Election 1944: Club chairman calls Dewey’s charges false (10-27-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 27, 1944)


Club chairman calls Dewey’s charges false

Says accusations are based on ‘hearsay’

Chicago, Illinois (UP) –
Frank J. Lewis, national chairman of the 1000 Club, today said that Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican presidential nominee, made false charges against the organization on the basis of “hearsay statements of two Arkansas gentlemen, neither of whom are members of the club.”

Governor Dewey, in a Chicago address Wednesday, said the club’s existence was proof of an attempt by the New Deal to sell political influence in exchange for campaign contributions.

Not formed in White House

Mr. Lewis said that the club, which was formed Sept. 11, in Chicago “and not the White House, as Governor Dewey claims,” is made up of Midwestern business and professional men “who are not actively identified with either major political party, and whose immediate objective is the reelection of President Roosevelt.”

Mr. Lewis said:

The 1000 Club is greatly indebted to Governor Dewey for the nationwide publicity given it in the Governor’s Chicago address. The club is sponsoring President Roosevelt’s Chicago broadcast tomorrow evening and is hopeful that the wide publicity will help the club to raise the funds to pay for this broadcast.

Mr. Lewis expressed surprise that “so able an investigator as the New York Governor” should have spoken “so authoritatively without consulting any members of the organization.”

Dewey’s sources questioned

“Had he done so,” Mr. Lewis asserted, “he could not, with any regard for the truth, have made the statements about the club he did make.” Mr. Lewis said neither H. L. McAlister nor Sam J. Watkins, quoted by Mr. Dewey as the source of his charges, "have been active in or authorized to speak for the club.”

Mr. Lewis said:

The policy of the club is to put the war above partisan politics. The interest of the club is the war, not party spoils. Since the group is nonpartisan, it has not sought and will not be entitled to receive patronage from any political party.