Walker, Wright, Hare and Thompson, old members, and Larkins, Tyrrell, Hewitt, Gates and Juilliard, new members.

Of the new members, Juilliard had a record as an Assemblyman. At the session of 1909, he had voted for the practical, State-wide plan for the selection of United States Senators, for the Denman bill to take the judiciary out of politics, and for the Holohan bill that struck the party circle from the election ballot.

The remaining four of the five new members, Larkins, Tyrrell, Hewitt and Gates, had been elected as Progressives, and were counted safe for general reform of the election laws.

Of the six members of the Committee who served in the Senate of 1909, Estudillo, Boynton, Walker and Thompson voted for the practical, State-wide plan for naming the Federal Senator. Wright and Hare voted against the State-wide plan, and for the district advisory substitute, the "machine substitute," as it was called. Senator Wright, as has been seen, had the distinction of being the only Senator whose term expired in 1910, who had, at the session of 1909, voted for the district advisory substitute, to be re-elected. All of the six holdover Senators had voted in 1909 to remove the party circle from the election ballot.

The important Finance Committee, to which every member who has an appropriation bill to put through must appeal, was headed by Senator Cutten, an active Progressive. On this committee was one new member only, Senator Hewitt, a Progressive from Los Angeles.

Of the twenty members other than Hewitt, fifteen 34 at the 1909 session had voted almost as a unit for Progressive policies. The other five 35 were usually found in opposition to the first-named group.

Following time-honored custom, every attorney in the Senate was made a member of the Judiciary Committee. There were twenty attorneys, just half the Senate, so the committee consisted of twenty members.36

But at the 1911 session, the ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee were Progressives. The reverse had been the case at the session of 1909.87

The Judiciary Committee is always important, for to it is referred every measure in which a legal point is involved. But in 1911 it became of more than ordinary importance for to the Judiciary Committee was to be referred the proposed Initiative and Referendum, and Recall amendments to the State Constitution.


Generally speaking, the entire Senate committee organization was on the same basis as that of the five com

34 Cutten, Black, Thompson, Boynton, Bell, Walker, Strobridge, Birdsall, Rush, Roseberry, Curtin, Caminetti, Cartwright, Sanford and Holohan-15.

35 Burnett, Hurd, Welch, Bills and Wolfe.

36 The Handbook of the California Legislature, 1911, gives twenty-one members on the committee, including Senator Birdsall. But Birdsall is not an attorney and was not a member of the committee.

37 Wolfe and Wright were the ranking members after the chairman, on the 1909 Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1911, these two gentlemen numbered fourteenth and fifteenth on the list.

38 The lobby representatives of Organized Labor expressed dissatisfaction with the personnel of the Committee on Labor, Capital and Immigration. Nevertheless, this committee made favorable report on the Eight Hour bill for women. The committee, as originally appointed, consisted of Larkins, chairman; Cutten, Martinelli, Boynton, Hurd, Wright and Juilliard. Later in the session Boynton gave way on the committee for Senator Bryant of San Francisco.

mittees considered, which, by the way, are the most important Senate committees. The Progressives were thus in complete control of the entire Senate organization.

In naming dependable committees in the Lower House, the Progressives were confronted with greater difficulties than in the Senate. Speaker Hewitt had comparatively little to guide him. The Assembly at the opening of a legislative session is an unknown quantity. The 1911 Assembly was no exception to the rule. To be sure, twenty-three of the eighty members had served in the Legislature of 1909, and several others had served at previous sessions. But more than two-thirds of the members were without records by which they could be judged.

Out of this untried material, with its leaven of old members, the majority of whom had good legislative records, Speaker Hewitt was called upon to form his committees.39

At the opening of the session much interest centered on the Assembly Committee on Common Carriers, for to this committee was to be referred the proposed Railroad Regulation measure.40

Eleven members made up the committee. Of the eleven, four had served in the session of 1909. Telfer, Gerdes and Mendenhall,


These four men were all identified with the Progressives during the 1909 session. On railroad measures

39 Speaker Hewitt did not have the advantage of the careful canvass of the Assembly which the old machine element used to make even before the November elections. The machine formerly had men travel up and down the State "sizing up" prospective Assemblymen as committee timber.

40 The members of the 1911 Assembly Common Carriers Committee were: Preisker, chairman; Bliss, Crosby, Denegri, Flint, Gerdes, Hinshaw, Joel, Mendenhall, Smith, Telfer.


they voted, when there was division, with the antimachine element on every issue.

The seven remaining members of the committee were new men with records yet to be made. But the majority of them had been elected as Progressives.

Scarcely less important was the Committee on Election Laws. This committee was to deal with the restoration of the Australian ballot, with the simplification of the Direct Primary law, and the taking of the judiciary out of politics.


The committee consisted of fifteen members, five of whom had served in the session of 1909. Of the five old members, Young, who was named chairman, had, at the session of 1909, introduced a bill for the complete restoration of the Australian ballot. Three of the remaining old members had, at the previous session, voted for the several measures proposed for the reform of the election laws.

The fifth of the members who had served in the Legislature of 1909, Beatty, did not have so clear a score to his credit, having voted for the machine's amendment to the 1909 Direct Primary bill, which denied The People a State-wide vote for United States Senator. On the other hand, Beatty supported the 1909 measures to restore the Australian ballot to something like its original effectiveness, and to take the judiciary out of politics.

The change in the Assembly Judiciary Committee was the most radical of the Assembly reorganization. At previous sessions, this committee was known as the

41 The members of the Assembly Committee on Election Laws were: Young, chairman; Beatty, Benedict, Bohnett, Clark, Gerdes, Gaylord, Lyon, Mott, Preisker, Polsley, Rogers of Alameda, Randall, Rosendale, Stevenot.

"graveyard of good bills." Any measure which the "machine" wanted "killed" was sent to the Assembly Judiciary Committee and that was the last of it.


The 1911 committee, 2 however, was headed by Assemblyman William Kehoe of Humboldt, a man of the highest standard of citizenship.

At the session of 1909, Kehoe, because of his refusal "to take program," was made the butt of the curious humor of the "machine" element. But his elevation to the head of the committee, second in importance, if not the most important of the Lower House, was another instance of retributory justice scarcely less pronounced than the elevation of Senator Bell to the head of the Senate Republican caucus.


Another committee in which much interest was taken was the Assembly Committee on Public Morals. This committee was to deal with three important measures, the passage of which, while they had not been touched upon in any of the party platforms, was nevertheless justly held to be part of the work of the reform Legislature. The bills in question were the revised anti-Race Track Gambling bill, the Local Option bill and the anti-Nickelin-the-Slot bill.

Six of the nine members of this committee, Cronin,"

42 The members of the 1911 Assembly Judiciary Committee were: Kehoe, chairman; Beatty, Benedict, Bishop, Bohnett, Brown, Clark, Coghlan, Cronin, Freeman, Griffin, Held, Joel, Jones, Harlan, Preisker, Rogers, Rosendale, Rutherford, Sutherland, Wil


43 The members of the 1911 Assembly Committee on Public Morals were: Cronin, chairman; Cattell, Kehoe, March, Rogers, Sbragia, Stuckenbruck, Wyllie, Young.

44 Cronin, while by no means a Prohibitionist, had been given good reason to distrust the opponents of Local Option. These opponents, without any reason that a sane man could determine, made a vicious fight to prevent Cronin's re-election to the Assem

« ForrigeFortsett »