Mail Tribune 100, Sept. 6, 1919
The following news items were drawn from the archives of the Mail Tribune 100 years ago.
Sept. 6, 1919
LEGISLATORS IN JACKSON FAVOR SPECIAL SESSION
Members of the state legislature from Jackson county admit that a special session for the ratification of suffrage is about due to be called. But they think, on the whole, that it is up to the governor to call it, not the members of the legislature. “The mountain is not likely to come to Mahomet,” is the way one legislator put it today.
Miss Vivian Pierce, one of the members of the ratification committee in Portland, which represents one of the large suffrage organizations doing national work, came to Medford especially to find out how the legislature felt about the extra session for suffrage, and how the women felt. She is satisfied, she says, that the governor must shortly call the session.
“If suffrage ratification is of enough importance to warrant an extra session it is of enough importance for the governor to call and the state to pay for. We know it is of enough importance. A late winter session is better than an early session for the people of this section, and it should be called.” This is the way Senator C. M. Thomas sizes the matter up.
Representative W. H. Gore is another legislator who puts the situation, especially in view of the late suffrage gains, “straight up to the governor. I do not believe in legislators legislating themselves into session. That is not their business. The state should pay the expenses of this session. Certainly I do not mind paying them. That is not the question. Such procedure is hard on the far distant legislators who cannot afford such expenditure. The $3 a day I received as a legislator barely paid room rent. It is so with all of us. If this session were called the organization would be automatic and the matter disposed of in short order. The majority have no desire for a long session: but the time has come to call it.”
Representative Westerlund was of the opinion that the men do not want to “go to Salem sewed up tight.” It is a matter of pride. “I’m willing to go and pay my expenses. But in this matter I am going to do as the other legislators want to. That’s why I’ve made no promise to the governor. I have been in the legislature six years and I can understand what he’s afraid of.” Representative Ben C. Sheldon, one of the few southern Oregon men who is on what is becoming known as “the Governor’s White List,” or those who agreed to the governor’s terms, is willing to pledge himself, in the form of a request, for suffrage only.