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nicipal councils, peace officers and even courts, 270 the exploiters of vice continued to extend their activities, until public protest practically died out. The road house, deriving its principal revenue from the ruin of young girls, the exploited prize fight, which had taken the place of the legitimate sparring contest, the “French Restaurant” assignation house of the large cities, the gambling club, have in some communities been taken by the public as a matter of course. And when the 1913 Legislature attempted to break down the security which has been given vice exploitation, cries of “in


270 The part played by the courts in strengthening the position of the tenderloin, should not be overlooked. As a matter of fact, the same influences which in the machine days dictated the selection of legislators, dictated the selection of judges. The rulings of Justices of the Peace at San Francisco render the gambling element practically immune against law enforcement, while we find the Supreme Court of the State declaring of a man who put a little girl fifteen years old into a house of prostitution, that he may have acted from a “spirit of kindness," his desire "evidently being" that the child “might have a fixed abode, where she could get more customers.” See The People vs. Flores, 160 California Reports, page 769.


271 Judge William C. Van Fleet, of the United States District Court, in passing sentence upon Diggs and Caminetti, convicted of taking young girls into another State for immoral purposes, took occasion to touch upon Society's responsibility for the conditions which contributed to the downfall of the two young men.

"I think," said Judge Van Fleet, "that the evidence discloses very clearly that drink had its paralyzing hand upon your sleeping consciences during the period when you were debauching these girls, and society has, to a certain extent, to answer for that. The responsibility for the

presence of the saloon, the dance hall and the roadhouse, with all their debauching influences, rests, I think, upon society. However, that does not enable me to exculpate you from the consequences of your offense, but I am going to take them into consideration, and I have done so in reaching the determination that I have come to

to your punishment."


terference with personal liberty,” 272 and of “freak legislation,” were raised. 273

The principal point of attack was the Senate Public Morals Committee. Vice-exploiters had controlled this committee for so long that they were offended when the 1913 committee would not stifle measures which affected their interests. As a matter of fact, the committee considered the measures sent to it on their merits, passed favorably upon those which it deemed desirable, and unfavorably upon those which it regarded as bad.274




272 The misconception of “personal liberty" privileges is one of the astonishing phases of the tolerance of immorality and vice. Interference with the activities of gambler, divekeeper or libertine, is resisted on the ground that such interference strikes at “personal liberty."

At the Diggs-Caminetti trials, Judge Van Fleet made clear the fact there is no such thing as personal liberty to commit crime. One of the citizens, for example, drawn for jury service, had not, under examination, made clear his understanding of the term “imported for immoral purpose. Judge Van Fleet accordingly took him in hand, the following testimony being brought out:

"The Court. Q.-Well, what do you mean by immoral purposes? What is your interpretation of immoral purposes? Putting them in a house of prostitution and living off their earnings?

Or to turn them over to other people for immoral purposes. “The Court. Q.--For a like purpose?

Yes. I draw distinction between the personal liberty of people regarding these matters and publicly using people for that purpose.

"The Court. Q.-Mr. Hanchett, there is no such thing as a personal liberty to commit crime, and the sooner people recognize that the better. I am satisfied without further examination to excuse this juror."

273 The opponents of such legislation did not limit themselves to decrying the moral measures. At least one dastardly attempt was made to involve a legislator prominent in the campaign for the passage of the Red Light Abatement act and other desirable measures, in a scandal which would not only have meant his ruin, but would probably have given the anti-vice movement in the Legislature a setback which might have resulted in the defeat of all the so-called moral measures. But the instigators of the plot suddenly were made aware that their movements were being closely followed. One of them left Sacramento, and the plot fell through. At the 1909 session a similar attempt was made to involve a prominent anti-machine member to break down his advocacy of the passage of an effective Direct Primary law.

274 The committee consisted of Butler, Avey, Hewitt, Brown, Bryant, Grant and Campbell. Of the seven members, Bryant alone gave indication of intolerance and inability to give the measures before the committee consideration their merits. See Senator Bryant's record on such issues, Table III of the Appendix.

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For this, the committee was denounced and ridiculed, and the Legislature was denounced and ridiculed, until throughout the State the feeling was created that the Legislature might be going too far in vice-regulation and abatement. Largely on account of this sentiment came the defeat of measures to restore boxing contests to the sphere of legitimate sports, and of such measures as the Guill bill, aimed at a gambling element which openly evades the anti-gambling laws,275 and the antilottery bills, intended to strengthen the codes to the end


275 The Guill bill (Assembly Bill 1236), struck from the codes the "exception" under which much of the gambling carried on in California is conducted.

Section 330 of the Penal Code names the gambling games which are prohibited in California. Draw poker is not included among those prohibited. The section further prohibits gambling by "means of any banking or percentage game. Draw poker is not considered a percentage game, and the defense which proprietors of gambling establishments when arrested put up is that the games played at their establishments not percentage games. The Guill bill eliminated all possible defense of this character.

The measure included draw poker among the games which the codes specifically declare shall not be played for gain. It then struck from the law all reference to "banking' and percentage games, making it unlawful to play for gain any game played with cards, dice or mechanical device. The passage of this bill would not only have closed gambling places which operate under the technical weakness of the law as it now stands, but would have banished the dice machines and games, which have largely taken the place of the nickel-in-the-slot machines, outlawed at the legislative session of 1911.

This measure actually passed the Assembly on March 24, by a vote of 45 to 13. (For vote, see Section “J," Table IV, Assembly votes, Appendix.) Schmitt voted in the affirmative that he might secure reconsideration. The measure was amended on reconsideration. It did not again come to vote.

The San Francisco Chronicle (issue of April 4, 1913), quotes Assemblyman Slater, of Santa Rosa, as saying of this measure when it was up under reconsideration:

“We have gone crazy on this subject of freaky and nutty measures that are being treated seriously in this House. I want to serve notice right now that I am going to vote against every one of these freak and foolish bills from this on."

Continuing its report of the debate, the Chronicle said:

"Schmitt of San Francisco remarked that possibly the long debate over the gambling bill and its freaky provisions might serve a good purpose.

* 'It has allowed us to pause in our mad rush of legislation here,' said Schmitt. 'It seems really good to hear a bill discussed here without having it voted on and passed with a rush.'

that the technical defenses of law-defying lottery promoters might be broken down.276

The Morgenstern bill 277 was also aimed at the gambling element. Had it become a law illegal gambling and pool-selling would have been made financially insecure, and therefore impractical. The measure met with strong resistance. It was denounced as a "cinch bill," and ridiculed as a “freak measure.' Nevertheless, its author pressed its passage, and, after many delays, succeeded in forcing it through both Houses, although he was unable to prevent its amendment. The bill did not, however, become a law. It was among the measures passed during the last days of the session which did not receive the Governor's signature.

The liquor interests attempted to break down the provisions of the 1911 Local Option law, by amending that measure to permit the sale of alcoholic liquors in hotels in dry territory.278 The measure was regarded as a try-out of the Local Option law, and attacked that measure at its weakest point. The Senate Public Morals

276 Assembly bills 106, 333, 334, 335 and 336, and Senate bill 143. The Assembly bills were held in the Assembly Public Morals Committee until the last day of the session. Senate Bill 143 passed the Senate (for vote see Appendix, Table III). In the Assembly it was referred to the Public Morals Committee.

It got no further.

277 Assembly Bill 1581. This bill was aimed directly at those who operate gambling establishments in defiance of law. It provided that every person, whether husband, wife, child, parent, guardian or employer, who might be injured in person or property or means of support by reason of loss of money or other thing of value in any game of chance prohibited by the laws of the State, shall have a right of action, against person, association or corporation which shall directly or indirectly cause such loss. Owners of buildings who knowingly permit gambling to be carried on in them, were made jointly liable with the gamblers themselves to the persons injured.

278 The measure was introduced by Owens in the Senate, Senate Bill 1017; and by Ryan in the Assembly, Assembly Bill 1266.

Committee returned it to the Senate with the recominendation that it do not pass. The measure did not come to vote. The companion bill in the Assembly was returned from the Public Morals Committee without recommendation. The Assembly took no action upon it.

One of the most hotly contested measures of the session was the Kehoe bill to prevent the sale of intoxicants within the grounds of, or in the vicinity of, the Panama-Pacific Exposition.279

The Exposition management opposed this bill vigorously. Frank S. Brittain, general attorney for the Exposition company, appeared before a joint meeting of the Senate and Assembly Public Morals Committees to protest against the bill's passage. Mr. Brittain's presentation was chiefly notable for his statement that the Women's Board of the Panama-Pacific Exposition had adopted resolutions in opposition to the enactment of such legislation. He read from the list of directors of the organization the names of several members, to indicate the high character of the membership of the organization opposed to such legislation. Among the names read was that of Mrs. John Bidwell, widow of the late General Bidwell. Mrs. Bidwell is prominently connected with temperance work.

In replying to Mr. Brittain, Bishop E. H. Hughes stated that he doubted very much whether Mrs. John Bidwell would approve such resolutions or sanction the use of her name in connection with them. It is interest

279 Senate Bill 384. The measure prohibited the serving of alcoholic liquors in any building or upon the grounds, or within 150 yards of the exterior boundaries of any such building or grounds used for the purpose of an exposition aided by funds furnished by the State.

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