Rival newspapers are famous for feuds, fights, and even wars -- but it's ugliest when editors attack each other personally in an out-and-out flapdoodle.

For weeks, Press Democrat editor Finley and Republican editor Lemmon had been taking potshots at the other party's candidate for Congress, but the conflict had been mostly polite. It turned nasty and personal after the big Santa Rosa rally for Rep. Theodore Bell on November 3rd, where Bell "cried with vehemence" [PD description] in his speech that it was unfair for governor to campaign for his rival. What appeared next in the papers surely was the talk to the town over the next few days.


About the silliest political remark that has been made in this city in recent times was Congressman Bell's criticism of Governor Pardee for advocating Republican doctrine and the election of Republican candidates for office. He must have presumed on his hearers being liberally endowed with shallow pates, and his local organ gets to the front and advertises that it is the exponent of like cheap demogogy and flapdoodle. A great proposition, isn't it, that the governor of the state or any other citizen cannot go with good taste to any part of this or any other commonwealth and advocate any doctrine in which he believes, or the elector or defeat of any candidate in office. What a wonderful discovery that this poor puke from Napa has unearthed. And he came over to Santa Rosa and tried this discovery on an audience of his peers and we are assured that they applauded. Funny, isn't it?

- Santa Rosa Republican, November 4, 1904


...Allen Bosley Lemmon so far stultifies himself and his newspaper as to refer to Mr. Bell, who is generally regarded by even his political opponents as one of the finest young men the state has ever produced, as "that poor puke!"

What Allen Bosley Lemmon says of Theodore A. Bell can of course do the latter gentleman no harm, for most of those who will be reached by his remarks know both men and can judge of the matter for themselves. But for the edification of others it may be well to here give publicity to certain facts in connection with this campaign that have not heretofore been mentioned. As showing the insincerity of Editor Lemmon's belated support of Duncan McKinlay through the editorial columns of his paper, they become of more than passing interest.

It will be remembered that early in the campaign, when the question of whether Duncan McKinlay was a resident of this or another district was up for discussion, Mr. Lemmon editorially said: "We have Mr. McKinlay's positive assurance that he never registered or voted outside of this city or county." Mr. McKinlay did give Mr. Lemmon this assurance, and upon the strength of it the latter publically and before a gathering of men pledged himself that the facts were as McKinlay had stated. Later he was confronted with positive proof that Mr. McKinlay had deliberately and purposely lied to him in the matter. The friendship between the two has never been overly deep. McKinlay having on many occasions made remarks of a slighting nature about Mr. Lemmon, most of which are said to have reached him in due time, and when confronted with this absolute proff of McKinlay's duplicity, his indignation knew no bounds. Later Mr. McKinlay attempted to "explain," but Mr. Lemmon would have none of it. "You purposely decieved me, and I know what kind of a man you are anyway!" cried the newspaper man indignantly. "Don't talk to me!" he added, as McKinlay again attempted to smooth the matter over, "because no political party on earth is big enough to make me swallow a white-livered [cowardly] -------------- like you!"

And this is Allen B. Lemmon's real opinion of the man to whom, as the result of strong political pressure, he has at last been forced to extend a perfunctory support through the editorial columns of his paper during the closing days of the long campaign now about ended.


- Press Democrat, November 5, 1904


Mr. Bell and his supporters are badly frightened. They are so frightened that they have become thoroughly rattled. If this were not the case Bell would not have made his bad break the other night here in his reference to Governor Pardee participating in the political campaign of the state. If the editor of the Press Democrat had not considered his candidate in the last ditch and about to go down to defeat, it is scarcely conceivable that he would have put into the columns of his paper the scurrilous falsehood uttered Saturday morning -- the sentence that eve he, the unspeakable, can make use of only by employing a dash. If he had had his head and were possessed of any decency whatever he would not have sent that sentence into the families that receive his paper on any terms or for any purpose. We scarcely need say that the sentence in question is a falsehood. Either the editor of the Press Democrat must have drawn on his imagination for the scurrilous remark or have received it from some drunken or irresponsible person. Wherever the falsehood came from, we repeat that the editor of the Press Democrat should have been decent enough to prevent its appearance in his columns.

- Santa Rosa Republican, November 5, 1904


"And they even invade the administrative chambers at Sacramento and drag out Governor Pardee -- my governor and the governor of all the people -- to help defeat me."

The above appears in the Press Democrat and Sacramento Bee as an utterance of Theodore A. Bell when he spoke in Santa Rosa, hence its authenticity cannot be questioned.

Just think of it! A man who has been elected to Congress once and is trying to be elected again standing before an audience in the intelligent and progressive city of Santa Rosa and uttering a statement like the above. Imagine the scene. Bell, with tears in his eyes and sorrow in his heart and in despair declaring, "And they even invade the administrative chambers at Sacramento," Boo, hoo, hoo, "and drag out Governor Pardee." Boo, hoo, hoo, hoo, "my governor," boo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, "and the governor of all the people, and a flood of tears course down the cheeks of the sad son of Napa, as he wailed, and wailed, and wailed his grief, "to help defeat me." Boo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo. It was indeed a distressing occasion. The Napa calf simply bawled and bawled in his grief. And this is the fellow the Democrats have named as their candidate for Congress! They should put a bell on him -- a calf bell -- or it may not be possible to find him after next Tuesday.

- Santa Rosa Republican, November 5, 1904

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