Newspaper Articles


Wheeling Intelligencer
May 5, 1960

Equal Time Bid Is Ridiculed By Humphrey

Says He’d Welcome Debate With Nixon In Tri-State Area

By James Brennan

Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey yesterday in Wheeling ridiculed a Republican request for equal time to answer the Humphrey-Kennedy debate unless they can produce “two walking, red-blooded candidates.”

The Minnesota Democratic presidential candidate added that he could not see how the GOP could supply two candidates since apparently there is only one Republican hopeful for the presidency.

Once of the ways Humphrey said, that he could see how the Republicans could accomplish their request was the “one candidate who is known to talk out of both sides of his mouth.”

Humphrey, in alluding to Vice President Richard Nixon, said he would be “delighted” to be the opposition to the vice president in a debate that should be held in “the tri-state area.”

The equal time issue came up when Sen. Thurston Morton, Republican national committee chairman, complained to WRTF-TV of Wheeling on scheduling the Humphrey-Kennedy debate Wednesday night.

The Republican senator asked that equal time be given to the GOP to answer the comments made by the Democratic senators in Charleston on television.

Robert Ferguson, executive vice president to the Wheeling station, answered Morton’s complaint by saying “We accepted this program because it was offered as a debate and the two senators are the only candidates on the primary ballot in West Virginia for the nomination.”

Ferguson said that he is studying “the demands” of Morton and will give an answer early next week.

Humphrey, during his 11-hour tour of the Northern Panhandle visited the Weirton Community center, Wellsburg, Bethany College, downtown Wheeling, Wheeling college and the Blaw-Knox plant on the Peninsula.

His topics ranged from blasting the Eisenhower Administration for lack of aid to West Virginia, to the upcoming disarmament and summit meeting and combating cancer.

In referring to the Republican’s request for equal TV time, Humphrey said that he could see only three possible ways for this to be accomplished.

“One,” he remarked, “is for them to show two red-blooded, walking, active candidates; two, Nixon on both sides, and three, Nixon to debate Humphrey.”

The Minnesota senator said that he “would be available and delighted” to debate Nixon, and “either one of us (referring to Kennedy) could take him on and take his measure.”

Morton referred to the Humphrey-Kennedy debate as a “show that had all the sharpness of a pillow fight between two small boys.”

Humphrey commented in Wheeling that he “saw no reason to be on the attack” in his debate with Kennedy.

West Virginia voters, Humphrey remarked, “will make a choice of a candidate who can do a better job against the Republicans"instead of tearing down each other in a debate.

The debate, Humphrey felt, proved three things; “It was good for West Virginia, good for the Democrats, and trouble for the Republicans.” The Democratic senator added, that it is a “sad commentary” to have two Democratic senators come here to focus attention on the economic ills of the state while the administration has done nothing.

He invited Eisenhower and his “crown price” to visit West Virginia “to travel here and see what we have seen.”

Speaking to a shirt-sleeved crowd on Twelfth St. near the Wheeling postoffice, Humphrey urged the elimination of “any form of bigotry.” This was as about as close as he came to mentioning the religious issue in the election.


Bob Kennedy Again Blasts Hoffa Rule

By Roger Wood

Robert Kennedy continued his blistering attack on James A. Hoffa and “corrupt unions” and defended the Kennedy-Landrum labor bill at a speech in Wheeling yesterday.

The former chief counsel of the Senate Rackets Committee said the measure cosponsored by his brother, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, “helps protect the public and honest unions.”

The author lawyer made these remarks at a luncheon meeting of the Ohio Valley Adtrial Conference in the McLure Hotel.

Speaking without notes for some 20 minutes, the author of “The Enemy Within” spoke of the need for “house-cleaning” not only by unions but also some management groups and large corporations.

As to be expected, Kennedy’s principal target was Hoffa and the Teamster’s Union which Hoffa heads. He described the Teamster’s Union as the second most powerful organization in the nation – second only to the federal government.

He cited example after example which he claimed proved that the Teamster’s is “dominated by gangsters, racketeers and underworld figures.”

“As a result of all this, it became apparent some legislation was necessary to protect the public and honest unions, especially in regards to the handling of union funds,” Kennedy remarked.

He said 75 per cent of those Teamster’s delegates who elected Hoffa as international president at the Miami Fla. Convention in October and November, 1957, were “themselves elected illegally.”

During the 2 ˝ year course of the senate committee’s investigation into rackets, some 150 officials of this union pleaded the Fifth Amendment in appearances before the committee, Kennedy stated.

Unions, however, were not the only targets of Kennedy. He said the investigation exposed corrupt practices on the part of 50 corporations, including some of the nations’ largest trucking firms.

“While labor organizations have taken some steps to clean their houses, no management group has taken similar actions,” Kennedy claimed. He said management should adopt “and strictly adhere to” a code of ethical practices.

“This is a reflection on all of us. But no organization such as the National Association of Manufactures or chambers of commerce have taken action on these improper activities,” he added.

The Kennedy-Landrum bill, passed by Congress and signed by President Eisenhower in September 1959, “is certainly not perfect,” he said.

He admitted that it is probably considered unfair in certain areas where there are no corrupt unions, Kennedy added. “But it goes a long way in correcting the overall situation.”

The bill was a result of the president’s request that “effective protection against gangsters and crooks” should be instituted for the laboring man.

Kennedy declined to comment to any large degree on his brother’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. He said he was sure his brother would win was sure his brother would win Tuesday ‘s primary election in West Virginia and get the nomination at the party’s convention in July.


Humphrey Leaves Younger Newsmen Weary

Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota made some obvious impression on Northern Panhandle votes and newsmen who covered his 11-hour tour yesterday. To most of the residents he seemed to be a mature, able candidate with a splendid talent for oratory. His maturity, however, is in a sense misleading.

Newsmen several years younger than the Democratic candidate were leg weary, tired and ready to fold up at the end of the 11-hour tour of the Northern Panhandle.

However, Humphrey at about 6 p.m. yesterday was apparently as vigorous and full of “get-up-and-go” as he was when he kicked off his stumping tour at 7 a.m.

Humphrey who seems to be a stickler for keeping on schedule, literally had a roadblock thrown in his path shortly before noon on the Demet Rd. section of Rt. 88. He had completed his well received speech at Bethany College and had to be in Wheeling at noon for an interview.

Instead of riding the bus he had chartered, Humphrey took the trip in a station wagon and was making excellent time along Rt. 88 until he hit the Demet Rd. section. The State Road Commission was making repairs along that stretch of road and traffic was limited to one-way at a time – in this case the wrong way.

The SRC employe(e) who halted Humphrey’s car told him that there would be a short delay until he could proceed. At that time, Humphrey had about 10 minutes to make it to Wheeling, but he took the delay good humoredly [sic] and while waiting passed out a “Humphrey” button to the SRC worker.

Reaction from some of the Northern Panhandle residents was, generally, favorable to Humphrey, although some of the persons questioned reserved comments about their favorite candidate.

Chester Grossi of 351 Fairview Ave., Weirton, said “I think he is very qualified and if he is nominated I will vote for him.” Grossi is a teacher at the Weirton high school.

Another Weirton resident at the coffee-and-doughnut meeting at the community center was also an Humphrey fan. Mrs. Bernie Amos of 3824 Marlemont Way, remarked, “He’s alright - I’ll vote for him.”

W.V. Archer, of Wellsburg who said he saw Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts last month, said of Humphrey, “He’s a very nice guy and he has a good platform. I’ve seen Kennedy and right now I prefer Humphrey.”

Mrs. Ethel Charnock, also of Wellsburg, was a bit conservative in her opinion of the Minnesota senator, but said, “He seems to be very pleasant and sincere.”

National newspapermen and wire service reporters were a trifle “perturbed” at a news story saying they were not giving Humphrey the coverage Kennedy received last month on his tour in the area.

Actually, representatives of the Baltimore sun and New York Times, plus the United Press International and Associated Press were on Humphrey’ s “bandwagon” yesterday at one time or another.

But it was obvious, that the coverage was not as full as the Kennedy visit to the Northern Panhandle, when newsmen from Washington, Chicago, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and New York were on hand.

Humphrey drew a happy laugh from the students and faculty at Wheeling College yesterday afternoon when he remarked that he was “not very happy with an American that has more race tracks than race horses.”


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