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the Walker-Otis bill was before the Senate Public Morals committee.212
Tom Williams appeared as the principal speaker against the bill, but he made no attack upon the proponents of the bill who were present, nor did he vilify the Protestant clergy as he had done when the WalkerOtis bill was before the committee two years before.2 Williams' argument against the bill-if it may be regarded as an argument—was that its passage would make the breeding of thoroughbred horses impossible.
Senator George S. Walker, who headed the fight in the Upper House for effective anti-racetrack gambling legislation both at the 1909 and the 1911 session, gave a review of the passage of the Walker-Otis law, what had been expected of it, and what it was proposed should be accomplished by the passage of the Walker-Young measure.2
But the principal argument for the bill was made by District Attorney Donahue.
Donahue told the story of conditions at the Emery
212 See Story of the California Legislature of 1909, Chapters VI and VII.
213 District Attorney Donahue's reply to this was most effective. "Much as I admire the racehorse as a noble animal," said Mr. Donahue, "yet if it is a question on the one hand of preserving the highly bred horse, or, on the other hand, of conserving the manhood of the State, I say to you, frankly, that The People of the State of California want the members of this Legislature to conserve the manhood of the State and preserve the morals of Society by enacting this law which suppresses racetrack gambling.”
214 Senator Walker stated that when the Walker-Otis law was passed, it was thought that bookmaking and poolselling at the racetracks would be prevented.
"I thought then," said Walker, "and I think now, that the Walker-Otis law is a good law. But the Courts have held otherwise, and the bill before you has been introduced to meet the defects which the Courts have found in the law passed two years ago."
ville racetrack; showed how unscrupulous men were at the track preying upon gullible victims; showed that the law was not only being evaded, but broken; 215 showed that perjury was being added to the crimes which the gamblers were forcing upon the State.
The committees, after hearing the arguments, unanimously reported the measure back to their respective houses with the recommendation that it "do pass."
The next move of the opponents of the bill was to delay its passage. Their purpose was to permit continuance of the operations at Emeryville-where the gambling, law-evasion, law-breaking and perjury-promoting, which District Attorney Donahue had described, was going on-to the last possible day.
Soon after the action of the committee, Frank Leavitt, once Senate leader, appealed to his former associates to amend the act so that it would not take effect immediately upon receiving the Governor's signature.
The petitioning Leavitt was in curious contrast to
215 After showing how the recorder of bets is clearly guilty of crime, District Attorney Donahue went on:
"The question may now be asked, why do not the officers prosecute the man who records the bet and the man who makes the record upon the program? The answer is that it is almost impossible to secure evidence that will warrant a conviction, by reason of the fact that no one sees the record made and those unfortunate men who accept this employment, do not know by whom they are employed. All they know is by whom they are paid, and there is no way to show that the man who pays them knows what they are being paid for, except that he is following instructions. Fifteen of those men were caught, right in operation, brought before the Grand Jury, and, in addition to the crimes they were committing each day, every one of them added to that crime, the crime of perjury, by denying that they knew anything about the records being made, or that a record was made. There is no doubt but that the bookmaker and the stakeholder, who are the 'gentlemen' in the game, have full knowledge of the fact that there is in the crowd a man who makes a record, and they repeat, in an audible tone, in order that he may make that record, but they industriously keep from contact and from any communication with him, in public."
the Leavitt of 1907, who was then a member of the Senate Public Morals Committee which held up the Eshleman Anti-Racetrack Gambling bill, which had passed the Assembly, thus blocking further action upon it. The principal argument made for delay, was that unless the horses at Emeryville were given time to eat up the hay stored there, great loss would ensue.
Astonishing as it may seem, the Progressive leaders in the Senate finally yielded to this curious argument, and consented to an amendment by which the bill would not go into effect until fifteen days after its passage.
This meant that the measure had to be reprinted and be again compared by the Senate Committee on Enrollment and Engrossment.
In the Enrollment and Engrossment Committee, measures are passed upon in the order in which they are received. The Oakland Municipal Charter had precedence in the Committee over the Walker-Young bill. Numerous errors were discovered in the printing of the Oakland Charter. As a result, action on the Walker-Young bill was delayed. Every day's delay meant another day of opportunity and exploitation for the gamblers at Emeryville. In one way and another, there was a delay of two days in the passage of the bill.
This thoroughly exasperated Progressive leaders, who had intended to act generously with the gamblers. But the Progressives had a club well calculated to prove effective.
The Assembly companion to the Senate bill had not been amended to give the gamblers their fifteen days of grace. It could be passed in the Assembly at any time,
and rushed over to the Senate, where its passage was but a matter of a few hours.
That this move would be taken unless the blocking of the Senate bill was stopped, became common talk at the Capitol. In a twinkling the Senate bill got clear way in the Senate and was passed by that body. Three days later the bill passed the Assembly.
Within a few hours after its passage, the measure had been signed by Governor Johnson, and had become the law of the State.216
216 An attempt was made by C. T. Boots and other reputable horsemen to secure legislation which would authorize the appointment by the Governor of a commission to oversee horse-racing in California, and to place the sport on a legitimate basis. But the gambling element, by trickery, inserted a paragraph in one of the drafts of the proposed measure, which would have practically restored the conditions at the race courses which prevailed before the passage of the Walker-Otis bill in 1909. A second bill was prepared and introduced, but this measure did not come to a vote in either House.
PROPONENTS AND OPPONENTS OF LOCAL OPTION.
Growing Opposition to the Saloon Comes From Conditions Due to Its Exploitation by Interests Which Are at the Same Time Exploiting the Social Evil.
Under the domination of the machine, when public demand for the passage of a good measure could no longer be ignored, the trick was to amend the bill into ineffectiveness, and then enact it into law.
The opposition to the Local Option bill attempted this at the 1911 session. The contest which ensued was long and bitter, but in the end the proponents of Local Option won a substantial victory.
The fight made against the Local Option bill at the 1911 session was not unlike the opposition, two years before, to the passage of an effective Direct Primary law. The railroad lobby which made the fight against the Direct Primary bill memorable, was absent from the 1911 session to be sure. But the liquor lobby took its place, and from the beginning to the end of the session labored, not to defeat the Local Option bill in its entirety, as had been the policy at previous sessions, but to substitute for the practical county unit of prohibition the impractical township unit. That is to say, under the bill as it was originally introduced, the people of any city or town, or of any county outside cities and