Mail Tribune 100
Oct. 20, 1914
A tale of attempted bribery and corruption, whereby Withycombe supporters are accused of having tried to buy editorial influence of the Ashland Tidings in behalf of that candidate, offering therefor the magnificent sum of 50 plunks, is exposed in the issue of the Tidings, dated October 19. The offer was indignantly spurned and as a consequent of the corrupt stand-pat political methods employed, "the same maintained for so many years to keep Oregon under party machine domination," the republican Tidings will support Dr. C.J. Smith, Democratic candidate for governor. The story of the transaction as printed in the Tidings is as follows:
"Monday morning, October 12, between 9 and 10 o'clock, a local supporter of Dr. Withycombe called at the Tidings office and asked for a private conference with (editor) Mr. Greer.
Offered Fifty Dollars
"He asked how the Tidings stood on Withycombe. We replied we were not enthusiastic. So far we had let the gubernatorial campaign alone and thought we should continue to do so.
"He said the local committee would meet at 10 o'clock and desired the Tidings to come out for their candidate. We told him we did not feel like doing so. He said the committee would raise 50 dollars for the Tidings if it would support Withycombe.
"We told him the Tidings had advertising space to sell and would charge the local committee the same rate made other political advertisers.
"He said it was not advertising space they wanted, but editorial support
Tidings Not for Sale
"We told him he had misjudged the Tidings, that the editorial influence of the paper was a sacred thing and not for sale; that his proposal amounted to no less than an insult both to our intelligence and integrity, and confirmed as in the determination not to support Dr. Withycombe.
"He went away and returned in about an hour and ordered an advertisement announcing a meeting for Dr. Withycombe for Tuesday night at the armory.
"Already the candidacy of Dr. Withycombe was losing our favor just in proportion as we found his most enthusiastic local supporters were those who, under the old machine rule, dictated the opposition to popular government. The were notorious as ultra reactionary, opposed to the Oregon system, favorable to assembly nominations, opposed to primary and everlastingly against Statement No. 1.
"They held principles and adopted methods directly opposite to our ideas on politics, but we had not yet dreamed they would stoop to outright corruption in forwarding the election of their candidate, or that they held such low estimate on journalistic integrity, and responsibility as to imagine that editorial influence was a thing to be bought by the yard like a surgeon's cloth, or to be used at will for wrapping ulcerous political sores."