Felix M. Warburg, noted Jewish philanthropist and civic and financial leader, has sent a telegraphic message to Mr. Curry and Mr. McCooey urging Mr. Lehman’s nomination. In his telegram, Mr. Warburg stated that he, like many other Republicans, would be proud to vote for Colonel Lehman even though he favors President Hoover for re-election as president.
The text of his telegram declared:
“In regard to the choice for candidate by the Democratic Convention, one cannot belive that the leaders can seriously doubt where their duties lie when a splendid, honest, hard-working, disinterested gentleman has shown by endeavor how seriously he takes unselfishly assumed tasks. Like many other Republicans and strongly for President Hoover, will be proud to vote for Herbert Lehman.”
While the fate of Lieutenant Governor Herbert H. Lehman’s nomination for governor of the State of New York rests with political leaders now in Albany for the Democratic State Convention, a group of outstanding citizens of New York and leading organs of public opinion have directed pleas to the State leaders to forget partisanship and nominate Colonel Lehman as the logical man for the logical place.
The fitness of Colonel Lehman for the post on the basis of his record is emphasized while opponents of his nomination are scored on the ground that they do not want Colonel Lehman because they know he is not a politician and will not be swayed by the political spoils system.
Tammany Hall is the leader of the opposition to the Lieutenant Governor’s nomination, the fate of which is said to rest on the stand to be taken by John H. McCooey, who controls 159 votes.
Former Governor Alfred E. Smith has been conferring with opposition leaders in an effort to break down their antagonism to Colonel Lehman which is based on the fact that he is the personal choice of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. Opposition to Lehman is being expressed in retaliation for the Governor’s investigation of former Mayor James J. Walker, which led to his resignation.
Governor Roosevelt returned to Albany yesterday and will personally lead the fight to a finish to secure the nomination of Colonel Lehman, it is stated.
Mr. McCooey, who occupies a key position, has threatened to cast the vote of the 159 delegates from Brooklyn for Colonel Lehman regardless of whether or not John F. Curry, leader of Tammany Hall, swings to Lehman, it is stated.
Other representative Jews who have addressed pleas to Democratic leaders include: Howard Cullman, of the Port of New York Authority; David Sarnoff, of the Radio Corporation of America; Sam A. Lewisohn, financier; Professor E. R. A. Seligman of Columbia University; Miss Lillian D. Wald, of the Henry Street Settlement.
The “New York Times” which has on a number of occasions published editorials urging the candidacy of Colonel Lehman made another appeal for him in its edition yesterday. Similarly the “Brooklyn Eagle” and the “Sun” favor his candidacy editorially.
The “New York Times” states:
At the State convention in Albany, the leaders of the Democratic organization in Greater New York will be, as it were, put through a searching examination under the eyes of the people of the whole State. What will be tested is not merely their political sincerity but their political sagacity. They profess to be ardent supporters of Governor Roosevelt for the Presidency, but have thus far given the impression that they plan to embarrass and thwart him in every way within their power in this State and in this city. They are to take part in a convention which will nominate a Governor of New York and have an important bearing upon the national campaign, but till now have acted like men who cared more about setting up a powerful political machine in their own localities than about the larger interests of the Democratic party in the State and in the nation. Hence the chief issue on which they will be on trial at Albany tonight and tomorrow is their attitude toward the choice of a candidate for Governor.
Herbert H. Lehman, who has served two terms as Lieutenant Governor, stands out as pre-eminently a man qualified for the higher office. His ability has been demonstrated. To his public life he brought a private experience rich in executive and administrative decisions. He had, before taking office, been well schooled in the doctrine of a balanced budget and credit scrupulously maintained. More than that, he was possessed of an unusual knowledge of the methods of private philanthropy, and of the difficulty which distress and destitution always thrust upon the community. Thus he seems to have been unconsciously preparing himself for intelligent and humane service of the State in a time like the present.
While in office he had every opportunity to exemplify in public action the spirit and training which he had exhibited in private life. No one knows better than he the whole business of this State. Owing to the frequent absences of Governor Roosevelt, made necessary by his health, Lieut. Gov. Lehman has many times gone in and out before the people as Acting Governor, and always with evidences of great public favor attending him. Where-ever he has gone throughout the State to inspect public institutions, and to consult with local associations interested in better government, he has made, and left behind him, a host of friends. The name of no other candidate today carries so much weight in the up-State counties.
There is no possible doubt that he would be a strong candidate in this year’s election. He has an admitted strength with all classes of the people, which could not be transferred to any other man. Indeed, it is the belief of competent political observers that to pass him by would be to throw away thousands of votes of which the Democratic ticket stands in need, and without which its success would be gravely imperiled. The inference drawn by everybody would be that Mr. Lehman was punished for his political independence at the Chicago convention and elsewhere, that he had been rejected because he is a devoted friend of Governor Roosevelt, and because the New York politicians can make no bargains with him, and fear that he, if elected Governor, would not turn over all political patronage to them. In a word, they fear and oppose him because of his official integrity.
Can Tammany Hall, can Boss McCooey of Brooklyn, run the risk of having such a verdict upon them pronounced by the people at this time? This is the great test which they face at Albany. If they fail under it, they may discover that in sacrificing the higher things which they despise they may have lost the lower things in the way of local spoils and flesh-pots over which they are so eager to keep control.
The “Brooklyn Eagle” says:
“With the assembling of the Democratic State Convention in Albany today, the big issue to be settled is the nomination for the Governorship. Lieutenant Governor Lehman is the logical candidate and should be named as a matter of course. Yet strong opposition to his candidacy has developed.
“One of the sinister aspects of the boss system is that the bosses do not have to give reasons for anything they do. They can drop a man from the ticket or name men abolutely unknown, if they so desire. Despite his admirable record in office the bosses would like to drop Mr. Lehman. Why?
“No one has advanced a single reason why he should be denied the nomination. There is no good reason. The excuse for the opposition to him is that he voted for Roosevelt at Chicago. Underneath, however, there is an explanation: Lehman is not the kind of man the bosses want in Albany.
“Governor Roosevelt is standing firmly for Lehman. Alfred E. Smith is fighting for him. The Democratic voters want him nominated. If he is turned down the bosses will be surprised by the force of the rebuke they will receive from the voters.
“On his way to the Albany convention Mr. John H. McCooey announces himself as ready to follow but not to lead in the work of nominating a candidate for the Governorship. ‘The Lehman candidacy,’ he says, ‘is quite acceptable to me, but it depends upon how the rest of the convention feels. There may be a controversy, depending upon the action of those delegates from up State. But I am for Colonel Lehman if a considerable number of delegates favor him.’
“Mr. McCooey controls 159 delegates from Kings County. In any position he might take he could probably command the support of the 72 delegates from Queens. Mr. Lehman’s candidacy is reported as certain to secure 265 delegates from up State, and the 83 votes from the Bronx, controlled by Mr. Flynn, will be for him. With this alignment as a nucleus and allowing for the hostility of Manhattan, Richmond and a section of the up-State delegates, the fate of the Lehman candidacy depends upon what Mr. McCooey does.
“The Brooklyn boss has the choice of trailing Tammany, which he out-votes, or of joining himself with Governor Roosevelt and Alfred E. Smith, who are for Colonel Lehman’s nomination. He has the choice of being a leader or a mere follower awaiting the outcome of deals or plots, which, if successful, will be interpreted as another blow delivered by a vindictive Tammany at the party candidate for the Presidency. With this choice plainly before him he prefers to perch himself on the fence when conditions demand that he declare himself in unmistakable terms.”