100 years ago in The Record
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.”