The Pittsburgh Press (September 19, 1944)
Erie, Pennsylvania (UP) –
Labor has the right to enter political campaigns with “arguments and peaceful persuasion,” but no organization should use “intimidation, threats and ulterior purposes” to influence the vote, Ohio Governor John W. Bricker said today in a sharp criticism of Sidney Hillman and the CIO Political Action Committee.
Mr. Bricker said that President Roosevelt’s alleged remark for aides at the Democratic National Convention to “clear everything with Sidney” was “too well authenticated and documented” for a denial by Robert Hannegan, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Mr. Hillman “took over control of the Democratic Convention,” Governor Bricker said, and the “results provide the truth of the statement because everything was cleared through Sidney.”
Asked if organized labor should stay out of politics as a group, Governor Bricker replied that labor “always has been nonpartisan.”
We have political parties for the purpose of conducting elections. I have no opposition to any organization going into campaigns with arguments and peaceful persuasion, but to get people and members of an organization created for one purpose and then through power they have over them by intimidation, threats and ulterior purposes to try to force them to vote one way or to try to influence them by contributing money to one party against their will is very dangerous.
In a speech later, Governor Bricker said that a planned program for a rehabilitation of business and reemployment of war veterans has been laid down by the Republican Party while the New Deal “only looks forward to unemployment,” and measures to alleviate those conditions.