A strong rebuke to the editor of “The Nation” for an assertion made in the liberal weekly, which is supporting the Democratic ticket, that the Republican nomination of Albert Ottinger for the governorship of the State of New York was “merely a sop to the Jewish voters” was administered by Louis Marshall in a communication he addressed to the weekly.
Mr. Marshall in resenting this remark declares that Governor Smith has no proprietary interest in the voters of the Jewish faith in the State of New York who are, Mr. Marshall declares, “the most independent of the American electorate.” Mr. Marshall’s letter to “The Nation” read:
“In your issue of today, lauding Mr. Franklin D. Roosevelt you, though a pretended liberal, evince a spirit of bigotry universally denounced by all lovers of justice. You say:
“‘His chief rival, Attorney General Ottinger, has shown himself unworthy of public trust in that he is absolutely wrong on the water power question. His nomination is merely a sop to the Jewish voters of the cities of the State in order to draw them away from Governor Smith. It is political subterfuge which deserves rebuke.”
“Attorney General Ottinger probably entertains views concerning water power as to which decided differences of opinion exist. Mr. Roosevelt certainly holds views on many subjects which are likewise opposed by many good citizens; so does Governor Smith, and for that matter there is scarcely a single public question as to which men do not honestly differ. For you to get up the editorial chair as a court of last resort and with innate modesty to announce that the Attorney General is ‘absolutely’ wrong on this subject, and from that premise to deduce the conclusion that he has shown himself unworthy of public trust, would appear to the ordinary man as presumptuous. His integrity and uprightness are not and cannot be impugned. His loyalty and fidelity to the public as State Senator, as Assistant Attorney General of the United States, and as Attorney General of this State, have been generally conceded. He is a man of unimpeachable character, and yet, speaking in an utterly irresponsible manner, you do not hesitate to blacken his name merely because he does not see eye to eye with you and has dared to accept a unanimous nornination for Governor at a time when your candidate had publicly refused to run. This kind of talk is the ebullition of a political brainstorm and bears its own comment.
“But you have gone further and at a time when men with whom you have associated yourself are prating of religious bigotry as a campaign issue you, supposedly overflowing with the milk of human kindness (though frequently curdied), range yourself on the lowest plane of fanaticism by adverting to Mr. Ottinger’s religion and characterizing his nomination as a sop to the Jewish voters in order to draw them away from Governor Smith, apparently intimating that the Governor has a proprietary interest in those whom I know to be the most independent of the American electorate. In other words, you turn your back on all that you have said concerning bigotry and your suppressed emotions bursting all bonds lead you to resent the nomination of a Jew as Governor and to insult your Jewish fellow-citizens by intimating that when they vote they are swayed by unworthy motives.
“I have observed for many years that men of your ilk, though parading as broad-minded, never hesitate by word and act to belittle the Jew when it suits your purpose. It is regarded as meritorious to resent what you look upon as his intrusion into public office, however qualified for it he may be. With all your culture you are unable to get away frm the atavistic urge which unconsciously causes your mental process to culminate in the cry of Jew! Jew!”
The Democratic National Committee made public a statement yesterday by Robert Szold, counsel of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, urging support for the candidacy of Alfred E. Smith for President. Mr. Szold also urged support for Col. Herbert H. Lehman for Lieutenant-Governor of New York, declaring:
“I have worked with him (Col. Lehman) in certain philanthropic enterprises. I have seen his work on the Governor’s Mediation Commission in the Cloak and Suit industry. He is simply the finest of the fine.”
Lillian D. Wald, founder and director of the Henry Street Settlement House, joined Dr. Lovejoy Elliott of the Hudson Guild, in appeal to 4,000 social workers throughout the United States urging support of Governor Smith.
Former representative Martin C. Ansorge, Republican candidate for Justice of the Supreme Court, in a statement he issued replied to Samuel Untermver’s attack on Albert Ottinger.
“The religious issue was unfortunately dragged into the State campaign,” Mr. Ansorge said. “Samuel Untermeyer, hiding behind the cloak of religious tolerance, makes a bitter racial attack against a man of his own race and says that the Republican party named its candidate for Governor, solely because of his religion. The fact that General Ottinger was nominated because of his remarkable record as Attorney General and by reason of his tremendous popularity with the voters of the State, as evidenced by the fact that he was the only Republican elected to office on the State ticket in the Democratic landslide of 1926. He was nominated in spite of his religion, and not because of it, Just as will might Mr. Untermyer have said that the Democratic candidate for President was nominated because of his religion, and the statement would have been equally ludicrous.
“If, as Mr. Untermyer says, the Republican party named General Ottinger because he was a Jew, will he also say that his own party named Colonel Lehman for the same reason? Although the sentiments which I have expressed are my own, I believe that all right-minded people will agree with me. Religion should play no part in a campaign.
“I submit, with all due respect to the creat ability of Mr. Untermyer, that his letter to Mr. James of the Roosevelt Committee was in poor taste and will act as a boomerang. As between him and Louis Marshall, his law as sociate who is supporting General Ottinger, let the people decide whom they will follow,” he declared.