Baltimore Evening Sun (18 March 1912): 6.
Telephone communication between the City Jail and the Courthouse:
Berney Lee—How about them stuffers, Bill? Bill Broening—Nothing doing, Berney.
Now they say Murray has give the name of Corrupt Practices to one of his houn’ pups.
Only two weeks more of bellowing and braying at Annapolis! Then off with store clothes and on with jeans—and the long furrow in the heat of the day!
Free advice to the wholesale and retail liquor men:
Let the local option bill pass. If you kill it this year, it will undoubtedly pass in 1914. Why be shaken down again? Why not let it go on the books and then trust to the reaction? Haven’t the politicians got enough out of you as it is? Or do you like to bleed?
Hardly nobody no more don’t take no stock no more in no talk about jailin’ none of them stuffers no more.
And now they are after our old friend the Hon. Trauty Trautfelter, City Councilman from the First district, and, next to George Konig and Bill Garland, the greatest man between the Monumental Theatre and Bayview Asylum. Trauty, it appears, is interested, as an innocent investor, in a machine shop lately established at 1120 Cathedral street—a machine shop of high grade, but one viewed with liverish eye by the johnshopkinsed householders of the vicinage. In particular, by Dr. W. B. D. Penniman, who lives next door, at 1122. When the shop began business, Mr. Penniman, in fact, made a bitter protest, and soon his barristers were proceeding against Trauty on two counts, the first being the count that the machinery in the shop shook his (the doctor’s) house, and the second being the count that the use of the building for such purposes violated the building laws. But just what section of the building laws? Specifically, that section providing that the walls of a machine shop must be 17½ inches thick. The walls of Trauty’s shop are but 9 inches thick
Alas, alas, things began to look black for Trauty! The law was plain and the neighbors and their barristers were out with their hammers. But just then, by the direct favor of the gods, or, rather, by what the vulgar would call a remarkable coincidence, there appeared in the First Branch of the Council an ordinance, amending that very section of the building law! By this ordinance it was provided that, in cases where walls were overthin, the Inspector of Buildings, in his discretion, might stretch a point. In brief, that he might permit a machine shop to have, not 17½-inch walls, but 9-inch walls. And all in simple kindness, and without charging a cent.
Trauty did not prepare this ordinance. We have his word for it. He knew nothing about it in advance. We have his word for it again. But once sighting it, he was for it, immediately and unanimously—and now he is trying to put it through the Second Branch, to the horror of the bilious Duke Bond. Here, at last, we come to the injustice that is being done to Trauty. He is being denounced for supporting the ordinance on the ground that its passage would profit him!
What rot! What rubbish! Does any sane man suppose that an intelligent City Councilman, with such an ordinance before him, would oppose it? Certainly not. The truth is, of course, that the principal attraction of service in the City Council is the fact that it enables one to mold the laws to suit one’s own convenience, and the convenience of one’s friends and advocates. That, and not the salary, is precisely the lure which draws men to the chamber. That is exactly why Trauty got himself elected, and why all of his associates got themselves elected. And so it is ridiculous, not to say indecent, to denounce him for his present course, for if he adopted any other course his family would be justified in having him locked up as a dangerous maniac.
The aim and object of all government, in this fair republic, is to work the welfare of the officeholder and his friends. The common phrase “to the victor belong the spoils” does not allude, as so many suppose, to money only. It has reference to every attribute and fruit of government—to power and glory in their myriad forms as well as to mere cash. A Councilman’s salary is the pitiful sum of $1,000 a year, and his honest grafts, in late years, have sunk to zero. But the power to make laws to his own taste, to make laws pleasing and salubrious to himself and his friends, still remains to him, and when he exercises that power he does only what he solemnly promised to do when he stood for election.
One Congressman is a protectionist because his constituents believe that a high tariff puts money into their pockets, and because he would suffer damage if he opposed that belief. Another is a protectionist because he himself is interested in a protected industry, and believes that a low tariff would cost him dear. Is there any essential difference between the two men? Not the slightest. Both devote themselves frankly to molding the law in such manner that it will work their personal profit. And so in all departments of the public service. Take away the right of the lawmaker to make the laws serve his private advantage, and you destroy democratic government.
Away, then, with this foul attack upon good Trauty! His course shows him to be a sane and intelligent man. He is but doing in the Council, on a modest scale, exactly what the super-Mahon did in the matter of the Calvert Bank—that is to say, he is exercising his inalienable right to take care of his own personal interests, whatever the clamor of the folks who must pay for it.
Anyhow, if Edgar Poe runs again, them ex-Sheriffs ought to all be for him.
Only 11 months and 17 days to March 4, 1913. Then the booming of ordnance, the shriek of wind music—and the apotheosis of the loveliest, lordliest man that Baltimore ever saw!
Eleven cheap but clean cigars to the Hon. Henry A. McMains, D. O., camerlengo of the League for Medical “Freedom,” Maryland Branch, for any evidence, oral or documentary, that the indubitable allopaths on his roll are other than spectral, apparitional and gaseous.
Boil your drinking water! Roast your milk! Cover your garbage can! Wear a Harry button! Weep for the boomers! Swat the fly!