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indirectly, by himself or by another, give or offer or promise to any person any money, gift, advantage, preferment, entertainment, aid, emolument, or any valuable thing whatever for the purpose of inducing or procuring any person to vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or for or against any measure at any election, caucus, convention, primary election, or general assembly; (b) every person who shall, directly or indirectly, receive, accept, request, or solicit from any person, committee, association, organization or corporation, any money, gift, advantage, preferment, aid, emolument, or any valuable thing whatever, for the purpose of inducing or procuring any person to vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or for or against any measure at any such election, caucus, primary election, or general assembly; (c) every person who, in consideration of any money, gift, advantage, preferment, aid, emolument, or any valuable thing whatever, paid, received, accepted, or promised to the advantage of himself or any other person, shall vote or refrain from voting for or against any person or for or against any measure at any such election, caucus, or primary election; (d) every person, other than the political committees known as the national congressional, state, town, city, ward, and borough committees, who shall solicit from any candidate for the office of elector of president and vice-president of the United States, of senator of the United States, of representative in congress, or of any state, county, probate, town, city, ward, borough, or school district office, any money, gift, contribution, emolument, or other valuable thing for the purpose of using the same for the support, assistance, benefit, or expenses of any club, company, or organization, or for the purpose of defraying the cost or expenses of any political campaign or election; (e) every person who shall, directly or indirectly, pay, give, contribute, or promise any money or other valuable thing to defray or toward defraying the cost or expenses of any campaign or election to any person, committee, company, club, organization, or association, other than to
a treasurer or a political agent, but this provision shall not apply to any expenses for postage, telegrams, telephoning, stationery, printing, expressage, or traveling incurred by any candidate for office or for nomination thereto, so far as may be permitted under the provisions of this act; (f) every person who, in order to secure or promote his own nomination or election as a candidate for public office, or that of any other person, shall, directly or indirectly, promise to appoint, or promise to secure or assist in securing the appointment, nomination or election of any other person to any public position, or to any position of honor, trust, or emolument; provided, however, that any person may publicly announce his own choice or purpose in relation to any appointment, nomination, or election in which he may be called to take part, if he shall be nominated for or elected to any public office; (g) every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or through another person, make a payment or promise of payment to a treasurer or political agent in any other name than his own, and every treasurer or political agent who shall knowingly receive a payment or promise of payment, or enter or cause the same to be entered in his accounts in any other name than that of the person by whom such payment or promise of payment is made; (h) every person who shall violate any of the provisions of section three, four, or five, of this act.
Sec. 10. Every person who shall violate any of the provisions of this act, for the violation of which no other penalty is provided, or who shall be guilty of any corrupt practice, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than two years, or both; provided, however, that this section shall not apply to violations of any of the provisions of section seven or section eight of this act. Any person who, whether officially or otherwise, donates or uses any money or other valuable thing belonging to a private corporation, for political purposes, or as director or stockholder votes for or sanctions such donation, shall be fined not more
than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
Approved, August 25, 1909.
98. REPRESSION OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION.
Although a considerable number of States have enacted corrupt practices acts it is the candid opinion of a careful student of the subject that these "laws have been largely dead letter laws on the statute book." 1 The obstacles in the way of the enforcement of laws against bribery and corruption, together with the methods by which these obstacles may be overcome are thus stated by Mr. Francis E. McGovern: .
In the work of putting corruptionists behind prison bars the first and most indispensable requirement is an honest grand jury. Without the assistance of such an agency political corruption has nowhere been successfully exposed. Whether in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburg, Harrisburg or San Francisco, the story is everywhere the same. Whatever in this respect has been done anywhere, the grand jury has accomplished.
Nor is the reason why this should be so difficult to perceive. Wherever criminal actions may be begun by the filing of informations as well as by indictments, as is the rule now in many States, the prosecution of ordinary crimes does not require the intervention of a grand jury. In larceny, embezzlement, burglary and murder, in addition to the public wrong which constitutes the gist of the offense, there is also a private injury, peculiar to the person whose property has been stolen or embezzled, whose house has been broken into, or whose relative has been killed, as the case may be; and as a rule the one who suffers this private injury will see to it that the machinery of justice is set in motion and the crime punished.
This is not so, however, in the case of bribery and other offenses involving corrupt conduct upon the part of public
1 Proceedings of the American Political Science Association, II, 171.
officials. Here no one in particular suffers an injury peculiar to himself or different from that sustained in common by all persons living in the same community. The injury is inflicted upon the community as a whole; and here as elsewhere, the maxim holds true: "What is every one's business is no one's business." No one as a rule is willing to take upon his own shoulders the responsibility of beginning the prosecution of such a crime. To start the wheels of justice moving some one or some body of men who represent the interest and the welfare of the entire community must act. The grand jury, an institution more venerable than the common law, as old, indeed, almost as civilization itself, is the means provided for the discovery of this species of crime. Through the grand jury the law of the State speaks in the name of the whole people, impartially denouncing crime wherever it may be found, vindicating innocence wherever it exists and defending liberties of the people from all unjust attack.
Not only is the grand jury charged with the special duty of accusing those who have directly wronged the public, but it also has at its disposal the means for properly accomplishing this work. Without stating its reasons or outlining its purposes, it may compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books and documents. It meets in secret and usually enjoins secrecy also upon all who appear to testify before it. Thus its action cannot easily be anticipated, influenced, forestalled or frustrated, as proceedings before an examining magistrate may be; for secrecy of procedure is the one essential prerequisite to the obtaining of legal evidence of this species of crime.
Second only in importance to the employment of grand juries as a legal agency for the repression of political corruption is the assistance furnished by immunity laws. Such statutes have been devised as substitutes for the constitutional privilege against compulsory self-incrimination, and while fulfilling this legal requirement also compel the disclosure of evidence of crime which otherwise would go unpunished.
Bribery, which is far the most frequent offense involving
political corruption, is essentially a crime of darkness. As a rule but two persons have knowledge of it, the bribe-giver and the bribe-taker. Of disinterested spectators there are none. Instead, the parties to a bribery transaction contrive to meet in secret, there arrange the details of their compact in private and leave behind no record or memorandum of it. Each is equally guilty, and each has the strongest motive, therefore, for concealing the crime. In the absence of an immunity statute, for either to disclose the transaction may result in his own prosecution; for in such case his admission of guilt can be used against him, while as to his partner in crime it would be mere hearsay, not evidence. Under these circumstances the punishment of this and kindred offenses has often been placed practically beyond the power of the law.
To meet this situation and to enable those charged with the enforcement of penal statutes to cope with crime of the sort here under consideration, immunity laws have been enacted. If it be said that it is unjust that bribe-givers should be permitted to go free while bribe-takers are sent to prison, or vice versa, the answer is, that it is better that one of two guilty persons should be given immunity than that both should escape prosecution, and a crime which strikes at the very foundation of free institutions should go entirely unwhipped of justice.
Favoritism has no place in the administration of such a law and is not a constituent element of it. Like the principle of self-defense, the immunity idea is based on the law of necessity and can never be justifiably invoked where sufficient evidence may be obtained without resorting to it. In the practical administration of this law, those who first tender evidence of offenses, such as are here under consideration, will ordinarily receive immunity from prosecution for their part in the transaction, simply because their proffer is first in point of time. Should two witnesses to the same transaction offer to turn State's evidence at the same time as has occurred, an interesting race for the grand jury room