Newspaper Men Fight on Senate Floor

The Charleston News
February 11, 1907

Pol[i]tics and Politicians

By the Gabbler.

. . .

I notice that one George A. Laughlin continues to make a large ass of himself. Why he thus persists, in spite of the advice of his friends, naturally puzzles me. Mr. Laughlin is president of the Wheeling Intelligencer company and the Intelligencer is generally accepted to be the administration mouth piece. Although he has had able staff of reporters here to do the legislature work, Mr. Laughlin has also been with us and persists in firing in stuff over his own name.

For astounding inaccuracy and imbecility these dispatches take first rank. I would discharge any office devil who would perpetrate such egregious errors. For instance, Mr. Laughlin has become enamored of the Holle two cent fare bill and declared the one passed by the senate to be a "gold brick." The Holle bill was offered as a substitute in the senate and was rejected by a vote of 22 to 7. Thus Mr. Laughlin accuses 22 members of the upper house of attempting to gold brick the people of the state. He raised the question of constitutionality on the senate bill, declaring the Holle bill alone would stand the test. Meantime the best lawyers in the senate were declaring in speeches that the Holle bill would not stand the test.

The upshot of the whole matter will be that the house will accept the senate bill and that the people of West Virginia will have a two cent rate on all roads that can afford to haul passengers at two cents a mile. The constitution does not permit confiscation of property and no law can compel a road to do business at a loss.