JULY 16, 1959
HYDE PARK—I was very glad to read that Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, at the opening session of the golden anniversary convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that "prejudice remains, discrimination exists, but it is on its way out in New York State."
Then he proceeded to announce that he would ask the legislature for the same laws on housing on a statewide basis that now exist in New York City.
It is particularly good that the government has taken a forthright stand. Now I also hope we will have a law to prevent job discrimination. Far too often a Negro is the last to be hired and the first to be fired.
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Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota has formally entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, and he is the first to do so.
Like other possible Democratic nominees, Senator Humphrey most probably is going to have a hard time to match the money that will be available to the Republican nominee. Actually, very little money will have to be spent by the Republicans in the preconvention campaign, since they have but two probable candidates, Vice-President Nixon and Governor Rockefeller.
The Republican nomination will certainly be arranged by the party solons after conference with these gentlemen, and there will be no need for entering primaries or spending any money at all. So, their money can be saved for the actual campaign and any Republican nominee will have all he needs.
On the Democratic side, there will undoubtedly be a number of nominees beforehand, so the calls for individual help will be many. Therefore, there will not be as much available after one man is nominated and the campaign begins against the Republican opponent.
I wish we would all give more thought to our method of financing political campaigns. I will concede that almost any change would be more important to the Democrats than to the Republicans, because the Democrats traditionally have less money to spend. But in the long run it would be an advantage to all.
Why not ask radio and television authorities to allot the same amount of time to each party without charge? Each party could then use that time in any way it chooses. Of course, the allocations of time would be comparable, so that the audiences would be as great for both parties.
And I think the taxpayers would ultimately benefit if out of their taxes the government gave each of the opposing parties similar sums to be used for travel and for literature or in any other way the parties decided was important for information and advertising. This would put our whole campaign on a higher basis. There would not be the usual mad scramble for money. A man could run on his merits and not because he could lay his hands on more money.
It would require careful planning and the value of volunteer work in campaigns would be enhanced. People who really cared to work for the candidate of their party could volunteer their services without remuneration, and this would put a contribution of this kind on a much higher plane.
I suppose writing about this hopefully is just a pipe dream, but I wish more people would think about it and try to make it come about.