Newspaper Articles


Fairmont Times
April 26, 1960

Humphrey Stirs Democrats Here With Blast at Administration

Crowd Cheers Senator For Rapping GOP

Eisenhower Veto of Coal Research Bill Flayed In Dinner Address

In a manner reminiscent of what one oldtime Democrat referred to as “the golden days of William Jennings Bryan,” Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota aroused a crowd of 200 Marion County Democrats at a $10-a-plate fund-raising dinner in the Fairmont Hotel last night into an enthusiastic, emotionally stirred audience which gave the presidential candidate a standing ovation of almost three minutes duration.

Humphrey, railing the present administration on all counts and with regard to all issues, said “that crowd down in Washington vetoed the Coal Research and Development Bill and in the same month passed a similar bill to accomplish almost the identical goal in Korea.”

Referring to the fiscal policies of the administration, Humphrey said, “the Republicans are the most inept fiscal managers this country has had since Ulysses S. Grant. I wouldn’t put ‘em in charge of a popcorn stand in a broken down movie theatre.”

“Regardless of what you have been told, the state of West Virginia is not much different than the majority of other states. Under the Republican administration, unemployment has risen all over the nation. In the Eight Congressional District of my own state 13 per cent of the population is unemployed, and I am here to tell you now that your problems and the problems of the rest of the country will never be solved in the locker room of a golf club or on the fairway.”

Turning to the controversial agricultural problems of the United States, the presidential candidate said, “did you realize that the government is now doing a tremendous business in the storage of surplus foods? This administration is spending billions upon billions of dollars in the storage of surplus commodities, much of which is wasted through loss, and yet there are thousands of people in this and every other state who have hardly enough to keep alive.

“We can feed, clothe and house the rest of the world and yet we cannot take care of our own. I believe that charity begins at home, but what have we seen but waste of money, resources, prestige, influence and time. Our youth and elderly folks have been left by the wayside. We are bearing the terrible, wasteful toll of a part-time president and a lethargic administration. West Virginia is not a dying state. I’ll tell you what’s dying, it’s that do-nothing government in Washington.

“This is a most important campaign here for me in West Virginia. You must realize that. But looking back at the Wisconsin primary, and with the idea foremost in mind that I am a Democrat, I can happily say that Jack Kennedy did indeed gain a plurality, and I gained some districts but it is also true that Richard Milhouse Nixon came in a very wobbly third. Fellow Americans and Democrats, it is evident that the Republican party has ‘political pneumonia’ and regardless of the fact that a few factions have attempted to muddy the waters in this primary with a religious issue, this contest is bound to prove that, without a shadow of a doubt, we shall see a Democrat in the White Hou[s]e for this next term. Let me make clear that I firmly believe that an individual’s religious choice and his family are private and are not and should not be of any concern to anyone else.”

Talking to reporters later, Humphrey admitted that his campaign funds are low. “I don’t have enough check books to write checks to cover all the costs, but I hope that American politics has not gotten down to the point where only the rich are in it. American politics is not and should not be salable product and it cannot be peddled like hot-dogs on the street.”

Humphrey proposed the establishment of a Coal Research and Development Committee as one part of his ten-point “program of progress” for economic revival of the state.

“We must find or create new markets for the vast reserve of coal in West Virginia. America must fully utilize the skills of your miners and the potential of your coal supply. There must also be a concerted government effort to encourage industry to move to spots of direct coal supply, thus saving the huge transportation costs necessary to move coal. And the government must assist in development of ‘mine mouth’ power stations which could send electricity to the major consuming centers of the East. We must have leadership, encouragement and stimulation to expand West Virginia’s coal industry so that it will continue to be a source of strength for the state.”

The nine addiintional [sic] points of his program were an area redevel[o]pment program, fiscal reforms to encourage healthy growth of national econonmy [sic], federal standards for unemployment insurance, minimum wage of $1.25, food stamp program, reform of federal tax system, stand-by public works program, youth conservation program and tourism development.

Seated at the head table in addition to Sen. Humphrey were Clyde J. Wright, member of the Marion County Court; Margaret Steiss, chairman of the county Democratic Women’s Club; Nettie Minor, co-chairman of the county executive committee; Chilton Campbell, chairman of the executive committee; Bertram M. Cousins Jr., who introduced Sen. Humphrey; Don P. Smith, toastmaster; Mayor William G. Meyer, who gave official welcome to Humphrey; Joan Demus, national committee woman of the county Young Democrat’s Club; John W. Plattenoburg, president of the club, and Rev. Walter J. Rivel, M.S. of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, who delivered the invocation. Wright delivered the benediction.

The dinner was sponsored by the Democratic executive committee.


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