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Chapter XXVI.

The Holdover Senators.

Eleven of Them May Be Counted Upon to Vote Against the Machine at the Session of 1911, Two Are Doubtful, One Will Probably Vote with the Majority, While Six May Be Counted Upon to Support Machine Policies.

Twenty of the 120 members who sat in the Legislature of 1909 - half of the forty Senators - hold over and will serve in the Legislature of 1911. The twenty constitute the strength with which the machine and the anti-machine forces will enter the field in the struggle for control of the Legislature two years hence.

The machine has, long before this, taken stock of those twenty holdover Senators. Machine agents unquestionably know what the holdover members owe and to whom indebted; know their family history; know the church to which they belong, their lodges, their likes, their dislikes and their prejudices; know how they can be "reached" if vulnerable; know how they can be "kept in line" if already tarred with the machine brush.

But the plain citizen, not within the charmed circle of machine protection, is not concerning himself much about these holdovers. He scarcely knows their names. It is safe to say that not 2 per cent of the voters of California could off-hand name the twenty holdover members of the Upper House of the Legislature.

In other words, the machine is posted, and the citizen is not. And here is the secret of much of the machine's success. In its campaign for control of affairs, the machine knows to a nicety just what to expect from men in public life; the plain citizen is without such information.

In the Appendix will be found a table, "Table H," showing the votes of the twenty holdover Senators on sixteen roll calls. Representative citizens, all standing for good government, may differ as to the desirability or undesirability of several of the measures included in the list. But by and large the average normal citizen will hold that certain of the sixteen measures are desirable and others undesirable. Thus all would probably agree that the Change of Venue bill is undesirable legislation, and declare the Walker-Otis Anti-Racetrack Gambling measure to be desirable, although they might honestly differ on the Local Option bill.

On the sixteen roll calls the twenty holdover Senators cast 283 votes. Of the 283, 164 are recorded against what the normal citizen would regard as bad measures, or for what the normal citizen would regard as good measures. In other words, speaking broadly, 164 of the 283 votes were cast against machine policies. Only 119 were cast with the machine. In other words, over the whole session, on what may be fairly considered the most important roll calls taken in the Senate, the holdover Senators cast 164 votes against the machine and only 119 votes for the machine. This isn't a bad showing to start with.

The showing is strengthened by the fact that ninety-two of the 119 machine votes were cast by eight Senators, Finn, Wolfe, Bills, Martinelli, Hurd, Hare, Lewis and Welch. Senator Finn of San Francisco heads the list with fifteen of these negative votes. On one occasion Senator Finn didn't vote. After Finn comes Wolfe, also from San Francisco, with thirteen of the ninety-two negative or machine votes to his credit or his discredit; Bills of Sacramento and Martinelli of Marin follow with twelve each; Hurd of Los Angeles with eleven; Hare of San Francisco and Lewis of San Joaquin with ten each, and Welch of San Francisco with nine.

This leaves twenty-seven machine votes to be divided among twelve of the holdover Senators, about two votes on an average each.

Burnett is credited with seven of the twenty-seven, which reduces the number to twenty for eleven Senators. Of the twenty votes, seven were cast in the two ballots taken on the Local Option issue, again the bill; and eight were cast in two ballots against the Holohan bill to remove the party circle from the election ballot.

Thus, excluding the votes on local option, and on the Party Circle bill, on twelve important ballots, eleven of the holdover Senators cast only five votes for machine policies.

The eleven are Birdsall, Campbell, Cutten, Estudillo, Holohan, Roseberry, Rush, Stetson, Strobridge, Thompson and Walker.

These eleven Senators, as judged by their performances at the session just closed, may be depended upon to vote for good bills and against bad ones at the session of 1911.

To this list should be added the name of Burnett. Burnett got off wrong on the Stetson Railroad Regulation bill, and managed to land with the Wolfe element in the direct primary fight. But there is good reason to believe that Burnett was very sick of his company before the session closed. The probabilities are that Senator Burnett feels more at home with Senators Stetson, Strobridge, Thompson and Cutten than with Hare, Finn and Wolfe.

Senator Hurd is another holdover who started out very well, but went badly astray after the vote on the Railroad Regulation bills. Like Burnett, Hurd showed signs toward the end of the session of feeling himself in uncongenial company. There is reason to believe that Hurd at the next session will be found voting with the Thompson-Stetson-Strobridge element.

Senator Welch will be found voting with the majority. This reduces the number of holdover Senators who can be counted upon to accept Wolfe's leadership, machine Senators, if you like, to six. The line-up of the twenty holdovers, then, would on this basis be as follows:

Anti-machine - Birdsall, Cutten, Estudillo, Roseberry, Rush, Stetson, Strobridge, Thompson, Walker (Republicans), Campbell, Holohan (Democrats) - 11.

Doubtful - Burnett, Hurd (Republicans) - 2.

With the majority - Welch (Republican) - 1.

Machine - Bills, Finn, Lewis[103], Martinelli, Wolfe (Republicans), Hare (Democrat) - 6.

On this basis the anti-machine element will start with all the advantage in the struggle for control of the Senate in 1911. If Burnett and Hurd vote with the eleven anti-machine Senators, it will be necessary to elect only eight anti-machine Senators that the reform element may control the Senate. This will mean twenty-two votes for the reform element, for Welch, if he is to be judged by past performances, will be found with the majority.

From present indications, four important fights will be made at the Legislative session of 1911.

(1) To pass an effective railroad regulation measure and to amend those sections of the State Constitution which prescribe the duties and powers of the Railroad Commissioners.

(2) To amend the Direct Primary law passed at the session just closed to meet with the popular demand for an effective measure.

(3) To grant local option to the counties.

(4) To adopt an amendment to the State Constitution granting the initiative to the electors of the State.

Significantly enough, the line-up of the holdover Senators in the Direct Primary deadlock of the last session was nine to eleven, the eleven Senators who divide but five machine votes between them standing out against Wolfe and Leavitt for an effective provision for the selection of United States Senators by State-wide vote, while the six machine Senators, the "bandwagon" Senator and the two doubtfuls, voted with Wolfe and Leavitt.

But the probabilities are that in the event of the anti-machine element controlling the Senate of 1911, Burnett, Hurd, Lewis, Martinelli and Welch would join with the reform forces to make necessary amendments to the measure. When the Direct Primary bill was first before the Senate, these five Senators united with the Good Government forces and assisted in defeating the machine's amendment. When the bill was amended in the Assembly, however, the five flopped to the machine side. Indeed, only four of the twenty holdover Senators voted for the machine's amendments to the Direct Primary bill when the measure was first passed upon by the Senate. They were Bills, Finn, Hare and Wolfe.

The holdover Senators made their poorest showing on the railroad measures. When the test came on the Stetson bill the twenty holdovers split even, ten being for the effective Stetson bill, ten for the ineffective Wright bill. The line-up was as follows:

For the Stetson bill - Birdsall, Campbell, Cutten, Holohan, Lewis, Roseberry, Rush, Stetson, Strobridge, Thompson - 10.

For the Wright bill - Bills, Burnett, Estudillo, Finn, Hare, Hurd, Martinelli, Walker, Welch, Wolfe - 10.

Lewis, who usually voted with the performers, voted for the Stetson bill. But the reform forces lost two votes, those of Walker and Estudillo. On another vote on the same issue, however, Burnett, Estudillo and Walker would probably be found with the anti-machine forces supporting an effective measure. This would make the vote of the holdover Senators, thirteen for effective railroad regulation, and seven for a measure of the Wright law variety.

The holdovers made a good showing on the Initiative amendment, eleven voting for it and five against it, four not voting at all. The vote was as follows:

For the Initiative - Birdsall, Campbell, Cutten, Estudillo, Hare, Roseberry, Rush, Stetson, Thompson, Walker, Welch - 11.

Against the Initiative - Bills, Hurd, Lewis, Martinelli, Wolfe - 5.

Not voting - Burnett, Finn, Holohan, Strobridge - 4.

Of the four who did not vote, three, Burnett, Holohan and Strobridge, would have voted for the amendment. Finn would probably have voted against it. This would have made the vote fourteen to six in the amendment's favor. It will be seen that those who would have the initiative granted the people, have a good start for the next session.

The outlook for local option is not so reassuring. Of the holdover Senators who ordinarily were for measures which give the people a voice in the management of public affairs, Birdsall, Holohan, Rush and Strobridge were unalterably opposed to the local option idea. The six machine Senators, of course, opposed it, which with the votes of Burnett, Welch and Hurd placed thirteen of the twenty holdover Senators against the measure.

Six of the holdovers voted for the Local Option bill - Campbell, Cutten, Estudillo, Roseberry, Thompson and Walker.

Stetson was absent and did not vote. He, however, favored the bill. His vote would have made it 13 to 7. Thus on the vote on their bill at the last session, the local option forces have seven of the holdover Senators with them, and thirteen against.

On the other hand, seventeen of the holdover Senators voted for the Walker-Otis Anti-Racetrack Gambling bill, while only three, Finn, Hare and Wolfe, voted against it. Thus on the moral issue, as well as the political and the industrial, the anti-machine element is stronger in the holdover delegation in the Senate than is the machine. It rests with the good citizenship of California to maintain its advantage by electing to the Senate in 1910, men who will stand with the majority of the holdover members for the passage of good and the defeat of vicious measures.

[103] Lewis voted with the anti-machine element in the Railroad Regulation fight, one of the most severe tests of the session. Persons who know Lewis well stated that he will, if the anti-machine forces be effectively organized at the session of 1911, be found against the machine. It is "up to Senator Lewis."

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