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- 1915 April 19 (Creation)
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H. L. Loucks writes about assisting Richard O. Richards in bringing up a suit to repeal Richards' primary law amendment. He also mentions that Richards does not want to start a newspaper. Loucks is still interested in finding a medium to publish his agenda and discusses the reliability of the press in South Dakota.
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Hon. R. F. Pettigrew,
Sioux Falls S. Dak.
My dear Pettigrew,
Our friend Holter is concentrating on Rural Credits. but will do all he can to help. Just now he is trying to work up a conference, and altho I feel very sure that he will be disappointed, he has always helped me and I will help him.
I met Richards Wednesday evening he has the papers all ready for an injunction, but thought it would appear a little better if a few of those active in the submission of the con. amendment should make a request of him to press a suit in the repeal of his primary law, and I have agreed to see Father Haire Senators hart, Crill and Grant, who were in the Senate that year, and also Gov. Lee, and as soon as he hears from me the injunction will be served. I should say about Thursday.
I prepared the request while at Yale Thursday, and enclose you a copy. If you feel like signing it do so and mail direct to Richards.
I also spent a couple of hours with him Thursday evening.
Wednesday evening he would listen to nothing but the one issue, and that of course his issue. I advised him very frankly that there were others, and that we had issues. That one issue at a time was good, but the big question was as to who was to select the issue. That I did not consider his issue the paramount one by any means, altho I was willing to accept it as an issue, and advised him that he would find a good many more who thought as I did. He insisted strongly that we must first perfect party organization, and I as firmly suggested that it was impossible to do so under either of the present parties. That I believed that the late legislature had made the issue for a state campaign, and more that I personal considered it a waste of time to try to reform the Republica party etc. We left the topic an open issue.
He is not at all inclined to take up with a Paper stating that he thought that the editors of our Dailies were honest etc. with which I took emphatic issue in so far as our principles were concerned etc.
Thursday evening he had toned down very considerably, apparently.
I think that on the lines I suggested that we will have to stand firm, and that he will in due time to come to us. In fact it would not interest me at all to concentrate on his issue. Of course he is anxious to have a talk with you. I advised him that I had had a very satisfactory one with you, and that I thot we agreed quite closely as to what should be done in the future.
Now as to the plan of propaganda, I am more than ever convinced that we must have a medium, but since my talk with you my idea has enlarged with the possibility of geting the Scripps-McRae service.
As the present administration have such a hold on the Press of the state thru Norbecks generosity, and they all profess to be progressive, and always betray us, the most important thing to do is to secur a press service wholly dependable. Richards says that Crawford Norbeck & Co. put $18.000 into the Press to enable Dotson to buy out Bowen.
Probably that is why he cannot sell, for certainly if he could he would have accepted your offer.
But instead of one Daily at Sioux Falls, why not try or three?
We need one at Sioux Falls, but with two there it will be more expensive, but much less so if in connection with The Scripps- McCrae.
Here in Watertown, we have only one daily, and a very unpopular one.
It is a good distributing center, and a good circulation could be worked up. I am enclosing you a copy of a letter written by my son to an enquirer, which will save me writing. The statements made can be relied on. It would be an investment even as a weekly, but it has so much of an equipment, that it would not require much more to get out as large a Daily as the Public Opinion, but if we could hook up with the S. Mc C. so much the better. Very satisfactory arrangements could be made with the present force. If you have the money to invest as you wil note $3.000 cash would secure it with liberal terms for balance.
Having secured it we could then press on for a Daily.
Now I think we should also try to get the Scripps to start one in Aberdeen also. With Three Dailies in the State working to a common end and under one line of propaganda, and with a push for the Minneapolis and St. Paul Scripp Papers pushed from the northeast and their Sioux City Paper, if they have one, we would have a combination that could not be beaten in this state.
The Sioux City Tribume must be supplanted in the southern part of the state. It is far worse than an out and out reactionary Paper.
But they have a circulation of from 12 to 15.000.
The program may look large, but if you can get the Scripps interested we can stir things up at the minimum of expense.
Now if this appeals to you, and you can spare the 4.000 now I would be willing to take hold, and guarantee you say 6% on the advance, and be only too glad to turn it over when you can make the new combination.
My son assures me that that the present plant as a weekly will pay all expenses, and it will make such a good foundation for a Daily.
My friend Hampton has just written me to advise that his plans for “ An Open Forum” have about matured, and wants to know if I would go to Washington to take charge of the Tax Department, and also Farm marketing. If he is assured of the proper backing it would be a very congenial position, and one I would enjoy; but somehow my heart is in South Dakota, and I would rather see it redeemed first.
Since my talk with you I can see the way to do it, at the same time I want to have it done, with the many helping, and in no way can they do that so well as by circulating sound, economic fundamentls.