Newspaper Articles

Charleston Gazette
April 7, 1960

Editorials -

State's Good Manners To Be Put to the Test

Now that the Wisconsin primary is history and the attention of the nation swings to West Virginia for the impending intra-party battle between Democratic candidates Humphrey and Kennedy a few observations are in order.

As everyone knows or should know by this time, in the final days of the Wisconsin campaign certain irresponsible individuals, who were promptly repudiated by Humphrey, urged Protestants to go to the polls to vote en masse against Sen. Kennedy because of his religion. Newspaper advertisements and scatter-literature were used to convey the message.

We hope West Virginia voters are sufficiently intelligent and politically mature to resist the introduction of such vile techniques. West Virginia over the past year has received enough adverse publicity. In the upcoming primary it is our state which will be on trial before the nation - not Sen. Kennedy or Sen. Humphrey. Their views with respect to religious and racial prejudice are well known.

During the course of the campaign if our citizens conduct themselves as they should conduct themselves, keeping open minds and basing their judgments on relevant information, a great deal of credit will accrue to our benefit. Should the campaign, however soiled by the intemperate excesses of amateur or professional bigots, in the eyes of the rest of the nation our state will suffer.

In a very real sense West Virginia Democrats are fortunate in having an opportunity to be visited at home by two such outstanding presidential candidates. Agree or disagree with their platforms, their opinions, like or dislike them personally, these gentlemen are eloquent, perceptive, extremely well informed and dramatic - each in his own particular way. Party members, if they will only take the time to listen, can learn much concerning the major issues confronting our nation. In addition, to inject a bit of partisan politics, effective ammunition will be supplied in abundance to use against the GOP in November - no matter who the Democratic nominee.

We ask, and we feel sure Sen. Humphrey and Sen. Kennedy would join us in the request, that the voters of this state decide between them on a comparison of their official records, their avowed policies, their character, their deportment and their ability to electioneer. It is within these areas the Democratic voters of this state should make their choice.

Legitimate questions dealing with specific religious issues can be asked of any candidate for high national office. There can be, and should be, intelligent opposition to the dogma of any church when that dogma interferes with or encroaches on government. But having made these points, let us be quick to recognize that reckless pamphleteering and bogey-man emotionalism are neither intelligent nor legitimate.

It is to the best interests of the nation and to our state to keep this campaign free from partisan religious activity. Let's not insult either Sen. Kennedy or Sen. Humphrey with a repetition of what took place in Wisconsin.

Labor Leaving Sen. Humphrey?

WASHINGTON - There is increasing evidence here that labor at the national level is dumping its long-time friend Hubert Humphrey in favor of Jack Kennedy. Kennedy introduced three bills wanted by labor early in the last session, which seems to have been the first evidence of the big switch.

It's hard to figure why labor has decided to ditch Humphrey, who has long been considered one of its staunchest friends in the Senate. The Minnesotan has done nothing to bring about the defection so it may just be that the union wheels have decided that Kennedy is a sure winner and that they don't want to back a loser. It's a pretty dirty trick to play on an old friend.

Further evidence of Kennedy's sudden wooing of labor comes when you examine his West Virginia team. In the beginning it was almost completely composed of Democrats who belong to the most conservative element of the party. But lately, with the appointment of Ward Wylie as state manager for Kennedy, the team has taken on more of a pro-labor complexion.

Kennedy's record in the Senate - up until he began to be an active candidate for the Presidency - was neither particularly pro-nor particularly anti-labor. Humphrey's pre-labor voting record goes back to the day he arrived in the Senate.

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