Through Our Parents Eyes
Jump to Menu Jump to Content

Politics & Newspaper, 1916-1922
Bucking the Establishment

Tom may never have written a line, but he nevertheless made political enemies with material published in the Post. On February 15, 1919, an article ran essentially accusing some of the most powerful individuals in town of bribery in relationship to the electric power company. "It is a rule," the Post charged, "that one cannot get something for nothing, and it is but reasonable to believe that the electric light company did not get $284,000.00 for nothing. Since it is plain through what source these favors were procured, the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Corporation Commission; the rest is also plain." The 1920 U. S. Census lists Grady Grammage as editor of the Tucson Post.

These accusations set off a firestorm, including legal proceedings where Tom Marshall and the Post were accused of liable in claiming that bribes were given to raise electric rates. On October 19, 1919, the Tucson Citizen ran a very critical article of the affair under the headline, "Tom Marshall Is Out to Run the City." It turns out that Tom, a Republican, was seeking Democrats to run for City Council and oppose those Democrats on the Council deemed "too friendly to the Tucson Gas, Electric Light and Power Co." Besides the imbroglio over electric rates, Tom's reforming crusades brought him into conflict with the local courthouse.

ARIZONA PROHIBITION AMENDMENT

  The prohibition amendment to the constitution is as follows:
  Section 1. Ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine, or intoxicating liquor or liquors of whatever kind shall not be manufactured in, or introduced into the State of Arizona under any pretense. Every person who sells, exchanges, gives, barters, or disposes of any ardent spirits, ale, beer, wine, or intoxicating liquor of any kind, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be imprisoned for not less than ten days nor more than two years, and fined not less than twenty-five dollars and costs nor more than three hundred dollars and costs for each offense; provided, that nothing in this amendment contained shall apply to the manufacture or sale of denatured alcohol.
  Section 2. The legislature shall by appropriate legislation provide for the carrying into effect of this amendment.
  Section 3. This amendment shall take effect on, and be in force on and after the first day of January, 1915.
  It was voted upon November 3,1914. It went into
effect January 1,1915.
    The vote was as follows:
    For, 25,887.
    Against, 22,743.
    Arizona has equal suffrage.

First, he sought to expose alleged lax enforcement of the prohibition laws. His charge against Judge Pattee was that he was too lenient, County Attorney Kirk Moore recommended clemency in too many cases, and Justice Oscar Pease was not "firm enough in holding defendants in liquor cases in the Superior Court."

A second issue revolved around County Engineer W. C. Goetz and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors Bertrum Hitch, whom Tom Marshall believed had held office too long.

As the election neared, the mud flew and Tom caught his share. The opposition press alleged that Tom would deliver the "High-Brow" vote and had "women's vote in his vest pocket." Louise was generally hurt and embarrassed about the whole affair, especially when innuendo was raised as to her role with the Board of Regents. Governor George W. P. Hunt had appointed Louise as a member of the University Board of Regents. She had little enthusiasm for Tom's role in politics. She would provide financial support for his many business adventures, but could not tolerate the public exposure of a political campaign.

Printing Office, c. 1915
Printing Office, c. 1915.

Continue with Changes At The Corner Of Congress and Stone