the anti-gambling
measure is scarcely less suggestive. Before the Walker-Otis bill could
pass the Assembly the proponents of the measure had to win six fights,
as is shown by the table giving the several votes taken in the Assembly
on the Walker-Otis bill. The three most important of the six were:
1. To prevent the bill being referred back to the Committee on Public
2. To pass the measure on third reading without amendment.
3. To prevent reconsideration of the vote by which the bill had been
In the first fight twenty-three Assemblymen voted to refer the bill back
to the Committee. Of these twelve - more than one-half - were from San
The day of the second fight, only ten Assemblymen voted on the side of
the gamblers. Every one of the ten was from San Francisco.
In the third fight, on the motion to reconsider, nineteen Assemblymen
voted for reconsideration. Of these, ten, more than fifty per cent, were
from San Francisco.
Or, to put it in a lump, in the three most important fights over the
Walker-Otis bill in the Assembly, in the aggregate fifty-two votes were
cast against the measure. Of these, thirty-two were from San Francisco
Assemblymen. Only twenty were from outside San Francisco.
The universal demand throughout the State for the passage of an
anti-pool selling measure offset the influence and the vote of the San
Francisco delegation in both Senate and Assembly. But in the issues more
involved, where the lines were more closely drawn, San Francisco
practically made the laws for the whole State. This could be
demonstrated by many instances. The most striking perhaps are shown by
the histories of the Direct Primary measure and the Railroad Regulation
When the first fight over the Direct Primary bill came up in the Senate,
it will be remembered, the anti-machine forces defeated the machine by a
vote of twenty-seven to thirteen. Of the thirteen Senators who voted to
amend the bill to the liking of Wolfe and Leavitt, six - almost fifty
per cent - were from San Francisco. They were Finn, Hare, Hartman,
Kennedy, Reily, Wolfe.
When the machine element had succeeded in amending the Direct Primary
measure to its liking in the Assembly and there came a new alignment on
the bill in the Senate, eight of the nine San Francisco Senators voted
with Wolfe and Leavitt for the amendments, which denied the people of
California State-wide vote on candidates for the United States Senate.
One San Francisco Senator only, Anthony, voted with the better element
in the Senate, against the amendments.
Had only two of the nine Senators from San Francisco voted for the bill
in its original form, the measure would have been passed by a vote of
twenty-one to nineteen without the machine amendments.
The influence of the San Francisco members in shaping the Direct Primary
law was even more forcibly illustrated in the Assembly. Of the eighteen
San Francisco Assemblymen, fifteen voted for the Assembly amendments,
two, Callan and Gerdes, voted against them, and Hopkins is not recorded
It will be remembered that the amendments were read into the bill by a
vote of thirty-six to thirty-eight. Had the San Francisco delegation
divided even on this vote, had nine voted for the amendments and nine
against, the vote would have been forty-three against putting them in
the bill, and thirty-two for, the bill would not have been amended in
the Assembly; it would have become a law in the same shape that it had
originally passed the Senate. It is noticeable that in an Assembly of
eighty members, only twenty-three of the Assemblymen who voted for the
Assembly amendments to the Direct Primary bill were from outside San
Francisco. In the Senate eight of the twenty Senators who voted for the
amendments were from San Francisco, only twelve were from outside that
city. Thus, out of 120 members in the Legislature, ninety-three of whom
were from outside San Francisco, only thirty-five from districts outside
the metropolis voted for the Assembly, or machine amendments to the
Direct Primary bill. But twenty-three of the twenty-seven San Francisco
Senators and Assemblymen did vote for them, and only three of the San
Francisco members voted against them.
It will be seen that the people of California who live outside San
Francisco are decidedly interested in the character of Senators and
Assemblymen whom that city sends to the Legislature.
The people of San Francisco are, of course, as much concerned over
reasonable regulation of the transportation companies as Californians
living outside that city. But the San Francisco Senators were a unit in
their opposition to the passage of an effective railroad regulation
The fight over the railroad regulation came in the Senate. The final
line-up showed eighteen Senators for the effective Stetson bill and
against the ineffective Wright bill; while twenty-two Senators were
against the Stetson bill and for the Wright bill. The Wright bill was
accordingly passed. Every one of the nine San Francisco Senators voted
for the Wright bill. Only thirteen Senators who voted for the Wright
bill were from outside San Francisco.
In a word, the proponents of the Stetson bill were from the start
handicapped by a solid delegation of nine from San Francisco which they
could not overcome. Had three of the nine San Francisco Senators been
for the Stetson bill, that measure would now be the law of California.
The transportation issue was fought out in the Assembly over the Sanford
Senate resolution endorsing Bristow's plan to establish a line of
Government steamers between San Francisco and Panama. The fruit growers
of Southern California are particularly interested in this project. The
Assembly, however, amended all reference to the Bristow report and all
criticism of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and the railroads out of
Of the eighteen San Francisco Assemblymen only one, Callan, voted
against the amendments; fourteen - Beatty, Beban, Coghlan, Collum,
Cullen, Hopkins, Lightner, Macauley, McManus, Nelson, O'Neil, Pugh,
Perine and Wheelan - voted for the amendments, while three - Black,
Gerdes and Schmitt - did not vote at all.
The Local Option bill was also killed by San Francisco votes. This
measure was strongly backed by the rural districts. The various
counties, particularly those engaged in farming, dairying and fruit
growing, sent representatives to the Legislature instructed to vote for
Local Option. The issue in all ways concerned the country districts
rather than the large cities. But the votes of the San Francisco
Senators defeated the Local Option bill.
The first fight over the Local Option bill came when in the ordinary
course of events it reached third reading. Instead of letting a vote be
taken on the measure, Wolfe moved that it be referred to the Judiciary
Committee. This was clearly a move against the passage of the bill, for
it meant delay which might prove fatal. But Wolfe's motion prevailed by
a vote of twenty to fifteen. The nine San Francisco Senators voted to
refer the bill to the committee, only eleven Senators from outside San
Francisco voted with them.
The nine members from San Francisco continued consistent in their
opposition to the measure. When the Local Option bill did come to a vote
their nine votes were cast against it.
The people of Del Norte county and the people of San Diego county are
denied the privilege of voting "Wet or dry" because of the opposition to
the Local Option bill of the solid San Francisco delegation in the
Senate. It will be seen that the people of these distant counties are
decidedly interested in political conditions in San Francisco, for in a
large way the character of the San Francisco delegation in the
Legislature is unmistakably reflected in the laws which are passed for
the government of the entire State.
Taken as a whole, the San Francisco delegation in Senate and Assembly
were nothing for that city to be proud of, and at a critical moment San
Francisco came near paying dearly for her Hartmans, Hares, Macauleys and
McManuses. But for the intervention of the country members the Islais
Creek bond project would have been defeated.
The improvement calls for the purchase of sixty-three water blocks at
Islais Creek to be converted into an inland harbor. The future
development of San Francisco depends largely upon this improvement. But
private interests demanded that nineteen of the sixty-three blocks be
excluded from the plan, which would have rendered the whole project
impracticable. When the fight came on, San Francisco Senators and
Assemblymen opposed the purchase of the sixty-three blocks.
To begin with, Senator Wolfe, as member of the State Harbors Committee,
had signed a report which recommended that forty-four blocks only be
purchased. But Wolfe afterwards insisted that he had signed the report
not knowing what he was doing.
When the fight for the improvement came up in the Senate, only two
Senators, Hartman and Reily, both of San Francisco, opposed the project.
They were in the end ignominiously defeated, every Senator present
voting against them. But both Hartman and Reily did the best they knew
how to defeat the purchase of the area necessary for the improvement.
The San Francisco delegation in its opposition to the Islais Creek
project had better success in the Assembly. Nine San Francisco
Assemblymen, Beban, Black, Cullen, Lightner, Macauley, McManus, O'Neil,
Perine and Wheelan, united against the measure as it had passed the
Senate. They succeeded in throwing doubt upon the necessity of the
purchase of sixty-three blocks, and finally won twenty-two outside
members over to their way of thinking. Had it not been for the efforts
of Assemblymen Callan, Beatty and Nelson of San Francisco, backed by the
Los Angeles delegation, the Islais Creek Harbor project would
unquestionably have been defeated in the Assembly, solely because of the
opposition of nine San Francisco Assemblymen.
But there is plenty of evidence of improved political conditions at San
Francisco. An anti-machine Board of Supervisors is standing out manfully
against the demands of machine-protected interests. The District
Attorney's office is, indeed, pressing representatives of those
interests pretty close to the doors of the penitentiary, although the
District Attorney is handicapped by laws for which San Francisco is
largely responsible, because of the character of the men whom session
after session she has sent to the Legislature.
There is, however, enough to warrant the belief that San Francisco will
improve the character of the Assembly and Senate delegation. Upon such
improvement, the well-being of the whole State largely depends.
Attacks On And Defense of the Fish Commission
Fast Becoming a Powerful Political Factor - Enormous Fund Which It
Expends Practically Without Check. - Legislative Investigation Blocked -
Scheme to Give Commissioners Salary Fails.
Without the general public realizing just what is going on, the machine
is, in the State Fish and Game Commission, building up an adjunct which
seems destined to play an important part in any fight that may be
carried on by the independent electors to break the machine's
strangle-hold upon the State. Naturally the machine element in the
Legislature was prepared always to rally to the defense of the
Commission, and the defense was necessary, for the Commission is
vulnerable, and was attacked at many points.
The Commission is perhaps the most extraordinary institution in the
State. At its head is General George Stone, one-time chairman of the
Republican State Central Committee. At its tail is Jake Steppacher,
another one-time potent politician who has passed the days of his
usefulness. Between Stone at the lead and Steppacher at the tail, is an
astonishing array of formerly prominent politicians, as well as
politicians who are decidedly in the present. In fact, the Fish and Game
Commission is fast becoming one of the most potent adjuncts to the State
political machine, that strictly non-partisan organization which guards
the interests of the tenderloin, the Southern Pacific Railroad Company,
the racetrack gamblers, their associates and allies, and which rather
presumptuously assumes to be the Republican Party of California.
One of the features of the session of 1909 was the keen little fight of
the anti-machine members of the Legislature to restore the Fish and Game
Commission to its one-time simplicity, legitimacy and usefulness, and
the efforts of the machine members to prevent this.
Up to two years ago, under the name of Fish Commission, the now Fish and
Game Commission did most admirable work on an allowance of about
$50,000. So far as the writer can ascertain, the Commission's income up
to 1907 never exceeded $54,000 in any one year; usually it was a trifle
But in 1907 a tax of $1 a year was imposed upon all citizens of
California who wished to go hunting. Citizens of other States, wishing
to hunt in California, are under the same law taxed $10 a year, while
foreigners are taxed $25. The law provides that the income thus raised
be turned over to the Fish Commission.
The first year that the law was in force, the Commission received
$116,579 on account of it. This, with moneys received from State
appropriations, fines collected and the like, swelled the Commission's
income for that year, the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, to
$184,467.70, an increase of more that $130,000 from the previous fiscal
For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, the cost of conducting the
Governor's office, including the Governor's salary, the salaries of his
secretaries and clerks, stationery, postage stamps, secret service,
everything in a word in connection with the office, was $32,377.
In the same way the expense of conducting the State Controller's office
was $23,417; of the State Treasurer's office, $16,751 ; of the Attorney
General's office, $33,082; of the Surveyor General's office, $20,679; of
the State Superintendent of Schools' office, $22,380.
But the General Stone captained - or perhaps generaled - Fish Commission
had for that year a modest bit of $184,467. The Fish Commission then,
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908, cost California almost six
times as much as did the Governor's office, eight times as much as did
the Controller's office, eleven times as much as did the State
Treasurer's office, almost six times as much as did the Attorney
General's office, more than nine times as much as the Surveyor General's
office, and eight times as much as did the State Department of Public
Instruction. And let it be borne in mind that this does not include the
sums which the various counties paid for game wardens and for local
protection of game, the best protection, by the way, and the most
The $184,467, did not go to the counties. It went exclusively to General
Stone's Commission. It will be seen that General Stone's Commission has
a very good thing of it.
Another surprising feature of the Stone-Generaled Commission is that
there is little check upon its expenditures. If the Governor wishes to
raise the salary of his secretary or one of his stenographers he must
appeal to the Legislature for permission. The State Controller, the
State Treasurer, the Secretary of State, the State superintendent of
Schools, and so on down the list Of State officials, are powerless to
increase the salary of an assistant or of a clerk, or of an office boy,
without legislative sanction.
But not so General Stone's Commission. The Commission is left to do
pretty much as it pleases with its income. So, recently, without saying
a word to anybody, it increased the salary of one of its deputies
(Vogelsang) from $200 to $300 a month. Three hundred dollars a month is
$3600 a year. Up to this year the salary of the State Controller, of the
Secretary of State, of the State Treasurer, of the Surveyor General, of
the Superintendent of Public Instruction, etc., was only $3,000 a year.
So it will be seen that one of General Stone's Deputies was drawing $600
a year more salary from the State than the elected State officials.
Jake Steppacher and other politicians, finding easy berths in the
Commission, were also granted generous salary increases.
But in ways other than generous increase in the salaries of its deputies
has the Fish Commission shown its kingly independence. The law provides
that each State official and Commission shall, biennially, in the
September before the Legislature convenes, file with the Governor a
report of its activities and expenditures. This enables the Governor to
make such recommendations as he may deem necessary in his message to the
Legislature. The Controller, Attorney General, in fact all the State
officials and departments, observed the law last September with but one
exception. The Fish Commission, costing the State from six to eleven
times more money that the State departments, did not file a report with
The fact that the Commission had filed no report in September, the
generous increase in salaries of its deputies, alleged instances of
arbitrary conduct of its representatives, resulted in a resolution being
introduced by Assemblyman Harry Polsley, demanding that the Commission
be made the subject of legislative inquiry.
The resolution was referred to the Assembly Committee on Fish and Game,
a committee notoriously in sympathy with the Commission. The Committee
held a sort of preliminary hearing which resulted in a general
whitewashing. Polsley made out what was generally regarded as a
prima facie case against the Commission, but the Committee did not
choose to consider it such, and so the investigation got no
But it was noticeable after the "preliminary hearing" that the advocates
of the Fish Commission measures did not show up so sprightly confident
of their passage as before. Polsley's efforts were by no means lost.
Many measures intended to strengthen the already gigantically strong
Commission failed of passage, or had their viciousness amended out of
them, which, had it not been for Polsley's efforts, might have become
The most important of these was Senate Bill 741. The measure as
originally introduced by Senator Willis provided that "every person in
the State of California, who hunts, pursues or kills any of the wild
birds or animals, excepting predatory birds or animals, or fishes for
or catches with hook and line any of the protected fish of this State,
without first procuring a license therefor, as provided in this Act,
is guilty of a misdemeanor."
Had the act become a law as introduced, not only those who hunt, but
those who fish, would have been obliged to pay one dollar for a license.
Thus, if a family of father, mother and three children wanted to go
fishing, they would first have had to pay five dollars for the
The writer has it from a gentleman who has made careful study of the
Fish Commission and its ways that the licensing of amateur fishers would
have increased the income of the Fish and Game Commission $150,000 a
year. This, with the income already enjoyed by the Commission of
$184,000 a year, would have swelled its annual income to more than
$330,000. This sum is $90,000 more than it cost to maintain the Stockton
Hospital for the Insane for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908;
$125,000 more than the maintenance of the Agnews Asylum for that year;
$122,000 more than the cost of the maintenance of the Folsom State
Prison. The Fish and Game Commission was scarcely modest in its
Naturally, the backers of the Fish and Game Commission made a hard fight
for the measure's passage. But in spite of their efforts they could not
edge it through the Senate until March 3d. In the Assembly, the measure
met genuine opposition.
The Assembly Committee on Fish and Game of course recommended it for
passage, and on March 15th, after a hot fight, it actually passed the
Assembly. But Cattell gave notice of reconsideration. Incidentally,
Governor Gillett let it be known that he would veto any measure that
required amateur fishermen to pay license. This was a damper upon the
Fish Commission crowd. When Cattell called the bill up for
reconsideration it was reconsidered and defeated. However, Leeds
accepted an amendment which struck out the clause which provided that
amateur fishermen must pay a license tax. On Leeds' motion the next day,
the amended bill was reconsidered and passed.
The three Fish and Game Commissioners serve without salary. Their
compensation comes from the pleasure of disbursing upwards of $200,000 a
year, what political prestige there may be in it, and rather generous
expense money. But a bill was introduced to give each Commissioner
a salary of $3,000 a year. The measure did not become law, for which the
writer believes much credit is due Assemblymen Polsley of Red Bluff. The
State was thus saved $9,000 a year. General Stone and his associates are
just that amount out of pocket. They have, however, given no indication
of resigning their offices because the salary has been denied them.
But if the Fish and Game Commission was unsuccessful in increasing its
revenue and putting through other measures from the standpoint of its
members advantageous, its opponents were quite as unsuccessful in their
attacks upon the Commission. Like the panther cat that guards her young,
the agents of the Commission fought to retain the advantages which they
had secured in 1907, and were generally successful.
The chief of the attacks was that of Assemblyman Polsley, author of
Assembly Bill 433. This bill wasn't very long, contained less than five
lines, in fact, and just forty-three words, but its passage would have
saved the people of California more than $100,000 a year, or almost as
much as it costs the State to run the Governor's office, the
Controller's office, the State Treasurer's office and the office of
State Superintendent of Schools combined. Assembly Bill 433 repealed the
law of 1907, under which hunters are required to pay the Fish and Game
Commission for the privilege of going hunting. The bill was introduced
January 15th. It was referred to the notorious Assembly Committee on
Fish and Game. There it was held until March 10th. It was then referred
back to the Assembly with the recommendation that it "do not pass." That
settled Assembly Bill 433.
Another measure which caused the agents of the Fish Commission much
worry was introduced in the Assembly by Preston and in the Senate by
Sanford. This bill provided that $50,000 should be paid out of the Fish
and Game Commission fund each year to be used in paying bounties for
exterminating coyotes. This would have left the Commission only about
$130,000 a year. Naturally, the agents of the Commission resented the
raid on their funds. The measure was referred to the Assembly Committee
on Fish and Game. This was on January 18th. And it never was heard of
The companion Senate measure, introduced by Sanford, got further, but
not much. The Senate Committee reported it "without recommendation." But
even so, it passed second reading and went to engrossment and third
reading. There it languished. On March 18th it was withdrawn by its
Another measure which gave the Commissioners a deal of worry was one
introduced by Johnson of Placer, which provided that to each hunter who
took fifty blue jay heads to the County's Clerk's office should be
issued a hunter's license free. It was thought that this would encourage
boys to kill blue jays for the hunter's license prize, value one dollar.
But General Stone could not see it that way.
"If this bill becomes a law," said General Stone, "we shall have to
The bill didn't become a law, and the Fish and Game Commission was
But the most "unkindest cut of all" came when the Assembly attempted to
break into that sacred Fish and Game Commission fund by way of
resolution. The Assembly actually adopted a resolution calling for a
Commission to be appointed by the Governor for the purpose of
ascertaining the feasibility of dividing the State into game districts,
and generously providing $5,000 out of the Fish Commission fund for that
purpose. Naturally the agents of the Fish Commission were scandalized at
this proposed reckless expenditure of moneys from their fund by somebody
else. But they were powerless. The resolution went through.
Rather late in the session the Assembly discovered that under the law it
cannot "resolute" money out of any fund other than the Assembly
contingent fund. The resolution was not, therefore, worth the paper it
was printed on. Once again the sacred Fish Commission fund was saved.
But the Assembly could switch money out of the fund by legislative
enactment, and a bill covering the same ground as the resolution was
introduced without delay.
The measure passed the Assembly but did not reach the Senate until March
22d, two days before adjournment. That was very late for such a measure,
but a heroic effort was made to secure its passage.
On Estudillo's motion, an attempt was made to suspend the State
Constitution, declare the bill a matter of special urgency, and pass it
forthwith. But the motion failed. Again did the Fish Commission escape a
raid on its fund.
Senator Walker and Assemblyman Rutherford introduced measures providing
for a distribution of the fund with counties, which at any rate looked
pretty good to the counties, although the agents of the Fish Commission
were not pleased at all.
The bills provided that one-half of the moneys collected from the sale
of hunters' licenses, and on account of fines for infringement of the
State game laws, should be paid to the counties in which collected, and
the balance go to the Fish Commission fund.
Walker's bill was introduced on January 8th. It went to the Senate
Committee on Fish and Game and was never heard of after.
Rutherford's bill was introduced on January 15th. It went to the
Assembly Committee on Fish and Game. Like the Walker bill, the
Rutherford bill was lost in committee oblivion.
Such, from the standpoint of the more important bills to increase and to
decrease the Fish Commission fund, was the record of fish and game
legislation. The Fish and Game Commission - and its overgrown fund - is
still with us. But it might have been infinitely worse. Bad little boys
who play hookey from Sunday-school to go fishing, for example, might
have - in addition to the other frightful penalties imposed on them -
been compelled to pay a license tax of $1 for the privilege.
 That the Fish and Game Committee would whitewash the Commission
was recognized from the first. Even members of the machine who stand for
genuine game protection objected to this committee making the
investigation. When the motion was made to refer the resolution to this
committee, Assemblyman Greer of Sacramento, took the floor to protest:
"It is useless to refer the matter to the Committee on Fish and Game,"
said Greer, "for we all know what that committee will do. We'll get no
action there. Let it go to some committee that will give it
[100a] The Fish and Game Commission was very bitter against Polsley and
all who approved his course. Because of the incident, Game Warden Welch
of Santa Cruz County lost his position. Welch was a county official,
paid by the county. The Commission complained that he had written a
letter to Polsley commending the Assemblyman for his effort to secure a
report 'from the Commission. Santa Cruz County receives a monthly
stipend from the Commission toward the support of the Brookdale
hatchery. The writer is reliably informed that one of the Commissioners
stated that the Commission would do nothing for Santa Cruz County so
long as "that man Welch" remained in office. Welch was removed by the
Supervisors. Welch has a national-wide reputation as a game warden, and
such papers as the "Forest and Stream," New York, and "Sports Afield,"
Chicago, have joined the California press in denunciation of his
As these pages are going through the press, word comes from Santa Cruz
that Welch has been reinstated by Judge Lucas F. Smith of the Superior
Court of Santa Cruz County.
In summarizing his findings, Judge Smith holds that the local Board of
Supervisors exceeded its legal power in declaring vacant the office of
voluntary warden, which Welch held; exceeded its legal authority in
removing Welch without specific charges being prepared, notice served on
him and an opportunity given for a hearing.
 All sorts of estimates have been made of the income that would
have been enjoyed by the Fish and Game Commission, had this bill become
a law. The lowest that the writer knows of, made by a disinterested
person, places the increase at $50,000 a year.
 Some of the commission's expense accounts on file with the State
Controller are curiosities. For example, General Stone when he is on
commission business taxes the fund $1 for breakfast, $1 for lunch, $1
for dinner. It thus costs the Commission three annual hunter's licenses
to feed General Stone for a day.
The Rewarding of the Faithful.
Senators and Assemblymen Whose Votes Were Cast Against Reform Measures
Given State and Federal Positions in Some Instances, in Others Appointed
to Holdover Committees or Sent on Trips at the Expense of the State.
The machine has many ways of rewarding the faithful who persist until
the end. The faithful member of Senate or Assembly may be rewarded by a
Federal appointment (Senator Bates has just been graciously recognized
in this way[102a]) or he may be given a State job (witness Senator Price
or Assemblyman Beardslee) ; or he may be put on a legislative hold-over
committee to investigate something, or to represent the State at
something, or to prepare some kind of a bill to be introduced at the
next session of the Legislature.
This last is perhaps the most genteel method of reward. It entails
little work, gives the beneficiary a certain distinction and pays very
Nine Senators were rewarded in this way in the closing hours of the
session of 1909. There might have been ten, but that prince of
"bandwagon" Senators, Welch, had to be rewarded twice, so but nine got
holdover committeeships. They are Wolfe, Welch, Wright, Willis, Leavitt,
Bills (labeled Republicans), Kennedy, Hare and Curtin (labeled
Democrats). The names of the nine are not unfamiliar. With the exception
of that of Curtin, their votes during the session were consistently cast
on the side of the machine. For them to be rewarded came as a matter of
The machine will continue to reward such men until the people take the
Legislature out of machine hands. But that is another story.
The Legislative Holdover Committee is about as useless a thing as can be
imagined. This is very well illustrated by the State's experience with
the so-called Harbors Committee, appointed by the Legislature of 1907 to
inquire into harbor conditions throughout the State.
The committee consisted of three Senators and three Assemblymen. The
Senators managed to incur expenses of $2,524.20. Assemblymen were more
modest. Their expenses were only $1,851.80, making a total expense
charge for the committee of $4,376.
But the $4,376 covers the committee's expenses only, does not provide
compensation for the committeemen. A bill appropriating $6,000 for that
purpose was introduced at the session of 1909. This gave the
committeemen $1,000 each for their services. It made the investigation
cost the State $10,376[102b].
The Harbors Committee - or somebody or something else, the writer is not
sure which - prepared an elaborate report of the committee's findings.
But owing to a surprising blunder that involved Senator Wolfe most
curiously, the report was not filed until March 23, the day before the
Legislature adjourned. The report was ordered printed in the journal,
but it did not appear in the journal of the 23rd, which was circulated
on the morning of the 24th. Instead, was a note to the effect that it
would appear in the corrected journal. So, few knew that it had been
filed at all, and it went unnoticed by the daily press.
But the details of the report[102c] were known to the general public
long before it was filed with the Senate, and its provisions made