100 years ago in The Record

The Record (Troy, NY) - - COMMUNITY - — Kevin Gil­bert

Satur­day, Oct. 13, 1917

The war of words be­tween The Record and Repub­li­can may­oral can­di­date Ge­orge T. Mor­ris re­sumes this morn­ing as Mor­ris again at­tacks the pa­per and our ed­i­tors an­swer in kind.

While The Record leans Repub­li­can in county, state and na­tional pol­i­tics, it has en­dorsed in­cum­bent mayor Cor­nelius F. Burns, a Demo­crat, while crit­i­ciz­ing Mor­ris, the Fourth Ward al­der­man, for un­seemly per­sonal at­tacks on Burns. Our ed­i­tors also ac­cuse the mav­er­ick fis­cal con­ser­va­tive of do­ing noth­ing con­struc­tive for the city in the com­mon coun­cil.

“Nei­ther the mayor nor his spokesman, The Troy Record, nor any of his of­fice­hold­ing apol­o­gists, have an­swered my in­dict­ment of Demo­cratic in­ef­fi­ciency,” Mor­ris writes, “They have con­tented them­selves with ac­cus­ing me of not hav­ing par­tic­i­pated in the var­i­ous abortive en­ter­prises of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“I plead guilty to the charge, par­tic­u­larly to the charge of not hav­ing been con­cerned in the woe­ful mis­car­riage of of­fi­cial duty which re­sulted in an in­crease in the price of tick­ets to Al­bany”

Mor­ris in­sists that his crit­i­cisms have been “po­lite” but “fear­less,” and grants that the mayor “has been wholly sin­cere in his wish for the bet­ter­ment of Troy, and al­most sin­cere in his ef­forts to ob­tain that bet­ter­ment.” He then claims that Burns’s ego has kept busi­nesses from in­vest­ing in Troy.

“The cor­po­rate mag­nates who deal in mil­lions have been amazed by his ar­ro­gance, and when they have not been of­fended by his tur­bu­lence, they have smiled at his im­por­tance. The re­sult is that the large busi­ness en­ter­prises which might have been lured to this city have steered clear of Mayor Burns and clear of Troy. These are the naked facts and this sub­ject is the com­mon gos­sip of the clubs and streets.”

“Mr. Mor­ris’s state­ment this morn­ing is a new at­tempt to bol­ster up his fail­ing cause with a lit­tle more de­nun­ci­a­tory lit­er­a­ture,” our ed­i­tors re­ply, “He has tried mud-sling­ing and found it sticks to the wrong can­di­date. He has tried si­lence and found that he adopted it too late to snuff out the mem­ory of his ear­lier po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­tions.”

Pass­ing over Mor­ris’s spe­cific charges against our pa­per, the ed­i­tors ar­gue that “If all he said about The Record were true his dis­clo­sures would not present one iota of ev­i­dence why he and his col­leagues should be en­trusted with the af­fairs of the $60,000,000 cor­po­ra­tion of Troy.”

Against Burns’s record of “pro­gres­sive, en­er­getic con­duct,” Mor­ris’s “sole claim lies in coun­cil­manic ri­ots and clam­orous cam­paign­ing.” His elec­tion “would be a worse ev­i­dence of mu­nic­i­pal de­gen­er­acy than any of the fan­cied in­di­ca­tions Mr. Mor­ris has wo­ven into the pes­simistic epics with which he bom­bards the vot­ers.”

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