The Cortland Democrat, Friday, October 9, 1891.
EDITOR DEMOCRAT:—The Cortland Daily Journal, whose editor has only been a resident of the County for about six months, asserts that Palmer was an incompetent and expensive District Attorney when in office.
The record made by Mr. Palmer as District Attorney is one highly creditable and utterly disproves the base and venomous attack, which the Journal makes. Palmer was District Attorney of the county for three years [1882-85], during that time he turned over to the county, in fines and in money recovered in forfeited recognizance $3315. No other District Attorney ever turned over to the county, half that sum, in that period of time.
During the time Mr. Palmer was District Attorney he never called any one to assist him except in the O'Neil case, and in that case the sum paid to Mr. Moak was $431.00. After Mr. Palmer's term of office ended, it was optional with Mr. Bronson, his successor, to continue Mr. Moak in the case, or proceed without him, as Mr. Moak had been settled with and fully paid for all services rendered during Mr. Palmer's term of office. Mr. Bronson saw fit to continue Mr. Moak in the case and at an expense of $533, and also associated other counsel to assist him in that case. It is not claimed that Mr. Bronson was at fault in procuring assistance in so important a case, but if it was wrong for Mr. Palmer to make the county $431.00 expense in obtaining assistance, it was certainly much more reprehensible for Mr. Bronson to incur the expense of $533. Mr. Bronson saw fit in several cases to employ counsel to assist him in the trial of criminal cases.
The Journal also claims Palmer failed to secure a conviction in the Austin case and in the Crandall case, by reason of some defect in the indictments. Mr. Palmer was elected District Attorney shortly after the criminal and penal code took effect. He, like all District Attorneys at that time, had to construe new criminal statutes, upon many of which there were no decisions to guide him. When it is remembered that the District Attorney has but a short time in which to draw an indictment, and often has to draw his indictments when the Grand Jury are awaiting to be discharged, it would be very strange if the District Attorney was not some times in error. Mr. Palmer's record was as free from such mistakes as any District Attorney the county ever had. In the Crandall case referred to by the Journal the indictment drawn was doubtless good and in the light of the late authorities would have been upheld. One court reverses another and sometimes the same court disagrees, two judges holding one way and two the other.
Because this is so, no one says the court is incompetent, and we do not believe sensible men will require infallibility in a District Attorney, but if so, they would not vote for Squires who never tried a case in a court of record without assistance and very rarely if ever succeeded in a contested case where he had assistance.
It took [Jerome] Squires from January 1st, 1887, to January 27, 1888, to find out that he had no authority to try a boarding house case, when the statute was entirely clear that a justice had no such power. How then could Squires draw an important indictment during the hurry of the court? He has demonstrated his ability to create a bill of costs against the town and county of $4494.63 in a little over three years, but those who know him best do not believe him competent to draw an important indictment in twice that time. It illy [sic] becomes any advocate of Squires to talk about competency, when it is well known that Squires is utterly incompetent. Indeed competency was not required by the convention that nominated him. All that was required was that the nominee should be a politician. Fitness was not required, as any one will see when they contemplate the names of Squires, Miller, Jones, etc.
A Falsehood Refuted.
EDITOR DEMOCRAT: The Cortland Journal in its issue of last Friday charges that Messrs. Palmer and Van Brocklin the Democratic candidates for District Attorney and Sheriff respectively, appeared at a family reunion held at the home of my son, Wm. Tarbell, in Freetown recently, without invitation and that Mr. Palmer, after rehashing the contents of an article which appeared in the DEMOCRAT signed "Taxpayer," was "asked some very pertinent questions, which he failed to answer or explain."
The reunion was in the nature of a surprise to my son and his family and Messrs. Palmer and Van Brocklin were present at my special invitation. While at the reunion the subject of politics came up and I requested Mr. Palmer to read the article in the DEMOCRAT aloud, which he did. No questions with regard to his record as District Attorney were propounded to Mr. Palmer as the Journal states and the subject was not even alluded to. If anything of the kind had transpired I should have known it as I was in their company from the time they came until they left.
There is not one word of truth in the Journal's editorial except the statement that Palmer read the DEMOCRAT'S article, which he did at my request. I supposed I had a perfect right to invite a personal friend of mine and my family, to a family reunion, but I do not think that a penny-a-liner has a right to invade that circle and publish an aggregation of falsehoods about an entirely social gathering such as the one referred to was.
Cortland, Oct. 7, 1891.
It is decidedly pleasant to see brethren of one and the same family dwelling together in peace, even if one has but little respect for the family collectively. This thought is suggested after reading the Cortland Journal the fore part of the week and the Standard on Thursday. The columns of the former are filled with falsehoods about the Democratic candidates during the first days of the week, and on Thursday the Standard reiterates the falsehoods almost word for word.
The Journal has with characteristic frequency charged the Standard with being a lying, dirty sheet, and the latter has on more than one occasion made the same statement with reference to the Journal. Thus far no one has been found possessed of sufficient courage to take up the cudgel to defend either from the charges made by the other, and as no defense has been interposed, the public have a right to presume that all the charges are true. If they are true, and who shall say they are not, whatever either paper may say of and concerning Democratic candidates in this campaign, must be regarded with strong suspicion, to say the least. The estimation which each places on the other for truth and veracity is more than likely to be true, and the voters will govern themselves accordingly.
Mr. Palmer has never sought any nomination for office since 1872, when he became a Democrat. The Prohibition party offered to indorse [sic] him in 1882, and he told the committee who waited on him he thought it would be inconsistent to do so, and it was not done. While he was ill and under treatment at Glen Haven in 1885 his name was placed on the Prohibition county ticket for the office of District Attorney, without his solicitation or knowledge. He had previously declined a nomination for that office at the hands of the Democratic party. He did not decline the nomination of the Prohibitionists in the hope that his candidacy would draw the votes of Republicans and Prohibitionists, and result in the election of Mr. VanAuken. Mr. VanAuken was offered an appointment to a position which he preferred to that of district attorney, and withdrew from the canvass and the committee put Mr. Palmer's name on the Democratic ticket in the place of Mr. VanAuken's.
He did not seek his present nomination and reluctantly yielded his consent to accept the same, at the urgent solicitation of prominent men of all parties.
|J. S. Fassett.|
The election of Fassett to the office of Governor of the Empire State means no enumeration and no reappointment shall be had. It also means that there shall be no Constitutional Convention held and no appropriation shall be made for New York's exhibit at the World's Fair. It means the revival of the odious Force bill and a continuation of the present unequal and oppressive high tariff. Do the people of this state desire such results?
Rufus T. Peck of Cortland, Cortlandville, Cortland county, made his first campaign speech in Syracuse last evening, in his canvass for the Senatorship, and we fail to see that he said anything to convince the business men of Syracuse that he is the one to care for the interests of this city in the upper branch of the Legislature during the next two years. Mr. Peck did discuss the tariff and the history of the Republican party at length, but that is a task which almost anyone who has access to political encyclopaedias can perform with more or less ability. The utterance of dreary platitudes on political history, interspersed with accustomed laudation of his own party, will not make votes for Mr. Peck. The people of this city and county do not care much about the political designation of the next Senator. They are concerned, however, that he should be a man in thorough sympathy with the needs of the city at a critical period in its development.
Mr. Peck, by his address last evening, did not raise himself in the estimation of Syracusans, and the small attendance shows that his party is not at all enthusiastic over its Senatorial candidate.—Syracuse Evening Herald.
Nominate Better Candidates.
EDITOR DEMOCRAT:—A party which nominates a scandalously corrupt ring ticket and seeks to hold a decent man to its support has no just grounds to expect success, to win which it aught to be necessary first to deserve it. The attempt to still the voice of the party conscience by the stale alarm cry that the supremacy of the party is in jeopardy, a U. S. Senator or the Presidency is at stake, in a local election for purely administrative officers, like Sheriff, County Clerk, District Attorney and Superintendent of the Poor is a display of weakness and wickedness combined.
Clean, honest, fair and respectable nominations never require a resort to such means to uphold them, while corrupt and disreputable nominations invariably render it necessary.
Those who are now warning Republicans against casting complimentary votes for deserving candidates on the Democratic County ticket would have served the interests of their party much better had they exerted themselves to check the corrupt combinations by which some of the nominations on the Republican County ticket were made.
The success of such nominations encourages the corrupt methods by which they are made, while deserved defeat purifies and strengthens a party. This was conspicuously true of the defeat of the Republican County ticket in 1882. Salutary are the uses of defeat. Cauterization is the best remedy for corrupt developments and fungoid growths.