The Cortland Democrat, Friday, April 18, 1890.
The elections seem to be going all one way. The republicans are unable to find any comfort in the results. Pile on the tariff.
Only two newspapermen will be permitted to witness the execution of Kemmler, the wife murderer, which is to take place next week in Auburn prison. This will be the first execution by electricity in this country.
Last winter a bill passed the legislature and became a law fixing the wages of all laborers on State work at $2 per day. Mr. Deyo of Binghamton introduced a bill a few weeks ago repealing the law and the bill passed the Assembly last week. Mr. Peck of Cortland voted in favor of repealing the law.
The editor of the Cortland Standard writes very glibly concerning the circulation of the DEMOCRAT as compared with the circulation of his own paper and as usual takes a circuitous route to avoid telling the truth. The controversy may not be very profitable or entertaining to the readers of either paper, and the DEMOCRAT is not over anxious to parade its business affairs before the public, although it can always make an exhibit that it is not ashamed of.
The Standard says that the DEMOCRAT provoked the discussion. It was the wolf that charged the lamb with roiling the stream that flowed from the former to the latter and this is all the answer that the falsehood requires. The editor of the Standard insists that the amount of reading matter to the inch is practically the same in both papers; that trustworthy Republicans had come to him again and again and told him they were getting the DEMOCRAT for $1.50 a year; that a good many subscribers to the DEMOCRAT have told him that they have tried to stop the paper by paying arrearages and ordering it discontinued but without success; that he had been asked to take the money to pay up and send it in and get a receipt, and have arranged to have the paper returned if the editor of the DEMOCRAT insisted on continuing it, and that the Standard prints more foreign advertisements than the DEMOCRAT and gets more pay for the service.
If the editor of the Standard was a printer instead of being a blacksmith, he would know that nearly all the reading matter in his paper is set up in burgeois type, while the largest type used in the DEMOCRAT is brevier, which is one size smaller than burgeois. The only correct method of measuring type is with the regular type measure used in all printing offices. If our neighbor should undertake to measure up the strings of its compositors with a yard stick instead of a type measure he would learn the difference quite suddenly.
There isn't a Republican this side of pandemonium, which is as far as our circulation extends, who is trustworthy or otherwise, that gets the DEMOCRAT, to our knowledge, for $1.50 per year or any other sum less than $2. Such a person would be a genuine curiosity.
There isn't a Democrat, Republican or Prohibitionist, or any one representing any other party, creed, sect, nationality or denomination, that can say truthfully, that he or she ever tried to discontinue taking the DEMOCRAT by paying up and failed, except possibly a half dozen instances, where there was a misunderstanding in regard to the intention and in neither of those cases was the subscriber required to pay where the fault was with the proprietor of this paper. No subscriber of the DEMOCRAT who wished to discontinue taking the paper can say that he was ever asked for a reason why he wished to discontinue, nor can any such person say he was urged or even requested to continue taking the paper.
We make bold to say that no person belonging to any party, sect, creed or denomination of any kind, ever asked the editor of the Standard to accept money to be used in paying for and discontinuing the DEMOCRAT. Our neighbor would have been delighted to accept the agency and the only regret that he would have felt in the matter would have been the necessity of parting company with the cash.
It is true that the Standard prints many more foreign advertisements than the DEMOCRAT and it is welcome to them. The DEMOCRAT takes only those that are offered at a fair price, and could have many more of them if it chose to take them, but it does not believe that it is fair to its home customers to charge them 10 cents per line each week and give foreign advertisers the same service for less than two cents per line.
"But how does the editor of the Standard happen to know just what the circulation of the DEMOCRAT is?" He has never had an opportunity, to our knowledge, to examine our books or our subscription list and yet he seems all of a sudden to have become possessed of what he evidently thinks is reliable information upon the subject. For more than fourteen years he has possessed no more knowledge of the circulation of the DEMOCRAT than we have had or now have of the circulation of the Standard. Reliable parties have suggested to us that he virtually owns the post-office in this place [post office was located in the Standard building—CC editor], that he has had much to do in selecting the employes therein and that possibly he has secured a list of subscribers to the DEMOCRAT as they passed through the office. Unfortunately for him, if this is so, only a portion of the DEMOCRATS list passes through the post-office here. Most of the towns in the northern part of the county are supplied by another conveyance. Mr. Ballard, the post-master, is an honest, reliable man, and although a strong partisan, he would not permit even the editor of the Standard to handle the mails for an unworthy purpose if he knew it.
Has the editor of the Standard obtained the information that he long has sought in a surreptitious and dishonorable manner? We sincerely hope that he has not placed himself or other parties in an unfortunate position through his zeal to come in possession of information that he could not obtain in any other manner.
In conclusion we have to say that our subscription list is always open to the inspection of all who have a right to examine it. We have not the time or inclination to bother with a committee appointed to investigate our business affairs, simply to furnish a competitor with information that he has no right to know.
The editor of the Cortland Standard is greatly disturbed because the Daily Message refuses to give up the ghost and retire from the field of journalism. The sprightly little daily seems to thrive and grow spunky, notwithstanding our neighbor predicted its early and not to be lamented decease. It was thought at first that the unbidden and unwelcome guest would die soon after its unheralded birth, but instead of accommodating our neighbor in this respect it keeps on breathing and kicking up its tiny little heels in apparent good health, and greatly to the discomfort and inconvenience of its more ponderous and logy neighbor.
True it has not grown greatly in size but its general health seems to have improved considerably and if the Standard keeps on firing paper wads at it, we wouldn't be surprised to see it reach much larger proportions and become a rugged and exceedingly healthy institution. If it can withstand the shock of the last broadside launched at it, its success may be considered almost assured. The crime of being a "paperlet," whatever the term may mean, must be an enormous one, and all lovers of fair play and decency will sympathize with the accused and if the charge is not proven will wish the prisoner a safe and speedy deliverance.
When the editor of the Standard moved into this county, we supposed that fact was of itself notice to all others to move out and for none to move in without his permission. He seemed to pre-empt the territory and mark it for his own. Ordinarily it would be conceded that the editor [D. S. Jones] of the "paperlet" had the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," but of course he must not cast his lines in the same stream where ye editor of the Standard is angling.
Hereafter proprietors of "paperlets" will take notice that they will not be permitted to exist within the confines of the Cortland Standard's bailiwick. People who are not blessed with a large bank account, will not be permitted to gain an honest livelihood in the Standard's territory, even though they may be willing to earn the same by the sweat of their brows. Of course it is a disgrace to be a "paperlet" unless you are wealthy.
A Blanket Ballot.
From the Albany Argus.
The enactment of the so called "corrupt practices" act is thus far the one substantial achievement of the session in the direction of electoral reform.
Numerous promises have been made that the general registration bill, which passed the senate almost unanimously, will be passed by the assembly. If those promises were not buncombe or worse, the general registry bill will also become the law.
It will then remain for the legislature to deal with the matter of ballot reform, pure and simple. Three bills, the Linson bill, the Acker bill, and the "revised" Saxton bill are now before the legislature. They differ in most respects, but they agree, so far as observed, in all providing for a "blanket" ballot, that is a ballot containing the names of all the offices to be filled at a given election. If the legislature should do nothing more than pass a bill for a blanket ballot to be printed and distributed as at present substantial progress, we believe, will have been made. One ballot containing the names of all the candidates of a party or faction of a party—where factions exist—has such obvious advantages over the present system of different ballots for different office that the proposition needs but to be stated to be accepted. It would meet the convenience of voters, of those who distribute ballots, and of those who canvass ballots. It would be an economy in the printing and distribution of ballots, and it would be an economy in the matter of ballot boxes as well.
But the legislature could go further if it is still disposed to insist on the "exclusively official ballot." There is no reason whatever, if that ballot is to be required why it should not be cut into parts, a Democratic, a Republican, a Prohibition and a labor or other fourth party ballot, if needed. From among these, furnished by the proper officer, the voter in the secrecy of the booth could select the one he wishes to vote and cast it, at the same time handing to the inspector to be destroyed the ballots he does not vote.
Whether such a change is made or not—and how fully it meets an objection made by Gov. Hill, will at once be evident—a bill providing for blanket ballots under the existing law would be cordially approved by every citizen.
Y. M. C. A. Elections.
The election of officers for the Y. M. C. A. for the ensuing year took place at the rooms of the Association in the Standard building last Monday evening. The following officers were chosen:
President—Dr. F. W. Higgins.
Vice-President—J. W. Keese.
Recording Secretary—J. E. Briggs.
Treasurer—B. L. Webb.
Gen'l Secretary—W. A. Kling.
Arrangements for providing funds to sustain the association for the ensuing year were considered. Anniversary exercises will be held in the churches next Sunday and will be addressed by excellent speakers from abroad in the morning. Fine programmes have been provided for the exercises in the Baptist and Methodist churches in the evening.