Citizens Opposing Political Corruption
    in Montana's Elections

Montana Carterites Synonymous with Political Corruption

The solicitude of Senator Carter for the small and "sparsely settled counties" is amusing to Rosebud County people. This solicitude went so far last fall that under the present rotten primary and convention system his lieutenants imported men who were not voters, bribed democrats, and used boodle and booze without limit to carry the Forsyth primaries. It was from "the sparsely settled country" from the small post office and the ranches that the delegates came whom Carterite money and booze could not control.
When Farmers Take Part in Politics
Forsyth Times  (1909)

No party could carry Carter and Carterism. He will drag the republicans of Montana into the mud and ruin them along with himself…Why should we re-elect a man who throughout his congressional career has persistently betrayed the public trust by voting with the enemies of the people? 
Why Carter?
Terry Tribune  (February 17, 1910)

If it be the sense and the sentiment of the people of Montana that the seats in the United States senate are to be disposed of by auction to the highest bidder, both the auctioneer and bidders unquestionably can be found., but let us be done with the folderol about the preeminent fitness of the winner.
Bumping Carter
Plain Plainsman  (March 10, 1910)

Who shall be the next senator from Montana? That is the question. A vast number of politicians can see but two or three candidates and they must be the moneybags. Some try to make the people believe so no one else can be elected. It is a sorry fact that money has cut such a wide swath in Montana.
Poor Man's Poor Show in Politics
Sanders County Signal  (March 1910)

The citizens of Montana have had more than a sufficiency of senatorial scandals in their legislative assemblies, and hope to be saved from a repetition of the disgrace.
Shall Brains or Boodle Control? 
Ft. Benton River Press  (December 1910)

There will be no effort to show that either Carter or Clark are fitted for such a position; no definite platform or contention upon which to base reasons for their election...only the jingle of the "coin of the realm" ... Such a campaign as that which confronts the people of Montana is hurtful not only to the morals of her citizenship, but to the state itself.
Campaign Devoid of Principle or Patriotism   
Terry Tribune  (February  1910)

We oppose the senior Senator from Montana because we believe him to be openly allied in his official capacity, with interests and men utterly at variance with and dangerously inimical to the highest welfare of the people of Montana.
Honest Opposition to Mr. Carter
Fergus County Democrat
(January 8, 1910)

“Anyone who knows anything about the situation must admit that Montana is at the present time, corporation-ruled, and no one can gainsay the fact that the actions of the Twelfth Legislative Assembly were dominated completely by the copper trust. I have served in three legislative assemblies but do not hesitate to say that the Twelfth Assemble was more completely controlled by the Amalgamated than any other of which I was a member…I am not hostile to the corporations as such in their proper sphere but I am opposed to corporations when they enter the spheres of politics and legislation. I believe with Roosevelt--‘the square deal for everybody.’ The ordinary citizen does not get a ‘square deal’ under the present conditions existing in Montana.” 
Rep. Harold Blake, Republican from Anaconda, MT
Letter to U.S. Senator J. M. Dixon (March 8, 1911)

Already the corporate colossus holds monopolistic control of the copper and coal mining, smelting, lumber, water power and kindred industries, involving 25,000 wage earners and many businessmen of the state and is a purveyor of practically everything from townsites to cemetery lots; it also practically controls the banking power and dominates the business, social and political life of Montana. Founded and fostered too frequently on false pretenses, tyrannical elimination and oppression, can such a condition be conducive to the permanent and enduring welfare of the people of this fair young commonwealth?
Are These Wholesome Conditions?
Hamilton Western News (May, 28, 1910)

"..the statutes of the state are being violated instead of enforced by the administration and law officers; prosecuting attorneys exercise their discretionary powers for the protection of criminals and the encouragement of crime; the property of these alien rulers is given exemption from the greater part of its due and just share of the burdens of taxation."
Fruits of Government by Combines in Montana  
Montana Lookout  (April 9, 1910)

No stream can rise higher than its source and the law proceeds from the people, consequently there is no such thing as law that stands independent of popular opinion, and for the legislatures and courts to...divorce the law from reason,...would be fatal to the law and destructive to the country. 
Law in Theory and Practice
Billings Daily Gazette (April  1910)

There is too much politics and not enough honesty; too much trickery and deception and not enough patriotism; too much for money and not enough for honor; to much for office and not enough respect for law; too much law and not enough fearless men to act as prosecuting witnesses to enforce them. 
Many Reforms Needed 
Sanders County Signal  (April  1910)

Montana acquired a nauseating reputation during the Clark-Amalgamated-Heinze imbroglio and it has no stomach for a repetition of these scenes. 
Some Objections to Clark
Livingston Daily Post (July  1910)

What use are ideal laws if corrupt officials connive at their violation. ...What we want is a congress, a cabinet, and federal and state and local officers who will see that all stand alike before the law, that privilege is abolished.
The Big Problem Ahead
Plain Plainsman  (June  1910)





Shall We Name Names?

Carterites were associates of United States Senator Thomas H. Carter, also called Uncle Tom by his detractors.  Carter ruled over Montana's Republican party in the same way Senator William A. Clark dominated the Democrats. The backers of both Senators co-ordinated with John Morony, Great Falls banker and the Amalgamated’s political operative in Montana.

In 1910, Senator Clark had retired as Montana's Senator and been replaced by a Republican.  With no Democratic counterbalance, Carterites ran wild, commandeering Montana's wealth with almost no one the wiser.

Helena physician and newspaper owner O.M. Lanstrum and Helena banker Thomas Marlow controlled the Carterites.  They were assisted by Missoula lumberman Ed Dolan; Rosebud County State Senator, banker and land speculator John E. Edwards;  and Billings stockman Charles M. Bair.  John E Waite, Lewistown bank president and the G.O.P. political director of Fergus County, lobbied for the Carterites as Morony managed the Amalgamated henchmen of both parties.

Just when these men believed that their license to loot Montana for their own profit was unlimited, they met their match in the editors of Montana's small town newspapers.

Doc's Favorite Prescription
Terry Tribune    (May 1910)
Doc Lanstrum of the Daily Record has begun a well-disguised campaign for the re-election of
Senator Carter in the shape of a "special" from Washington prepared specifically for the
Montana newspapers--all written, of course, in Helena.   This "special" service business gotten up to bolster up the fortunes of some politician discredited at home is too old a dodge to catch many Montana editors.

Safeguard the Community 
Twin Bridges Monitor (May 1910)
In these days when the larger papers, many of them owned and run in the interests of the big
corporations; and when the editors are unknown and merely hacks who are given their subjects to write upon as a child is given its writing lesson; the people have turned to the magazines and country press for honest utterances.

Many Reforms Needed
Sanders County Signal (April 1910)

The Signal believes in government for the people and not in the interest of special interests and
tax-dodgers.  The Signal is a paper for the people and not run in the interest of some combination seeking special privileges.

 Of Editors Who Serve Bad Uses Terry Tribune (February  1910)
What is true of the politician is true of the partisan newspaper. The editors have become so enmeshed in the workings of the political machine--brought to fealty by some petty office, or the threat of some impudent advisor, that they no longer seem to possess a backbone, or if they have, it has become so warped and twisted that it comes nearer to a rubber corkscrew... Privately a majority will say, "I would like to see other conditions, but the machine can not be beaten. I must be on the winning side."...Clear your conscience, stiffen that backbone and give the oligarchy of wealth to understand that the people will no longer be controlled by money.

What the People Need and Demand
Madisonian (April  1910)

It never pays to condone or gloss over political or other corruption, whether in legislatures, corporations or in any other body. What the people need and demand is honesty and purity, and sooner or later that demand will be met. Tricky politicians may stave off the day of reckoning for a time--but only for a time. We believe that such politicians, both national and local, will get theirs in the coming campaign.

Look Out For the Jolt
Pioneer Press (June 1910)

The Montana politicians who have grown used to going through the formality of holding a convention and hanging up a slate are apt to experience a rude awakening before long...we may soon see a new pack of cards and a new deal, in both political parties.

When the People Will Be Heard by Congress
Stevensville Tribune (June 1910)

The people are becoming weary of individual misrule and abuse of power that has characterized the congress of this republic, and they will be heard on election day.

Vigilance of Trust Makers vs. Public Apathy 
Montana Lookout,  February 1910 
"Doc" Lanstrom, the doctor who prescribes Amalgamated medicine.

Practical Politics--Heard on Helena Streets 
Montana Lookout, September 1910 
Banker--Why did the managers depose “Doc” Lanstrom as Chairman of the State Committee? 
Politician--Probably felt they would need the campaign fund in the campaign this year.