By Beverly Clinkingbeard,Westboro
The deadline is approaching…experts confirm the public is ‘election weary’ or is it ‘candidate weary’? We see the planes, car caravans and the millions of dollars spent to convince the public how to vote and cringe. We study the Amendments and sample ballot our newspapers helpfully put forth, and personally ponder (providing not completely party loyal) where our marks will be placed. In a county with small population, such as Atchison County and other counties adjoining, the folks asking for your vote are better known. Of political bumps, nepotism may be the most common when population is small in number, simply because the citizens are genetically connected and conflict of interest sneaks in…using a public office for personal or family gain.
A 1933 issue of the Burlington Junction Post offers a peek at two different times of electioneering, depression and drought. The current news of 1933 was, banks were in trouble. There had been a bank holiday and no “withdrawals of public money permitted, except in cases where the balance on March 3, 1933, was greater than at the time banks closed for the holiday last July. There has been no change in the status of funds for which waivers were signed—they are still tied up….Funds of the Coin Consolidated school district and the town of Coin are now tied up in the banks as the balances were smaller on March 3 than last July. Teachers in the Coin schools were unable to get their pay last Friday, the regular pay day, and holders of town warrants are also out…” It was testy times.
Another article entitled, “When Lincoln Ran for Congress,” read: “It’s a good thing to dip back into past history from time to time just to see how different things were—and still how similar they were to conditions in our own day.
“When Abraham Lincoln was running for Congress there was no law requiring public statements of amounts spent in campaigns. However, Lincoln frankly told how much he had spent in getting elected. He said that $200 had been contributed for his use and he had returned $199.25.
“His total expenditures were 75 cents.
“He explained he rode horseback or went on foot or caught a ride while on his electioneering trips, and he stayed with friends, so he had no hotel bills.
“The 75 cents was spent for a barrel of cider, to relieve the public thirst at a meeting. He does not say whether the cider was hard or soft—but presumable it was fairly new cider, as it was the fall of the year. The low price of 75 cents for a barrel of cider shows that money was tight even if the crowd wasn’t.”
‘Nd that’s a bit of what was goin’ on locally and in the nation once upon a time.