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number of districts electing members of the Legislature of his own political faith.
This results in the following condition: That wherever legislators advised to vote for a certain candidate do not follow the advice of their constituents they have those who believe they are bound under the law at the greatest disadvantage.
Members of an opposing political faith who have no candidate (such as the Democratic party in this instance) are left as free rovers to determine the successful candidate of another party (in this instance the Republican), and together with such members as may disregard the advisory vote for United States Senator may easily defeat the candidate carrying the largest number of advised districts.
Again, Democrats may be elected who have pledged themselves to a certain Republican candidate where their party has no candidate at the primaries, and this again defeats this Act. This may, in a special instance, work for good but it may just as readily work for evil.
After lying awake many hours considering this matter last night, I came to the final conclusion that no member of the Legislature is justified by any act of his, whether in the form of a law or otherwise, to so delegate the powers conferred upon him by the Constitution of the United States that the present condition of affairs may exist, and that he is not bound under any such law even if he was largely instrumental in passing it.
I desire, and have always desired, to cast my vote to the best of my ability in the interest of the general welfare of the State. I believe the present law as affecting election of United States Senators to be an error.
It is not contemplated under the Constitution of the United States that the power of the legislators of the various States to elect United States Senators shall be delegated to various groups of electors in political parties, but rather that the legislators shall vote as independent men solely guided by the best interest of the State.
However, we know that this is not always the attitude of
members of the Legislature. I am of the opinion that the present law is a failure.
I believe that no delegation of power of electing or suggesting the election of a United States Senator should be delegated to any combination of people other than the advisory vote of the whole State, running the successful party candidates against each other, or else by advisory or directory vote under the Oregon plan. Only in this method can stability be assured.
I am forced to this conclusion, against my will, by the working of our present law.
We are, in this instance, but little if any better situated than we were under the old law.
The same pulling and hauling goes on here with the same results as under the old regime.
I feel that I am at liberty to exercise my free choice and shall vote for John D. Works for United States Senator.
Assemblyman Griffin-While conceding that there probably are other men within the ranks of the progressives in this State who could represent the great Commonwealth of California with greater vigor in the United States Senate than Judge Works, it seems to me that at this time the line of demarcation is clearly drawn between the progressives and the ultra-conservatives, and as I have ever been a consistent believer in popular government and progressive democracy, it is my duty to vote for the candidate that seems to be on that side of the line of demarcation. It is my sincere hope and desire that the present Legislature shall forever make it impossible for the present situation to recur, and this can be done by the enactment of the Oregon plan of choosing United States Senators, which I had the honor and privilege this day to introduce.
Assemblyman Stuckenbruck-Having always believed in the election of United Senators by direct vote of the people,
and as Works received the majority of such vote in my district, I deem it my duty to vote for Judge Works for United States Senator.
Assemblyman Wilson-In explanation of my vote for John D. Works for Senator from California in the United States Congress, I wish to say that my district cast for John D. Works a majority of its advisory vote for United States Senator. I favor the direct popular election of United States Senator, and under our present primary law the advisory vote so cast is the best information which I can obtain as to the wishes of my constituents in the matter of electing a United States Senator. In observance of that expressed wish I cast my vote for John D. Works.
Assemblyman Coghlan-Section 2 of the Act to regulate Primary Elections reads in part as follows: "The vote for candidates for United States Senators shall be an advisory vote for the purpose of ascertaining the sentiment of the voters in the respective Assembly District in the
I believe that under the terms of section 1 of the Primary Election Law, I am bound, unless I disregard the will of the good people of the Forty-first Assembly District, to vote for Albert G. Spalding for United States Senator. To do otherwise would be, in my humble opinion, a base repudiation of the law, and an evidence of flagrant disrespect to the wishes of my constituents. I have been too long honored by the people of my district to close my ears to their voices. They have cast my vote for me here. I know of nothing that I have oftener wished for than an expression of opinion by my own people on the many questions that have been here propounded in the last seven years, and I am content.
Assemblyman Slater-I believe, and have always believed, in the election of United States Senators by direct vote of the people, and consider this step initial to the accomplish
ment of the final issue. Consequently, I vote for Judge Works. Let us now have the Oregon plan.
Assemblyman Mendenhall-Having always believed in the election of ited States Senators by direct vote of the people, and as Works received the plurality of such vote in the State, I deem it my duty in the interests of good government to vote for Judge Works for United States Senator.
Assemblyman Walsh-Believing the last State primary election gave the nearest expression possible toward a Statewide vote for United States Senator in casting a plurality vote for Judge Works, and as the Democratic platform, the platform of the party of which I have the honor to represent, expressed themselves in no uncertain terms as favoring the election of a United States Senator by direct vote of the people, I therefore cast my vote for Judge Works, feeling that I am carrying out the expressions of my party with the best means at hand.
TABLES OF VOTES
The principal criticism of "The Story of the California Legislature of 1909" was that the test votes were arbitrarily selected.
Such contention is not unreasonable, but it is indisputable that certain issues before the public are recognized as either fundamental, or so far-reaching that large numbers are interested in them one way or the other. Further, it is unquestionably true that at the 1909 session of the Legislature, on fundamental questions, the lines were sharply drawn between that element known as the machine on the one side, and its opponents on the other. The votes on these dividing questions, were selected as the tests by which the 1909 Legislature was to be measured.
It is interesting to note in this connection, that every reform included in the list of test issues upon which the 1909 tables were based, was realized at the 1911 session of the Legislature.
Thus the 1909 tables include the vote on racetrack gambling, the vote on the provision of the Direct Primary bill to grant The People State-wide practical expression of their choice for United States Senators, the vote on the passage of the Local Option bill, the vote on the restoration of the Australian ballot to its original simplicity and effectiveness, the vote on the Initiative amendment, the vote on a practical Railroad Regulation bill, and the vote on the measure to take the judiciary out of politics.
Justification of the 1909 tables is found in the realization of these reforms in 1911. And then again, the tables were so arranged in 1909-an arrangement which has been followed this year-as to carry their own correction, if the reader deemed such correction necessary. Thus, if the reader holds to a view that The People should not have the means to a direct vote for United States Senator, if he believes that