Citizens Opposing Political Corruption
in Montana's Elections
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?
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.
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
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)
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.