Skandinaven -- January 03, 1897Protest
The record of Alderman Martin B. Madden, as laid before the voters by the Municipal Voters' League, is one unbroken chain of faithlessness to the people and contemptuous disregard of their welfare. He has been a member of the City Council for some six years, and during the last four years, he has been recognized as the controlling spirit in the Council and in municipal legislation. While every alderman must shoulder his share of responsibility for the misdeeds of the Council, Mr. Madden, by virtue of his undisputed leadership, is vastly more responsible than any other member. His reign as Pooh bah in municipal lawmaking has been productive of a larger measure of bad and corrupt legislation than emanated from the Council during the whole period of its existence prior to the Madden era. His powerful influence has been exerted in behalf of nearly all the bad legislation that has been proposed or enacted during his term of service, while his support of meritorious measures has been intermittent, spasmodic and feeble. In summing up his record the Municipal Voters' League says:2
"His general disregard of public interests and opposition to compensation for franchises condemn him as unfit for public service. His record shows that he has favored many notorious measures and actively opposed but few bad ones during his long term of service. As the leader of the Council, he is chargeable with the responsibility for much that has made the Council notorious and irresponsive to public opinion. Under no circumstances should he be re-elected to the Council."
This man is posing as a candidate for the United States Senate, and it is generally believed that his candidacy has the support of the Republican machine of Illinois! Whither are we drifting? Has it come to pass that a seat in the United States Senate is to be the spoil of ward politicians of the lowest type? Are the people of Illinois and their representatives so dead to public decency and the honor of the state as to consider such a preposterous proposition seriously?
It would be a gross insult to the members of the Legislature to doubt that the candidacy of Mr. Madden will be frowned down and summarily rejected. All his 3experience in legislation has been confined to the City Council of Chicago, and as the Municipal Voters' League has shown, his record in this field is thoroughly bad. Not even his personal organ has dared to deny the facts marshalled against him. All it has to say in his support is that "he has sometimes voted right," and that it is vindictiveness and cowardice to put his true record before the people.
That is Mr. Madden's defense. He has generally voted wrong, but sometimes he has voted right, and hence, forsooth! he ought to be sent to the United States Senate--directly from the backways of ward politics!
If our standards of statesmanship and public morality have sunk to this level, to put Madden in a seat occupied by a Douglas, a Trumbull, a Palmer, is probably the proper thing to do. He has been wonderfully successful in Maddenizing the City Council, and if we desire to City-Councilize the United States Senate, Mr. Madden is just the man for the job.
But this paper does not believe that the plain, honest people of Illinois are 4ready for such departures. And we do know, that the Scandinavian voters will protest, at the ballot, such an insane thing, and regard it as an outrage upon the party of Lincoln, deserving the severest punishment. The machine had better beware of the plain people! They still have a voice, they still have their franchise, and they can use it.
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