Date: September 4, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge reflects on various investigations that the United States Senate is conducting into the use of campaign expenses.
(Original document available here)
The Senatorial committee investigating campaign expenses is not a dignified spectacle.
After the Supreme Court decision that jurisdiction over nominations rests with the states, an investigation of them under the fiction that it is for the purpose of future legislation is a questionable use of authority, It would seem to lead almost to the conclusion that the people cannot be trusted to choose their own candidates without supervision. To admit that is to admit that self-government has failed.
Proper police power should be invoked through executive action against violations of the law. For a legislative committee to engage in it, to direct a force of detectives against candidates as though they were suspected of criminal action, does not comport with their dignity of a great deliberative body. Now a counter-bind of detectives are investigating the investigators.
Evil practices in making nominations should be prevented and punished. But that is not the function of the Senate. Liberty requires that the executive, legislature and judiciary be kept separate. Tainted elections can be handled in a dignified way on the Senate floor. They do not warrant a dangerous invasion of executive function and state rights.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.