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Democratic Party Platform 1920

“Mr. Pattangall, chairman of the committee on resolutions, reported as follows:”

The Democratic Party of Maine, in state convention assembled adopts as its platform for the coming campaign, the following resolutions:

1. We extend our sympathy to and express our most sincere respect and admiration for Woodrow Wilson, our great president and endorse the splendid work which he has done and is doing for our party, our country and the world.

2. Since the date of our last convention, the world war has been brought to a successful conclusion, mainly through the splendid man power and wonderful resources of this country. Millions of men were mobilized, food, clothing and equipment provided, ships built and two million men safely transported across the seas, and all this had to be done with speed, as one of the main things sought. This problem was sufficient in magnitude to stagger the busy, peace-loving people of this country and the rapidity and wonderful success with which this work was done astonished the world, both friends and foes alike. No criticism by foe, no investigation by partisan committees, no tirade from those opposed to a Democratic administration, whether in peace or war has been able to dim one ray of lustre in connection with the work so well done. We are proud of the record made in doing all these things and especially so of the history made by the splendid sons and daughters of this country, both on the battlefield or in whatever line of duty they may have been called to serve. We feel that substantial recognition should be made of such service and favor the adoption of the constitutional amendment which is to be voted on at the September election, in order that provision may be made for the payment of the $100 bonus proposed for service men and nurses. [Later approved: 105,712 YES; 32,820 NO]

3. We believe that a vast majority of the men and women of. Maine and the nation are emphatically in favor of prompt ratification of the peace treaty with the league of nations covenant without reservation destructive to the spirit and effective operation of the treaty, in order that normal business relations in the country and the world may be resumed and future wars prevented.

4. We favor an amendment to the national constitution whereby all amendments to the constitution of the United States shall be submitted to the voters of the various states, instead of to the legislatures thereof.

5. We pledge to the candidates for president and vice-president at San Francisco our hearty support.

State Issues

1. We demand a business administration of public affairs in Maine.

2. A thorough readjustment of our tax system has become an absolute necessity. Property taxes have increased to a point where in some communities they absorb the, entire net returns derived from certain classes of property, while on the other hand millions of dollars of productive investments remain entirely untaxed. The adoption of the proposed amendment to the constitution [Later defeated: 53,975 YES; 64,787 NO] authorizing an income tax followed by appropriate legislation or a proper system of taxing intangible personal property followed by an equivalent reduction in property taxes, accompanied by careful economy in state expenditures together with an equalization of valuations throughout the state would relieve the farmer, the householder, and the active business men from a burden of taxation which has become so great as to menace the progress and prosperity of the state.

3. The importance of our forests is so vital to the future welfare of our State, and realizing that they are steadily decreasing, we favor immediate steps of reforestation of land suitable for that purpose which may be acquired by the State, for substantial encouragement in some form to those who may own or acquire lands, in order that this work may be undertaken before it is too late.

4. We favor a liberal policy in building substantial highways in accordance with the expressed desire of the people of the State, but emphatically believe in giving greater assistance in the way of State aid to those towns located away from railroads, trunk line highways and market centers, as on better roads is dependent the very existence of many towns, mainly agricultural, whose history for several decades has shown a steady decline in population. Maine’s future prosperity depends in great measure upon agriculture and upon the upbuilding of our rural towns. Their needs must he recognized and provided for. Among the most important of these needs is a system of good roads connecting the farm with its market.

.5. We favor the election of members of the Public Utilities Commission by a direct vote of the people and favor immediate enactment of such legislation as will make this effective.

6. We advocate the submission to the people of an act repealing our present direct primary law and replacing it with a properly drawn law providing for the nomination of candidates for public office by conventions, in order that the people, having had eight years’ experience with the primary law initiated by them, may have an opportunity to retain or reject it as they see fit.

7. Much of the industrial activity of Maine is due to the development of water power which has already taken place. The possibilities of further development on which depends increased business expansion are practically unlimited, and it is certain that the demands of the future will be greater and more diversified than those of the past. We insist that all future development must be under rigid State control for use within the State.

8. We favor the reorganization of the State Highway Commission so that the work of building and maintaining State roads may be conducted in a manner commensurate with the importance of the work and on a businesslike basis, and the establishment of a through patrol system.

9. We recognize the just demands of laboring men and women to a fair share of the product of their labor. Honest, industrious and prudent working men and women are entitled to financial reward sufficient for them to live and support their families as American citizens ought to live and as American families ought to be supported.

10. The schools of Maine deserve the hearty support which is particularly important at the present time. Competition from many other lines of activity is greater than in the past and a wage should be paid teachers which is adequate to meet such competition. The rural schools have problems peculiar to themselves, on account of location, and careful consideration should be given them. Special effort should be made in all our schools to impress principles of true Americanism on the receptive minds of the young and the real possibilities of Maine should be constantly taught in order that the greatest asset we have, our boys and girls, may be encouraged to remain within our borders.

11. We congratulate the women of Maine that they are soon to take an equal part with men in the conduct of public affairs and we cordially invite them to ally themselves with the Democratic party believing that its principles will appeal to them as sound and the policies as wise and patriotic.

12. The Democracy of Maine is fully aware of the responsibilities which rest on a majority party, if it is entrusted with the opportunity it will undertake to carry on the government of the State in a manner which will meet the commendation of every loyal citizen, and in this convention we, the representatives of that party, pledge our support to the candidates of our party and pledge these candidates to give Maine the business government which our State needs and to which it is entitled.

“The platform was unanimously adopted.

A telegram of congratulations was received and read from Homer S. Cummings, chairman of the Democratic national committee.”

Source: unidentified newspaper article in Maine State Law Library clippings file, dated March 30, 1920. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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