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SUBCOMMITTEE ON PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
A BILL TO REVISE THE FEDERAL ELECTION LAWS,
ELECTIONS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
APRIL 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, MAY 10, 17, AND 18, 1955
Printed for the use of the Committee on Rules and Administration
COMMITTEE ON RULES AND ADMINISTRATION
THEODORE FRANCIS GREEN, Rhode Island, Chairman CARL HAYDEN, Arizona
WILLIAM E. JENNER, Indiana THOMAS C. HENNINGS, JR., Missouri FRANK A. BARRETT, Wyoming ALBERT GORE, Tennessee
JOSEPH R. MCCARTHY, Wisconsin
CARL T. CURTIS, Nebraska
SUBCOMMITTEE ON PRIVILEGES AND EL
CARL T. CURTIS, Nebraska
Clarence A. Berdahl, professor of political science, department of
political science, University of Illinois (Urbana) -
FEDERAL ELECTIONS ACT OF 1955
TUESDAY, APRIL 12, 1955
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a. m., in the Old Supreme Court Chamber, United States Capitol Building, Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Present: Senators Hennings (presiding) and Curtis.
Also present: Senator Green (chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration).
James H. Duffy, counsel to the subcommittee; Gordon F. Harrison, chief clerk and counsel to the Committee on Rules and Administration; John Dempsey, political science specialist to the subcommittee.
Senator HENNINGS. May the committee come to order, please.
Mr. Hall. Mr. Chairman, may I have my counsel sit alongside of me?
Senator HENNINGS. You may, indeed, Mr. Hall. However, if you will indulge the chairman for a moment, before we have the benefit of your testimony I would like to read a preliminary statement.
Mr. Hall. Fine. Senator HENNINGS. Today the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration begins hearings on S. 636, the proposed Federal Elections Act of 1955, which is intended to revise the Federal election laws to prevent corrupt practices in elections, and for other purposes. As chairman of the subcommittee, and as one of the sponsors of this measure, together with Senators Hayden, Green, and Gore, I would like to make a brief statement explaining the background of the bill, its principal provisions, the objectives which the bill is intended to attain, and, in particular, the nature and purpose of these hearings. I might say parenthetically that I have some familiarity with these matters since I am now in my fifth year of service on this committee. I have participated in the most extensive investigations of election practices, including the contested elections in Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and others. Some of these were not, in fact, contests; some of them were predicated on other things. Out of these hearings and investigations, I have had ample opportunity to see the pressing need for substantial revisions in our Federal election laws.
At the present time, financial matters in connection with elections to Federal office in the United States are regulated primarily by two laws, as you know—the Federal Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and