« PreviousContinue »
admittedly guilty, became eligible for the sole purpose of procuring a plea of sentence. The maximum under the Val- guilty and that they had pleaded guilty cntine law is a fine of $5,000 and impris- only to suffer hardship when they had onment for one year. Judge R. R. Kin- been led to expect leniency. kade, of the court of common pleas, be- Terming the motions "false as hell itfore whom the cases were tried, imposed self," Kinkade struck them from the files the maximum penalty. He, however, and sentenced two of the lawyers to jail stated that he would hear a motion to for contempt of court. Subsequently the modify the sentence at a later date, say. attorneys took the contempt-of-court mating at the time that he always eonsidered ter into circuit court and were there disit as an extenuating circumstance if a charged upon a technicality. They prethief returned the plunder to his victim. sented their allegations of a promise of
The ice men were taken to the county leniency and secured the suspension of jail by the sheriff, there to lie until com- execution of the sentence passed upon the mitted to the workhouse. For the first ice men, pending a hearing in circuit time of record men convicted under an court. Thus one day in the circuit court anti-trust law had been sentenced to saw five ice men and two lawyers deliv. prison and were actually in jail.
ered from the jail to which the common Acting upon the veiled suggestion of pleas court had sentenced them. At the Kinkade when he spoke about extenu- time he struck the motions from the files ating circumstances, the attorneys for the Kinkade suggested in a remarkable pubimprisoned ice men reappeared in court lie utterance that all interests represented the next day and presented motions to by counsel were not in court by any manmodify the sentence. They exhibited a ner of means. Prosecutor Wachenheimer statement issued by the ice men to con- did not hesitate to express a belief that sumers in which the price of ice was re- corporate interests, perhaps kindred, but duced from fifty cents per one hundred infinitely larger than the Toledo ice trust, pounds to thirty-six cents per hundred, were back of the new and startling develand they agreed to rebate all they had opment in the case. There is no other previously collected for ice in excess of way of getting a case out of common pleas thirty-six cents per hundred pounds. court after pleas of guilty have been Judge Kinkade thought the circumstance offered than to impugn the conduct of the somewhat extenuating and he modified his trial judge, and it immediately suggests original sentence to $2,500 fine and six itself that the vast amount of capital inmonths' imprisonment in every case. He vested in bridge iron manufactories and also stated that the fine would be per- in Standard Oil is endangered by indictmitted to work no hardship upon any de- ments recently returned against almost fendant not able to pay it. The work every bridge company and officer in the house, however, would not be eliminated. state by the grand jury of Lucas County
Then, under ordinary circumstances, and the filing of an ouster suit against the the ice trust prosecution would have Standard Oil Company and its subsidiary been ended, but not so in this case. The companies by Wachenheimer. next few days saw a consolidation of The immediate consequence of the succounsel formerly each for his individual cessful prosecution of the ouster suit client, the addition of one of the biggest against the Standard Oil is criminal procorporation law firms in the state of Ohio ceedings under the Valentine law. Whatand proceedings the like of which had not ever the motives or influences may be before been written upon the records of which have prompted the sudden and un. an Ohio court.
precedented activity of counsel in behalf Motions on behalf of the ice men who of the ice men, they now have admittedly had pleaded guilty were offered to Judge one object-the overthrow of the ValenKinkade, asking that leave be granted tine law. They declare it to be unconfor the withdrawal of the plea of guilty. stitutional and expect to show it to be so. Misconduct of the trial judge was alleged, They have maintained in argument before it being charged that he had promised the the court that a combination of capital is defendants that he would not impose a lawful, that competition is a dead letter workhouse sentence and had done so for and out of place in the present-day business world. They declare that the dawn their charges were set up for the purpose of a new business era is here and that com- of regaining a hold upon matters which bination is to be its feature.
they had voluntarily allowed to get beThe question of the constitutionality of yond their grasp. the Valentine law was not pressed until Wachenheinier declares that he will after sentence had been passed. Then it pursue the Toledo trust to the court of was that counsel first apparently realized last resort and will enforce the workthe requirements of the situation if their house sentence. He declares that compeclients were to be saved from a prison sen- tition in every line of trade shall prevail tence and if they were to combat a prece in Lucas County so long as he has dent in prosecutions under the anti-trust strength of mind and body to fight the laws which struck terror to many corpo battle and the Valentine law is not cut rations and financiers already in the out from under him. He declares commeshes of the law.
petition is the secret of a fair market. The behavior of counsel after alleging The experiences of Lyman W. Wachenmisconduct on the part of the trial court heimer and the Toledo ice trust evidence justified and in fact created a belief that that members of corporations do not they had but little on which to base such object to being termed and treated as a startling charge. After filing the mo- extraordinary criminals. They have no tions they pursued tactics tending only compunction about being found guilty of to delay the actual hearing of the mo- or confessing to the violation of certain tions, even after Kinkade had restored laws enacted to restrain their practices. the motions to the files for hearing for But they object most strenuously to the the sole purpose of vindicating his honor, imposition of the usual penalty for “orand they thus gave rise to a suspicion that dinary” crime-imprisonment.
CITIES BY COMMISSIONS
C. ARTHUR WILLIAMS
S a sufferer from disease To those who know that Texas was the naturally turns to the pioneer in the effective application of the remedy which has cured railroad commission idea, now so much or benefited others sim- in the public eye as a result of the pasilarly afflicted, so the sage of the rate bill, it is perhaps not surrepresentative people prising that that state was the first to and newspapers of bring about really practical reforms
many graft-burdened, through the adoption of the commission boss-ridden cities throughout the United system in municipal government. GalStates are interesting themselves in the veston, its largest seaport, has operated commission form of government for most successfully under that system since municipalities, which has done so much a short time after the storm of September toward exterminating the cancer of polit 8, 1900. Houston, its largest city, took ical corruption in places where it has up the same form of government less than been given a trial. So far the plan is a year ago and gratifying progress confined to but three states outside of the toward ideal conditions has already been District of Columbia, where the theory made. Dallas decided to do likewise at on which it is based had its genesis. It an election held last spring. Citizens of has brought about remarkable results, San Antonio and the press of that city and its adoption elsewhere is highly prob- are urging that the system be installed able.
there and one of Fort Worth's leading
papers said recently that “a strong senti- neous. On the contrary, the power of the ment – almost an overwhelming demand individual voter is increased and the boss – for government by commission” had and his ability and opportunity to graft developed at that place.
are disposed of more effectively than by But it is not only in Texas that the any other system yet worked out. Even an method finds favor. Nashville, Tennessee, honest mayor can make little progress has made use of a modified form of gov- toward reform if a majority of his alderernment by commission for years. Des men, councilmen or assemblymen, as the Moines, Iowa, some time ago sent Mr. case may be, are against him. In more James G. Berryhill, one of its leading than one instance the forces which have citizens, to Houston and Galveston to in placed such a mayor in office have been vestigate the new scheme, and Norfolk, powerless to prevent the election of disVirginia, is now governed by a commis- honest or incompetent minor officials, or sion, which was elected a few weeks ago. of a majority of the legislative body from The Civic Improvement League of St. districts or wards which are still in conLouis is studying the situation in the trol of corrupt politicians. Under the Texas towns with a possible view to urg- commission plan such a miscarriage of the ing the adoption of the innovation in the people's will is well nigh impossible. Missouri metropolis, and requests for in. Ward or district lines are abolished and formation regarding the workings of the the commissioners are all elected from plan have been received in Houston and the city at large, with the result that the Galveston from many other cities.
ward heeler and the district leader are While the general idea for this form of either shorn of much of their power for government was borrowed from the Dis- evil or are destroyed completely. The trict of Columbia, it is obvious that ex- usual combinations and trades are dif. actly the same system which prevails ficult or not possible of accomplishment. there could not be applied elsewhere. The necessity of electing a board the Citizens of the District are disfranchised, members of which will give to the affairs politics touches their administrative of the city the same careful and honest board remotely, if at all, and peculiar attention they would bestow on those of conditions, which could not exist in an any ordinary corporation of which they ordinary city, result from the coöperation were the directors, brings business men of the local and federal authorities. But to the front as candidates. Representathe basic principle is adaptable to any tive men who would not consent to stand municipality, as has been demonstrated in for aldermanic positions, knowing that, Texas. Houston and Galveston each elect if successful at the polls, they might suba board of five commissioners only, the sequently be rendered impotent by a corpower to appoint all subordinate officials rupt majority in council, have been found being vested in those boards. It might be to be willing to announce themselves for objected that this would tend to a dangers commissionerships. The idea of handa ng ous centralization of authority, but the a city in a business way appeals to the experiences of the two cities show such an business element. Good citizens who fail objection to be no better founded than it in their duty by being apathetic in ordiwould be in the case of a railroad whose nary elections, because of the apparent directors, rather than whose stockholders, hopelessness of beating accomplished and are in direct control. A majority of each dishonest politicians at their own game, board rules and the chairman, or mayor, become interested in the election of other has no veto power. Each commissioner good citizens under the commission syshas certain of the city departments under tem. A corrupt or inefficient commission his supervision, but legislation affecting could work as much injury to a comthose departments must be enacted by the munity as an unfit board of aldermen, whole board.
perhaps, but its election is much less The opinion that the commission plan likely. At least, that has been the exabridges any of the rights and privileges perience in Texas, and it is not plain that of the people, or tends to the elimination the results achieved there can not be sucof the party lines which are usually so cessfully duplicated elsewhere. essential to good government, is erro
Galveston at first attempted to copy the
District of Columbia plan very closely. ton preferring to abandon the appointive
$156,000. In approximately three years
The questions of much graver import than legislature was in session at the time and officials of a town of similar size are called a new law, providing for the election of on to handle ordinarily, but they stuck to all the commissioners,
rushed business principles and scored at every through. Less than a month later the turn. Above all else, perhaps, they supreme court of the state, which is the gained and retained the confidence and tribunal of last resort only in civil cases, esteem of the people. Now their work handed down a unanimous decision that has long since ceased to be experimental, the original arrangement was in thorough and the commission system is apparently consonance with the basic law. There a fixture in Galveston. was no way of reconciling the difference The tax rate there is now $1.72, of between the two courts, and so the matter which amount 70 cents are applied on the stands to this day, the people of Galves- general fund, 82 cents on the bonded in
debtedness and 20 cents on the school ment that completely vindicated those fund. This is to be compared with an responsible for its creation. That was the average rate of about $2.10 in one hun
payment of the last cent of the city's dred leading cities of the country, and floating debt and the establishment of a with an average of upward of $2.35 for cash basis for all municipal business, for two dozen places about the size of Gal- the first time in nearly half a century. veston, selected entirely at random. The floating debt was almost $400,000
Houston had been badly governed for when the commission went into office last years before it adopted the commission July, and on February 15 of this year system. Not every administration had the amount had been paid in full. While been corrupt, but the good officials had liquidating this indebtedness and making found it impossible to entirely overcome it possible to meet all bills with cash on the effects of the widespread graft and the first of each month, the commission corruption permitted or encouraged by kept up the payment of interest on the the bad ones. The tax rate was $2.93, the bonded
bonded debt, expended considerable public debt large and not diminishing, money for improvements, corrected the the general financial condition unsatis- errors and the results of the criminal factory and the administrative machinery practices of some former administrations, not in keeping with the city's rapid and defrayed the cost of an expensive growth and development. The Galveston quarantine during the outbreak of yelplan naturally appealed to the reform ele- low fever in Louisiana last year. Fur*ment and after a vigorous and acri- thermore, it brought about a decrease in monious campaign that plan was adopted the rates charged by the local gas comby a small majority at a general election. pany and took steps to compel the water The old "ring" element opposed the in- company, long a delinquent, to live up to novation and is still opposed, for obvious its contract. Now a decrease in the tax reasons. It has tried to enjoin the com- rate is being talked of, with an apparmission from acting, and to have the ently bright prospect of accomplishment. former board of aldermen reinstated, but Nothing is so convincing as results. It all such efforts have been futile.
might be to the interest of many another Seven months after it assumed control city to take advantage of the experience the commission announced an achieve- of these two in Texas.
CELEBRATING THE REMBRANDT
WILLIAM ELLIOT GRIFFIS
BRAVE LITTLE HOLLAND," " THE AMERICAN IN HOLLAND," ETC.
HE Dutchman appreci- hoisted in triumph on the high church ates the men who have tower, visible over most of South Holland. made his country fa- Thus, with “Orange Boven”-a phrase mous at the ends of the which originated among the sea captains earth and of the ages. who ordered the orange colors boven On first visiting Hol- (above) those of Spain - the War of land in 1869, I found Independence, which resulted in
the Netherlanders were United States of the Netherlands, was getting ready to celebrate the three hun- ushered in. In 1872 the long and gloridredth anniversary of the victory of the ous line of national anniversaries was “Beggars of the Sea" at Brielle. There inaugurated. Since that monumental the colors of the Prince of Orange were year among the seventies, the Dutch have