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but no natural person shall bo prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing as to which be may so testify under onlli or depose or in obedience to a subpoena to produce evidence; except that no person shall be exempt from prosecution or punishment for perjury committed in so testifying or producing evidence.
Src. 6. (a) The commission shall receive and have custody of all reports and statements required by law to be filed with it by candidates for nomination or election to any office.
(b) The commission shall audit all such reports and statements and Bhiill make such further investigations as It may Ceem necessary to determine whether or not there have been violations of any laws relating to the nomination or election of Federal officials.
(c) The commission shall report (1) to the Senate If the nomination or election of a Senator is involved, (I!) to the House of Representatives if tlie nomination or election of a Member thereof or a Delegate or Itesident Commissioner thereto is involved, or (3) to both Houses if tlie nomination or election of any other officer is involved—
(A) Tbe results of its audit of all such reports and statements; and
(B) Its findings of fact concerning any alleged violations of such laws.
(d) The commission shall (1) receive nnd investigate the credentials of all Senators elect and all Members elect of, or Delegates elect and Resident Commissioners elect to, the House of Representatives, and (2) report to tbe proper House its findings of fact relative to the validity and integrity of such credentials.
(e) The commission shall investigate all contested-election cases referred to it by either House, and report to the proper House its findings of fact in any such case.
Sec. 7. All records and reports of the commission shall be open to inspection by any person.
Sec. 8. The commission shall, as soon as practicable, make a complete and comprehensive investigation and report to the Congress its findings of fact and recommendations for necessary legislation, with respect to—
(a) The methods, machinery, conditions, costs, results, and other aspects of the existing system of balloting for the nomination and election of Federal officers and the advantages and disadvantages of voting by mall.
(b) The methods, machinery, conditions, costs, results, and other aspects of the existing system of party politics, and the advantages of other systems, especially one whereby all political agencies would be brought under governmental supervision and the legitimate and necessary costs of campaigns would be paid out of public funds.
Sec. 9. This act may he cited as the " Elections commission act."
S. 4423, Seventieth Congress, first session
A bill to prevent fraud and corrupt practices in tho nomination and election of Senators and Representatives in Congress, to provide publicity of campaign accounts, and for other purposes Be it enacted, etc., That in a campaign for nomination or election to the office of Senator or Representative In the Congress of the United States it shall be unlawful to make expenditures except for the purpose of presenting information, arguments, and advice to the electors as to the insues of the campaign and the qualifications of candidates. A candidate or Ills duly authorized agent or committee may lawfully present Information, arguments, or advice to the electors by the use of (a) the mails, (b) the telephone, (c) the telegraph, (d) adveristements in newspapers or by posters or on bill boards, (e) the radio, (f) personal solicitation, and (g) public meetings. The cost of maintaining headquarters and of employing persons to conduct the campaign may be lawfully paid out of the campaign fund by the candidate or his duly authorized agent or committee.
Sbc. 2. (a) A candidate shall not make or authorize campaign expenditures, personally or through the authorized agent or committee provided for in section 4, in excess of the amount he may lawfully make under the laws of the State In which he is a candidate, or in excess of the amount he may lawfully make under the provisions of this act.
(b) Unless the law of his State prescribes a less amount as the limitation of campaign expenditures, the maximum amount which a candidate may lawfully expend In his campaign for nomination nnd the maximum amount a candidate may lawfully expend In his campaign for election, shall be—
(1) The sum of $10.000, If a candidate for Senator, or the sum of $5,000 if a candidate for Representative; or
(2) An amount equal to the amount obtained by multiplying 3 cents by the total number of votes cast at the last general election for all the candidates for the office which the candidate seeks, but in no event exceeding $25.000 if a candidate for Senator or $10,000 if a candidate for Representative; except that In States where Representatives are «lected from the State at large each candidate for Representative at large may make or authorize campaign expenditures to the same amount permitted a candidate for Senator In the same State.
(c) Money expended by a candidate to meet and discharge any assessment, fee, or charge made or levied upon candidates by the laws of the State in which lie resides, or expended for his necessary personal traveling and subsistence expenses, shall not be included in determining whether bis campaign expenditures have exceeded the sum fixed by this section as the limit of his campaign expenses.
Sbc. 3. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a candidate or his duly authorized agent or committee, unless authorized in writing by the candidate or his agent or committee, to make any campaign expenditure in behalf of the candidate, except contributions to the candidate or his duly authorized agent or committee.
Skc. 4. Every candidate shall either—
(a) Personally receive all contributions for the furtherance of the campaign and make or authorize all campaign expenditures and keep accounts thereof as provided In section 5; or (b) appoint an agent or a committee which shall be charged with sole responsibility for receiving all such contributions, making or authorizing all campaign expenditures, and keeping accounts thereof as provided in section 5.
Sec. 5. (a) Every candidate, or his duly authorized agent or committee, shall keep a correct and itemized account of—
(1) Each contribution received from any source for the furtherance of the campaign, together with the name and address of the person who has made the contribution and the date thereof; and
(2) Each campaign expenditure which the candidate or his agent or committee has made or authorized to be made, together with the name and address of the pel-son to whom the expenditure was made, the date, and the purpose of such expenditure.
(b) Each contribution or expenditure shall be entered on such accounts within 24 hours from its receipt, or authorization or payment, respectively.
(c) Such accounts shall be preserved for the period of two years after the date of the election.
Sec. 0. It shall be unlawful for any person willfully to falsify in any way any account required to be kept by this act.
Sec. 7. All such accounts shall, throughout the time they are required to be kept nnd preserved, be open to inspection by any person.
Skc. 8 (a) Each candidate shall—
(1) On the thirtieth day before the date on which a nomination is made; (2) on the tenth day before the date on which a nomination is made; and (3) on or before the fifteenth day after the date on which a nomination is made, file with the commission on elections a detailed report showing all contributions received and all expenditures made in his campaign for nomination.
(b) Each candidate who seeks election after the date of the nomination shall (1) on the thirtieth day before the date of the election; (2) on the tenth day before the date of the election; and (3) on or before the fifteenth day after the date of the election file with the Commission on Elections a detailed report showing all contributions received and all expenditures made in his campaign for election.
(c) Each such report shall be complete as of the day preceding the date of its filing and shall be accompanied by a balance sheet. Tlie reports required by this section to be filed shall be cumulative, but when there has been no change in an item previously reported only the amount need be carried forward.
(d) Each such report (1) shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the person filing such statement, before any officer authorized to administer oaths; (2) shall be deemed properly filed when deposited in an established post office on the prescribed day, duly stamped, registered, and directed to the commission at its principal office, but in the event It is not received a duplicate shall be promptly filed upon notes by the commission of its nonreceipt; (3) shall be preserved by the commission for a period of two years from tbe date of its filing and shall constitute a part of Its public records.
Sec. 9. It shall be unlawful for any candidate directly or indirectly to promise or to pledge the appointment, or the use of his Influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy.
Sbc. 10. It shall be unlawful for any person to make or offer to make an expenditure, or to cause an expenditure to be made or offered, to any person, either to vote or withold his vote, or to vote for or against any candidate; and it shall be unlawful for any person to solicit, accept, or receive any such expenditure In consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote.
Skc. 11. It shall lie unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation o»»:anized by authority of any law of Congress, to make a contribution in behalf of any campaign for nomination or election to any political office, or for any corporation whatever to make a contribution in behalf of any campaign for nomination or election at which presidential and vice presidential electors or a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, Congress is to be voted for, or for any candidate, political committee, or other person to accept or receive any contribution prohibited by this section. Every corporation which makes any contribution in violation of this section shall be fined not more than $10,000; and every officer or director of any corporation who consents to nny contribution by the corporation in violation of this section shall be fined not more than $5,000 or Imprisoned not more than five yenrs. or both.
Sec. 12. Any person violating nny of the provisions of this act, except section 11, shall, upou eonvletion thereof, be fined not more than $5.000 or imprisoned not more than flve years, or both.
Skc. 13. This net shall not limit or affect the right of any person to make expenditures for proper legal expenses in contesting the results of a nomination or election.
Sbc. 14. This act shall not be construed to annul the laws of nny State relating to the nomination or election of candidates, unless directly Inconsistent with the provisions of this act, or to exempt any candidate from complying with such State laws.
Sic. 15. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of the net and of the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be aftYited thereby.
Sbc. 16. The Federal corrupt practices act, 1025, approved February 28, 1U25 (except section 312 thereof), Is hereby repealed.
Sec. 17. As used iu this act—
(a) The term "campaign expenditures" Includes nil expenditures made for the purpose of obtaining nomination, regardless of the method of nomination, and for the purpose of obtaining election after nomination, made or authorized by the candidate between the date of the election and the date of the last previous election for the snmc office.
(b) The term "candidate" means an Individual who is presented for nomination or election as Senator or Representative In, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress of the United States, whether or not such individual is nominated or elected.
(c) The term "contribution" Includes a gift, Bubscrlption, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, and Includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contribution.
(d) The term "expenditure" includes a payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, nnd includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure.
(e) The term "person" includes an Individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, or any other organization or group of persons.
Sec. 18. This act may be cited as the "Federal corrupt practices act of 1928."
Sec. 19. This act shall take effect on the date of its enactment
8. 4424, Seventieth Congress, first session
A bill to regulate campaign expenditures of candidates for President and Vice President, and for other purposes
Bt « enacted, etc., That It shall be unlawful for a candidate for President or Vice President, personally or through a duly authorized agent or committee, (a) to make or authorize expenditures, for the purpose of obtaining his nomination, in an amount in excess of $480,000, or in an amount in excess of $10,000 in any one State; or (b) iu the event of his nomination, to make or authorize expenditures, for the purpose of obtaining his election, in an amount in excess of $1,440,000, or in an amount in excess of $30,000 in any one State; except that expenditures for headquarters and other general expenses of a campaign Khali not be counted against the. limitation of expenditures in each State.
8«C. 2. (a) Any Individual who Is a qualified elector may, in his own name and not otherwise, make a contribution iu any amount to the campaign fund of any candidate for the office of President or Vice President if such contribution Is made not later than 30 days before the date of the election. During the period from the thirtieth to the sixteenth day, inclusive, before the election, it shall be unlawful for any individual to make a contribution to such fund in excess of $10.000, and during the period of 15 days next preceding the election it shall be unlawful for any such Individual to make any such contribution in excess of $5,000. After the election It shall be unlawful for any such Individual to make any such contribution iu excess of $1,000 for the purpose of pay'ng a deficit In such fund.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any candidate, or his agent or committee, to receive from any person, during any period specified in subdivision (a) of this section, any contribution in excess of the amount allowed to be contributed during such period under the provisions of such subdivision.
Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a candidate or his duly authorized agent or committee, unless authorized in writing by the candidate or his agent or committee, to make any campaign expenditures in behalf of the candidate, except contributions to the candidate or his duly authorized agent or committee.
Skc. 4. It shall be unlawful for a candidate, or his duly authorized »B>'iit or committee, to incur any deficit, which, when added to the contributions actually received, would make a total in excess of the
amount provided in section 1 as the limitation of expenditures In a campaign for either nomination or election.
Sec. 5. Every candidate shall either (1) personally receive all contributions for the furtherance of the campaign and make or authorize all campaign expenditures and keep accounts thereof as provided In section 6; or (2) appoint an agent or a committee which shall be charged with sole responsibility for receiving all such contributions, making or authorizing all campaign expenditures, and keeping accounts thereof as provided iu section 6.
Sic. 0. (a) Every candidate, or his duly authorized agent or committee, shall keep a correct nud itemized account of (1) each contribution received from nny source for the furtherance of the campaign, together with the name and address of the person who has made the contribution and the date thereof; nnd (2) each campaign expenditure which the candidate or his agent or committee has made or authorized to be made, together with the name and address of the person to whom the expenditure was made, the date, and the purpose of such expenditure.
(b) Each contribution or expenditure shall be entered on such accounts within 24 hours from its receipt, or authorization or payment, respectively.
(c) Such accounts shall be preserved for the period of two yenrs after the date of the election and shall, during such period, be open to inspection by any person.
Sec. 7. It shall Ik; unlawful for any person willfully to falsify in any way any account required to be kept by this act.
Sec. 8. (a) Each candidate, or his agent or committee, shall file with the Commission on Elections, on the fifteenth day before the date of the national convention at which such candidate seeks to obtain the nomination, a detailed report showing all contributions received and ull expenditures made or authorized to be made by the candidate, or his ageut or committee, prior to the time of the submission of such report. Within a period of 10 days after the adjournment of such convention each such candidate, or his agent or committee, shall file with the commission a final and detailed report of all contributions received and all expenditures made or authorized to be made on behalf of such candidate during the period between the date of the last previous presidential election and the date of such adjournment.
(b) On the thirtieth day and on the fifteenth day next -preceding the date of the election the treasurer of each national campaign committee shall tile with the commission a detailed report, attested by the chairman and secretary of such committee, of all contributions received and all expenditures made or authorized to be made on behalf of all candidates since the date of the last previous presidential election. Within a period of 10 days following the election the treasurer of each such committee shall file with the commission a final and detailed report, attested by the chairman and secretary of such committee, of all contributions received and all expenditures made or authorized to be made on behalf of all candidates during the period between the date of the last previous presidential electio'n and the date of such report.
(c) In addition to the reports provided for in subdivision (b) of this section, the treasurer of each national campaign committee shall file with the commission, on such dates as the commission may fix, not less than four reports in nny calendar year of the contributions received and expenditures made or authorized to be made by such committee for political purposes. The reports required by this subdivision shall be cumulative during the calendar year to which they relate.
(d) Each report required by this section (1) shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the person filing such report before any officer authorized to administer oaths; (2) shall be deemed properly filed when deposited In an established post office on the prescribed day, duly stamped, registered, and directed to the commission at its principal office, but, In the event that It Is not received, a duplicate shall be promptly filed upon notice by the commission of its nonreceipt; and (3) shall be preserved by the commission for the period of two years from the date of its filing and shall constitute a part of its public records.
Sbc. 9. It shall be unlawful for any candidate to directly or Indirectly promise or pledge the appointment or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment for the purpose of procuring support in bin candidacy.
Sue. 10. It shall be unlawful for nny person to make or offer to make an expenditure, or to cause an expenditure to be made or offered, to any person either to vote or withhold his vote or to vote for or against any candidate, nnd it shall be unlawful for any person to solicit, accept, or receive any such expenditure in consideration of his vote or the withholding of his vote.
Sec. 11. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this act shall, upon conviction thereof, be flued not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or both.
Sec. 12. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held Invalid, the validity of the remainder of the act nnd of the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
S»c. 13. As nsed in this act—
(a) The term "campaign expenditures" includes all expenditures made for the purposes of obtaining Domination, regardless of the method of nomination, and for the purpose of obtaining election after nomination, made or authorized by the candidate between the date of the election and the date of the last previous national election.
(b) The term "candidate" means an individual who is presented for nomination or election as President or Vice President, whether or not such individual Is nominated or elected.
(c) The term "contribution" Includes a gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value, and includes a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contribution.
(d) The term "expenditure" includes a payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, and includes n contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make an expenditure.
(e) The term "person" includes an individual, partnership, committee, association, corporation, or any other organization or group of persons.
Sec. 14. This act may be cited as the "national campaign expenditures act of 1928."
Sec. 15. This act shall take effect on the date of Its enactment.
Mr. SHIPSTEAD. Mr. President, I think the Senator from New Mexico [Mr. Cuttino] has rendered a distinct public service. It is a strange paradox that while the Senate has spent a great deal of its time and a great deal of money In investigating corrupt practices in elections, and I think some very good work has been done—I want to congratulate the members of the various committees that have had that work to do upon the manner in which they have done it—still, except for the unseating of Smith and Vare, the Congress has done nothing to stop these practices in the future.
It is a good deal like the fact that so many people all over the world are talking against war and for peace. Even governments indulge in that pastime, but no major government on the face of the earth that I am aware of, and no powerful nation of people, has ceased the economic practices that lead to war.
We talk about corruption, the buying of seats in the Senate, the selling of the Government on the auction block to the highest bidder, but we have done nothing to stop the practice.
Mr. President, I have waited for some of the learned constitutional lawyers of the Senate who are so much better equipped than I to study this question and propose a remedy. I am glad that the Senator from New Mexico has opened the discussion of the subject. Some time ago, In my humble way, I spent considerable time in studying this question, and introduced three bills that I hoped would at least be a partial remedy. I do not claim that these bills carry an adequate or complete remedy; but I had hoped that the Committee on Privileges and Elections, before which these bills are now pending, would at least Rive some consideration and hearing to them. In view of the fact that this matter has been brought up this morning, I want to call the attention of the Senate to these bills.
As a matter of fact, I think we have done the State of Illinois and the State of Pennsylvania a grave injustice in this: The country has been led to believe tbat only in Illinois and Pennsylvania is there wholesale corruption of the electorate. I make the charge that if the committee of the Senate or any other reliable, responsible body in the United States will investigate the political machinery of many other States of the Union it will find political machines as corrupt as the political machine of Pennsylvania or of Illinois. I venture to say that it will be found that in very many States of the Union the political machinery is as corrupt and spends as much money in proportion to the wealth and population of the States as in Pennsylvania or in Illinois. •
It is a well-known fact that for years delegates to conventions from the South, made up of office holders, have been sold on the auction block to the highest bidder, to the presidential candidate whose representatives will pay the greatest sum of money. It is also a well-known fact that they do not stay bought. The man who gets to them last with the money gets the delegates and gets the votes in a national convention.
It is a subject of such grave importance to the life of the Republic that I think the Congress has been very derelict in its duty in not paying more attention to it, in order to find a remedy.
In the opening remarks of the Senator from New Mexico [Mr. Cutting] he called attention to the corrupt practices act of 1925. That act specifically excluded from its operation primaries for the selection of candidates for United States Senator. I take it tbat it was not done with malice afore
thought. I take It that it was done with the Newberry decision in mind.
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. SHIPSTEAD. I yield.
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. Having been long interested in that problem I will say to the Senator that the reason why primaries were excluded was because of the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States In the Newberry case.
Mr. SHIPSTEAD. T want to call the attention of the Senator from Massachusetts, however, to this fact—and I am sure he did it in good faith. I do not call this to the Senator's attention in criticism of whoever inserted that provision in the corrupt practices act
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. I understood the Senator.
Mr. SHIPSTEAD. But I want to discuss that provision for a moment.
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. May I suggest to the Senator that in the course of his discussion of this subject he consider whether it is possible, by constitutional amendment or otherwise, to limit the abuse of the use of money in elections without forbidding the use of money of any amount by all political parties and all candidates?
I have come to the conclusion, from a good many years of study of the question, that the only way to do away with these election abuses is for the Government to assume all the legitimate expenses of elections. What are the legitimate expenses of a candidate? Chiefly distribution of literature, holding public meetings, and carrying voters to the polls and employing workers on election day.
Carrying voters to the polls on election day can be taken care of very simply by providing that the communities where electtous are held pay for the transportation of invalids and a penalty for repeated failures, with good reason, to vote. The distribution of literature can be taken care of by the Government issuing a pamphlet giving the same proportion of space to every candidate and every party, and mailing it to every voter. The matter of public meetings can be taken care of by public halls being given over for one or two or three nights to each candidate or party in each locality. If that can be done, will the Senator tell me where and how there is need of the legitimate expenditure of money for the election of any candidate?
Mr. MATFIELD. Mr. President, will the Senator from Massachusetts yield there?
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. The Senator from Minnesota has the floor. I should like to add, however, that if we depart from the principle of no expenditures, we immediately begin to permit all kinds of excuses for the expenditure of money in unlimited amounts.
I am very strongly of the opinion that we should seek to conduct our elections like the elections of a high-class business corporation that wants to elect responsible officers or directors. A man who would go about spending large amounts of money to be elected to the board of directors of a high-class financial institution would not be considered worthy of the office. If those directors want to know something about an applicant they make inquiries, they make investigations, and they pay out af the resources of the company for those inquiries and those investigations.
I repeat, I am very strongly of the opinion—and I should like to have the Senator's view on this subject—that the way to ultimately solve this problem is to forbid the use of money altogether. That will prevent those who have great wealth having any advantage over those that have no money. It will prevent the political party that can gather the largest sum of money having any great advantage over the political party that can get only a few thousand dollars, and will do more than anything else to restore the principle of equality of opportunity, which is a cardinal American principle. Equality does not exist in the right to hold public office if one man can use millions of dollars to be elected, and another man can not use it because he can not command the money or declines to be subservient to the influences that give money for elections.
Mr. CUTTING. Mr. President
The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. La Foixette in the chair). Does the Senator from Minnesota yield to the Senator from New Mexico?
Mr. SHIPSTEAD. I do.
Mr. CUTTING. I should like to express my complete agreement with the remarks just made by the Senator from Massachusetts. I believe that within the next 10 years it will be possible to adopt some such system. I am not sure that the public is ready for it at the present time. If it is, I shall certainly be glad to vote for such a system.
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. I am pleased to hear that observation.
Mr. CUTTING. My legislation is being suggested just for tlie present emergency, until we are ready to take the full step suggested by the Senator.
Mr. WALSH of Massachusetts. I agree with the views of the and hope we can make progress toward removing the influences of large expenditures of money in our elections. SHIPSTEAD. Mr. President, on account of the lateness hour I shall ask, very respectfully, that I be not inter
to say to the Senator from Massachusetts that I do any reason why the law should not provide that the a man should spend in an election of any kind is his traveling expenses. Let all candidates pay their neetraveling expenses, and present their messages to the of their district or their State on a basis of equality, nt to say, in qualification of a statement I made about the fc» »"».3'iug of delegates from the South, that I do not want to lie ixm. A^^ understood as having reference to the great mass of the peop»l^z- of the South. I had particular reference to officeholders uiid^s »r~ ^1 Republican administration, appointees who, under the peeim I ;» «a_r circumstances of the conditions in the South, have u noto x—i «^»us reputation for being venal. I think, in a lesser degree-_ '•r iie same criticism applies to delegates from all over the States.
now to discuss the particular provisions of the corrupt f» lactices act of 1925 exempting primaries from the proyisic* »r«t ^^ of that act.
Mxr_ WALSH of Massachusetts. Mr. President, I want to
remi «:m-«ra the Senator about that. Referring to the act of 1925, the ;i t » s,. Senator from Idaho [Mr. Borah] and several other Mein*. fc»-^s-rs of this body who made a special study of this subject were- -^p-«ry much interested in that act; and at that time it was thoia ^3T^fc» t that we went as far as possible under existing constltnticjku.^^ i provisions.
M«~- SSHIPSTEAD. I want to be understood as saying that I do i^<_» f: question the ability as constitutional students of the sena. tr^^> -,. fr0ni Idaho and the Senator from Massachusetts. It s presumptuous of me to discuss the subject, not being a » but I have read the decision, and I propose to make just •remarks npou that decision as it affects the corrupt prac**--*_-t as it was enacted in 1925.
*• original Federal corrupt practices act of 1910, of 1 <:he present 1925 act is an amendment, covered both prisaud general elections. This was before the adoption of ^ **«^ "Venteenth amendment, providing for direct election of — *^*:*ts by the people.
Supreme Court in the Newberry case held that the 1910 •^^^lug passed prior to the seventeenth amendment, could validated by the later amendment. The syllabus of the :*ae Court decision in Truman H. Newberry et el., plainerror, v. United States of America (254 U. S.) reads ^~ on this point:
e only source of power which Congress (prior to the seventeenth —lent) possessed over elections for Senators and Uepresentatives '-T«»ited States Constitution, Article I, section 4, which empowers *""•**» to regulate the manner of holding such elections. -* *>der the constitutional grant of power to regulate " the manner *^*!ing elections" of Senators and Representatives, Congress could . as it attempted in the act of June 25, 1910, section 8, as :! by the act of August 19, 1911, the maximum sum which a ~te may spend, or advise or cause to be contributed and spent by to procure his nomination at a primary election or convention, validity of the Federal corrupt practices act, antedating the amendment, must be tested by powers possessed by Cont the time of its enactment. An after-acquired power can not, ria vigore, validate a statute void when enacted.
Before the ratification of the seventeenth amendment Unitet States Senators were elected by State legislatures. The electior of a Senator had nothing to do with the popular-election sys tern—neither with registration, primaries, nor general elections After the adoption of the seventeenth amendment the electioi of Senators fell within all provisions of election by the peopleregistration, primary, and general elections—and thereby came squarely under Article I, section 4, of the Constitution, granting power to Congress to regulate " the manner of holding elections' of Senators and Representatives. And "the manner of holding elections," elections by the people in this country, includes tlu whole elective process—registration, primary, and general elections.
PBIMAHY ELECTIONS OP SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES
Of 96 Senators in this Chamber, 82 come to it through th< primary election.
Of 434 Members of the House of Representatives, 420 come tc Congress through the primary election.
There are 41 States having state-wide primary elections ol Senators, and 42 States having congressional district priman elections of United States Representatives.
If a Federal corrupt practices act is needed in any election? at all, it would seem to be necessary in the 41 States where in a majority of cases the primary election is the main contest ir the election of United States Senator, and in the 42 States where the primary election determines in the majority of cases the contest for Representative.
We have only to glance at the election returns of the last elec tion, 1026, to note how large a number of the election contest* of this country in the election of Senators and Representatives are settled in the primary election. In over half the Statesand congressional districts the main contest is in the primary.
Take the Southern States. With the possible exception ol one congressional district in Texas, the entire election ol southern Senators and Representatives is settled in the Democratic primary elections. Compare the primary-election vote in these States with the general-election vote.
In Alabama, 1920, the Democratic primary vote for Senator was 207,316, and the total general-election vote was 113,513.
In Arkansas the Democratic primary vote was 220,816, and the fall vote of all parties only 33,214.
The Florida primary vote was 107,129, and the November vote 05,568.
Georgia's primary vote for Senator was 190,090; November total, 47.366.
Louisiana primary contest polled 164,603, and general election 54,180.
South Carolina polled 160,262 in the Democratic primary; only 14,560 In the November general election of Senator.
The primary election is the main contest in a good share ol the Northern and Western States. In Illinois, 1926, the Republican primary polled 1,146.798 votes against 842,273 Republican votes for Senator in the November general election. The Illinois Republican primary contest polled a larger vote by 300,000.
In Pennsylvania 1.415,577 Republican voters contested foi Senator in the May primary, against 822,187 at the same pollsin November. The Pennsylvania primary contest brought a larger Republican poll than the general election by 629,000, ot 75 per cent.
There was no corrupt practices act to regulate the main contests in Illinois and Pennsylvania, the primary elections in the spring. Had the Federal corrupt practices act boen extended to primary elections, as the Supreme Court so plainly intimates it could be, does anyone in this Chamber imagine foi a moment that the conditions in the primary contests of these two States would have been what the investigations of the Senate have disclosed? The expenditure of thousands of dollars and consumption of months of time over two prolonged election contests in the Senate—with the disclosure of conditions that are a national disgrace—are logically traceable to the neglect of Congress to apply the Federal corrupt practices act to the primary elections that constituted the main election contests.
Let us consider the increasing part which primary elections play in the political contests of some of our Western State*.
The North Dakota primary election of Senator, 1926. brought out 161,958 Republican votes, against 107,921 Republican votesin November.
The Republican primary vote in Iowa for Senator was 422,327, against a Republican vote of 323.409 in November.
The California Republican primary contest polled 707,326, against 070,128 Republican votes in November.
The Oregon Republican primary polled 125,077, against 89,007 Republican votes in November.
Washington's Republican primary vote was 215,642, against a November Republican vote of 164,130.
In Wisconsin, 1926, 466,637 Republican votes were cast in the primary contest, which was 267,000 more than the Republican vote in November.
In all of these States the main election contest was in the primary election. In 26 having state-wide primary elections in 1926—a substantial majority of the whole—a summary of the total cast in primary contests, as compared with the general election total, makes the following instructive comparison:
Primary total vote of those 26 States 11, 204. 020
General election total for same States 10,0(3,055
CAMPAIGN MILUONS UNLOOSED BY NINE WORDS IN 1925 STATUTE
The original Federal corrupt practices act of 1910 was not expressly amended so as to withdraw all Federal restrictions upon corrupt practices in the primary election of Senators and Representatives until the statute of February 28, 1925, limited the jurisdiction of the act as follows:
Skc. 302. (a) The term "election" includes a Rcncral or special election * • • but does not include a primary. election or convention of a political party.
For 15 years—from the original act of June 25, 1910, to the statutory amendment of February 28, 1925—the Federal corrupt practices act applied in express terms to primary elections of Senators and Representatives.
The Newberry decision of 1921 was not conclusive of the powers of Congress to punish corrupt practices. The Federal corrupt practices act of 1910 was an extensive act of 19 sections covering many phases of election corruption. It prohibited campaign contributions by corporations and corporate officials. It governed the solicitation of campaign funds. It penalized the sale and purchase of votes. It provided for the filing of campaign contributions and expenditures. The Newberry decision expressly covered only that phase of the corrupt practices act set up in the indictment and found that Congress had not the power in 1910 to set a limit to the campaign expenditures of Newberry in his primary election.
Four members of the Supreme Court held that Congress, even before the seventeenth amendment, had the power to regulate all elections of Senators and Representatives, both primary and general elections. Chief Justice White, dissenting, held— page 269:
I can see no reason for now denying the power of Congress to reguInte a subject which from its very nature Inheres In and Is concerned with the election of Senators of the United States as provided by the Constitution.
Justice Pitney—page 275—with whom Justices Brandeis and Clarke agreed, declared:
There Is no constitutional infirmity in the act of Congress that underlies the indictment.
But he found—
there was an error in the submission of the case to the Jury that calls for a new trial.
Justice McKenna, the fifth justice in the case and the one whose opinion governed the verdict, reserved his opinion except on the one point, that the act of 1910 antedated the seventeenth amendment and thereby lacked authority to limit the Nowbt'rry expenditures.
That the moral effect of the 1910 act did not cease with the decision of a divided court is proven by the resignation of Newberry and his retirement from the Senate. He know, as the country knew, that politically he was dead. Any day there might be a change of court opinion by death or resignation, or by the introduction of a new legal angle into an election case, that would bring disaster to any candidate, or boss, or campaign contributor violating the Federal corrupt practices act of 1910. So the case stood until 192.1.
Hut when on February 28, 1925. with 30 Senators and 420 Representatives facing primary elections in 1926, it was expressly declared by Congress that the Federal corrupt practices act as applied to elections "does not include a primary election or convention," then the gates were thrown open.
Section 313, prohibiting corporation contributions to primary campaign funds, a subject not discussed in the Newberry case, was repealed as to all primary contests. This language of the law was stricken out as to primary elections, to wit:
Every corporation which makes any contribution in violation of this section shall be fluid not more than $5,000, and every officer or director of any corporation who consents to liny contribution by the corporation In violation of this section shall be lined not more than $1,000, or Jmpriuuued not more than one year, or both.
This provision had stood as a deterring force In all primary contests for 15 years up to February 28, 1925. Congress in 1925 said, in effect, to the corporations of the country and to the political bosses and machines: "Gentlemen, primary elections are now open to all the contributions you care to make and to all the corrupt practices you can invent. Go to it! You are herewith granted complete immunity from the Federal corrupt practices act so far, mind you, as concerns primary elections and conventions. See that you restrict your criminal work to primary elections and conventions; that is all; go ahead; make hay while the sun shines."
The 1026 primary-election contests show that the bosses, machines, and corporate affiliations took Congress at its word. The results we have seen. The immunity bath for corrupt practices was such a stimulus in Illinois primaries that the State primary election of Senator, which usually brought to the polls 800,000 to 1,000,000 votes, swelled the 1926 vote to 1,443,163—and the vote at the Republican primaries was 300,(XK) larger than at the general election following. Corporate contributions, or the contributions of corporate officials, ran into figures never before known in political history.
In years prior to this 1925 immunity bath the Pennsylvania vote in senatorial primary elections had stood—534,000 in 1920, 1,117,000 in 1922, and only 816,000 In 1924. But the immunity grant of 1925 swelled the Pennsylvania primary vote to 1,616,704—an increase of nearly 100 per cent. The Republican primaries of 1926 in Pennsylvania polled 1,451,577, which was 629,390 more than the Republican vote in November. So Pennsylvania bosses and corporations obeyed the injunction of Congress to the letter and heaped all their corrupt practices on the primary. They appreciated the courtesy of Congress in giving them their first chance in years to be as corrupt as they pleased.
Further illustrations of the logical effect of the 1925 repeal can be read in the primary election results of numerous States—wherever moneyed interests were concerned in political control. But it is not necessary to extend the grewsonie detail. A large percentage of the Senators in this Chamber are familiar with enough cases of the use of unlimited campaign ban-els in recent primary contests in their own States to know that the 1925 provision—the nine words exempting the operations of the Federal corrupt practices act from primary elections—was a vital blunder which endangers government by the people in this country.
The illustrations I have used thus far relate to the primary election of Senators. Perhaps a word should be added in regard to the part which primary elections play in the election of Members of the House of Representatives. I have intimated that in a majority of the 434 congressional districts in the United States the main contest is in the primaries. Let us examine the basis for that contention.
If you turn to the statistical pages of the Congressional Directory, pages 182-188, where Clerk of the House Tyler l';ige compiles the election returns for Members of the House, you will be struck with the following fncts:
In about 90 congressional districts the Congressman elect has no opposition in November, the only election being that at the primary.
In over 150 congressional districts the Congressman elect polled more than double the vote of his defeated opponent. It will be admitted that in such a district the main contest was at the primary, the primary election being the equivalent of election.
Thus, in 240 congressional districts out of the total 434—or 26 more than a majority—the main election contest is the primary.
To restrict the operation of the Federal corrupt practices act to the minority of congressional districts and deny its operation to the majority, I submit, is to mnke that act a. farcical gesture devoid of logic or statesmanship. If Congress is in earnest and sincerely desires results from the enforcement of the Federal corrupt practices act, if it honestly proposes to stem the trend of commercial control of seats in these two Houses, its duty is plain. Extend the act to primary elections, as the Supreme Court plainly indicates we have the power to do. Apply the act to that class of elections which to-day determine the will of the people in a majority of the States and their congressional districts.
Mr. President, if that be done I think it will tend to ullay the fear that is prevalent throughout the country to-day from the revelations that as a matter of fact the very Government of the United States itself is being sold on the auction block to the highest bidder and being used by those who buy it to have legislation enacted, not only in the two Houses of Congress but iu the very administration of the law itself in the executive