Friday, October 20, 2006

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District (1928-1986)

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 1

James Wolfenden, 1928 - 1946

Delaware County Finally Reclaims The Seat

On May 26, 1928, Congressman Thomas S. Butler of West Chester died at age seventy-three, after having represented the Delaware/Chester County district for an unprecedented thirty-one years. He was eulogized by various Delaware County leaders, who referred to him kindly as "Uncle Tom" and with whom he had developed a good rapport. Now, however, it was the more populous Delaware County's turn for the two-county congressional seat. By the 1920 census, Delaware County had led Chester County in population by about 173,000 to 115,000, but a gentlemen's agreement between the Republican leaders of each county had allowed the popular Butler to continue his service.
At a meeting on July 31, attended by forty-two Republican conferees from Delaware County and twenty-two from Chester County, thirty-nine year old James Wolfenden of Upper Darby was nominated to fill the unexpired term without opposition. Born on July 25, 1889 in Cardington, Delaware County, Wolfenden was an Upper Darby Township Commissioner for nine years and had run his father's cotton and woolen goods manufacturing firm, Wolfenden-Shore, for seven years. He also was a vice president of the Citizen's Bank of East Lansdowne and vice president of the Delaware County Hospital, besides being the Republican leader of Upper Darby and later would be named by John McClure to the then-young War Board. McClure, himself a candidate for the state senate district, which encompassed all of Delaware County, offered a resolution recognizing Butler's passing as the "loss of a great statesman and national leader." The Chester Times heavily praised the choice of Wolfenden, stating that he "will make a good representative" with his "business training" and that he was "progressive", a "leader" and a "booster".

The Election of 1928

Much excitement was generated in Delaware County and around the nation in the contest for the presidency between Republican Herbert Hoover, President Coolidge's secretary of commerce, and New York Governor Al Smith, a Democrat. Since Smith was a Catholic and, in that era, religious prejudices were then very pronounced, there was a lively debate nationwide.
When the dust had settled election day, Hoover carried staunchly Republican Delaware County by about 83,000 to 29,000. Likewise, Wolfenden defeated his Democratic opponent, Henry Davis, by a whopping 116,266 to 34,607. McClure was elected to the state senate.
The Republicans, having been the dominant party nationally since the turn of the century, had a commanding 267 U.S. House seats to the Democrats 163, with a similar lead in the Senate, 56 to 39.
Having also won the special election to fill the remainder of Butler's term, several weeks earlier, against token opposition, Wolfenden was able to take his seat in the House of Representatives on November 6, 1928. He would be the tenth person since 1852 to represent the district in Washington.
During his tenure in Congress, he served on the following committees: Merchant Marine and Fisheries, Accounts, Interstate and Foreign Commerce and the Joint Committee on Printing. Some of his activities during his first two terms included serving on a funeral committee for fellow Pennsylvania representative W.W. Griest and introducing bills to increase the pensions of Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans, build an addition to the Veterans Bureau Hospital in Coatesville, remodel a public building in Phoenixville, and survey the Darby River, as Darby Creek was called then. He also had received and noted in the Congressional Record petitions from the West Chester Farmers' Club, Dilworthtown Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and New Century Club of West Chester: all opposing any change in Prohibition.

The Start of the Depression
Congressman Wolfenden generally kept a low profile, in line with McClure's wishes that War Board members keep out of the public spotlight. Less than a year after he took office, the stock market crash occurred in October 1929 and the protracted misery of the Great Depression began for the American people.
One notable vote was his in favor of the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930, which helped erect a protectionist trade barrier for the United States and was retaliated against by our trading partners, who raised their own tariffs. It is thought by many economists that this tariff helped to worsen the Depression by hurting exports. In 1930, he also cast a pro-labor vote, voting against the Anti-Injunction Act.
As the Great Depression was gaining momentum and Republicans nationally fell out of favor with the public, Wolfenden, bucking the trend, was easily reelected in 1930, beating his Democratic opponent, Harry Wescott by 64,000 votes, 84,521 to 20,443. Widespread discontent, brought on by untold economic suffering and misery, caused the Democrats to make a net gain of 53 House and eight Senate seats. The Republicans clung to a one vote lead in the Senate, 48 to 47, and two votes in the House, 218 to 216, although the deaths of several GOP members gave the Democrats a majority by the time Congress reorganized several months later.

1931 - Redistricting: Delaware County On Its Own

After the census of 1930, Pennsylvania's share of congressional seats was reduced from 36 to 34. Evidently, there was very little controversy in the state legislature regarding reapportionment, with the bill being introduced on April 22, 1931, then passed by the House and Senate and signed by the Governor by June 27. Delaware County, due to its population growth, was separated from Chester County, which was shifted into the Tenth congressional district with Lancaster County. Delaware County in its entirety became Pennsylvania's Seventh Congressional District and would remain so for 36 years.
By dividing Pennsylvania's population by the number of House seats it was entitled to, the ideal district size in 1930 was 283,275. Dividing Philadelphia's population by its seven congressional seats, gave each district an average of 278,709, giving it a slight overrepresentation. Delaware County's population of 278,662 made it slightly over-represented, also. In other words, a vote cast in the neighboring Tenth District, with a population of 326,511, carried less weight that a vote cast in Philadelphia for Congress.
The reason for this was political: county lines were rarely, if ever, crossed when the legislature drew up congressional districts. It would not be until the "one man, one vote" ruling of the Supreme Court some 30 years later that this inequality would be rectified.

1932 - Americans Call for a Change

By 1932, as Hoover's sincere, but insufficient efforts to ease the widespread economic crisis could not arrest the continuing downturn, it was clear that voters were turning in droves to the Democratic nominee, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On November 3, there was a massive pre-election GOP rally in Media, attended by 1,500 of the party faithful, which Senator McClure described as "an inspiration".
Governor Arthur James, himself not up for election, vigorously defended the Hoover record, comparing the latter to Abraham Lincoln, in whom "people had faith and reelected" against great odds during the Civil War. Congressman Wolfenden, who was up for election, however, was only listed as a "guest" at the rally and did not speak, according to the Times. Perhaps he sensed the upcoming Democratic tidal wave and chose not to antagonize pro-Roosevelt voters.
Regardless, President Hoover carried Delaware County by 75,291 to FDR's 32,413, including the City of Chester by over two to one. In fact, the GOP machine that dominated Pennsylvania for many years was still able to deliver the state for the unpopular Hoover, 1,453,540 to 1,295,948, making it one of the few major industrial states to swing his way.
Wolfenden won by an even larger majority than Hoover, 70,177 to 32,139, in beating Democrat Matthew Randall. The lopsided registration figures of 134,038 Republicans to only 8,152 Democrats certainly made the task of winning quite difficult for any Democrat.
But, when Wolfenden returned to Washington to serve his third term, he would find many fewer of his Republican colleagues sitting with him. The GOP’s ranks in Congress were decimated, the venerable old party having lost no fewer than 101 House seats and twelve Senate seats, in the FDR landslide. That left the House lineup in favor of the Democrats, 313 to 117, with five independents, and 59 to 36 in the Senate.

1933 - 1938 - Wolfenden Proves To Be No Friend of the New Deal

In 1933, President Roosevelt, in order to try to relieve the widespread misery due to a now unthinkable unemployment rate of 25% that he inherited from the previous Republican administration, began submitting his New Deal legislation to Congress, which had a top-heavy Democratic majority. From 1933 to 1938, Wolfenden voted against most New Deal proposals, with the exception of several major pieces of legislation, such as the constitutional amendment to repeal Prohibition and allow the purchase of liquor (1933), the Relief Act to allocate money to relieve suffering (1933); the Gold Reserve Act, which devalued the dollar taking the U.S. off the gold standard (1934); the Social Security Act (1935); the Fair Labor Standards Act, which set a forty hour work week along with a minimum wage (1938).
Some of the bills he voted against were: the Agriculture Adjustment Act to raise farm prices and distribute surplus food to the needy (1933); the Tennessee Valley Authority to federally fund power development in an area especially hit hard by the Depression (1933), the NIRA to allow employees to collectively bargain without interference, along with banning child labor (1933); the Securities Act to reform the stock market (1934); the Reciprocal Tariff Act (1934), the Tax Bill to raise revenue, mostly from the wealthy (1934). Other bills he opposed were: the Relief Act (1936), the Holding Company Act (1936), the Guffey-Snyder Coal Act to help raise the price of Pennsylvania's coal (1936); the Soil Conservation and Relief Act to reforest land (1938) and federal Crop Insurance (1938).
He also voted for isolationist neutrality legislation and opposed earlier efforts to build up defenses, which also reflected the view of the majority of his party and a large segment of the public.
During this period, Wolfenden served on the Migratory Bird Conservation Committee and also introduced HR164, which was aimed towards "discouraging, preventing, punishing the crime of lynching", one of the most vile manifestations of racial hatred still occurring in the Deep South. With conservative Southern Democrats generally controlling the major committees, there was little chance of civil rights legislation being passed.

Roosevelt's First Mid-Term Election

In October 1934, the Chester Times rallied behind Congressmen Wolfenden's reelection bid, running a column showing each of his major votes during his third term. They touted the fact that he had voted against 49 New Deal bills and in favor of only 14. Further, it was stated that "several powerful organizations have thrown their support in the coming election" to Wolfenden, such as the Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Allied Veterans' Association of the United States and four transportation worker brotherhoods. Both groups based their support on his "good record" in Congress. On October 30, Congressman Wolfenden spoke briefly at the annual GOP rally and made some bland remarks, in keeping with his generally low-profile style.
When the votes were counted nationwide in the first referendum on President Roosevelt and his New Deal, the Democrats, instead of the customary mid-term loss of congressional seats, had gained nine House seats and ten Senate seats. Their majorities now stood at 322 to 103 in the House and 69 to 25 in the Senate.
For the first time since 1890, a Democratic governor, George H. Earle, was elected in Pennsylvania, but Wolfenden won a fourth term, capturing 60,139 votes to 43,426 for John E. McDonough, his Democratic opponent. The Congressman's victory margin dropped from 65.8% of the vote in 1932 to 57.2% in 1934, a harbinger of what was to come.

1936 - FDR's Second Term
Finally, following another two years of fighting tooth-and-nail against most New Deal legislation, the Republican Party had what it thought was a chance to recapture the presidency with the nomination of Governor Alf Landon of Kansas. Based on progress towards easing the wretched conditions of the citizens, President Roosevelt was enthusiastically renominated by his party and an energetic election ensued. Politicians in Delaware County were also caught up in the excitement at a pre-election rally, with War Board chairman and state Senator McClure stating: "I doubt his sincerity" in describing President Roosevelt's efforts to improve the economy. Congressman Wolfenden, in a more expressive mode, said: "What we need to save America is for the GOP to elect Landon and John McClure." In what appears to be a tribute towards working class women, he further elaborated: "I am for the Republican ticket from Landon down to the scrub woman, if there was a scrub woman on it."
Although FDR did not carry the county, he made an impressive showing of 65,117 votes to Landon's 74,899, in the official count. The Democrats did carry the City of Chester, 11,600 to 10,500, in a stunning rebuke to the McClure Machine.
Roosevelt carried the blue collar/working class towns of Aston, Chester Twp., Lower and Upper Chichester, Clifton Heights, Collingdale, Colwyn, Darby Boro, Darby Township., Eddystone, Marcus Hook, Parkside, Ridley Twp., Trainer and Tinicum, while Landon drew his strength from the more rural or upper middle class areas of the Marple, Newtown, Radnor, Springfield and Upper Darby. Wolfenden was reelected by an uncomfortably close margin, officially tallying 73,335 (52.6%) to Howard Kirk's 66,119 (47.4%). Wolfenden's popularity evidently was ebbing, as his opponent ran about 1,000 votes ahead of the President, and the congressman some 1,500 votes behind Governor Landon. By 1936, with the general popularity of the New Deal, Democratic registration in the county had surged to a high of 37,000 and the GOP outnumbered them by only 3.4 to one. However, this would only be temporary, and the Democrats would not have as many registered voters again until another twenty years.
Nationally, the FDR juggernaut swept Landon aside with 60.7% of the vote and the Democrats took an additional eleven House seats from the GOP and now held a whopping 333 to 89 majority, with thirteen third party members. They commanded the Senate by over four to one, 75 to 17, with four elected from other parties.
This would be the Democrats greatest triumph in history and would mark the high-water mark of their national power. In spite of concerted and sometimes vicious attacks from the Republicans, the New Deal and the hope that it provided, had been decisively and overwhelmingly ratified by the working class, poor, elderly, blacks, and middle class across the nation.
In 1938, as the New Deal drew to a close, the Republicans made a strong comeback from near-oblivion, gaining eighty seats in the House and six in the Senate. The Republicans recaptured the governorship of Pennsylvania and locally, Wolfenden gained a sixth term with 68% of the vote over C. Ferno Hoffman, his Democratic challenger. Continuing the previous trend, however, Wolfenden fell 1,800 votes below the average vote for the Republican candidates for governor and U.S. senator, while Hoffman was 1,100 votes higher than his running mates.

1940 - The End of the New Deal, Preparations for War

Attention was now shifting toward ominous developments overseas, with both Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan committing acts of aggression against their neighbors. As the international crisis worsened, with a full-scale war in Europe in September, 1939, President Roosevelt asked Congress to strengthen the military in order to deter aggression.
Like most of his Republican colleagues, Wolfenden voted the isolationist line, against the Naval Expansion Act of 1938, the Lend-Lease Act, and the extension of the Selective Service in 1941. Even though the public was divided on most of the defense measures and many were hoping that the U.S. could miraculously avoid war, if these and other military defensive measures had not been adopted, the results could have been catastrophic.

GOP Convention in Philadelphia

What occurred at the 1940 GOP presidential convention was remarkable in its time and totally unimaginable in today's times. In the Pennsylvania Republican primary of April 23, New York City District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey, a young (only 38 years old), attractive major contender for the nomination, who gained a national reputation as a racket-buster, had won with over 66% of the vote.
Dewey's only competition in Pennsylvania was, believe it or not, President Roosevelt, who scored a large 10.5% as a write-in candidate and Pennsylvania Governor Arthur H. James, a "favorite son" candidate, with 10.3% of the vote.
In July, Philadelphia played host to the GOP National Convention, which was held at the Convention Center. On the first ballot, no candidate had received the 501 votes needed to be nominated. The tally was Dewey, 360 votes; conservative Ohio Senator Robert Taft, 189; Indiana businessman Wendell L. Wilkie, a political "dark horse", 105; Governor James, 74; conservative Michigan Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, 76; and former president Herbert Hoover, 17.
With the exception of Wilkie, all of the candidates were isolationists and had various degrees of political experience. By the fourth ballot, Wilkie had catapulted to first place, mostly at Dewey's expense, and by the fifth ballot, Wilkie had captured over 400 delegate votes, while Dewey dropped to only 57. By the sixth ballot, Governor James swung Pennsylvania's 72 votes to Wilkie, putting him over the top, with 659. It was reported that at 1:50 a.m. the crowd of more than 16,000 marched out of Convention Hall, their job done, and shouted Wilkie's name to the night.
The Republicans' shouting would be to no avail, as the Democrats, due to the deepening international crisis, renominated Roosevelt for an unprecedented third term. FDR, it appeared, was genuinely undecided about another term until France fell to the Nazis in May of 1940. Voters, in keeping with tradition and not wishing to change national leadership in the midst of a crisis, reelected Roosevelt to an unprecedented third term, with a decisive 54% majority.
This time, he increased his margin in Chester, winning by 11,900 to 9,600. Congressman Wolfenden won another term, with 69,649 to 46,960 for his Democratic opponent, E. Adele Scott Saul. It would not be again until 1994, that a woman in this male-politically dominated district would run in the general election under the banner of either major party for this office.

Census and Redistricting

In the congressional redistricting following the 1940 census, the boundaries of the Seventh District were unchanged, although Pennsylvania's representation in the House was lowered by one seat to thirty-three and Philadelphia, likewise, lost one seat, retaining six. The ideal population for a congressional district in Pennsylvania in 1940 was 300,005. With Delaware County's congressional district representing 310,756 persons and each of Philadelphia's districts averaging 321,889, both the county and city were slightly short-changed in representation.

1941 - 1944 - Wartime Elections and Legislation

In December 1941, both houses of Congress voted without dissension, except for Republican Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin of Montana, to declare war on Germany and Japan. Wolfenden voted on December 8 to declare war on Japan, but missed the vote on December 11 to declare war on Germany and Italy.
In 1942, the Republicans, in a stunning comeback as the war ground on, casualties mounted, with increasing sacrifices being made by the public, gained 10 Senate seats and 47 house seats, nearly jeopardizing Democratic control in the house. Wolfenden was handily reelected, but not after a stiff challenge from Vernon O'Rourke, a Swarthmore college professor, who was aided by liberals and independents.
This coalition effort foreshadowed the campaign of fellow Democrat Bob Edgar, 32 years later. O'Rourke attacked the incumbent's isolationist voting record and waged an intensive door-to-door campaign. Nevertheless, the Congressman won by 48,210 to 34,164, with 58% of the vote in a low turn-out wartime election. But, the candidate for governor, Edward Martin, received 8,000 more votes than Wolfenden in the county.
In the 1944 election, FDR ran for a fourth term against Dewey, who was governor of New York. The campaign both nationally and locally was hotly contested and brutal at times, with various unsavory charges flying back and forth between the two parties. Wolfenden was also running for another term, his ninth, against the same opponent as last time. The election had a different twist in that O'Rouke had resigned his professorship at Swarthmore and was serving as a Lieutenant, junior grade, aboard a destroyer escort. Since he was at sea and Navy regulations forbade active political campaigning, O'Rourke campaigned through stand-ins.
At a Democratic rally at the Odd Fellows Temple in Chester, Owen Hunt, former state insurance commissioner, stood in for O'Rourke. In his remarks, Hunt referred to Wolfenden as "treacherous", having voted against twenty-two important defense bills in the past ten years. Further, he stated that the congressman never cast a vote without "ulterior motives" and served "special interests and sinister influences", such as big business and international cartels.
In charges that smacked of the McCarthyism that would develop in a few years, Hunt seemed to be attempting to impugn Wolfenden's loyalty by stating that the Japanese, prior to the war, had not possessed the resources to build a military machine, until they were supplied by the so-called "sinister influences". He also said that on December 8, the day war was declared, Wolfenden was "out shooting ducks along the Chesapeake".
The Auditor General of Pennsylvania, Democrat Clair Ross, likened the GOP of 1944 to the party of 1920, saying that they were both "haters" and under the "control of reactionaries and isolationists". Further, he elaborated that the Republicans were the party of "Hoover, Landon and Heart; McCormick, Taft and Nye; Martin, Barton and Fish", referring to isolationist members of Congress, as well as former candidates.
Next on the attack was Congressman Francis J. Myers, candidate for U.S. Senate, who painted Dewey as anti-labor and decried the latter's use of "innuendoes" towards certain critics by referring to them as "Russian" or "foreign born". He also criticized efforts by the county government to purge recent voters from the registration rolls, by calling them in for questioning about their residency.
On September 22, Roosevelt, in replying to Republican charges about advance knowledge within the administration regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor, said anyone with such knowledge should notify the military boards who were conducting investigations.
As the allies penetrated deeper into German soil, three months after the landing at Normandy, the Times headlines were dominated by this news, as well as the growing casualty lists. With unemployment virtually erased in the United States, the U.S. Employment Service reported that there were 7,594 immediate job openings in Delaware County, with 3,415 of those needing unskilled workers.
In October, Delaware County's population was estimated at 335,000, based on the number of rationing books sent by the local offices. According to statistics provided by the Chester Rationing Board, with Chester as a huge wartime manufacturing and commercial center, two-thirds of the county populace lived in Chester and the surrounding towns of Chester Twp., Upland and Parkside. Some of the other Rationing Boards in the county were located in Marcus Hook, Glenolden, Ridley Park, Media and Clifton Heights.
Also in October, Democratic U.S. Senator Joseph Guffey offered a $10,000 reward for any legitimate knowledge of voter fraud in Delaware County, denouncing the alleged "debauchery of the ballot", as practiced by Joseph Pew and McClure.
Charges of "who-really-got-us-into-this-war" continued to fly, as Republican Congressman Hugh Scott, later to become senator, accused President Roosevelt of "criminal negligence" regarding the positioning of the Pacific fleet immediately prior to Pearl Harbor. Republican loyalists in Chester and Delaware counties, as well as across the Commonwealth, called for a "Day for Dewey", during which volunteers would be asked to donate eight hours to enlist their friends and neighbors to support the cause.
At a rally held at the Chester Elks' Hall, Wolfenden, reacting to the strong labor support for his opponent, hammered away at the "radical, criminal" leadership of the political action committee for the CIO labor union. He called on the unions to purge their ranks of these elements and shot off a series of rhetorical questions to Leon Weiner, editor of the newspaper for Local 107 of the Electrical Workers, questioning the latter's alleged ties to Communist or leftist groups. Wolfenden then paraded his letters of endorsement from the national American Federation of Labor and four railroad brotherhoods.
On October 27, over 3,000 residents gathered, hoping to catch a glimpse of President Roosevelt as his train passed through Delaware County. As the train slowed at the Baltimore and Ohio station at 12th Street and Providence Avenue in Chester, Roosevelt waved from the window and flashed his famous smile, causing the crowd to surge forward in excitement. One woman stated: "I almost saw him." Although knowledge of his deteriorating health was kept from the public, FDR regained some of his old form and returned the fire of Dewey, accusing the Republicans of placing "party over patriotism".
On election eve, there were 141,006 Republicans registered in the county, as opposed to only 27,184 Democrats. In Chester, the GOP also led, 20,588 to 4,687. Although organized labor, which never had it so good with the wartime boom, was pushing hard for Roosevelt and O'Rourke, county GOP leaders predicted that there would be very little ticket-splitting, due to difficulties with the voting machines.
As it had done before, the Times opposed Roosevelt's reelection, citing, in a front page editorial, his "inefficiency" regarding domestic affairs, an "improvised" foreign policy, the possible "dictatorship" of another term, and his choice of Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman, as a "person of no outstanding ability".
In spite of all the opposition, FDR won his fourth, and last term, beating Dewey, with 25.6 million votes to 22 million. Governor Dewey, however, officially led Roosevelt in the county, 78,533 to 64,021.
When the voting machines were tallied, Wolfenden had 67,081 to O'Rourke's 64,484. However, some 10,000 absentee ballots, cast mostly by those in the military, remained to be opened on November 22. Not to take chances, the Democrats received court permission to place a twenty-four hour watch on the vault where the ballots were locked away.
O'Rourke could only overcome Wolfenden's narrow lead of 2,597 votes by taking 64% of the soldiers' ballots, a difficult, but not impossible task. As the ballots were counted over the next several weeks, it was clear that Wolfenden would be reelected, with the final totals of 72,289 (51.5%) to 68,161 (48.5%).
Contrary to the Republicans' predictions, there was some ticket-splitting, since O'Rourke had polled some 4,100 votes more votes than the top of the Democratic ticket. According to party sources, due to his close call in the election, Wolfenden promised McClure that he would not run again in 1946.
In December, it was announced that Wolfenden would tour the Pacific war fronts.

In 1945, Delaware County's congressman voted with 299 other members to override the veto of a tax bill that President Roosevelt described as "not a tax bill, but a tax relief bill providing tax relief not for the needy, but for the greedy" Wolfenden also voted that year for Congress' first pay raise since 1925. Other notable bills that he voted or took positions on in his last term were the Manpower Draft Bill (N); giving permanent status to the House Un-American Activities Committee, which investigated Communists and other "undesirables", (Y); the Trade Agreements Act (N); outlawing the Poll Tax, which was used to prevent blacks in the South from voting, for federal elections (Y); the Full Employment Act (Paired Against); Federal Aid to airports (N); the School Lunches Act (Y).
On April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage and Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in, as the war in Europe was moving towards a close.

His Last Year and Declining Health

On February 13, 1946, true to his promise to McClure, Wolfenden announced he would not seek another term in Congress. In a press release, he stated: "It will always be one of my cherished theories that I have voted in accordance with my conscience in an effort to protect the best interests of Delaware County".
On May 23, he was involved in a bizarre boating accident while on vacation in Ocean City, New Jersey. The Evening Bulletin reported that Wolfenden was aboard the Ram, 28 foot cabin cruiser, as a guest of assistant county coroner, Charles H. Drewes, when an engine backfire caused seventy gallons of gasoline that had just been loaded to explode. Wolfenden was in the cockpit and sprayed with flaming gasoline, then blown overboard by the force of the explosion.
He was rescued and spent several days recovering from first and second degree burns in a Hamonton nursing home owned by a relative. With his left foot remaining permanently injured, his voting attendance declined, along with his health. As he was having another operation on his foot at Temple University Hospital, he died on April 8, 1949, a little over two years after leaving office.

James Wolfenden had faithfully represented Delaware County for eighteen years, the longest tenure of any to hold the office since Tom Butler. His service covered the entire Hoover and Roosevelt presidencies and the first two years of Truman's. He served as both a majority and minority member of the House, attaining the positions of Assistant House Republican Whip and chairman of Pennsylvania's GOP delegation, as well as being the state's ranking member.
His record showed he was basically an isolationist and protectionist, but did show compassion towards the elderly with his favorable Social Security Act vote and towards children with his School Lunch vote. He also took a small, but initial step towards assuring civil rights for all Americans by voting to abolish the poll tax in federal elections. All in all, his service was neither distinguished or inspired, but did attempt to balance the interests of a district that was undergoing a rapid transition from primarily sleepy rural to a growing, bustling bedroom community.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 2

The Chadwick Challenge

E. Wallace Chadwick was born on January 17, 1884 in Indiana and moved with his parents to Chester in 1890. He completed his degree at the University of Pennsylvania law school in 1906 and then was admitted to the bar in 1910. He began practicing law in Chester, representing Governor Sproul, as well as many major corporations. He also served two years as the President of the county bar association. His first foray into politics in 1940 when he organized Wilkie for president clubs in the county, as an independent Republican.

1945 Court Appointment

On January 19, 1945, Chadwick was the choice of state Senate Majority Leader Weldon B. Heyburn of Concordville to fill the remaining year of a vacancy for president judge of the county Orphans Court. He was then nominated by Governor Edward Martin, and due to his indisputable qualifications, was swiftly approved by the state senate 48 to 0.

Governor Martin

Judge Chadwick then announced his intention to run that year for the full ten year term. But, since Heyburn and Martin had deliberately acted independently of McClure and the War Board, Chadwick would face an uphill fight in the primary election. Even though until then, it was the War Board's policy to endorse a sitting judge for reelection, McClure evidently would not even allow a small breath of political independence in the county.
Congressman Wolfenden, who was by then, considered to be one of the three most powerful leaders in the county party, with McClure and Haverford leader Tom Weidemann being the other two, debated whether to support the endorsed slate or not. On April 5, after weeks of deliberating, Wolfenden agreed to support the entire ticket, with a payback from the party in the candidacy of his close friend, Clarence Pepper of Upper Darby, for county controller.
After a strenuous campaign, in which McClure gave orders to party workers to "get out the vote or else", had each polling place covered by six workers, and spent a whopping $75,000, Chadwick was narrowly defeated by War Board-endorsed candidate E. Leroy van Roden and would serve only until the end of the year. The tally was 29,808 for Chadwick to 31,428 for the winner. However, in losing, Chadwick polled some impressive results, carrying Swarthmore by 732 to 57, but much more importantly, in a slap to Wolfenden, lost Upper Darby by only 1,105 votes. But, Chadwick would not be finished with politics by any stretch of the imagination.

Election of 1946
Hours before Wolfenden's press release announcing his retirement was received by the Chester Times, Chadwick, by coincidence, issued a release of his own declaring his candidacy. Indeed, five days earlier, with the approval of the former judge, nominating petitions had been circulated by his supporters. But, with Wolfenden's departure, other Republicans were interested in the $10,000 a year job also, among them state representative James, who filed petitions of his own for Congress, instead of running for another term in Harrisburg. Even though it was rumored that McClure had promised the seat to James two years earlier, on March 8, the party endorsed a federal labor mediator, James F. Dewey, rather than James.
Declaring to the voters, "I want you to reclaim Delaware County from the stigma of McClurism", the 62-year old Chadwick eventually nosed out James Dewey by only 287 votes out of 76,543 cast, according to unofficial results. He was able to pull off this narrow victory over the county machine by carrying 31 of the 49 municipalities in the congressional district, especially the larger towns of Haverford (3,919 to 3,604), Lansdowne (1,755 to 703), Ridley Township (1,363 to 1,145), Springfield (963 to 761), Swarthmore (a whopping 817 to 172), and most surprisingly, Wolfenden's Upper Darby (8,669 to 6,734).
His showing in Chester was even respectable, a loss of only two-to-one 9,131 to 4,540. Also, two state legislative candidates, who ran on the Chadwick ticket, ex-marine Walter F. Layer of Ridley Park and former state representative T. Jay Sproul, of Nether Providence, won, squeezing past William H. Milliken, of Sharon Hill, later to be congressman, and Samuel Walker of Upper Darby. The third at-large seat was won by McClure candidate incumbent Elwood Turner, also of Nether Providence.
Perhaps all of the thousands of veterans who returned from fighting for freedom overseas saw for the first time that their own local government was not being true to the American principles of political freedom and democracy and opted for a change. With this narrow victory, Chadwick has the distinction of being the only person to defeat the War Board as a declared independent in a countywide Republican primary for Congress, or for any major office, for that matter.

General Election Landslide for the G.O.P.

In the fall of 1946, the Republican campaign battle cry to the voters was "Had enough?", in response to fourteen years of Democratic rule and the difficult postwar adjustment period, which included soaring inflation, numerous union strikes and the "Red scare", the fear of communists in our government. The Chester Times ran a headline, stating: "Only Mystery of Election is Size of GOP Majority", which summed up the view of most political observers.
Once again, Vernon O'Rourke was the Democratic nominee, but unlike the previous election, he generally maintained a low profile, as Democrats across the nation were forced to the defensive.
In October, Chadwick, in one of his frequent radio addresses, which must have been a new experience for county residents who were used to a less visible candidate, called for a Republican House majority. He stated that "Congress needs more than an appeaser - a comprehension of the nation's problems, a desire to serve America and my people of Delaware County that transcends any thought of profit to myself..."
The Media League of Women Voters forum on October 18 was generally a low-key affair, with positions on several foreign and domestic issues given by both candidates. Regarding the hot issue of whether the wartime price controls should be lifted, Chadwick was emphatically in favor, while O'Rourke took the traditional Democratic view that the controls should be retained.
Arthur Bretherick, chairman of the county Republican committee, gave a speech in which a ludicrous charge was made, apparently linking the Democrats to the Communists. "Soviet Moscow in an official radio broadcast to the U.S. has demanded the defeat of Edward Martin for U.S. senate, James H. Duff for governor, E. Wallace Chadwick for Congress, as well as our other candidates. Let's give Stalin and Tito our answer on Tuesday with a great Republican majority." (There was no indication whether Soviet dictator Stalin or Yugoslavian leader Tito responded.)
Although registered Republicans outnumbered the Democrats by 152,367 to 27,719, the Democrats predicted that O'Rourke would beat Chadwick by about 5,000 votes.
Chadwick easily defeated his Democratic challenger, 76,021 to 38,253 in the great Republican landslide of 1946. The G.O.P. was resoundingly returned to the majority, seizing fifty-six additional House seats and thirteen in the Senate. The new lineup was 246-188 in the House and 51-45 in the Senate.
In Pennsylvania, the G.O.P. was still firmly in the driver's seat, giving Senator Guffey a plurality over his opponent, while James H. Duff, won the governorship over John S. Rice, 1.828 million to 1.270 million. Further, the Democrats would be sending five congressmen to Washington from the keystone state, while the G.O.P. had 28. This would be the last election in which the Republicans would command such an overwhelming lead over the Democrats in Pennsylvania.
Because of the Democratic lock on the ten former states of the Confederacy, the "Solid South", it was not always easy for the Republicans to pick up enough seats in other regions to gain numerical control of the House. In 1946, there were no Republicans serving in the House out of 95 seats in the deep South. In the border states, the Democrats also led, 30 - 23.
To more than offset this advantage, the Republicans captured 135 out of 180 seats in the larger states and had a huge margin in the relatively sparcely populated farm belt. As the Democrats continued to make inroads in these normally Republican states, the former would be assured control of the House for the next three decades.

Record in Washington

When the Eightieth Congress convened, the first seated Republican majority since 1928 elected Joseph W. Martin of Massachusetts to Speaker of the House. In the Senate, Wallace H. White of Maine was chosen Majority Leader of that body.
Congressman Chadwick went to Washington on January 3, 1947 and established a typically conservative Republican voting record. He sought to maintain higher visibility before the voters than either his predecessor or successor did. He introduced bills to protect GI insurance and relegate to the states all federal interest in coastal tidelands. A vigorous anti-Communist, he strongly defended the appropriation for the House Un-American Activities committee.
Some of his votes on major legislation were: the Labor Disputes Act, establishing a Mediation Board (Y); the now well-known Taft-Hartley Act, which curbed some union abuses and was passed over President Truman's veto (Y); the constitutional amendment to limit a president to two terms, (Y); extending rent controls, (Y); reducing income taxes, (Y); aid to Greece and Turkey to resist Communist aggression, (Y); to admit Hawaii as a state (N); an Anti-Poll Tax bill (Y).
He brought the office of congressman more up-to-date by adopting a policy of answering personally every piece of correspondence he received from his constituents. "After all, if people can't get help from their public officers when they need it, they may well conclude that the subversionists are right, and that really a farce so far as the little guy is concerned," Chadwick said in another radio address to his constituents.

The Battle for a Second Term

On March 31, 1948, in a speech to the House, Congressman Chadwick vociferously defended the European Recovery Plan, otherwise known as the Marshall Plan. "If there ever was a bill before the House in the two short years of my service here with which I have no difficulty, it is this bill for European recovery," he declared. "It is the only plan (to save Europe from Communist domination) that is offered short of a shooting war."
He also tempered his remarks by stating he was confident that the American and Soviet people could find common grounds for settling their political differences peaceably.
His speech was described by the News of Delaware County as "ringing, bluntly worded...that drew salvos of applause from the floor and a packed gallery, as well as personal commendation from Democratic Minority Leader Sam Rayburn".
None of this really mattered back home in the smoke-filled living room of John McClure. The War Board had selected former state representative Benjamin James to oppose Chadwick and a bitter primary fight ensued, with Chadwick supporting Guy G. deFuria for state senator and two incumbent state representatives and a third independent Republican, Carl E. Mau.
The county newspapers took a pro-Chadwick stance, often giving his statements and frequent radio addresses prominent front page coverage. At one point, charges flew that the War Board had a billboard erected in Chester that read: "A VOTE FOR GUY deFURIA IS A VOTE FOR A DIRTY GOVERNMENT. WE KNOW HIS KIND." The Chester Times story covering this read: "Smear Billboard Against deFuria Erected in City". McClure was so moved by the story that he wrote a letter to the editor, which was published on the front page, denying personal responsibility for the billboard, blaming the incident on a campaign worker who had a personal grudge against deFuria. He further admonished Congressman Chadwick, stating "Even in a political campaign people have the right to expect common honesty in a candidate."
To its credit, the Times printed Chadwick's rebuttal next to the letter, along with a statement from the newspaper, which read in part: "The fact remains that Mr. McClure is responsible for the acts of his agents just as he is responsible for the worst campaign of smear which present members of the Chester Times' staff have ever witnessed."
Another controversy ensued on April 21, when a Republican congressman from Philadelphia, George W. Sarbacher, Jr., addressed a rally held by McClure at the Media Armory and spoke against Chadwick. "This country badly needs veterans of the caliber and ability and forthrightedness of Ben James," Sarbacher, ex-Marine captain, told the crowd of 1,500.
According to the Times, "it is the first time in the memory of the oldest members of the delegation that one Pennsylvania representative has gone into another's district to campaign against him." What puzzled observers was that the relationship between Sarbacher, at age 28, the youngest member of the Congress, and the much older Chadwick had been totally amicable. There was widespread belief that the Philadelphia congressman had been ordered to appear at the rally by McClure's counterpart, Austin Meehan, boss of the huge city G.O.P. machine. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, members of the state's Republican delegation were "very bitter" and intended to protest this action to Governor James H. Duff. At their weekly luncheon in Washington, no formal action was taken by the congressmen to sanction Sarbacher, due to the presence of guests, including some students and former congressmen Wolfenden and Roland Kinzer of Lancaster County. Wolfenden was reported to have been very ill, having attended the luncheon in a wheel chair. Congressmen Lichtenwalner, Bucks County, McConnell, Montgomery County, and Hugh Scott of Philadelphia demanded a "showdown" with the Governor.
As a result, Sarbacher was reportedly "placed on ice for a year", receiving no assignments from the delegation. He was then defeated in the general election by William J. Green, Jr., as Meehan's machine continued to lose ground to the Democrats.
Also, in April, Chadwick sued McClure to prevent the latter's use of the name of the Republican Party of Delaware County on campaign literature. The effort of the McClure organization to drape themselves with the cloak of decent and honorable Republicans is illegal... and it constitutes deliberate fraud against the Republican voters of Delaware County," Chadwick charged in one of his customary radio addresses. "Under the law, and under the rules of the Republican party, the Republican Primary belongs to all qualified Republican voters," he continued. "There are plenty of people who think I am a better Republican than McClure. At least, I have never brought my party into disrepute..." Apparently, the county judge hearing the case did not share those views and dismissed the case.
He also gave another radio speech, playing on public fears of Communist subversion, denouncing Communism as the "deadly enemy" of America, "godless" and out to "conquer the world". Perhaps due to his votes for a strong national defense, he was endorsed by John G. Pew, the wealthy president of Sun Shipbuilding, which rankled McClure further.
National columnist Drew Pearson even wrote that House Republicans were rooting for Chadwick's reelection. Pearson stated that they were "hoping he will not be replaced by another cypher", since his predecessor, Wolfenden, was not very visible in Washington. Fellow colleague Congressman Plumley of Vermont even wrote a letter of support to the Times, but none of the support and accolades outside of the district really mattered. What mattered was the support of one man, McClure, which Chadwick simply did not have.
The Chester Times invited the four candidates for Congress and state senate to issue final statements on election eve. Congressman Chadwick's statement of 364 words stated that his "record is an open book" and that "opposition to me stems solely from factional politics". He decried the misrepresentation of his record as favoring annexation of the suburbs by Philadelphia. "If McClure and his candidate for Congress had any desire to be fair in this campaign, he would have told you how Ben James would have voted differently than I voted, had he been in Congress...They cannot tell you that I ever voted for any single law which was not beneficial to the people of this county..."
In contrast, the low-profile James issued a terse, sixteen word statement: "We will win. I am confident the Republican voters will nominate me by a substantial majority." Guy deFuria's statement was about as lengthy as Chadwick's, charging that the county G.O.P. chairman, Arthur Bretherick sent letters to "state job-holders threatening their jobs in violation of the governor's announced position of non-interference in Primary elections...Among those threatened are Civil Service employees (protected against political interference by law) and persons subject to the Federal Hatch Act."
DeFuria's opponent for state senator, and later to be congressman himself, G. Robert Watkins, also issued a sixteen word statement similar to that of James.
When the results were tallied, Chadwick had lost to the colorless James, by a sizable 47,790 to 40,165, according to the Times. This time, his losses in the bigger towns were too much to be overcome by his popularity in the smaller ones. He lost Haverford Twp by 1,100 votes, Upper Darby by 600, his opponent's hometown of Radnor by over 1,100 votes, but ironically, improved his showing in Chester by 600 votes.
His running mates for state office also lost. Once again, the McClure Machine proved that once all of the stops were pulled in an election, it was invincable.
In a front page editorial on April 28, the Times stated that Chadwick was defeated "because he did not conform to the will of one individual, namely McClure. Money and effort must be spent like water to suppress any change in the pattern of machine dictatorship which has dominated and continues to dominate both Delaware County and Chester."
It was clear to many that the loss of such an able and dedicated public servant was another sorry chapter in the saga of county politics.

Service After Leaving Congress
After he left office in 1949, Chadwick returned to his private law practice in Chester and served in 1954 as chief counsel to the Senate committee investigating Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.
In 1956, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles named Chadwick to a seven member panel to review the records of all career foreign service officers. He died in Chester on August 18, 1969 at age 85.
E. Wallace Chadwick may have served only one term in Congress, but was admired by a great number of residents of Delaware County for his honesty, idealism and dedication to the needs of the public.
In his short tenure, he also obviously earned the respect of many of his colleagues in Washington, D.C. However, it would not be until twenty-seven years later that the stranglehold of the War Board over the voters of Delaware County would be finally broken.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 3

Back to Normalcy with James

Background and Earlier Service

Benjamin Franklin James was born on August 1, 1895 in Philadelphia, having relocated to Radnor Township in 1910. He served in the U.S. Army in the First World War and was discharged in 1918, as a Second Lieutenant. He served as president and chairman of the board of directors of the Franklin Printing Company of Philadelphia, which was founded by his famous ancestor.
Like his famous ancestor, James served as president of the Poor Richard Club and also was the first president of the Printing Industries of Philadelphia, an organization for printers. Serving as a Radnor township commissioner from 1929 to 1936, he had been instrumental in reorganizing the township's lighting system and making other improvements. As a state representative from 1939 to 1947, he introduced the James bill, which would have prevented the City of Philadelphia from collecting the wage tax from suburbanites. Needless to say, the bill was defeated.

Legislative Record

James' service in Congress totaled five terms, spanning the second Truman term and the first six of Eisenhower's eight years. This period in our history included the intensification of the Cold War, the Korean War, two recessions, the beginning of the civil rights movement, and the space race.

Truman's Fair Deal (1949-53)

Upon taking office on January 3, 1949, James was appointed to the District of Columbia and House Administration committees, two relatively low-profile areas.
President Truman, meanwhile, had asked Congress to enact a "Fair Deal" for the American people.
During his first term, some issues that James voted on were: the Marshall Plan to aid western Europe (Y); Mundt-Nixon Anti-Communist Bill (Y); allowing refugees into the country (Y); National Housing Act of 1949 (N); Agricultural Act of 1949 (price supports) (Y); Trade Agreements Extension Act (Y); Aid to NATO (N); South Korean aid (N); a weakened Fair Employment Practices Act, with no enforcement powers (Y); Proportional Electoral Vote (N); Internal Security Act of 1950, which was passed over a presidential veto (Y). He also took a position in favor of extending rent controls. Although he generally voted the Republican anti-Communist line, he voted against aiding our European allies in NATO and the fledgling Republic of South Korea, prior to its invasion by Communist North Korea. In a committee vote on the Anti-Poll Tax bill in 1949, he was the only Republican to vote with six conservative southern Democrats against the measure. In 1951, Congressman James introduced a bill to fix the strength of the Marine Corps and make the commandant a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The Eisenhower Agenda (1953-58)

When the Eighty-Third Congress convened on January 3, 1953, of the 221 Republican House members, only fifteen had served with a Republican president. This, plus the fact that none of the 48 G.O.P. senators had served with a president of the same party, underscored the problem of the new congressional majority that was unfamiliar with cooperating with a chief executive of the same party.
Fortunately, Eisenhower had an excellent congressional liaison staff, the first of its kind, headed by General Jerry Persons. Using shrewd diplomacy and tact, in eight years, Eisenhower and his staff were able to extract impressive amounts of legislation from a Congress in which, at best, his party held a slim majority for only two years.
From 1953 to 1958, during James' stay in Congress, President Eisenhower submitted many major proposals to Congress. According to Ike's memoirs, in "Mandate for Change", some of the most important requests were:
1) Increase postal rates to eliminate the postal department deficit. This was not approved until 1958, and then, only with a wage increase for the postal workers, which negated most of the increase and left the department budget still in deficit.
2) Resolve the controversy over federal vs. state control of the mineral rights of the submerged lands of the U.S. continental shelf. On April 1, 1953, the Submerged Lands Act was passed by the House, 258-108, which conferred ownership of the submerged lands to the states, up to the historic boundaries of the states.
3) Extend the Trade Agreements Act authorizing the president to enter into agreements to raise or lower tariffs with other countries.
4) Mutual Security assistance, otherwise known as foreign aid. The House failed on July 22, to restore $700 million that the Administration had sought.
5) Emergency Migration Act of 1953 to allow immigration of 215,000 refugees from Communist countries and Italy, Greece, and the Netherlands. After a fight, it passed the House and was signed into law.
6) To admit Hawaii as a state, passed the House, but failed in the Senate in 1953, due to some racial concerns by Southerners. It eventually passed in 1959.
7) The 1954 tax package, with a $7.4 billion tax cut.
8) Voting rights for eighteen year olds.
9) Revisions to the Taft-Hartley Act to soften some anti-labor provisions.
10) Raising the minimum wage
11) Federal assistance to school construction
12) Increase in the personal exemption in 1955
13) Increase Social Security coverage in 1954
14) Federal-Aid Highway Act in 1956
15) Soil Bank Act of 1956
16) Atomic Energy Act
17) Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1958, 1960

In 1953, as a member of the majority party, and thirty-seventh in party seniority, James was appointed to the Appropriations Committee. He served on the subcommittees on general government matters, Treasury and Post Office departments, as well as remaining on the District of Columbia committee. He was known as an active member of the committee, according the News, "developing a reputation for paying close attention to government spending." During his service on the Appropriations Committee, the federal government ran budget surpluses in 1956 and 1957. In 1957, he introduced two bills: to include the Ben Franklin TV series in the Archives of Congress and to begin the development of Independence National Historical Park.
Overall, he compiled a moderately conservative record, not too different from his two predecessors. In a comparison of 58 important issues voted on between 1949 and 1958, James agreed with ultra-conservative Noah Mason of Illinois 74% of the time, but split on such key issues, such as civil rights and foreign aid. Starting in 1953, the Congressional Quarterly began compiling more detailed information about the voting records of members of Congress.
In his first term, Congressman James voted 87% of the time with the majority of his party and supported the Eisenhower administration 65% of the time and was in opposition only 15% of the time. (The numbers do not add up due to missed votes on his part.) In 1955-1956, he was 53% pro-Eisenhower in his votes and 28% against, with his attendance falling to 73% of all recorded votes. By the 1957-1958 term, his attendance had fallen to only 52%, as illness began overtaking him.

Election of 1948
As mentioned in the previous chapter, in the primary of 1948, as the McClure-backed candidate, James unseated the independent incumbent, Chadwick, by some 7,600 votes. In the general election, he easily trounced the Democrat, 91,394 to 56,263, leading with 61.3% of the vote, only five points less than Chadwick's share in the previous election.
Nationally, the election of 1948 was a curious one. The Republicans had nominated New York Governor Tom Dewey to oppose President Harry Truman for his second term. The Democratic party, in characteristic fashion, had two factions spin off from the main party: one, consisting mainly of white southern Democrats opposed to the party's civil rights plank, nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for president and the other, fearing Truman's policies could lead to war with the Soviets, nominated progressive Henry Wallace.
With the lackluster and wooden Dewey leading in the polls and the odds defying him, Truman campaigned vigorously, making the record of the Republican-led Congress the number one issue. Constantly referring to the "Do Nothing Eightieth Congress", Truman outcampaigned his Republican opponent and won a stunning upset, with 50% of the vote, compared to Dewey's 46%. The other two candidates split the rest. Likewise, the Democrats made a stunning comeback in Congress, picking up an additional 75 House seats and nine in the Senate for a lineup of 263 to 171 and 54 to 42, respectively.

The Korean War Elections, 1950 and 1952

With the second war in five years grinding on in Korea and casualties mounting, the Democrats were again on the defensive in 1950. The national scene did not seem to have much impact locally, as James won reelection by a margin similar to his first election, 62.7%, over Hubert P. Earle. With campaign finance reporting being rather lax at the time, James reported 1950 expenses of $237, while his opponent reported spending about $2,700. In contrast, fellow Republican Congressman Paul Dague of the Chester/Lancaster district, reported $1,000 in expenses.
Nationally, with the voters apprehensive over the Korean "police action", as President Truman referred to the expanding war, and charges by Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of communists in the government, the Democrats lost ground in Congress. They had a net loss of five Senate seats, leaving them with a razor-thin majority of 48 to 47.
Several veteran Democrats were defeated, including Majority Leader Scott Lucas and Armed Services Committee chairman Millard Tydings, while Congressman Richard Nixon won a senate seat in California for the Republicans.
For the next three elections, the major parties would be separated by only two votes, at the most, in the Senate. In the House, the G.O.P. managed to pick up 28 seats, still giving the Democrats a comfortable, but not commanding edge of 234 to 199. The election results were said to have disheartened Truman and spelled an end to his Fair Deal programs.
Even though the electoral tide was with the Republicans that year, the opposite was true in Pennsylvania. After many decades of iron-clad control by a corrupt Republican machine, voters in Philadelphia finally were fed up enough to elect a young, Democratic reformer, Joseph S. Clark, as District Attorney in 1949.
With a large percentage of the state's registered voters residing in the city, the trend towards two party politics in the Keystone State had begun in earnest. In the election of 1950, the Republican candidate for governor, John S. Fine, barely defeated Richardson Dilworth, another reformer from Philadelphia. Fine received 1,796,119 to Dilworth's 1,710,355.
In 1952, it appeared that Senator Taft was likely to be the Republican nominee to oppose Harry Truman. By the time of the convention in July, Truman had announced his retirement and Taft led Dwight D. Eisenhower, the popular war hero, in delegates, 530 to 427. However, there were 93 contested delegates from Georgia, Louisiana and Texas included in these totals.
At this point, Senator Taft needed only 75 more delegates to be nominated. Under the rules of the previous convention, the Republican National Committee then made the decision to seat the majority of the disputed Texas delegates in favor of Taft, 22 to 16. The Eisenhower forces then made a shrewd power play, by proposing the Fair Play Amendment which directed the entire convention to vote on all contested delegates, who were to be excluded from this voting, unless two-thirds of the RNC approved their credentials.
The Fair Play Amendment won by over one hundred votes, followed by a convention vote, 607 to 531 to seat all of the pro-Eisenhower Georgia delegates, followed by a vote by acclamation to seat all of the Eisenhower Texas delegates.
On the first ballot, Eisenhower had 595 votes, Taft had 500, followed by California Governor Earl Warren, with 81. Suddenly, Minnesota's "favorite son" candidate, Harold Stassen, released his 19 votes to Eisenhower, putting Ike past the needed 604 votes. After that, the nomination was anti-climactic, with Eisenhower officially winning 845 to 280 for Taft. Ike then chose California Senator Richard Nixon as his running mate.
In an effort to unseat the Democrats from 20 years of control of the presidency, charges of "Korea, Corruption and Communism" were made against the Truman administration by the G.O.P. ticket. Democratic nominee Illinois Governor Adlai E. Stevenson was generally forced to the defensive.
At a rally held in October at a flag-bedecked Upper Darby Junior High School, Congressman James, along with county party chairman Throne, Mrs. Ray Murdock, national committeewoman, and C. William Kraft Jr., chairman of the Citizens for Eisenhower committee, warmed up the crowd. James said he had "traveled the length and breadth of the county to answer the lies and half-truths promulgated by our opponents." The election was a "crusade rather than a campaign - a crusade against a crowd who usurped the fair name of the Democratic Party and ...degraded it." Pennsylvania's two Republican U.S. Senators, then gave rousing speeches to a crowd of 1,800 party members. They denounced the Truman administration as "mink, stink and pink", referring to investigations of corruption and charges of communists working in the federal government.
According to the News, the senators predicted "you're going to get Ike" and repeated an oft-used G.O.P. accusation that the administration allowed China to fall to the Communists in the late 1940's and this in turn, helped fuel the war in Korea. "I wonder," Senator James Duff asked, "if the mothers, fathers and sweethearts of the 122,000 American casualties agree with the Democrats slogan that 'you've never had it so good'?" The Democrats had been referring to a booming wartime economy, with its extremely low unemployment rate.
Further, they charged that the Truman administration did not seek a victory in Korea, but was settling for a stalemate. They, of course, ignored the administration's position that a direct attack on Communist China would have probably caused other U.S. allies fighting in Korea to pull out and involved this country in a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. The administration's position was later validated by the Eisenhower administration, which wisely refused to escalate the war into a general world war.
Late in October, Eisenhower's dramatic pledge to "go to Korea" helped solidify the G.O.P. ticket's lead, producing a 55% victory, about 34 million to 27 million votes. The victory seemed more of a personal one for Eisenhower, with the Republicans gaining only enough seats to narrowly hold the House, 221 to 213, with one independent, and the Senate, 48 to 47, also with one independent. This would be the first time since 1930 that a Republican-led Congress would serve with a Republican president.
With the help of a lopsided G.O.P. registration edge of 211,188 to 30,254, James was reelected with a solid 61.7% of the vote, 127,918 to Democrat Murray Zealor's 79,423. He reported expenses of $225 and Zealor reported $27. In the county, the popular Ike received 128,889 to Stevenson's 79,734, also carrying Chester, 12,772 to 11,944.
When Congress reorganized the following January, Joe Martin was once again elected Speaker of the House. Bob Taft become Senate Majority Leader, working quite closely with the Eisenhower administation until his death from cancer on July 31, 1953. He was replaced by Senator William Knowland from California.

The 1954 Midterm Election: The Pendulum Swings Again

On March 1, 1954, four Puerto Rican fanatics, shouting for independence for the island, sprayed the House of Representatives with pistol fire, wounding five members of Congress. James narrowly escaped injury when a bullet struck the wall behind him.
Later that month, he was endorsed for a fourth term by McClure and the War Board and was opposed by independent Harry Hyde of Drexel Hill in the primary. Also endorsed were incumbent state representatives, M. Joseph Connelly of Upper Darby, J. Warren Bullen of Lansdowne, Edwin E. Lipppincott of Upper Darby, along with newcomers Joseph W. Isaacs, Folcroft, John H. Foster, Wayne, and Clarence D. Bell of Upland. Reendorsed for seats on the state committee were Mrs. Mae Kernaghan of Yeadon, a future state legislator, and Albert H. Swing of Radnor, later to be involved in controversy as a county commissioner. According to the News, the county chairman "pointed out that the ticket was arrived at without dissension".
The Democrats, however, did have plenty of dissension, including a fierce primary fight for James' seat between the endorsed candidate, O. Arthur Cappiello, and Swarthmore College professor Gerard W. Mangone. Minority County Commissioner Albert J. Crawford, Jr. charged that Upper Darby Democratic chairman Joseph Helyenek worked with Republicans against a Democratic candidate in 1951. Helyenek countered with charges that Crawford was "playing footsie" with McClure and the G.O.P. machine and also launched bitter attacks on the county party chairman, John Sheehan. When the votes were counted, Cappiello had won, 4,808 to 3,038 and James had been renominated over Hyde, 43,049 to 8,216.
In the fall election, the Democrats turned their fire from themselves to the G.O.P., waging a vigorous campaign. The opposition party charged that the Republican-led government had not corrected "intolerable" traffic bottlenecks at the busy 69th Street commercial district in Upper Darby, delayed constructing a county mental hospital, failed to exempt suburbanites from the Philadelphia wage tax, did nothing to stop a "probable" reduction of unemployment benefits, condoned "blueblood" gambling, took no action regarding "hidden unemployment", as well as refusing to debate the Democratic candidates openly.
The Republicans countered by accusing the Democrats of scheming to annex the suburban counties to Philadelphia (a preelection bugaboo that was repeated in succeeding elections in various forms), plotting to levy a wage tax on county residents and running a "Fifth Amendment sympathizer" for governor. G.O.P. County Chairman Throne told the Women's Club of Morton that state Senator George Leader, Democratic candidate for governor, and his "bosses" were hatching a plot, authored by the "Dilworth-Clark Democratic machine in Philadelphia" to annex the suburbs to the city. "Dilworth and Clark will rule Delaware County and the counties adjacent to Philadelphia from their palatial soft rug upholstered sanctums in dirty Philadelphia City Hall," he further warned. "Annexation...would give the Philadelphia Democratic Machine more money and increase the tax load of the suburban home owner who moved away from Philadelphia to get clean economic government."
Democrat Cappiello returned the fire with some of his own, rejecting G.O.P. claims that a vote for Congressman James was a vote for the popular President Eisenhower. James, he said, was "not an Eisenhower supporter except when it suits John McClure." Further, he stated "McClurism, not Eisenhower, is at issue in Delaware County", blasting James for his "opposition to labor legislation, housing, aid to veterans and other progressive measures.
The Democratic congressional hopeful said that James opposed Eisenhower's programs in about one-third of the roll-call votes (see above) and cited seven votes "where James was in open rebellion against the Eisenhower program" and five missed votes on major items.
At a rally held in Yeadon, Cappiello lashed out at the federal and state inaction regarding the recession, warning "we are rapidly approaching a situation fully comparable to the Hoover Depression in terms of human misery." Indeed, the unemployment rate had increased from the low of 2.5% in 1953 to an average rate of 5.0% for 1954, as the economy adjusted to the end of the Korean war, but it hardly approached the peak Depression rate of 24.9% in 1933. Cappiello's credibility seemed a bit strained: on one hand, he was blaming the Eisenhower administration for the recession, and on the other, he was criticizing James for not voting with the Eisenhower position more often.
Whether the voters realized this or not is unclear, but, in spite of the vigorous campaign by the Democrats, James sailed to another term, carrying 60.9% of the vote this time, with a 36,000 vote plurality. According to the News, "a sign of Mr. James apparent popularity in the county is the fact he ran well ahead of the rest of the Republican ticket."
The paper cited the fact he polled about 1,600 votes more than the next highest vote-getter, the candidate for state secretary of internal affairs. The Republicans were not so fortunate statewide, as the voters chose George M. Leader over Lloyd H. Wood, giving the Democrats only their second governor since 1895.
Harboring a personal distaste for a president to be involved in political campaigning, Eisenhower, until the last month of the campaign, refrained from actively campaigning for Republican candidates, preferring to leave the task to Vice President Nixon and cabinet members. Also, with political control of Congress so close in the postwar period, Ike did not wish to antagonize the Democrats, from whom he needed support on some issues. Only when it looked like the Republicans could lose their slender majorities, did the president intervene.
However, in spite of Eisenhower's intensive barnstorming in the campaign's waning weeks, the mild post-war recession was probably enough to cause the G.O.P. to lose eighteen House seats and two Senate seats, leaving the Democrats in control of both houses, 232 to 203 and 48 to 47, respectively. Until 1994, the Democrats would remain firmly in control of both houses of Congress, with the exception of 1981-1987, when the G.O.P. had held a majority in the Senate.

1956, and the Voters Like Ike even more
After recovering nicely from a heart attack the previous year, Ike announced for a second term. The Democrats, facing an uphill struggle, would have to be content with dusting off and trotting out Adlai Stevenson again. With the McClure Machine securely in control of Delaware County, local attention was centered on the possibility that former Philadelphia mayor and reformer, Joseph S. Clark, Jr. might pull an upset over incumbent Republican Senator Duff.
In various speeches throughout the fall campaign, Congressman James, as well as state Senator G. Robert Watkins, attacked Clark mercilessly, often citing his membership in the liberal group, Americans for Democratic Action. In one speech in October, both officeholders said that Clark's "membership in the ADA alone is enough to disqualify Joe Clark from sitting in Jim Duff's chair in the U.S. Senate" and that the ADA had provided unspecified "aid and comfort to the cause of international communism". It was clear that even though McCarthyism had been renounced in Congress, the same tactics were alive and well in Delaware County in 1956.
The Democrats quickly returned the fire, with the county chairman, Charles J. Hepburn Jr., stating that James and his colleagues in the county, in attacking Clark's patriotism, were "duplicating cornered rat tactics that led to the defeat of the corrupt and whipped Republican regime in Philadelphia in 1949." This did not deter James, however, who again spoke out against Clark at a campaign stop.
Meanwhile, James' opponent, William A. Welsh, blasted the incumbent and congressional Republicans, stating that their version of tax relief meant a "steelworker family of four would pay $420 taxes on a $5,000 income, while a coupon clipping stockholder pays only $200 on the same income."
Further, he said: "James claims of so-called accomplishments have resulted in the last four years of profits of the corporations increasing 35 per cent, while income for the average family is up only four per cent. It is time that Delaware County had someone in Congress who thinks of prosperity in terms of the people and not just in the interests of big business."
Adding fuel to the senatorial election fires, the County Commissioners, on October 10, with the lone Democrat strenuously objecting, voted two to one to condemn a proposed increase in the Philadelphia wage tax, linking it to spending increases during Clark's previous tenure as mayor. The Democratic commissioner charged election years politics was the real concern of the Republicans.
In stepping up his attacks, Welsh charged James with a "cynical attitude" towards public housing, having "voted to kill public housing outright", causing "those in low incomes (to) have little hope of getting housing." James, who was consistently popular among the voters, did not bother to publicly respond, but saved his remarks for defending the record of Senator Duff against the rising tide of Joe Clark's candidacy.
On October 24, at a speech to four hundred party workers at the Essington Republican Club, Congressman James defended the military draft. "Parents do not want ever again to have untrained and unprepared kids sent into battle", with President Eisenhower being "their best insurance against war." Further, he declared that the draft would "insure proper conditioning of our youth in the event of armed conflict." Some eight years later, James' remarks would be tested when hundreds of thousands of "kids" would be drafted to serve in Vietnam.
Nationally, with an expanding economy and Eisenhower's proven ability to calmly handle international crises, he and Nixon were reelected by a landslide, 35.6 to Stevenson's 26 million. Ike, however, was not able to translate his immense popularity into votes for other Republicans, with the Democrats picking up an additional Senate seat and two more in the House, leaving the G.O.P. behind by 49-47 and 232-203 in each chamber.
In Pennsylvania, it was not such a good year for the Republicans either, with Clark ousting Duff by an extremely narrow margin of 2,268,641 to 2,250,671. This gave the Democrats only their second U.S. senator from Pennsylvania since 1934.
Once again, there were no surprises in the race for Congress in Delaware County, with James trouncing Welsh, with about 62% of the vote, 137,764 to 84,764. From the expense reports filed with Congress, the local campaign must have been a bargain also, with James reporting no expenses at all, to the Democrat's $804.

Final Term and Failing Health
On February 15, 1958, Congressman James announced he would not be a candidate for a sixth term. His modest statement read: "At the conclusion of the 85th Congress I shall have served as a member of the national house of Representatives for ten years - five consecutive terms. My decision to forgo possible further preferment for public office has been made regretfully, and only after carefully weighing the demands of such service against the inevitable changes, of personal concern, that come with the passing of time."
He had been hospitalized twice in 1957 for an undisclosed illness and in May of that year had had surgery. By June, 1958, he had resigned his seat on the Appropriations Committee due to his "worsening physical condition." During the following year, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles also saw his own condition worsening from the ravages of cancer, which resulted in his death on May 24, 1959.
Just as Ike had brought stability to the nation in the Cold War era of the 1950's, Ben James seemed to be a pillar of political stability to the residents of rapidly growing Delaware County. Voters showed their unfading confidence in him by giving him election majorities ranging from 60.9% to 62.7%.
He died at age seventy-five on January 26, 1961, just over three years after he left office.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 4

Milliken, the Chester Pike Congressman

William H. Milliken, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on August 19, 1895 and moved with his family to Sharon Hill in 1906. He was a graduate of the Drexel Institute and was then employed as a construction foreman, then a sales executive for Whitehall Cement Manufacturing Company of Philadelphia. He served in the state house from 1943 to 1949, then as the Delaware County Clerk of Courts from 1949 to 1957, and was also appointed burgess (mayor) of Sharon Hill in September 1948, succeeding his father. Milliken was elected to the position in 1949, and reelected twice after that.

Election of 1958: the "Six Year Curse"
When Benjamin James announced his retirement from Congress in February 1958, there was intense speculation as to whom the Delaware County Board of Republican Supervisors (War Board) would endorse for his successor. In apparent reaction to the failing health and looming departure of the 72 year old incumbent, some GOP leaders felt the need to chose a younger candidate. A spokesman for the county political organization denied rampant speculation that former Register of Wills Thomas Curran was the leading contender. Those being considered for the job were Milliken, Curran, state representatives Edward E. Lippincott 2nd and Clarence Bell, Republican leader of Swarthmore Edmund Jones, Assistant District Attorney Jacques Fox of Upper Providence and William Miller of Radnor. Others interested were state representative Clyde R. Dengler; Upper Darby attorney Dominic Jerome; and Chester Times Publisher Robert Howard.
When the War Board met on March 21, 1958, at John McClure's home, it was reported that those in attendance were: Curran, Milliken, state senator G. Robert Watkins; county commissioners Arthur C. Throne and J. Warren Bullen; Walter Weaver of Darby Township; Newtown Township supervisor John Gable; state committeeman Albert H. Swing of Radnor; Fred Duke of Clifton Heights; Roy Blackburn of Haverford Township; and John R. Cramp, county Republican chairman. Milliken, who at age 61, was only a year younger than James was at the time he ran in 1948, was endorsed by the McClure Machine by an undisclosed vote.
The primary election was a four way race for the GOP nomination, with Milliken winning a majority over his rivals. According to the News, Milliken received 41,553 votes to Edmund Jones, 15,866; Ivan H. "Cy" Peterman, an Upper Darby journalist, 11,683; and Upper Darby 10th Ward commissioner Jack F. Robbins, with 11,240. Hubert Earle, the son of former Governor George H. Earle, beat fellow Democrat James M. "T-Shirt" McBride of Glenolden, 10,524 to 4,078. Congressman Hugh Scott of Philadelphia carried Delaware County over former state senator Heyburn, also winning statewide. McClure scored a personal triumph with Arthur T. McGonigle's victory, county and statewide over independent Harold Stassen of Philadelphia. Governor George Leader won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, along with Pittsburgh Mayor David Lawrence for governor.
In the general election, the Democrats nationally were especially energized. Several factors converged in 1958 to cause the greatest defeat for the GOP in Congress since the New Deal. Foremost was the implication of President Eisenhower's Chief of Staff, Sherman Adams, in improprieties involving the receipt of gifts, notably a $69 vicuna coat, from a textile manufacturer in return for the former's help in resolving problems with the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission. As Democratic candidates made hay of these allegations, Adams was forced to resign, which he did on September 22, in hopes of lessening the harm to the Republican campaign effort.
Throughout the fall campaign the Democrats hammered away at other issues, charging that Eisenhower had supposedly left our defenses in a weakened state, allowing the Soviets to pull ahead in the missile and space races. This charge was to be repeated in the 1960 election and eventually proven false during the succeeding Kennedy administration. Worst of all, for the GOP, the economy was only then just coming out of a brief, but sharp recession that began in the summer of 1957. By the spring of 1958, industrial production had declined 14 percent and corporate profits fell 25 percent, resulting in unemployment peaking at 7.5 percent. President Eisenhower's popularity, in turn, as measured by the Gallup poll tumbled from 79 percent in early 1957 to his lowest point ever of 52 percent in November 1958. Tracking polls had shown that with the launching of Sputnik in October 1957, which seemingly indicated that the U.S. was behind the Soviets technologically, the Democrats popularity exceeded that of the GOP. Aggravating this trend in the Deep South was the Republican Administration's stand in enforcing desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas that same year. Further, when the average voter was asked by the Gallup Poll what his or her impression was of the Republican Party, the answers were "selfish and rich" and the "businessman's party", while the Democrats were viewed as representing the middle class.
The election locally between Milliken and Earle degenerated into a particularly bitter race, with the latter accusing the former of having converted county funds to his own personal use. Specifically, when Milliken was Clerk of Courts, he had used $5,953 in fees paid to the county for his own use, later paying back all of the funds. James J. Connor, the minority County Commissioner, jumped into the fray, declaring that he would ask his fellow commissioners to file suit against Milliken to recover about $1,400 in estimated interest that these funds would have earned. An indignant Milliken said that his actions were not illegal and had been standard practice, at least by his two predecessors in office, and retaliated by filing a criminal libel suit against Earle. Earle was then arrested and posted a $1,000 bail on October 25, but Milliken failed to appear at the magistrate's hearing at the Springfield Township Building that day. The Democrat was undeterred by the lawsuit and continued his attacks the next day at a rally in Chester, offering to withdraw from the campaign and go to jail if Milliken would answer several pointed questions regarding the missing funds.
When the votes were counted election day, the Democrats had gained a whopping 13 seats in the Senate and 46 in the House, for the biggest majorities since 1940 and 1936, respectively. This election was part of the trend in which the party in power loses heavily in its sixth year in office, such as 1938, 1946, 1966, 1974 and the GOP Senate loss in 1986.
In Pennsylvania, voters split their tickets, narrowly electing Lawrence governor by 76,000 votes, while Congressman Scott was elected to the U.S. Senate by almost 113,000. However, Democrats picked up three U.S. House seats from Republicans statewide, giving them sixteen of the thirty member delegation. Scott was able to go against the tide by carrying Democratic Allegheny County by 33,000 votes and losing the Philadelphia region by only 6,000 votes. In Delaware County, there was no danger of the Republican ticket losing. Milliken sailed past Earle with 59.2% of the vote and Scott and McGonigle had similar majorities in the county.
In 1958, members of Congress were paid $22,500 annually and were allowed $17,500 to hire up to eight clerks, with no one clerk allowed to be paid more than $7,000. The mileage allowance was 20 cents per mile, with $1,200 per session allotted for stationary expenses, $200 for air mail or special delivery, 45 hours of long distance telephone calling and 12,000 words in telegrams. In contrast, the average annual family income in 1958 was around $5,000 and a factory worker in Philadelphia was averaging about $4,500 a year. Retirement for members of Congress was granted after a minimum of six years of service and attainment of the age of 62.

The Conclusion of Ike's Second Term

When Milliken was sworn in as Delaware County's representative in Congress on January 3, 1959, he was joined by only 153 fellow Republicans. Across the aisle in the House chamber were 283 Democrats ready to pass an agenda different than that of the Republican Administration. Eisenhower thus became the first president in U.S. history to face a Congress controlled by the opposition party three elections in a row. He described the large Democratic representation in Congress as those "I would class among the spenders...And I promise this: for the next two years, the Lord sparing me, I am going to fight this as hard as I know how." He further elaborated, telling the legislative leadership early in 1959: "We've got to convince Americans that thrift is not a bad word."
With the fiscal 1959 budget in the red by $12.4 billion, a peacetime record, and primarily due to the recession, Eisenhower was determined to keep federal spending in line. He was lucky to have new Republican minority leaders in the House and Senate, who would support him on the economic issues. Charles A. Halleck of Indiana deposed Joseph Martin in the House and Everett M. Dirksen of Illinois succeeded William Knowland, who had unsuccessfully run for governor of California, for the Senate Minority Leader.
After taking office, Milliken was appointed to the House Banking and Currency Committee and introduced several bills in 1959, including one to increase the amount of other income allowed without causing a loss of social security benefits from $1,200 to $1,800. Another bill was to allow the exemption of suburbanites from the Philadelphia wage tax. During the year, he supported President Eisenhower's attempts to hold down federal spending, including numerous vetoes, in 66% of the votes, and opposed those efforts 34% of the time. Out of thirty Pennsylvania congressmen, he tied for second place among those supporting economy in government. As a result of these efforts, the budget year ending June 30, 1960, would show a small surplus of $1.2 billion and would be the last budget surplus that would not include the use of the surplus in the trust funds, such as Social Security. Other significant legislation for the year included the approval by the House, 323-89, for Hawaii's admission into the Union, which Milliken supported. However, the administration's proposed civil rights bill languished in the conservative dominated Rules Committee.
During the following year, Milliken supported funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1960, which allowed for court appointed referees to help register minorities to vote and efforts to increase the minimum wage. For his first term, Milliken proved to be the strongest supporter of the Eisenhower administration in the Pennsylvania delegation, with an 81% score in support and only 18% in opposition. However, on July 1, he deserted his president, along with many other Republicans, in voting to override the veto of a proposed 7.5% pay raise for federal workers. Eisenhower stated in his objections, that since 1953, federal workers has received pay raises well in excess of inflation and that Congress had bowed to "intensive and unconcealed political pressure" from the postal unions.

The See-Saw Election of 1960
When Congress adjourned in August, 1960, many of its members undoubtedly rushed home to campaign for reelection. Bill Milliken was no exception. By the fall, Vice President Richard M. Nixon and Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy were locked in an extremely close race that would have serious implications for the rest of the Republican ticket across the nation and in Delaware County. One major factor was the mild recession of 1960, aggravated by Eisenhower's insistence on balancing the budget so soon after the 1958 recession. By October, the unemployment rate had reached 6.3% and the chances of the Republicans winning the election diminished accordingly. Also, Kennedy and the Democrats hammered relentlessly at the administration's foreign and defense policies, citing a "missile gap" that left the U.S. at a disadvantage against the Soviet's ICBM forces. This charge was proven untrue the following year. Also, the collapse of the 1960 summit between Eisenhower, Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev, French President Charles DeGaulle and British Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, over the downing of an American U-2 spy plane over Soviet territory provided Democrats with ample ammunition. In addition, on August 24, Eisenhower made what some consider the worst gaffe of his presidency by responding to a reporter's question about the contributions of Vice President Nixon to major decisions: "If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don't remember." Gallup tracking polls showed the lead changing several times between Nixon and Kennedy.
Locally, with Delaware County's heavy Catholic and working class population, it was obvious that Kennedy would take a sizable portion of the normally Republican vote and could cause the rest of the GOP ticket considerable difficulty with the "coattail effect". Congressman Milliken, running for a second term against Democrat Henry Gouley, campaigned vigorously. On October 7, he charged that rumors that the Philadelphia Mint. would be closed or moved were false. He charged that Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth circulated the story "to scare people in the Philadelphia area during the election campaign" and that an act of Congress was required to approve such plans.
On October 22, Nixon visited Chester and spoke to a crowd of about 8,000 well-wishers at Market Square. Said Nixon: "I told Bill (motioning on the platform to Milliken) I really didn't think we should schedule a meeting in Chester on a Saturday morning. But I see some of you made it out here." Almost as if to predict the upcoming Vietnam war, he stated: "Our most important duty is to keep the peace for the U.S., as Dwight Eisenhower had done. What happens in Washington in the next four years is going to affect the future of every young person in America today." At Twentieth and Providence Avenues, the Nixon motorcade suddenly stopped and Nixon strode across the street to greet John McClure, who was recovering in a wheelchair from a hip fracture. "They (the Secret Service) didn't want me to stop, but I just couldn't pass you up." They both chatted for a few moments, then Nixon and his motorcade continued up Route 320, stopping in Swarthmore, the Springfield Shopping Center, Lawrence Park, Newtown Square, West Chester, before stopping in Paoli. Seven days later, Senator Kennedy appeared in Chester at Sixth and Penn Streets, drawing the largest ever crowd in the city, some 15,000 to 20,000. He continued to hammer away at the themes of America's lagging prestige abroad and lagging economy at home. "I want the U.S. to meet its responsibilities at home and abroad and the U.S. to move forward," he told the crowds. "This is more of a contest between the comfortable and the concerned - those who are satisfied with things as they are and those who want to move forward." Two days earlier, Kennedy had declared: "I say we can't afford another recession."
Eisenhower, sufficiently angered by Kennedy's relentless attacks, made some belated appearances to defend his administration's record in office. At a dinner in Philadelphia, the same day of Kennedy's visit to Delaware County, Ike said: "I hear that one candidate says he will act first and act fast. America needs a man who will think fast, and then act wisely." The President touted the administration's foreign policy successes, such as ending the "costly and futile Korean War", "a decent solution to the Suez affair", forging "new ties with our neighbors to the south." Referring to Kennedy's new proposed domestic programs, Ike raised the specter of inflationary spending increases: "We know they could not pay for them with high hopes alone. But if they would pay for these programs by deficit spending, raising the debt of our children and grandchildren, and thereby debase our currency, let them so confess."
Meanwhile, Milliken did some campaigning of his own, appearing at the Marcus Hook fire company meeting hall on October 27. He attacked JFK and other Democrats who said that the nation's popularity was at an "all-time low". During Eisenhower's administration, Milliken countered: "The U.S. has never been beaten on a single UN vote" and made a point that U.S. popularity had "undoubtedly suffered in some areas abroad because of continuing Democrat attempts to downgrade America." State Senator Bell also spoke, emphasizing American air power, naval strength, outer space vehicles and hydrogen bombs. The same day, at the Springfield Lions Club meeting at the Deville Diner, both candidates for the Seventh congressional district met. Milliken was introduced by Springfield GOP chairman, Lawrence G. Williams, while Gouley was introduced by Joseph Helwig, the township's Democratic leader. Milliken attacked "extravagant spending by the Democrats" in Congress. His opponent, Gouley, issued a rebuttal, stating that under Eisenhower, spending increased 46% in the past eight years and was 68% higher than under the Roosevelt administration, reaching a record total of $579 billion.
Election night was indeed suspenseful for the presidential candidates, as well as many local ones. As the votes were counted, Kennedy's early lead shrunk as Republican votes from the Midwest and west flowed in. But, by after midnight, it appeared that the trend in the results was in Kennedy's favor and Nixon told his supporters: "If the present trend continues, Senator Kennedy will be elected the next President of the United States". When the critical states of Texas and Illinois had swung into the Democrats' column, Kennedy was able to declare a victory later than morning. And a razor thin one it was. He squeaked through in Illinois, 2.377 million votes to Nixon's 2.368 million. In Texas, the Senator gathered 1.167 million to the Vice President's 1.121 million. California eventually wound up in the Nixon column, 3.259 to 3.224 million, but Nixon still needed 50 electoral votes, which Illinois and Texas would have provided, with one to spare. As it turned out, Kennedy won by 303 electoral votes to Nixon's 219, with conservative Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia receiving 15 (8 from Mississippi, 6 from Alabama and 1 from Oklahoma). In the popular vote, Kennedy won only 34.227 million to Nixon's 34.108 million, the closest election since 1888.
Pennsylvania was carried by the Democrats by a narrow margin, 2.556 million to 2.439 million. With Nixon's weak showing in the suburbs and Kennedy's huge two to one sweep of Philadelphia, the latter's margin in the five county area was 237,000 votes.
In Delaware County, with the Democrats having a record 59,500 registered voters and Kennedy's strong appeal, Nixon carried the county by only 135,672 to 124,629. With some ticket-splitting, Milliken's plurality was slightly larger than Nixon's, 136,021 to 120,839, but the outcome of one legislative district, where Kennedy had carried four of the six towns, was in doubt until all absentee ballots were counted. Only then could incumbent Republican state representatives Clyde Dengler and Mae Kernaghan be declared the victors.

Redistricting and the "Green Grab"

In the census of 1960, although Pennsylvania's population rose 7.8%, many states in the rest of the nation were growing much more rapidly. California grew 48.5%; Texas, 24.2%; Arizona, 73.7%; Nevada, 78.2%; and Florida, 78.7%, as well as other southern and western states. The trend of migration away from the aging Rust and Snow Belt states to the Sunbelt had begun in earnest. The shift in people also meant a shift in congressional seats, with Pennsylvania losing 10% of its delegation, dropping from 30 to 27.
Locally, the same trend was evident, with Philadelphia's population dropping for the first time, a slight dip of 69,000 to 2,002,512, while the suburbs increased rapidly. The four suburban counties combined grew a whopping 55%, with Delaware County holding its position as the most populated, with 553,154. With the ideal population for a congressional district in Pennsylvania of 419,235, Delaware County was way under-represented, while Philadelphia, with its six seats, would be over-represented. If no changes were made, each of Philadelphia's congress members would be representing only 333,752 residents.
Soon after the 1960 election, there were reports that the Democrats in Philadelphia would attempt, through their political clout in Harrisburg, to move some Delaware County communities from the Seventh District to the city's Second District, centered in West Philadelphia. State senator-elect Bell stated: "I would resist to the last drop of my blood - political or otherwise - any attempt of Philadelphia to superimpose itself over Delaware County in any way whatsoever." Rumors were rampant that the powerful Democratic party chairman of Philadelphia, Congressman Bill Green, was pushing behind the scenes for such a plan.
In March, 1961, Democratic state senator John J. Haluska of Cambria County, introduced a bill to combine Delaware and Chester counties into the 7th District, as well as Bucks and Montgomery counties into the 8th. Bell vigorously opposed the plan, noting that Philadelphia would still be left with six congressmen, representing some 330,000 residents, while the 7th district population would be around 850,000. "Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties are left intact and this bill is an obvious pointing to the type of Democratic state leadership we're getting," Bell rails. "- the Democrats in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh want to have control of the state."
On May 12, 1961, during a panel discussion before the Haverford Township Civic Association and League of Women Voters, a prominent Democrat and a Republican from Upper Darby spoke. Dr. G. Edward Janosik, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was opposed to the Green plan, as well as Republican plans. He recognized the necessity of crossing county lines in order to equalize the population of each district. Former county district attorney Raymond Start said he opposed Philadelphia receiving more than its fair share of state and federal representatives, adding: "We're going to have our own tea party in the Delaware, and it will be 'Green Tea'".
On July 24, 1961, Eyre calls for a mass protest by county citizens, stating: "The latest move on the part of Boss Bill Green to move into Delaware County and kidnap a large number of our voters is one of the most callous and vicious political maneuvers I have ever seen."
As usual, the Democratic leadership looked at the rational side of the issue. County chairman, James J. Connor, challenged the GOP to come up with a plan to alleviate the population imbalance between congressional districts. "The present Congressman from Delaware County represents 134,000 people more than he should in Washington," Connor stated. "How does he (Eyre) propose to give the voters of Delaware County equal representation without a jointure with one or more of the adjoining areas?"
In Washington, Green restated his support of city-suburban district jointure and also was pushing for legislation to increase House membership from 435 to 439. If passed, that bill would mean Pennsylvania would lose only two seats, instead of three. Green's plan became known by its Republican critics in the suburbs by the catchy name, "Green Grab". On July 31, 1961, GOP leaders of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties met in King of Prussia and issued a statement urging citizens to "resist the efforts of Democratic Boss Bill Green to grab sections of the suburbs to prevent the loss of a city congressman."
In addition to the county commissioners and the City Council of Chester, the townships of Aston, Upper Darby, Springfield and Tinicum adopted resolutions condemning Green's plan in no uncertain terms.
The Anti-Annexation Committee of Southeastern Pennsylvania, consisting of the Republican chairmen of the four suburban counties, as well as Lancaster and Lehigh counties, was formed. The committee held strategy meetings with Bell, Milliken, county state representatives, county commissioners and War Board members.
County Democrats, meanwhile, accused the Republican leadership of having no proposals of its own for redistricting. County chairman Connor posed a question to his GOP counterpart, Mayor Eyre: "How do you propose to give the voters of Delaware County equal representation without a jointure with one or more of the adjoining areas? I for one do not want Congressional redistricting to be handled in the same disproportionate manner that the Republican Party handled the redistricting of Delaware County for the State Legislature a short time ago."
In August, 1961, state House Majority Leader, Stephen McCann, a Democrat, outlined the Green proposal to move Haverford, Marple, Newtown and Radnor townships to the 2nd District, represented by Kathryn E. Granahan, a Democrat and Bensalem Township in Bucks County to be shifted to Democrat Herman Toll's Fifth District.
With the addition of 104,708 Delaware County and 23,478 Bucks County residents, each of the city's congressmen would represent 355,116 residents, while the 7th District would contain 448,446 residents and the 9th would contain 488,967.
Opposition was immediate and vehement, with even county Democratic leaders in opposition. "I think Bill's overstepping his bounds," Leo Steinmeyer, chairman of the Newtown Democratic party stated.
Governor Lawrence, a Democrat, held a meeting with the two state party chairmen, party secretaries, and state legislative leaders. Three congressmen from each party were scheduled to attend, but did not. George Bloom, state GOP chairman blamed the failure of the meeting on the lack of attendance by the congressman. "We are at an impasse where negotiations would get us nowhere," Bloom declared. "unless Philadelphia surrenders one of its six congressmen." Suburban GOP leaders charged that a "conspiracy" existed between Lawrence and Green regarding reapportionment. The Pennsylvania House minority leader, Albert W. Johnson, stated: "I am convinced that the governor would have given in and rejected Green's plan, except that Green is running the show."
Eyre and Green verbally sparred, when the latter protested use of the word "annexation" regarding his proposed reapportionment plan. "Use of the word is an absolute fraud, well calculated to mislead people both in the suburbs and in the city," the Democrat said. Eyre forcefully responded: "Bill Green...either should go back to school or open a copy of a good dictionary. Webster defines the word annex as a verb meaning 'to attach, join or add, especially something larger'...Annexation it will continue to be as far as hundreds of thousands of residents of suburban Philadelphia counties who object to the Green grab..."
Bell presented his own plan, calling for: Philadelphia to give up one seat, preferably Green's; the GOP to yield a seat in the western part of the state and two districts with evenly balanced voter registration be merged into one.
To make matters worse for the G.O.P, a Democratic state senator, Harry E. Seyler presented plans to merge all of Delaware County with Philadelphia for the purpose of congressional redistricting.
By the end of August, the legislature had adjourned without any agreement between both parties on reapportionment. Lawrence declared that he would call a special session of the legislature after the November elections for redistricting.
On October 31, Milliken issued a challenge to county Democrats: "I, for one, have grown weary of waiting for any major Democratic candidate in this election to make his or her position known on Bill Green's plan to cut up Delaware County for congressional elections. The only safeguard against annexation, political or otherwise, is an overwhelming Republican victory at the polls Tuesday."
Republican candidate for county prothonotary, Howard Reed, called the Green plan the first step to eventual total annexation of the county by Philadelphia. He warned the City is casting "covetous eyes on the suburban tax dollar as one way out of the financial shambles in which the Democrat party has placed it."
In the general elections, Republicans did well in Delaware County, giving Henry X. O'Brien about 60% of the vote for a seat on the state Supreme Court. The GOP also carried local elections in 47 of 49 towns, leaving the party in a much better position than the previous year. The Democrats losing local offices in ten communities. In the city, the Democratic slate only carried the district attorney and controller slate by about 54%. O'Brien won statewide and Republicans were confident they could retake the governorship and U.S. senate seat up for grabs in 1962.
After the election, Eyre commented: "Philadelphia has long tried to move into Delaware County through the wage tax. The reapportionment question was just another form of potential annexation. But, why he (Green) brought it up again is a mystery; it certainly wasn't smart politically."
In December, 1961, with no action having been taken by the time the legislature adjourned, a group of local Democrats, led by Upper Providence Justice of the Peace Donald Kahn, proposed its own redistricting plan. The Democrats' map kept Philadelphia separate from the suburbs and moved eleven northern and western Delaware County communities, as well as five Montgomery County towns, to the Ninth Congressional District in Chester County, which would be separated from Lancaster County. The Seventh District would have consisted of the southern and eastern tier of the county and would have had a population of 422,000. In effect, the suburbs would receive an additional seat to reflect their rapid population growth.
Democratic state chairman, Otis B. Morse met with political leaders and congressmen of his party, including Green. "I'm not married to any plan," commented Green, who seemed to back away from his earlier scheme. "I've never said you have to drop a seat anyplace. I've never said you have to add a seat here or there. That's been George Bloom."
With the filing deadline for candidates looming, Lawrence said in January that "we have adopted this other formula - a makeshift redistricting - and that's what it will be - to hurtle this present situation of avoiding having an election of all 27 member of Congress at large. Subsequent legislatures, I hope, will be in a position to redistrict the state properly, and have an equitable division somewhere close to the 419,000 mean."
The governor called a special session of the legislature to convene on January 22, for the purpose of drawing up congressional districts. Chester's Democratic state representative, John E. (Reds) Gremminger, attacked Bell's plan to combine Delaware and Chester counties into one district, with two congressmen elected at-large, calling it "unworkable and un-American."
After an inconclusive meeting with Lawrence and Morse, Bloom declared: "If this matter had been left to the legislature to decide early last year, without outside interference, we would have had a solution now and there would have been no reason for a special session. As Republican state chairman I shall assist and advise in every way that I can, but the final decision on what districts will be eliminated is a matter for the legislature and its committees to decide." Morse, in turn, retorted: "It would appear that responsibility for the delay is going to be placed exactly where it belongs - with the Republicans."
County Democrats announced their plan to partition the county from east to west, with twelve towns in the northern tier to be placed in the Chester County district. The remaining Delaware County based district would have a population of 417,113, while the Chester-Delaware County district would have 346,649 residents. Connor reiterated his earlier support for such a plan: "The concept of crossing county lines is not unknown. Southeastern Pennsylvania is unique in that congressional districts have been in recent years restricted to county lines and hence the people are underrepresented."
Finally, on the fifteenth of January, a committee consisting of the two parties leaders and a 14 member bipartisan legislative group, agreed to eliminate one Philadelphia district, a Republican district in the central part of the state and merge the districts of Republican Ivor Fenton and Democrat George Rhodes. Green and the other five members of the city delegation met and agreed to eliminate Mrs. Granahan's Second District, which had lost over 32,000 residents. The City Democratic Committee approved the plan, forwarding it to the state chairman for incorporation in upcoming legislation.
"It's agreeable to the county (Republican) organization," commented Eyre. "Just as long as Delaware County isn't changed in any way." Connor charged: "Once again, it creates a district that is too large, which means these people are being denied proper representation."
With no debate and minor dissension, the legislature finally passed a bill reducing Philadelphia's six member congressional delegation by one and leaving the suburban representation unaffected, as follows:

1st-5th Dist Phila. (Average) 400,502
7th District Delaware 553,154
8th District Bucks/Lehigh 536,103
9th District Chester/Lancaster 488,967
13th District Montgomery 516,682
Ideal Average Pennsylvania 419,235

As mentioned above, the new alignment left the suburbs substantially under-represented, while leaving the city over-represented in Congress, but no county lines had been breached. But, this would be the last time that there would be such a massive population imbalance between congressional districts. In less that two years, the federal and state courts would rule that the large population imbalances were unconstitutional.

The 1962 Mid-Term Election

By the fall of 1962, President Kennedy's popularity with the voters was still relatively high, but some Democrats were worried that the party would suffer the usual mid-term loss. In Pennsylvania, there was some friction in the Republican ranks regarding hammering out the ticket for governor and U.S. Senator. The News reported that McClure himself had taken the role of peace-maker and was trying to prevent a primary contest. When the dust had settled, the party had decided on the ticket of Congressman William Scranton of Lackawanna County for the open governor's chair and Congressman James VanZandt of Blair County to challenge incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Clark. Meanwhile, in addition to supporting Clark for a second term, the Democrats endorsed Philadelphia Mayor Richardson Dilworth to succeed Governor Lawrence. (At that time, Pennsylvania governors were limited by the state constitution to one term only.)
With two liberal Democrats from Philadelphia heading the statewide ticket, in addition to a liberal Democrat in the White House, Republicans gleefully went on the attack. The favorite issue raised was a familiar one: the likelihood of annexation of Delaware County by the City of Philadelphia. In April, Milliken spoke in Washington to some 300 members of the Delaware County Women's Republican Club, declaring that if Dilworth was elected "...we will have become a part of Philadelphia before his term as governor is up." He further elaborated that if the Democrats win, it "will be the beginning of the end of home rule" for the county and the election will be a "fight for survival for Delaware County". He was joined by Scranton, who strongly supported Milliken's reelection, emphasizing that the latter had been named to the House appropriations committee at a time when fiscal conservatism was important. VanZandt joined in, predicting a "voters' rebellion" that will spell victory for the GOP
By the fall, the campaign rhetoric had heated up and became even more absurd and exaggerated. On September 24, at another Women's Republican Club function at the Alpine Inn in Springfield, Scranton's solution to crime in Philadelphia was evidently to blame Dilworth for a "reign of terror" in the city "that stops women and children...from walking even one block to go to the store." Adding further to the fear tactics, Congressman VanZandt charged that Clark was "soft on Communism". Milliken added the only sensible point: "If this country continues spending as it is doing, it will spend itself into bankruptcy."
Meanwhile, the Democratic candidate for Congress, Chester attorney John A. Reilly, went on the attack, accusing Milliken of "double talk" and expecting to win due to the "complacency of Delaware County voters. I feel they are entitled to learn that Milliken has done nothing constructive in Washington and that he is no more than a puppet for his Chester bosses." He also decried Milliken's raising of "phony issues such as annexation".
On October 4, the Upper Darby GOP committee issued a statement: "If the voters of Upper Darby Township want to stop Philadelphia at 63rd Street, they can do so by voting a straight Republican ticket this fall." Meanwhile, in response to Reilly's call for debates, Milliken said that his busy schedule made it impossible to debate. Reilly, in turn, said that the incumbent congressman was "full of phony excuses" and "afraid of the voters".
On October 14, Clark was referred to as the "father of the idea of annexation of Delaware County to Philadelphia" by Milliken. Finally, the Democrats were moved to respond in a fury. Upper Darby Democratic chairman Joseph J. Helyenek charged that the county GOP was attempting to set up "an unjust an filthy equation: Democratic victory means annexation... annexation means invasion (of the suburbs) by hordes of unwelcome colored people." Continuing the low-blows of the campaign, VanZandt spoke at the Young Republican annual picnic at the Springfield Country Club, calling Senator Clark "a left-winger, soft on Cuba, Red China and Communism". Clark responded: "This is the first time in Pennsylvania political history that the red smear has been used as a major issue in a statewide campaign." He urged voters to elect Democrats "to give President Kennedy a Congress that will help him, not hamstring him." It is interesting to note that all of the Republicans attacks are centered on Clark and Dilworth and Kennedy is not mentioned at all. Perhaps with the President so popular among the working class Catholic voters of the county, the War Board wisely decided to confine its attacks to the statewide candidates.
On October 23, Dilworth campaigned on 69th Street, denouncing his favorite target, McClure, and his "outright lies". He then really ventured deeply into "enemy" territory by visiting the county Courthouse in Media, where he was booed and hissed by some county employees who were giving out GOP literature. County Commission chairman Watkins objected to the visit, stating that it would "disrupt the work of our employees". Dilworth replied by asking: "What work? What employees?" He then blasted McClure, stating that Scranton had been hand-picked by the head of the War Board, who also kept Delaware County "isolated" and out of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Compact because "the Federal government won't pay him off and he doesn't go into anything unless there is a payoff involved." Denying charges that he favored annexation of the suburbs, Dilworth said he favored voluntary cooperation between cities and suburbs.
When the furious election activity came to an end and the voters went to the polls, the result was mixed on the statewide level. Eight years of Democratic rule of the governor's mansion ended with Scranton's lopsided victory over Dilworth, 2.4 million votes to 1.9 million. But voters continued their ticket-splitting habit that began statewide in 1956, by reelecting Clark narrowly over VanZandt, 2.2 million votes to 2.1 million, about 51%. With the state losing three congressional seats due to reapportionment, the Republicans had a net loss of two seats in the election, while the Democrats lost one, but the lineup was still in favor of the GOP, 14 to 13.
Nationally, with the Cuban missile crisis unfolding late in October and the nation rallying behind their chief executive, the Democrats actually gained three seats in the Senate and lost only five in the House, with the GOP gaining one seat. With reapportionment, the size of the House of Representatives, which had temporarily been increased to 437 members, with the recent statehood of Alaska and Hawaii, was decreased to 435, where it remains today.
Locally, Milliken coasted to a huge victory, 136,955 to Reilly's 88,482. Scranton carried Delaware County by an even greater margin, 142,262 to 84,221. While some ticket-splitting gave VanZandt a smaller edge of 36,000 over Clark. Scranton's brand of moderate Republicanism, the genuine suburban fear of city problems spilling over county lines, plus a well-financed campaign war chest, enabled him to score particularly well in Dilworth's Philadelphia, with a respectable 339,790 votes to the Mayor's 446,528. Scranton then piled up a whopping 392,869 votes in the suburbs to Dilworth's 219,991, more than neutralizing the Democrats' lead in the city. Scranton also did particularly well in normally Democratic western Pennsylvania, carrying Allegheny County by over 50,000 votes, as well as Beaver, Lawrence, and Westmoreland counties.

The Record of the 88th Congress

When Milliken returned to Washington in January 1963, he and the rest of his colleagues were faced with a huge number of legislative requests from the Kennedy Administration. Some were new and many were left over from the previous session. Once again, in spite of an opposing coalition between Republicans and Southern Democrats, the Administration could boast of some achievements on the domestic front. Among the major bills passed were:
Mental Health and Retardation funding of $329 million over three and four years, which was heavily pushed by the President and signed into law on October 24.
Extension of the Military Draft for four years, passed and signed into law March 29.
Equal Pay Act, which was actually an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and provided that men and women be paid the same for the same work.
Medical Education funding, providing $236 million for three years to train doctors, dentists and other medical personnel, in response to a nationwide shortage in these occupations. This was signed on September 24.
College Aid Act, providing $1.2 billion over three years in grants and loans for college construction. Passed on December 10.
Once again, Kennedy was rebuffed in his attempts at passing Medicare and he also failed in having a major tax cut pass.
During the Second Session, with President Lyndon B. Johnson serving out the remainder of Kennedy's term and attempting to push the unfinished New Frontier proposals through Congress, two major measures were finally passed.
In a major milestone, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which Milliken voted for, was signed into law on July 2. The law provided enforcement of the right to vote, gave U.S. courts power to enjoin against discrimination in public accommodations, authorized the Attorney General to institute suits to protect rights in public facilities and education, extended the Commission on Civil Rights for four years, and established the Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity.
In a major boost to the economy, the Tax Reduction Act was signed into law on February 26.
Other notable legislation passed by the Congress included: the Salary Reform Act, raising the salaries of federal workers, including members of Congress, who would be receiving $30,000 as of January 1, 1965; an increase of $31 billion to $324 billion, the largest increase in the National Debt to date; adding Columbus Day to the eight existing federal holidays; and creating the National Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress to study the effect of automation on unemployment.
The most notable failure of Congress was to pass Medicare in the House. The Gore-Anderson-Javits amendment had passed the Senate and would have provided hospital and nursing care using the Social Security program and private insurance. It also would have cost those covered two dollars a week for medical and surgical care. It had been sent to the House, but never moved from a conference committee. Both Senate and House GOP leaders had opposed the measure, with cries of "socialized medicine" and were supported in their opposition by the American Medical Association.
The most notable legislation regarding foreign policy that year was the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which authorized President Johnson to use whatever force he deemed necessary to repel aggression in South Vietnam, where the administration was keeping a lid on an expanding war. It had passed the House, 416 to 0, and the Senate, 88 to 2. Two Democrats, Senators Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska bucked their party leadership and voted against the resolution.

The Closing Days of the Brief Kennedy and Milliken Eras
In its November 28 edition, the News of Delaware County eloquently eulogized President Kennedy: "Mere words cannot begin to convey adequately the deep sense of shock, outrage and mourning which struck this nation of learning last Friday that John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Bowed heads and moist eyes reflected the utter disbelief that such a dastardly act could occur in broad daylight in this stronghold of the free world...while a saddened nation looks to the future under President Johnson's leadership, we can draw inspiration from the works of the poet: By man was the world brought low, By man will the world be raised up."
Many borough and township governments passed resolutions eulogizing the slain leader. In Marple Township, Mariano E. Martinez, the chairman of the Zoning Board proposed unsuccessfully that the Paxon Hollow Junior High School be renamed in honor of Kennedy. There was no public comment recorded from Congressman Milliken, who was recovering in a Bethesda, Maryland hospital from a heart attack at the time.
However, it was reported that no sooner had the dust settled from the 1963 General Election in Delaware County, another fierce struggle for power had broken out among members of the Republican ruling circles. This time, Milliken had aligned himself with Dickey against McClure in an attempt to take over the War Board. It appeared that McClure had attempted to appoint Upper Darby Township Commissioner George Hill, a former Dickey rival, to the War Board, rather than a representative chosen by Dickey. The Upper Darby Board of Commissioners, in their other capacity as GOP ward leaders, voted to nominate Dickey himself to the War Board. It also was rumored that both Milliken and Williams were dumped by the War Board, but this was denied by Williams.
By early 1964, the War Board split had attracted four other Republican candidates for Milliken's seat: Harold Ervin of Media; John G. Pew, replacing Swing on the War Board; attorney Stephen McEwen of Upper Darby; and former county commissioner Watkins. Matters came to a head on February 7, when the War Board endorsed Watkins over Milliken, citing the latter's poor health as the reason for rejection. Milliken received only one vote, presumably his own, in the War Board polling. Later than month, the Collingdale GOP followed the lead of Glenolden, Darby, Prospect Park and Tinicum, in dumping Milliken as its representative on the War Board. There was some measure of suspense as Milliken pondered another race, this time as an independent, but on February 18, he issued a terse statement: "After consideration, I have decided not to be a candidate for reelection to the U.S. Congress."
Milliken served out the last year of his term, until January 3, 1965, but would surface again as a candidate in 1966, unsuccessfully bucking his party's leadership. He died in Ridley Park on July 4, 1969. His three terms coincided with the last two years of the Eisenhower Administration, the entire Kennedy Administration and Johnson's first term, and included some of the most exciting, as well as tragic events of the sixties.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 5

Watkins, the Redistricted Congressman

G. Robert Watkins was born on May 21, 1902 in Hamton, Virginia, moving to Chester, Pa. in 1920. He organized the Chester Stevedoring Company, which he sold in 1931, then organized with a partner, the Blue Line Transfer Company, which operated a truck fleet in the eastern states. Turning his sights to politics, he was elected county Sheriff in 1945, serving one term, before moving on to the state senate, 1949-1960, followed by one term as county commissioner, 1960-64. A longtime member of the War Board, he survived being dumped for a second county commissioner term in 1963 and was endorsed the following year to represent the Seventh District in Congress.

The 1964 Election, the Last Democratic Landslide In The 20th Century

With Milliken bowing out after being overwhelmingly rejected by the War Board, Watkins could breathe easier, at least regarding the Republican primary. Nevertheless, the political excitement created by LBJ's boisterous presidential style and promises for a better life for all Americans must have filtered down to the local level. The race for the open seat in Congress attracted no less than eight candidates, which seems incredible by today's reckoning. Watkins faced three other Republicans: perennial candidate, Carl Mau; John W. Wellman; and John T. Kenna. With prospects for a giant national win, the Democrats had also attracted a record number of candidates: Dr. Leonard Bachman, of Haverford Township, the endorsed candidate, as well as Mssrs. Loughney, White; and Heavey. There also were contests for the U.S. Senate seat held by Hugh Scott,, while three Democrats jousted for their party's nomination: Genevieve Blatt and Mssrs. Roberts and Musmanno.
When the election was over on April 28, Watkins had easily crushed his opponents, winning by about 55% of the total vote. His closest opponent, Wellman, had only 30% of the vote, but had surprisingly carried Springfield by a few votes. The thirty-nine year old Bachman won by a similar margin and was ready to wage a tough campaign for the fall election. Scott and Blatt were also nominated by their parties and would face each other in the fall.
As in the presidential elections of 1944 and 1960, the Democrats had a very strong top of the ticket this time. Also, they were helped by a narrowing of the gigantic Republican registration lead in the county, a trend that began in the previous decade. Since 1960, the Democrats had gained about 7,700 voters, while the GOP lost about 1,200. By the November election, the new totals were: 227,825 Republicans to 67,247 Democrats. But, the GOP woes would not merely end with these factors, as we will see.

The Fateful GOP Convention

On January 3, Arizona Senator Barry M. Goldwater announced his candidacy for president. "I am convinced that today a majority in the Republican Party believes in the essential emphasis on individual liberty," Goldwater stated. With Johnson riding high in the polls on a wave of national sympathy for JFK, there was only one major candidate from the moderate wing of the GOP, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Rocky, though, had taken a tumble in the polls with his recent divorce and remarriage. On January 27, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a moderate, threw her hat into the ring, becoming the first female major party presidential candidate in history. However, this was not to be the "Year of the Woman", as former vice presidential candidate and current Ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, took 35% of the New Hampshire vote as a write-in candidate. Goldwater had 23%, Rockefeller 20%, Nixon had 17% as a write-in candidate, and Smith, Harold E. Stassen and Norman LePage split the remaining 6%.
Goldwater's strength and support grew in leaps and bounds as he took the Illinois primary on April 14, with 65% of the vote, but was stopped in the Pennsylvania primary two weeks later, when "favorite son" candidate Governor Scranton took 58% against Goldwater's 8%. On the same day, in Massachusetts, Lodge carried 79% of his home state, again as a write-in candidate, and Goldwater had 10%. On May 2, in conservative Texas, Goldwater overwhelmed Rockefeller, 75% to 4%, but in Oregon, Rockefeller turned the tables. In the crucial California race, in a one-on-one match, Goldwater narrowly defeated Rockefeller, 51% to 49% and thus became the overwhelming favorite for the nomination. By some estimates, the Senator now held close to 500 of the 655 delegates needed for nomination.
With the failure of a candidate from the moderate or liberal wing to mount a serious challenge to Goldwater, Scranton officially entered the race on June 12, stating: "I've come here to offer our party a real choice. I reject the echo we have thus far been handed - the echo of fear and of reaction - the echo from the never-never land that puts our nation on the road backward to a lesser place in the world of free men." Governor Rockefeller withdrew from the race and threw his support to Scranton. Lodge's resignation as Ambassador followed on June 23 and he stated: " is my duty to do everything I can to help Gov. Scranton to win..."
Denying rumors in early July that the War Board was maintaining a neutral stance regarding the Scranton - Goldwater contest, Mae Kernaghan, the executive secretary of the county party, said that back on February 24, the War Board had endorsed the governor, notifying him by letter of their decision. In a poll that at least some county politicos must have taken seriously, JRP Surveys of Drexel Hill interviewed 200 voters in Upper Darby on June 30, asking their preferences in the presidential primaries and general election. When asked which Republican candidate would have the best chance of winning in November, the breakdown was:
Scranton 38%
Goldwater 32%
Lodge 7%
Rockefeller 5%
Nixon 2%
No Opinion 16%

When Scranton was pitted against Johnson, the results were:
Scranton 30%
Johnson 60%
Neither/No Opin 10%

If the lineup were Johnson vs. Goldwater, the results were even worse:
Goldwater 21%
Johnson 66%
Neither/No Opin 13%

In the meantime, even though Johnson never had any serious opposition, Alabama Governor and arch-segregationist George Wallace made some strong showings in several Democratic primaries, but bowed out of the presidential arena on July 19. He said that he had realized his mission of "conservatizing" the leadership of both political parties.
The Republican convention was held on July 13 to 16, at San Francisco's Cow Palace. Fireworks abounded when moderate Republicans unsuccessfully sought to challenge the conservative wing's grip on the party. In a letter sent to Goldwater right before the start of the convention, Scranton challenged the Arizona senator to a debate on the convention floor, stating: "Goldwaterism has come to stand for a whole crazy-quilt collection of absurd and dangerous positions that would be soundly repudiated by the American people in November." Goldwater ignored the letter, but moderates continued on the offensive. Oregon Governor Mark O. Hatfield, later to become senator, denounced the ultra-right wing John Birch Society, Ku Klux Klan and Communist party as being "bigots in this country who spew forth the venom of hate." In spite of that, the Goldwater forces defeated platform amendments that would have denounced the ultra-conservative John Birch Society by name. In fact, Rockefeller was booed and jeered when he rose to support the amendment. Two other amendments that were defeated would have put the Republican Party on record for supporting the enforcement of the newly passed Civil Rights Act and also would have affirmed that the president has exclusive control over all U.S. nuclear weapons.
Goldwater was nominated on the first ballot with 883 votes to Scranton's 214. Rockefeller had only 114, followed by Smith with 27 and a smattering of other candidates. In his acceptance speech, instead of the usual conciliatory speech, the conservative nominee made his famous statement that would be used against him many times: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!...Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" He also appeared to drum out of the party those who disagreed with his stands: "Anyone who joins us in all sincerity we welcome. Though those who don't care for our cause, we don't expect to enter our ranks in any case." The nominee then chose an obscure congressman from upstate New York, William E. Miller, 50, for his running mate, who was just a strongly conservative as Goldwater and opposed to "foreign socialistic totalitarianism".

Seeking to avoid the wholesale defection of Republican moderates who were alarmed at Goldwater's far-right statements, a summit meeting of party leaders, candidates and governors was held on August 12 at the old Hotel Hershey, in Hershey, Pa. There Goldwater, Eisenhower, Nixon, Rockefeller, Scranton, and Michigan governor George Romney, met to smooth over divisions and create party unity, or at least the illusion of it. This was followed by a press conference, in which Goldwater continued with his campaign gaffes to the press. A sense of doom pervaded the Goldwater campaign and many liberal and moderate Republican office holders sat out the election or refused to endorse the nominee. The Democrats could not have been anything but delighted at the turn of events and went to work, using many of Goldwater's misstatements as campaign material - against him. Goldwater's television ads used the slogan: "In your heart, you know he's right", which was twisted around by some of his opponents to such variations as: "In your brain, you know he's insane".
The view that Goldwater was an extremist was not shared by Watkins or the War Board. On July 23, Watkins told the News: "He doesn't have extremist views. That's just part of the newspaper campaign waged against him ever since he began his bid for nomination." Even though Goldwater voted against the Civil Rights Act, Watkins added: "Goldwater is a real friend of the Negro." Watkins, the "gentleman farmer" from Birmingham Township, derided his opponent as one who "reads the newspapers and talks a lot - I don't pay any attention to him. I understand he's a good doctor. He should talk into his own stethoscope."
Bachman had as much, if not more, criticism for the Republicans. "Politics aside, though, I was deeply disturbed by the Republican convention", he stated, adding that Goldwater's support of extremism as a virtue "gives aid and comfort to extremists on both sides." Regarding the looming civil rights issue, he declared: "I came out against the civil rights demonstrations in Chester this spring because I don't think the answer to the Negroes' problem lies in the streets. Goldwater, in his nominating speech, seemed to condone such demonstrations. County residents are, I believe, upset by the increasing rate of civil rights activity, but not enough to lose their common sense for one issue." Denying the possibility of a national backlash from whites, county Democratic chairman Ernani C. Falcone said: "The issue is being promoted by Goldwater forces to manufacture controversy."
President Lyndon Baines Johnson was nominated by acclamation on August 26, the day before his 56th birthday. The only suspense at the Democratic convention was his choice for a running mate, which was ended by the President's personal appearance to announce his preference for Minnesota Senator Hubert Horatio Humphrey, 53. The only threat to party unity were credential disputes involving the strongly anti-Johnson Alabama and Mississippi delegations. A floor fight was avoided under a compromise worked out by former Pennsylvania Governor Lawrence in which all delegates were asked to sign a pledge to support the national ticket. In his acceptance speech, Johnson set the tone of his campaign: "We do offer the people a choice, a choice of continuing on the courageous and the compassionate course that has made this nation the strongest and the freest and the most prosperous and the most peaceful nation in the history of mankind."

How the Newspaper Editors Saw It

On July 16, the News agreed with Scranton's attempts to have the John Birch Society denounced by name in the GOP Platform, stating: "...the Republican Party would benefit from ridding itself of the sometimes too close identification it now has with the Birchites...There's nothing wrong with people who hold strong convictions but it's not very encouraging when those convictions are built on blindfolded beliefs rather than sound reasoning and intelligence. The sad thing about so many Birchites is that their convictions appear to be centered around a gospel of hate rather than one of understanding and love. Hate and fear are powerful elements and when they get out of hand it is directly dangerous."
The News also reprinted an editorial from the New York Times criticizing the GOP platform: "In tone and substance, it marks a decisive break with moderate and modern Republicanism by calling for a set of policies that are dangerous and unrealistic..." The editorial singled out areas of the platform, such as: "It condemns the establishment of the 'hot line' that is aimed at preventing war through accident; it belittles the nuclear test ban treaty and is cold to efforts to achieve even partial demands greater reliance on 'military judgment' that would weaken civilian control." It also condemned the platform's fiscal irresponsibility in failing to "recognize the incompatibility of its proposals for repeal of exise taxes, a $5 billion reduction in federal spending and intensified weapons development." In summary, it said: "The Goldwater platform...provides for a new and reactionary look to the GOP It is ominously radical in its willingness to break with all that is good about the past, and it is dangerously reckless in its demand for measures that will exacerbate differences and conflicts at home and abroad."

Local Campaign Activity
Delaware County saw several visits by the nominees or their stand-ins during the fall campaign. On September 12, at the annual GOP picnic at the Springfield Country Club, Barry Goldwater, Jr. visited, landing in a helicopter on the 18th green. The 26 year old was greeted by a group of "Goldwater Girls" and then was introduced by county chairman, J. Warren Bullen, and Steve McEwen, chairman of the County Young Republicans. Goldwater, Jr. said: "We consider Pennsylvania, California and Texas the three most important states in the Republican campaign." He stated: "My dad feels that regardless of what the polls are saying, there is a real movement in this country towards conservatism."
On October 10, Senator Humphrey visited 69th Street in Upper Darby, accompanied by Senator Joe Clark, Blatt and Bachman. There were "LBJ, USA" and "LBJ IN '64, HHH in '68" signs seen in the crowd, while some boys carried "In your head, you know he's wrong", mocking Goldwater's slogan. Humphrey, a political creature at heart, pointed out a small pocket of Goldwater signs being held at the edge of the crowd "way back, to the far right", as he directed the crowd's attention. Drawing attention to a line of "Humphrey Is For Socialism" signs, the Senator said: "Now I've always felt that campaigns should be conducted in an attitude of friendliness. I'll tell you, those people wearing Johnson pins are Republicans (who are) going to vote for Johnson and they're always smiling." Adding to the excitement of the Senator's visit, was a bomb threat phoned in minutes before his arrival and an intoxicated man who was arrested for threatening to shoot the nominee.
Goldwater visited Upper Darby on October 21. Speaking from the steps of the township municipal building to a cheering crowd of 2,000, presumably staunch Republicans, he blasted Johnson and his administration. He issued flowing words of praise for the recently deceased former President Herbert Hoover, who had remained an arch-conservative during the Great Depression. "Some of the first political advice President Hoover gave me was that government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away." The senator criticized "big government" and "power concentrated in Washington", stating "It bothered Hoover, it always disturbed General Eisenhower, and it's the reason I got into politics." As if he was speaking thirty years into the future, he continued: "A government needs money to run on, but not the kind it's taking...You businessmen are beset by compliances, power (of the federal government) that is almost frightening." Some Johnson supporters, on the fringes of the crowd, displayed signs, such as "Where is Hugh Scott?", referring to the distancing of the beleaguered senator the top of the ticket; "Billy and Barry--The Bombsey Twins" and "Welcome Barry--No Minorities Here". On October 29, LBJ visited Philadelphia, attracting an estimated 500,000. Johnson spoke at Broad and Snyder Avenues and at Convention Hall. He stayed overnight at the Bellevue Stratford and spoke to a large crown on the Temple University campus, then campaigned in the Port Richmond and Kensington neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, due to the top of the GOP ticket all but collapsing, the contest between Dr. Bachman and Watkins grew tight, with the latter hoping for enough ticket-splitting to avert a Democratic sweep.
In August, Bachman announced he had taken a three month leave of absence from his duties as a medical doctor at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia to go "directly to the people". Further, he said: "...I am going to the rank and file of both parties with my program for moderate, reasonable and economical government" and was "carrying the story of President Johnson's domestic program of jobs and prosperity, and his foreign program of firmness and sanity to Republican, Democratic and non-partisan voters of our county."
On September 10, Bachman spoke before the Delaware County Medical Society at the Media Lodge Inn. In contrast to most others in his profession, he came out for medical care and hospital treatment for the elderly through the social security system. He cited "the demonstrated need to provide the sound and sure means of assuring required hospitalization for our growing population of senior citizens." In a look toward the future, he warned that "the startling advances of medical technology itself have contributed to aggravating the problem of major medical care for our senior citizens. The lengthening of the life cycle, along with the continued rapid growth of our national population, insures that there will be an increase each year in the numbers of our elderly. We, as a nation cannot long afford to let this situation develop without providing a means to answer the dilemma that many of our senior citizens find themselves in when they are faced with major hospitalization bills that they cannot pay."
On September 29, speaking before a rally in Lansdowne, in the Odd Fellows Hall, Watkins seemed to be speaking more as a New Deal Democrat than a Republican, when he promised: "the first bill I propose before Congress will be to make it unnecessary for anybody making $5,000 or less annually to file a return...The man making only $5,000 annually needs every bit of help possible --eve if it is minimal." He charged that his Democratic opponent needed to take a "refresher course" in "the two major problems facing Americans today -- care for senior citizens and income tax relief for people making less than $5,000 annually." Addressing the controversial issue of medical assistance for the elderly, Watkins seemed to be bucking his own party's congressional leadership, by stating: "I propose that the aged who need assistance be given that aid without limitations, including hospital, surgical, drugs, doctors' fees, and nursing home care, not for 90 days but for as long a period as they need this aid."
The next night, Dr. Bachman spoke to a meeting of area leaders of the Citizens for Educational Freedom in Drexel Hill. He seemed to speaking more as a conservative Republican when he announced his support of a federal law providing for "shared time", which would allow non-public school children to use certain public school facilities. He called the proposed legislation "a practical and fair solution that is just to all taxpayers while providing for the traditional separation of church and state...I do not feel they (parents) should be penalized for choosing to send their children to non-public schools."
On October 19, Bachman and Senator Clark spoke before a small group of labor leaders at a Yale Avenue, Morton, headquarters.
As the heated campaign drew to a close, both candidates issued statements attempting to persuade the voters in their direction. At a meeting of the Haverford Township Lions Club, Bachman leveled an attack on the War Board-backed candidacy of Watkins: "Successive lackluster Congressmen spawned by the Republican machine bosses have been notable for one major characteristic -- their utter lack of concern for job, business and industry in our county. The political phantom who is the Republican Congressional candidate not only has failed to speak out on the vital issues of this campaign, but he had failed to show up before the public. The Republicans have given the nomination to a man who took part in four years' County administration marked by bickering and physical combat among its top elected officials."
Watkins returned fire in a release from the Republican headquarters in Media: "...I don't believe that the people of Delaware County can afford to wait for a man with a longing to go to Congress to gain 12 years of legislative experience..I am interested, too, in the retired man or woman, ...who are living on pensions, a fixed income or Social Security. I promise to fight for legislation to bring the dollar back to being worth a dollar. The dollar today is worth just 44 cents because of the deficit spending of the Democrats. If something isn't done we will have to use a wheelbarrow to take enough paper money to the store to buy a loaf of bread."

With the polls showing Johnson consistently ahead of Goldwater, the results of the general election on November 3 surprised no one, except those expecting a miracle for the GOP Johnson amassed the largest vote of any candidate in history to that point, with 43.1 million votes to his opponent's 27.1 million. The electoral vote was lopsided 523 to 8, with Johnson taking Republican bastions such as Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, Kansas, and Vermont, which had never before voted Democratic. Only ticket-splitting on a massive scale prevented a wholesale disaster for all Republicans. If the voting for governor and U.S. senator had followed the presidential voting exactly, the GOP would have won only 1 of the 59 contested offices. But, as it was, they were able to carry 15 races, including the reelection of Romney. A young George Bush lost in his bid to unseat Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough, but by a respectable margin, considering Johnson's sweep of his home state.
Even though the Democrats could bask in their electoral triumph, there were ominous signs in the Deep South: Georgia went to the GOP for the first time in its history, along with South Carolina, which had not voted for a Republican president since 1876. Goldwater also carried Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, where Johnson's name was not allowed on the ballot. The Civil Rights Act, which both Kennedy and Johnson had championed, caused the inevitable split in the Democratic ranks between conservative, white southerners and their more liberal northerner brethren. It would take another thirty years for this "white flight" from the Democratic Party to become fatal to the Democratic majority in Congress. But, for the time being, the Democrats were supreme, winning two additional Senate seats and thirty-eight House seats, leaving them with over two-to-one majorities.
In spite of the Gulf of Tonkin incident with North Vietnam and the 23,000 American troops suffering casualties in South Vietnam, Johnson undoubtedly won some votes by promising: "We are not about to send American boys 9,000 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves." Many voters, although uneasy with Goldwater's "shoot from the hip" style of speaking, harbored reservations about Johnson's "wheeling and dealing" style of politics. Some had thought that the contest was between a "kook and a crook". This would be the high-water mark of the Democrats nationally to date, as moderate Republicans joined with Democrats to support Johnson's promises of "peace, prosperity and progress" under his "Great Society", in the tradition of FDR, Truman and JFK.
In Pennsylvania, it was the greatest Democratic victory since the two party system, with LBJ taking 3.130 million votes to 1.672 million for Goldwater. Only with the help of massive ticket-splitting did incumbent Hugh Scott squeak to a second term over Miss Blatt, 2.432 million to 2.383 million votes, a mere 47,000 vote difference. Thoughtful voters in Delaware County gave the moderate Scott, a supporter of the Civil Rights Act, a commanding majority of 151,684 to 104,962. He carried the other suburban counties by about 97,000 and only lost his hometown, Philadelphia, by 142,000, while Johnson had carried it 670,239 to 239,733.
Locally, the election was the worst disaster for the War Board up to that point. With its iron-clad control in the county slipping, the GOP machine watched in horror as Johnson swept Delaware County, 147,189 to 111,189, winning in such Republican bastions as Springfield (52%), Upper Darby (56%), Haverford (55%), and Marple (56%). In Chester, it was a complete collapse of the top of the ticket, with Goldwater taking only 31% of the vote and a Democrat being elected as state representative, even though it was widely known he was a "McClure Democrat".
Watkins narrowly escaped being a political casualty, with his 129,572 to 123,750 win over Bachman, a dangerously close margin of only 5,822. While Goldwater only carried 14 towns, Watkins carried 25, including all of the largest, except the City of Chester and Ridley Township. This would be the last election in which all of Delaware County would be contained in the same congressional district.
There also was enough ticket-splitting to give state Senator Bell a comfortable lead for his second term, 137,495 to 115,747. In the Second legislative district, which consisted of the northern and eastern tiers of the county, all four Republican incumbents were re-elected handily by about an average of 11,000 votes, while in the Third District, consisting of the Chester Pike and riverfront towns, the results were closer, but all four GOP candidates came through by about 6,000 votes. This would also be the last election where multiple members would be elected from the same district.
Delaware County residents had shown their sophistication by cutting the top of their ticket, but voting for the state and local slate. In a postmortem on the day after the election, Chairman Bullen told the News that it "would not be wise" for the GOP to run Goldwater again in 1968. He did find solace in the local returns, stating: "I am pleased with our showing. I think it points out the strength of our county organization that we were able to hold up against this landslide and elect all our local candidates with one exception", referring to the loss in Chester.

Watkins' First Term - Truly in the Minority

When G. Robert Watkins was sworn into office in January, 1965, he sat with only 139 other Republicans, while 295 Democrats sat as the majority. In the Senate, Hugh Scott had only 31 other colleagues of his party, while the Democrats had 68. Not since the heydays of the New Deal in 1937, did so many Democrats occupy seats in Congress. But, their peak of power and popularity would be relatively short-lived, as the Vietnam War entered a major escalation phase only months after Johnson's inauguration, in spite of his campaign promises to the contrary. Even though the economy was growing at a healthy pace, the public was becoming restive due to the war.
With the Democrats holding such a commanding lead and Johnson now having a true mandate, having won by a landslide, as opposed to Kennedy's narrow win four year earlier, Congress churned out dozens of Great Society bills. The most notable legislation passed by the 89th Congress was:
Medicare - provided hospital and medical insurance for the elderly. This was finally passed by overwhelming majorities and signed into law, with Watkins voting yes.
Voting Rights Act - which suspended all literacy and related
tests for voting in counties where less than 50% of the voting-age population was registered or had voted.
Aid to Education - provided federal aid to schools, guaranteed student loans and federal scholarships to the needy.
Health - allocated $350 million for research and treatment of heart disease, cancer, stroke and other related diseases, as well as funds for mental health and retardation.
Appalachia - $1.1 billion was authorized for depressed areas in Appalachia
Pollution - authorized federal emission standards for new vehicles. Also, the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration was created and funds for sewage treatment grants were provided.
Housing and Urban Development - a new cabinet department was created for this.
National Foundation of the Arts and Humanities - was authorized.

On March 28, John J. McClure, 78, died twelve days after being admitted to University Hospital in Philadelphia for multiple fractures of the hip and pelvis. Flags at all Chester city municipal buildings were flown at half-staff the rest of the week. Frank Snear, chairman of the county commissioners, succeeded McClure as chairman of the War Board.

Redistricting Revisited

On February 17, 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a long-awaited decision on congressional redistricting. By a six to three vote, the Court, in Wesbery v. Sanders that "as nearly as practicable, one man's vote in a congressional election it to be worth as much as another's." The effect of this ruling meant that the redistricting in Pennsylvania and many other states based on the 1960 census was nullified and would need to be redone.
In December, 1964, Governor Scranton announced the upcoming appointment of a bipartisan committee to propose legislative redistricting due to an order from the state Supreme Court. He then announced that he would ask the committee to consider congressional redistricting, as well. "Anybody can go into court and say our congressional apportionment is not laid out on the one-man, one-vote principal - and it isn't," he stated.
"It just doesn't seem right to me that a portion of Delaware County should be tacked onto some other county just to reach someone's idea of a magical figure," was Watkins comment regarding his opposition to reapportionment and possible shift his hometown of Birmingham and the rest of western Delaware County with Chester County. In January of 1966, he testified to that effect before the state Senate reapportionment Committee and said that by 1970, Delaware County would have enough population to support two congressmen.
In February, Watkins again attacked the pending redistricting plans: "If it is done now, large portions of Delaware County will be cut off from the balance of the county, attached to either Chester or Montgomery Counties and our people will be virtually without representation in Washington for at least the next four years. It will mean that Montgomery and Chester Counties will control those districts. It will mean that congressmen from those districts will not be working solely for Delaware County municipalities."
Meanwhile, it seemed that politicians of both parties were trying to avoid repeating the donnybrook of 1961. Philadelphia party leaders agreed to leave the alignment of the five city districts the same. The state's congressional delegation had reached a consensus on the remaining 22 districts. The plan would move Haverford, Marple and Radnor townships into Montgomery County's 13th district, while shifting Abington, Cheltenham, Lower Moreland and Upper Dublin townships into the Eighth District with Bucks County. However, later that month, the agreement seemed to unravel, as Scranton objected to leaving Philadelphia's districts unchanged. He cited that due to the city's districts not being contiguous and compact, the reapportionment plan will be subject to court challenges. "I agree," said William Meehan, GOP leader in the city. "Republicans upstate worked it out in 1962 and made the deal with Green and shoved it down my throat."
Events took a sudden turn, when Paul Dague, the 9th District incumbent, who Watkins would be forced to run against under the pending proposal, announced his retirement. Dague then endorsed Watkins and offered to campaign for him in the primary. County Democrats charged that the Philadelphia Democratic leadership cut a deal with the War Board, to allow the city to keep its five congressmen in exchange for dividing Delaware County between the 7th and 9th districts. The plan would also include Lower Merion and Narberth in the 7th District, which would comprise the eastern tier of the county.
John J. Logue, of Swarthmore, the Democratic candidate for Congress, charged Snear with "gerrymandering". "It seems inevitable that one congressional district will cross county lines, but there is no reason for both of them to do so," the candidate said.
In March, the state Senate passed an amended bill, which removed the Montgomery County communities and restored Radnor to the 7th District. Interestingly enough, Bell opposed removing Lower Merion and Narberth from the district because of constitutional concerns. Bell further lent his support to the new Chester County-Delaware County district, in which Watkins resided.
With the extended filing deadline for candidates looming, the House quickly passed the redistricting bill and candidates scrambled to file nominating petitions. County Democrats still voiced their dissatisfaction and believed that the splitting of Delaware County was designed to prevent the Democrats from winning in either district.
The reapportionment plan signed by the Governor placed 22 southern and western Delaware County communities into the Ninth District, with all of Chester County, which was separated from Lancaster County. The remaining 27 towns in the populous eastern half of Delaware County became the Seventh District. The Eighth District became all of Bucks, with several municipalities from Lehigh and Montgomery Counties, while the Thirteenth District retained the remainder of Montgomery County. While correcting some of the population imbalance, the new alignment still had its problems:

1st-5th Districts Philadelphia 400,502 (Average)

7th District Delaware (part) 390,008

8th District Bucks& Lehigh, Montgomery (part) 356,821

9th District Chester & Delaware (part) 373,754

13th District Montgomery (part) 481,547

Ideal (Average) Size for a Pennsylvania District 419,235

The Eighth District had a population of only 356,821, compared to the Thirteenth District, which contained almost 125,000 more. The legislature and political establishment finally had allowed the crossing of county lines in the suburban counties of Philadelphia for the first time. However, it would take another Supreme Court ruling to further correct the disproportionate representation in Congress and the state legislature.
With the shift of Watkins' hometown of Birmingham to the new Ninth District, the Seventh District became an open seat, which would be filled that year by Springfield GOP leader Lawrence G. Williams (see next chapter). In the meantime, Watkins now represented a district where 56% of the residents resided in Chester County. In spite of the desire of some leaders that the district be represented by a Chester County resident, an accommodation was reached between the War Board and the leadership of the former, allowing Watkins to continue.
He was easily re-elected in November, 1966, beating Democrat Louis F. Waldman, 81,516 to 48,656.

Last Years in Office

Although the War Board was officially neutral in the heated contest for the Republican presidential nomination between Nixon and Rockefeller in 1968, Watkins said he "was all the way" for Nixon. "With his training as vice president and his understanding of foreign and domestic affairs, there is no one with a name that can equal him," the congressman declared.
In the general election, Watkins easily beat his Democratic challenger, Philip L. Harding, 100,399 to 56,532. In his last election in 1970, he beat a nominal challenger in the Republican primary, Anthony Z. Giampietro, 31,058 to 13,419.
On August 7, 1970, he died suddenly of a heart attack while attending a meeting of the Penn Oakes Club in Chester County.
On August 27, 34 delegates from Delaware County met with 56 delegates from Chester County at the Penn Oakes Club to determine the candidate to replace Watkins on the GOP ballot. The chairman of the Delaware County Republican executive committee, Ed Hineman, read a tribute to the late congressman, stating: "All of us knew him as Bob Watkins, and found him to be a very congenial friend and a very clear thinking legislator....He was forceful in action and wise in counsel, and he had great wit...The citizens of Pennsylvania's Ninth Congressional District have lost a superb Representative, and I have lost a very close friend."
The voting portion of the meeting was a formality, however, since the real decision had already been made between the War Board and Chester County's GOP boss, Theodore S.A. Rubino. Accordingly, the 90 conferees voted unanimously to endorse state senator John H. Ware, 3rd, of Oxford.
Ware's political career was similar to that of Watkins and Milliken, in that he served two terms as burgess of Oxford in 1956 and 1960, then went on to the state senate for three terms. Ware served only two terms, before retiring in 1974 and was replaced by Dick Schulze.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 6

The Larry Williams Era in Delaware County, PA
1958 - 1974

To discuss the congressional tenure of Lawrence Gordon Williams is to also discuss politics in his home township of Springfield. From his start in township politics in 1951, to his resignation as township Republican chairman in 1974, Larry Williams and the local government in Springfield were inseparable.
This was also true with many other county party leaders, but the difference was that instead of keeping in the back¬ground, away from publicity, the outspoken Williams was almost always up front with his political involvement. His allies and adversaries could agree on one thing: there was never a question about Larry Williams’ stand on local issues.
Williams was born on September 15, 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pa., moved into Philadelphia in 1922, and finally settled in Springfield in 1939. After serving as a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Corp dur¬ing World War II, he served as chairman of the fundraising committee for the Springfield ambulance corps.
He quickly showed his extraordinary organizing and financial skills by raising $8,600, exceeding the goal of $6,500. Under his skillful direction, not only was an ambulance purchased, but the entire ambulance corps was organized.
He then became involved with the formation of the Springfield Betterment Association and organized several civic groups into the Council of Civic Associations in 1949, serving as its first president.
He attended Drexel University and was employed by Curtis Publishing Company from 1936 to 1966, having attained the position of assistant to the vice president for manufacturing. Elected township commissioner from the First Ward as an independent Republican in 1951, re-elected in 1955 (877 to 359), 1959 (1,115 to 377) and 1963 (1,374 to 384). In 1958, he was elected chairman of the Springfield Republican Party and three years later, was elected president of the township board of commissioners.
He began amassing political power countywide when he was ap¬pointed a member of the War Board in 1958 by John McClure. By 1959, he was controversial and powerful enough to be referred to by the then Springfield Democratic chairman as "Mr. Republican No. 2 in the county". The type of political charges were made in 1959 that would be repeated for the next 15 years: that Williams approved, against resident op¬position, the construction of a shopping center that was not paying its fair share of taxes and "talked his boys (fellow commission¬ers)" into approving the construction of a controversial hospital.
Williams, how¬ever, remained enormously popular with local residents. Some 20 years later, his own ward residents remembered his door-to-door campaign visits. In 1960, when Vice President Richard Nixon visited Springfield during a campaign swing for president, Williams shook hands with the local residents, with one commenting: "He's almost as famous as Nixon".
He consistently touted his accomplishments through press releases, then later, through his congressional newsletter, often displaying his keen grasp of statistics. In 1959, as head of the Springfield G.O.P., his press release stated that the Board of Commissioners "steered the township through a period of phe¬nomenal growth, protected the fine residential character of the community (and) provided outstanding municipal service...with only modest tax increases for needed improvements in a dan¬gerous inflationary period." (The last reference to "dangerous" inflation is curious, since the fiscally-conservative Eisenhower administration had been in office about seven years and inflation was low throughout the 1950's).
Williams, in characteristic fashion, also cited Springfield's successful opposition in 1956 and 1957 to the proposed Yellow Route, the predecessor to the Blue Route. (The latter was finally opened in 1991, after decades of lawsuits, hearings and delays.) The route that Williams opposed would have brought the expressway through the center of Springfield and other populated towns. The alternative path that the state finally choose had the highway, for the most part, skirting major population and town centers.
He also touted the large volume of parkland acquisition by the township in the 1950's, which gave Spring¬field "an unusually high ratio of 10 acres of parks for each 1000 persons".
Other accomplishments were the acquisition of the land, as well as the building of the Township municipal building and library. In 1956, he helped plan and support the township acquisition of the Springfield Country Club complex, consisting of a golf course, club house, ice skating rink and swimming facilities. To this day, the wisdom of these decisions can be readily seen, with the Country Club having been a consistent money-maker for the township. He also played a major role in rewriting and updating the township zoning and building codes.
Reflecting his keen interest in regional affairs, he served as the Delaware County representative on the policy committee of the Penn-Jersey Transportation Study from 1959 to 1966 and also on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
When he went to Washington in 1967, his district con¬gressional office was in the Springfield municipal building, and as Republican chairman of Springfield, he continued to meet with and make decisions for and through the board of commissioners from his office. In Congress, he had a very conservative voting record, one that would be attacked again and again by his Democratic opponents. He supported funding for the Vietnam War and attacked deficit spending, whether it be by the Johnson or Nixon administration. Until his final election, no opponent even came close to defeating him in the primary or general elections.
He was the prototype of the modern congressman, bringing a hard-driving, issue-oriented style to his representation, in contrast to his mainly low-key predecessors, with the exception of Tom Butler.
Township "old-timers" remember Larry in many ways. "No detail was too small for his attention" is one of them. Had he stayed more in the background locally and maintained better relations with members of the War Board, he would have been assured at least another term in Congress.
Due to later controversial actions of his which overshadowed the earlier local accomplishments, at least in the eyes of some residents, the only official tribute from the township was the renaming of a small park across the street from his home to Williams Park. Even though it was some 15 years after his death, the board of commissioners was divided on the vote.

1959 - 1963 The Al Swing Insurgency

The late fifties and early sixties saw a growing political restiveness in Delaware County, as John McClure's declining health took its toll on his leadership abilities.
In 1959, Sheriff Bob Watkins and Radnor Tax Collector Albert W. Swing were elected county commissioners, along with Democrat William A. Welsh. Not long after he took office, Swing found himself in opposition to fellow commissioner Watkins, as well as a group of fellow War Board members, composed of Williams, Fred Duke, Mayor Eyre, and Congressman Milliken, as well as Sam Dickey, who was not yet an official member. Williams' natural leadership abilities came into play as he became the "spokeman" for the "Big Five".
As the feud escalated, Swing was criticized by the "Big Five" and other opponents for keeping the lucrative tax collector's position, while holding county office. During this critical period of party disunity, the following major events occurred:

Mar 1961 - Swing was sued by the "Big Five" to force his removal from the tax collector's position.

May - Swing retaliated against Williams by voting with Democrat Welsh to rescind previously approved county funding for a drainage project on the street where Williams' home was located. Springfield Township then filed suit against the county.

Mar 1962 - At the same War Board meeting where Milliken was endorsed for a third term in Congress, the "voluntary" decision of Swing not to run again for state committeeman was reported. Broadmeadows Prison Warden John I. Gable of Newtown was endorsed for the largely honorary position.
At a caucus meeting of the county commissioners, Watkins charged that Swing physically assaulted him and stated: "For two years and three months I've tried to get along with him. But now I'm just going to go along the road alone as a commissioner."

Sep - Swing and Welsh voted over Watkins' objections to remove Williams as the county representative on the Penn-Jersey Transportation Study Group. Williams, a Blue Route supporter, was replaced by an opponent of the highway.

Oct - The commissioners voted two to one to remove Watkins as board chairman, replacing him with Swing. Watkins unsuccessfully sued to recover his position.

Nov - The State Supreme Court upholds Swing's right to hold both elected positions of county commissioner and tax collector. The county commissioners vote to go on record opposing the Blue Route. Both Swing and Welsh's home towns have strong opposition to the highway. Welsh accuses the administration of the county's home for the aged, Fair Acres, of admitting those not genuinely indigent.

Mar 1963 - The War Board dumps both Swing and Watkins for reelection, endorsing former Sheriff Frank Snear of Media and Harry A. McNichol, general manager of the John McClatchy Organization, which built most of 69th Street in Upper Darby Township. At the meeting, the ailing McClure stays in bed, interviewing each War Board member, finally asking Francis Catania and Joe Eyre to present his selections to the full War Board. Watkins commented to the News, "Senator McClure put me in... and he took me out. That's politics."
Swing files for reelection stating that he was "protecting" McClure's interests by running, instead blaming his dumping on Dickey. "Sam Dickey has convinced McClure that it is politically expedient to dump me. Sam Dickey is out to take over Delaware County and he is not the best type of individual to be interested in controlling our county government. I am the representative of good government, and the choice is between me and the Big Five."
Eyre, in his capacity as county G.O.P. chairman, announces that Swing has been dismissed from the War Board, accusing the latter of "seeking to supplant" McClure and "perpetuate his own brand of political panhandling" by holding two elected positions with a combined salary of nearly $50,000.

Apr - A management consultant survey of county government, which had been authorized over Watkins' objections, is released and calls for: abandoning political patronage hiring, going to civil service, reassessing all county properties every ten years, maintaining open space, reforming the management of Fair Acres, and consolidating some departments and positions. There is no indication whether the recommend-ations will be approved.
Swing charges that county employees are being "coerced into political contributions", otherwise known as macing. He blames the practice on the "Duke-Dickey-Williams machine" and vows to turn over to the district attorney any evidence of this practice.
An executive committee is formed to support Swing's reelection bid. It includes Reid S. Cordier, who is running against Williams for township commissioner; Robert B. Miller of Radnor, Swing's campaign chairman; Harry Eastburn, former leader in Marple Township; Alfred S. MacFarland, former leader in Collingdale and Richard S. Krick of Radnor, chairman of the county Board of Assessment and Revision of Taxes.
Meanwhile, Snear charges that Swing "recently offered to recognize Samuel R. Dickey as Republican leader of Delaware County in return for his support in this election."
Planning a review of county insurance practices, Swing states the current situation had left "a single individual holding all the insurance policies on our public buildings." He charges that $62,000 of premiums are being handled "solely by John J. McClure".
Eyre counters, stating that Swing is a "pious political phony" and has lost "forever the right to both call himself a Republican and appeal to the party's voters" by appointing three top county Democratic leaders to county jobs, along with MacFarland.
Swing's ally, Krick, orders special assessors to conduct "an investigation of assessment practices in Springfield". Krick immediately doubles the assessment of the municipally-owned Springfield Country Club to $70,200, causing Williams and township treasurer Louis Wagner to cry foul. Eight assessors, including two from Springfield that were close to Williams, are fired, but immediately rehired by the County Commissioners due to a technicality.
Williams, in responding to attacks from his Republican primary opponent, Cordier, says that he had no designs on county office and "my lack of political ambition is well-known to everyone but Swing and his puppets." Cordier states that he decided to run against Williams because the latter was "a tool of the McClure Machine and would do anything to further his political ambitions". He says that Williams' "continued control over the Springfield Republican Party can lead only to its destruction."

May - Swing, again over the vehement objections of Watkins, names an "ethics committee", headed by Charles A. McCafferty, president of Riddle Memorial Hospital. Its purpose is to look into the issue of county employees who were doing business with the county, such as an assessor who was selling tires to the county. Watkins calls the appointment "ramrod, unjust, unethical and illegal..."
As one of the most bitter election campaigns in county history drew to a conclusion, Welsh charges that widespread gambling exists in Delaware County. He says he has proof that a "big operation" existed in Upper Darby, along with Chester, and would turn over such information to the state attorney general. Watkins denies the accusations, stating: "There is no evidence of widespread gambling and crime in this county and whenever criminals are brought to court for misdeeds committed within county boundaries, they are usually the riffraff from Philadelphia."
Swing releases his "six point program for county government", which consists of a county crime commission, a self-financed regional transportation authority, an ethics commission, open space acquisition, an overall study of hiring procedures and a full time industrial development specialist.
In spite of all of the fury and effort, Swing receives a humiliating 23,000 votes to the 62,000-plus average vote for Snear and McNichol. He only scores well in his hometown of Radnor, 3,500 to about 1,300, perhaps due to his opposition to the Blue Route, which is unpopular in that town. He loses Williams' Springfield four to one; Eyre's Chester and Duke's Clifton Heights four-and-a-half to one, as well as Dickey's Upper Darby three-and-a-half to one. Williams, who was never in any danger of losing in his own home ward, trounces Cordier 1,176 to 278.

1965 - Local Issues Heat Up


The three candidates that Williams and the Springfield G.O.P. have endorsed for the School Board, in an effort to fight the Morton merger, are elected: William C. Hollibaugh, Richard D. Carter and James G. Windsor. In a crucial test of power for Williams and his organization, the three candidates receive 3,037, 2,872, and 2,450 to their independent opponents' totals of 1,798, 1,389, 1,327 and 793.
Russell, Samuel and Leslie Green of Springfield apply for a building permit to build a restaurant on their mother's property at 754 Baltimore Pike. The permit is rejected and a messy three year legal battle soon begins.


Williams states in writing to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that the Greens' permit request should be rejected due an "excessive number of liquor licenses" in the area. On the same day, he personally testifies in favor of the license request of another bar on the same street situated on a property co-owned by Fred Duke and the wife of the vice president of the L.G. Williams for Congress Committee.


Williams asks the school board to meet privately with the township commissioners regarding the merger. Instead, the school directors hold a public meeting, which Williams attends, stating: "I asked for a private meeting with the school board. This was my answer."
Williams argues that the increased number of school children from Morton would cost Springfield residents added taxes. He foresees the building of apartments and the depreciation of "dilapidated homes" in Morton as the reason for the economic harm that Springfield would suffer. He denies that there is an issue with the 80% of Morton's students that are black and would be attending Springfield schools. The Springfield Republican chairman also tells Dale Frye, the president of the Springfield Education Association, a teacher's union, that as an employee of the school district, the latter has no right to speak.
The school board votes four to three to appeal to Dauphin County Court and a group of residents, many of whom are township Republican workers, form COME (Committee Opposing the Merger Effort). Williams denies charges of prejudice, stating: "The race of the Morton students has no bearing on this question."
The School Board votes four to three to appeal the merger. The Rev. Peter Young, of St. Paul's United Church of Christ, charges that "political pressure" was behind the appeal. "I was and am very concerned that the consequences of this political involvement in school board affairs will work to the detriment of the children and the youth of both communities," he further states. The Rev. Wallace Stetler of the Covenant Methodist Church submits a statement to the Board signed by 21 ministers and one rabbi in support of the merger.
The president of COME, Peter Rimmer counters: "I think our local ministers should devote their efforts to the spiritual concerns of this community and stop meddling in community affairs."
War Board Chairman Snear comes out strongly against the school reorganization plans. "Nobody wants this except some school officials trying to spread out the high tax load over several municipalities so that one district doesn't stand out with heavy taxes," states the staunch ally of Williams.


The request from the Sportsmen's Club for a zoning exception is approved the same night by the Zoning Board.
The county Democratic Party, in its platform, calls for a seven to eleven member county "legislature" directed by an elected "county executive". The Democrats declare that the record of the "tired, old self-perpetuating...War Board makes it clear it cannot meet the challenges of a process of deterioration which has already set in." The minority party also calls for a "county highway advisory board", a county health department, a county welfare department, centralized collection of municipal taxes and county coordination of police statistics and crime prevention. G.O.P. chairman Bullen refers to the Democrats as having "labored on a mountain of promises and brought forth a molehill... Republicans stand for fiscal responsibility, honesty in government and promising what they can deliver."


The Green's request for a zoning exception is rejected, due to the application not being signed or notarized. Only seventeen days later, the commissioners begin hearings on a zoning change that would disqualify the Green property. Samuel Green appears, calling the amendment “discriminatory, unreasonable, harsh and unconstitutional.”

1966 - Williams Steps Up
The commissioners adopt the proposed E-Business zoning amendment, which requires a 250 foot wide frontage for certain buildings, a total area of 125,000 square feet, with no more than 40 per cent of the lot covered by a building. The 2.8 acre Green lot has only a 200 foot frontage and its depth of 350 feet leaves it short of the 125,000 foot requirement. The old ordinance had no limits on the size of the lot or the frontage and only required a building to not take more than 60 per cent of the property.


Former congressman Milliken announces his resignation from the War Board, citing the lack of a "representative process" in making decisions. In his letter of resignation, he further stated: "The needs of the people in this county are growing and the burden of meeting them cannot be carried without the voice of a political organization open to all."
War Board chairman Snear replied: "There are plenty of indications from the people in the districts the supervisors represent indicating closer cooperation than ever before. Milliken's statements, in that respect, are an extreme fallacy."
After flirting with a third party candidacy, Milliken becomes a candidate in the G.O.P. primary. As to the War Board's candidate, the names mentioned in political circles are: Bullen, Upper Darby attorney Stephen McEwen, and Williams.


Williams is endorsed by the War Board for the open 7th District seat, stating: "I expect my congressional duties will require my full time attention. There's only one way I know to campaign and that's hard." The Democrats endorse John J. Logue of Swarthmore, a Villanova University political science professor.

Collingdale mayor and county clerk of courts, William E. Ruthrauff Jr. is appointed to the War Board.
After the Springfield School Board votes, four to three, to accept Morton students on a tuition basis, the Board of Commissioners officially endorses COME. This action is then condemned by local clergymen, led by the Rev. Peter Young, of St. Paul's United Church of Christ. "I continue to abhor the interference of the commissioners in school board affairs," Rev. Young states. The clergy members, including representatives of Springfield's three Catholic churches, issue a joint statement asserting their right to speak out on moral issues.


The Springfield Zoning Board rejects the Greens' second request for an exception, citing the new zoning amendment and the Greens appeal to the county court.
The Delaware River Basin Commission reports that the Delaware River flow is the lowest ever recorded. Some 100,000 square miles of the eastern U.S. is gripped by "extremely severe" drought conditions, with some counties in Pennsylvania having been declared agricultural disaster areas.


Opening of the L.G. Williams for Congress Headquarters on Brookside Road in Springfield. (Left to right) Mrs. Edward Kistner, Williams, Mrs. Williams, War Board chairman Frank Snear, Mrs. William Holt

In a low-key election, Williams trounces Milliken in the Republican primary, 43,719 to 19,443. Milliken manages to carry only Morton, Swarthmore, Sharon Hill and Tinicum. Logue defeats his challenger, Carl Barus, a fellow professor, in the Democratic primary. Barus had opposed U.S. policy in Vietnam. Lt. Governor Raymond P. Shafer, Republican, is nominated for governor, and Milton Shapp beats Bob Casey for the Democratic nod.
Logue suggests that the 30% vote that Milliken received "may signal the beginning of the end for the Republican War Board". He predicts the November election would be "a referendum on the War Board since the Republican candidate (Williams) is 'Mr. War Board'."

Walter E. Allesandroni, the state attorney general and candidate for lieutenant governor, dies in a plan crash near Clayville, Pennsylvania. His wife, along with the chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, also are killed. Allesandroni is replaced on the ticket by Raymond Broderick.


"I'm supporting President Johnson in 1968," Senator Robert Kennedy declares, stating he has "no plans to run for anything other than United States Senate in 1970." Oregon Senator Wayne Morse, a maverick in the Democratic party, had said we would oppose the renomination of LBJ in 1968 and would support Kennedy, if he were a candidate.
Ronald Reagan, Republican candidate for governor of California, is endorsed by former president Eisenhower. Reagan describes the "Great Society" programs as "greater every day: greater in cost, greater in inefficiency and greater in waste," with the cost being "an ounce of personal freedom for every ounce of federal help we get." He says he opposed the 1964 and 1965 Civil Rights Acts as full of "legislative flaws and faults and part of them being in my view, unconstitutional."
The war escalates, with the U.S. bombing Hanoi and Haiphong for the first time, destroying a substantial portion of North Vietnamese fuel handling and storage facilities.

Two years after his failed attempt to provide a moderate alternative to Goldwater, Scranton declares: "I am not going to run ever again for any public office under any circumstances - and there are no equivocations of that statement."


On the first of the month, the new Medicare program goes into effect. Surgeon General Dr. William H. Stewart reports that 94% of the nation's general hospitals are in compliance with the laws governing hospital standards and provisions against discrimination. Johnson appeals to the "responsible medical societies and professional leadership to take the lead in trying to help us prevent unreasonable costs for health services."
Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright, another critic of the administrations's Vietnam policies, charges that the U.S. is "taking on the role of policeman and provider for all of non-Communist Asia."


A report says that some military leaders in the Pentagon favor increasing the current 286,000 troops in Vietnam to 750,000, based on an assessment of the military situation by the armed forces. When asked, Johnson replies: "We have been unable to find any of those reports in the government here."
Nixon, after a three day visit to South Vietnam, calls for an increase in troop strength to 500,000, due to "no reasonable possibility of a negotiated settlement." He believes the massive buildup would bring the war "to a conclusion," but rejects South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky's call for an invasion of North Vietnam.
One thousand attend a three hour anti-war rally at Independence Hall, while five thousand march in Times Square.


Logue is endorsed by the Delaware County AFL-CIO Council, along with state senator Bell and the Democrats running for state legislature.
While not wavering in their overall support, three Republican leaders in the House, Ford, Melvin Laird of Wisconsin and Charles Goodell of New York, are showing concern about the war. Ford believes the Vietnam war is becomng a "full-fledged conflict" that is "bigger than the Korean War." Laird charges "deception is being used on the amount of money being expended in Vietnam. The Johnson administration is not telling the people about it."
Eisenhower advises using "as much force as we need to win" and giving the pursuit of the war in Vietnam priority over "the war on poverty, on getting to the moon, or anything else." Regarding the use of atomic weapons in Vietnam, he states: "I would not automatically preclude anything."


Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, along with Shapp and Logue tour Delaware County. At the Bazaar of All Nations in Clifton Heights, a crowd of 5,000 comes to hear the senator. At the Alpine Inn in Springfield, 500 Democrats pay $50 to hear the senator and candidates.
Kennedy quipps: "You may wonder why a Senator from Massachusetts is here campaigning for John Logue for Congress. When a Harvard man like me travels hundreds of miles to campaign for a Yale man (Logue), it certainly shows how much I think of him."
Logue predicts a "revolution in the suburbs similar to those in other parts of the United States" regarding the need to defeat the War Board. Shapp tells the crowd: "John F. Kennedy almost made this a Democratic county in 1960, and in 1964 LBJ made it one." Further, he states: "The Democratic party thinks in terms of people. The Republican Party thinks in terms of special interests, as it always has."
Both candidates are interviewed by local branches of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. Their positions on the major issues of the day are remarkably similar.
On Vietnam, Logue strongly supports President Johnson's policies and the civilian government of Premiere Ky. Williams cautiously states that "we can accomplish our military objectives without indiscriminate bombing of North Vietnam" and favors negotiations with all parties involved, including the Viet Cong. Regarding admitting Red China to the United Nations, both candidates are in opposition.
Logue believes that the administration's poverty programs should not suffer due to the war, while Williams feels that if waste in the program were eliminated, the nation could finance both a war on poverty and a war in Vietnam.
Both candidates also were opposed to abolishing the House Un-American Activities Committee, believing that it served a useful investigatory purpose. On civil rights, there are sharp differences, however: Williams opposes the attempt to pass a fair housing law, stating that the issue could be handled on a local level. Logue supports the civil rights bill that had passed the House that year.
In his campaign literature, Williams echoes the national G.O.P. stands by promising to "fight against inflation", work for "a balanced Federal Budget", fight the "increase of crime and violence which is a reflection of the moral decay of our government", and work to obtain "a fair share of our Federal tax dollars to this region".


Williams is elected to Congress, beating Logue, 101,042 to 58,766.

Republicans also make sharp gains in Congress and governorships, as national discontent grows against President Johnson's Vietnam war policies. They gain forty-seven seats in the House and four in the Senate. The new lineup will reduce the Democrats' majority to 248 to 187 in the House and 64 to 36 in the Senate.

Shafer handily defeats Shapp for governor, 2.110 million votes to 1.868 million, a margin of 242,000 votes. The G.O.P. candidate also carries Delaware County, 140,225 to 74,418, an unusually strong showing. He sweeps the suburbs by 171,000 votes and only loses Philadelphia by 110,000 votes, in this very Republican year. Shafer will be the last governor bound by the one-term limit of the existing state constitution.
Williams is the township's chief witness against the Greens during a hearing before President Judge Henry G. Sweney of the county court.


The U.S. admits it accidently bombed civilians in North Vietnam, but states that official policy is "to attack military targets only" and that the relatively low number of deaths reported were a result of "rather precise, careful bombing."

1967 - Freshman in Congress, Power base at Home


Williams resigns as Springfield Township commissioner, but remains as township G.O.P. chairman and member of the War Board. His resignation takes place in front of an audience of eighty at his last commissioner's meeting. Commissioners took turns praising Williams' service to the township. The new board president, Robert Simpson, states: "he'll be back on weekends and available to us for wise council." Williams' successor to his commissioners seat, Leonard Dickerson, says there will be "big boots to fill". Williams jokes that he had to do a good job as commission president "because I followed Lou Wagner. I learned a lot from Lou, both good and bad, but Lou insisted that I learned just the good from him." He also says that Simpson is "the finest man I have ever met."
His district office is in the Springfield Municipal Building, enabling him to keep in close proximity with his Springfield power base and still call all the shots in local decision-making.
When he is sworn into office, along with Watkins, who was reelected to his second term, Delaware County has the rare distinction of having two residents serving in Congress at the same time.
He wastes no time in establishing himself as a hawk on the Vietnam issue. He refuses to give full support to LBJ's policies "because I think that there is entirely too much political interference. The matter, at this stage, should be primarily a military problem." Watkins, on the other hand, declares: "I support the President all the way through." Delaware County's two congressmen also differ on Johnson's tax surcharge request, with Williams in opposition, but Watkins in favor "because of the cost of Vietnam."
On the tenth, Williams is sworn in and is joined in Washington by 800 of his supporters. Sixteen charter buses carry guests from the Springfield Country Club at 10 a.m. and return at 1:30 a.m. the following morning. Williams, as the master of ceremonies, introduces most members of the War Board who are in attendance. Governor-elect Shafer praises Williams and the county G.O.P. and Nixon also makes a speech before the throngs of loyalists. Some observers say that this is the largest turnout in memory for a member of Congress.

When Congress convenes, Democrat John McCormick is reelected Speaker over Gerald Ford by a 246 to 186 vote.
The Democratic House caucus removes Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, an African-American and Democrat from New York, from his chairmanship of the Education and Labor committee. Powell, who was charged with using public funds for private trips, calls the action a "lynching - Northern style."
The full House, with Williams in support, refuses to seat Powell, until the select committee investigating him has completed its work. President Johnson, in his State of the Union Message, calls for a 6% surcharge on income taxes to finance the war in Vietnam, as well as social programs. He says that the Vietnam war promises "more cost, more loss and more agony."
Republican congressional leaders, Representative Gerald Ford and Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen deliver their response. Ford calls for federal tax sharing with the states, economy in government and "total revamping and redirection of the poverty war." Dirksen pledges G.O.P. support "to the fullest our fighting forces in Vietnam."
U.S. troop strength stands at 380,000, with 6,664 Americans killed and 37,738 wounded since January 1, 1961.

Three commissioners boycott the reorganization committee of the Marple Township commissioners. Democrats Ron Fertel and J. Pepper Goslin, as well as maverick Republican Percy Berkowitz, stage their protest "to focus attention on one-man rule that exists in Marple." The focus of their ire is township G.O.P. chairman, Walter ReDavid.


Williams calls for the State and Defense Departments to sanction an invasion of mainland China by 600,000 troops from Nationalist China to "overthrow the Communist regime there and take some pressure off our troops in Vietnam." He states that from 1946 to 1965, the U.S. had given $4.75 billion in assistance to Nationalist China and "there should be some return from the substantial investment the American taxpayers have made in Taiwan."

President Johnson calls for the Safe Streets and Crime Control Act with $50 million in federal grants to the states; the Right to Privacy Act, banning private or public wiretapping, except for national security cases; licensing firearm manufacturers, importers and retailers; more efforts to combat narcotics traffic and additional protection for witnesses against crime syndicates.
Johnson also sends a special message to Congress asking for $650 million to help needy children, including a major expansion of the preschool Head Start program, a 15% hike in Social Security benefits for children whose parents are dead, retired or disabled and the "Share a Summer" drive to encourage families to take in a need child for part of the summer.
Johnson also asks Congress for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1967 that would end housing discrimination. It would also erase discrimination in jury selection, strengthen the enforcement powers of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and extend the life of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for five years.
Johnson also calls for new laws to aid the consumer: truth-in-lending, meat inspection, fire and natural gas pipeline safety.

Judge Sweney upholds the Greens' appeal, stating: "The township is guilty of discriminatory zoning practices against the Greens." The following month, the township appeals to the Pennsylvania supreme court.


Williams introduces a bill to establish a twelve member Select Committee of Standards of Conduct, with one purpose being to enforce the disclosure of assets, liabilities, and honorariums for members, spouses and staff members making over $15,000.

Connecticut Democrat, Senator Thomas J. Dodd is censured by his colleagues, 95 to 5, for using campaign and testimonial funds "for his personal benefit."
Williams votes against an attempt to recommit the $4.5 billion supplemental defense appropriations bill for the Vietnam War to committee with instructions that no funds would be used to attack North Vietnam. The move fails, 18 to 372, in an early test of Congressional sentiment on the expanding war.

Johnson appoints a 15 member President's Commission on Budget Concepts, led by David Kennedy, chairman of the board of the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago. Four members of Congress, along with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Budget Director, along with several economists round out the commitee, which is charged with coming up with a way to modernize the budget.
Dissent among Democrats in Congress grows against the administration's Vietnam policies. In a speech on the Senate floor, Robert F. Kennedy asks for a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam as a gesture towards peace talks. Secretary of State Dean Rusk replies that such a proposal has been tried before "without result."
It is reported in Time Magazine that Kennedy, during a meeting with Johnson the previous month to discuss their differences over Vietnam, referred to the President as an "s.o.b." Johnson reportedly had told Kennedy that "if you keep talking like this, you won't have a political future in this country within six months" and "the blood of American boys will be on your hands." Kennedy denies the story: "I don't want to talk about that." Johnson administration participants in the meeting also issue denials.


Williams speaks before the Marple Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Paxon Hollow County Club and again pushes his hawkish war stance. "Any war worth fighting is a war worth winning," Williams states. The congressman also declares that he is "sick and tired of hearing President Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara talking about fighting a controlled war."

"I think the President is now determined to win this war and end it," ex-senator Goldwater declares. "and all of us are behind him on it." He cites the bombing raids on Hanoi and Haiphong as his reasons for endorsing Johnson's war policies. On the other hand, the Americans for Democratic Action make known their "disenchantment and dismay" with the Administration's war policy.

State Representive Rocco O'dorisio dies at age 66, of phlebitis and diabetes. He was in his fifth term in the state House and also was a Radnor Township commissioner since 1950. In May, 1964, he had been named to the War Board to replace John G. Pew, but resigned the post in September, 1965.


Williams and the War Board oppose the proposed state constitutional convention to update the state constitution. He states: "Today there are very strong forces favoring and advocating regional government." Williams and Snear go on record supporting incremental reform of the state constitution, amendment by amendment.
In the primary election, the question of the convention passes statewide about three to two, but loses in Delaware County by 44,000 to 41,000 votes. For the Democratic nod for county commissioner, Edward McErlean and Wilton Bunce beat William Welsh, tallying 10,626, 8,320, and 6,694, respectively. Welsh has been an outspoken critic of the War Board and county government practices.
Both of Williams' endorsed candidates, Annamae McKee and Robert E. Pemberton, handily win the G.O.P. nomination for school board. Both have pledged their opposition to the merger.

The 500th U.S. plane has been lost since raids began on North Vietnam in 1964. At home, thousands march in peace parades in New York and San Francisco, staged by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. Led by Dr. Martin Luther King, thousands march from Central Park to the U.N. headquarters. General William C. Westmoreland, commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam, states his dismay "by recent unpatriotic acts here at home."


As war rages in the Middle East between Israel and Egypt, Williams attacks the Johnson Administration for "their inept handling" of the situation. "Like the Vietnam conflict, the war in the Middle East is Communist-inspired resulting from our failure during the past few weeks to exert leadership in the cause of international law and order," the conservative congressman declares. He further states that when the U.S. became aware of the military buildup by Egypt, the administration should have issued a strong protest "that we will take whatever action necessary to preserve the sovereignty of Israel."

Record U.S. casualties are reported in Vietnam, with 313 killed and 2,616 wounded. In the midst of the Arab-Israeli war, thirty-four American sailors are killed and 75 wounded when Israeli planes and boats attack and damage a U.S. spy vessel in international waters. Even though Israel apologizes and offers restitution, it is reported that some U.S. officials believe the attack was deliberate.

According to a deal struck with Snear and Williams, Dickey joins the War Board in return for the endorsement of Steve McEwen for District Attorney. Dickey attends his first War Board meeting at the Springfield County Club.
The state supreme court denies Springfield township's appeal of the Green zoning decision. The township files a second petition, which is rejected again by the state court. The following month, Judge Sweney orders the township to issue a building permit to the Greens.


A bill to extend the Civil Rights Commission six years passes the House 284-89, with Williams voting in favor.

President Johnson's popularity rises to 58% positive and he leads potential G.O.P. opponent George Romney, 45% to 44%.
After Secretary of Defense McNamara returns from his ninth fact-finding trip to Vietnam, Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield recommends no further escalation of the war. "These generalizations of progress would be more reassuring," Mansfield states. "if they had not been heard from American leaders in Vietnam at many other times, stretching years into the past."


In a letter to the News, Williams vigorously defends township efforts to maintain "sound zoning", in reference to the Green case. "To permit Springfield's Zoning Code to be broken would easily lead to Springfield becoming a 'Developer's Paradise' which would de-value the property of every home owner in the Township." He says he "did not even know about" the decision of the township to appeal the Green case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Johnson asks Congress for a 10% income tax surcharge to avoid the deficit reaching $28 billion, an "unsafe and unmanageable" level.
Romney calls U.S. involvement in Vietnam a "mistake" and "tragic". The undeclared presidential candidate says: "There's no question in my mind the Republican Party is going to pursue those programs that they believe will produce peace in Vietnam on a sound basis as soon as possible."

Williams' successor as Springfield commission president, Second Ward Commissioner Robert Simpson, resigns as president due to the former's continued direct involvement in local government.
An angry Judge Sweney declares during another hearing on objections based on technical grounds filed by Springfield township: "They are holding up this thing just as long as they can. They have no respect for this court...they have no respect for this court's opinion...I resent it."
The judge also states that is is "absolutely unheard of" for a local zoning case to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme court. Although not referring to Williams by name, the Greens' attorney charges that the attempt "to relieve us of the liquor license is the result of political machinations."
900 supporters pay $25 at a fund-raiser to cover Williams' expenses that are not paid for by the government. Senator Hatfield, the guest speaker, calls for American arming and training of the Southeast Asians in order to "substitute their manpower for our manpower" and "de-Americanize" the Vietnam War. Referring to mounting U.S. casualties, he says that "Peking and Moscow must rejoice in the idea that we are being bled, bled, bled."

Williams votes against $40 million for special projects, such as rat control, for the Partnership for Health. It passes, anyway, 227 to 173.

Romney, in an interview, recalls his 1965 fact-finding trip to Vietnam as "the greatest brainwashing that anyone can get when you go over to Vietnam, not only by the generals, but also by the diplomatic corps over there."
John Bailey, the Democratic national chairman, says that Romney owes an apology to Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and General Westmoreland "because they were responsible for the briefings he received when he claims to have been brainwashed on the war." All of the nine other governors who had gone to Vietnam with Romney, except one who could not be reached, disagree with the Michigan governor's remarks. The Detroit News, previously a strong backer, urges Romney to quit the presidential race. "Who knows what he believes and has the capacity to express his conviction," an editorial states, calling his remark "nervous bombast." Romney says "I believe the American people are as shocked as I am that we can no longer rely on the statements made by our government and our own leaders. The American people need a government and a president we can believe."
Prior to his statement, he was only four points behind LBJ in a Harris poll, but now is trailing 58% to 42%, the weakest showing of the four potential G.O.P. nominees.
Johnson urges passage of gun control legislation: "We are long past the point where we can allow an enemy of society to buy and use a weapon of death and disorder - when existing state laws would not even allow the same person to drive a car, or to vote."


An estimated 35,000 protest the administration's Vietnam policy in front of the Pentagon, with 600 arrested. Counter demonstrations in support of the war policy are also held in New York the same day.
In an action that will have far-reaching effects in future years, the President's Commission on Budget Concepts recommends a "Unified Budget" concept that lumps all of the trust funds, such as Social Security, Medicare and highway funds, into the general budget. The commission believes its recommendation will make the budget "a more understandable and useful instrument of public policy and financial planning."

Muckraking columnist Ruth Malone of the News writes a scathing attack on the War Board, using an ad fictitiously written by the county Democrats. "We will no longer go along with the two-faced hypocrisy which says we run real elections here, which are real contests between real people dealing with real issues; instead of a 'fix' arranged beforehand by something called the WAR BOARD."


Nationally, the G.O.P. interprets its capture of the New Jersey legislature by a two to one margin a repudiation of President Johnson's policies. In Kentucky, Louie B. Nunn, becomes the first Republican elected governor since 1943.
Johnson holds a press conference in which he urges enactment of the 10% surcharge and anti-poverty measures. He also feels anti-war protestors are not contributing "a great deal to the solution we so eagerly seek." The President's popularity, after declining sharply, levels off at 38% approving of the job he is doing, according to a Gallup poll. A Harris poll shows that Johnson could be beaten by any of six potential G.O.P. candidates, with Rockefeller leading him, 52% to 35%.
Selective Service director Lewis B. Hershey orders the revocation and immediate drafting of any college student who interfere with military recruiting on campus.
California Governor Reagan, on ABC's Issues and Answers, states his opposition to the draft and favors an all-volunteer army. On Vietnam, he states: "...once the killing starts, once you ask young men to fight and die for their country, there's a moral obligation imposed on the rest of us to turn the full resources of this nation into winning the victory ... as quickly as possible, to bring them home."

McEwen is elected District Attorney, along with Snear and McNichol to their second terms as county commissioners, as the Republican ticket sweeps the county. Edward McErlean, who is widely considered a "McClure" Democrat, wins the post of minority commissioner. In her column, Ruth Malone alleges that Republican voters were asked to vote for McErlean over fellow Democrat Wilton A. Bunce.
In Springfield, the G.O.P. school board candidates win by about two to one and the four incumbent commissioner candidates easily defeat their Democratic opponents.
In Philadelphia, Mayor James H. J. Tate barely staves off a spirited challenge from Republican District Attorney Arlen Specter and wins by only 49% to 47%.


Springfield Township residents question the amount of taxpayers' monies being spent on the Green case. When commission president Al Young indicates that the board will continue to appeal, Samuel Green states: "Go ahead. Waste more of the township money."

1968 - National and Local Fireworks

January is not a good month for the administration's foreign policy. The U.S. spy ship, the Pueblo is seized in international waters by the North Koreans. One week later, an estimated 50,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops attack 30 provincial capitals in South Vietnam, kicking off the Tet Offensive. The Pueblo is eventually released in December and the Tet Offensive grinds to a halt, with record casualties on both sides.

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court twice refuses to hear the Green zoning case, the family soon gives up its attempts to build their restaurant.


The National Security Council eliminates draft deferments for most graduate students as well as all occupational deferments.


In the New Hampshire primary, Nixon captures 79% of the vote, against a write-in vote of only 11% for Rockefeller, while Johnson wins a write-in campaign against Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, an avowed opponent of the administration's war policies, by only 48% to 42%.
Shortly afterward, New York Senator and former attorney general, Robert Kennedy, declares his candidacy and Rockefeller declares his non-candidacy. However, on the 31st, President Johnson stuns the nation by announcing his retirement from office.


Williams speaks out against riots and deficit spending in his newsletter to consituents. He also votes against banning discrimination in the sale and renting of housing. He states: "In my opinion, persons should be free to sell their property to anyone of their choosing." In his own party, Williams' position is in the minority, with 100 Republican representatives voting in favor and 84 opposed. Those in favor include Congressmen George Bush of Texas and Minority Leader Gerald Ford of Michigan.

Vice President Humphrey formally declares his candidacy, stating "I am my own man". Rockefeller decides to formally enter the race, also, citing "the gravity of the crisis we face as a people".
There is heavy fighting in Vietnam, as Operation Pegasus in undertaken to relieve U.S. Marines pinned down in Khesanh in a 76 day seige. Operation Complete Victory is launced with a force of 100,000 to clean up the area around Saigon, but fails to make contact with the Communist forces.
A new U.S. troop ceiling of 549,000 is announced by Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, as well as a call up of 24,000 reservists.
The nation and the world mourn the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was slain by a gunman in Memphis, Tennessee.


Rockefeller kicks off his campaign in Philadelphia, calling for the war in Vietnam to be "de-Americanized" and U.S. policy in Europe "sterile". He also favors lowering the voting age to 18 and a national draft lottery.
Nixon details his proposals for tax incentives and guaranteed loans to lure businesses to disadvantaged areas. He asserts that the blaming of poverty as the cause of increased crime "has been grossly exaggerated."
Vice President Humphrey campagins in Philadelphia and speaks before the African Methodist Episcopal Church's quadrennial session, calling for "a new and complete national commitment to human rights."
McCarthy goes on to beat Kennedy in Oregon, capturing 45% of the vote to the New York senator's 39%. Nixon wins with 73% of the vote over Reagan, with 23% and Rockefeller 4%.


Rockefeller steps up his campaigning, feeling the trend moving towards him and Governor Shafer gives up his favorite son status in favor of Rockefeller. Although the War Board is publicly neutral regarding the Nixon-Rockefeller contest, Snear states: "We're still discussing (Alabama Gov. George W.) Wallace."
Kennedy narrowly beats McCarthy, 46% to 42%, in the crucial June 4 California primary, while "favorite son" candidate Governor Ronald Reagan wins the Republican side, unopposed. Kennedy, however, is gunned down early the next morning following his victory celebration and campaigning is temporarily halted.


Williams votes in favor of a gun control bill which prohibits the interstate shipment of rifles, shotguns and ammunition, as well as restricting their out of state purchase. The bill passes the House 305-118.


At the G.O.P. convention in Miami, Richard Nixon wins a first ballot victory on August 8 over his chief contender, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller, 692 to 277, with California Governor Ronald Reagan receiving 182 votes. Unlike four years earlier, the Republican platform is adopted without controversy, including the Vietnam plank.
In spite of deep splits within the party over the war in Vietnam, the Democrats nominate Vice President Humphrey over his nearest rival, Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy, 1,761.75 to 601, with South Dakota Senator George McGovern receiving 146.5 votes. Nixon, Humphrey and Alabama Governor George Wallace, running as an independent, now face each other in a bitterly contested election.
U.S. forces in South Vietnam now total 541,000, with fighting intensifying across that war-torn land. American casualities have now risen to 27,508 combat deaths, with 171,809 wounded. South Vietnam reports that 3,000 civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks since the beginning of the year. President Johnson says the "next move" in the stalled peace talk process was up to North Vietnam.


County G.O.P. chairman Ed Hineman, in an "off-the-cuff" question and answer session following the Chester Jaycees Banquet levels criticism at fellow War Board member Williams. "Williams sometimes spends too much time on local activities and not enough on congressional duties." Hineman, however, feels that may change: "Williams seems to be straightening out." He also says that some county officials are upset about the congressman's "meddling" in Springfield politics.
It seems certain that both Williams and his key ally, Snear, raise objections to Hineman in private. The next day, the party chairman backtracks, stating: "I am fully familiar with the congressman's congressional record and in my opinion he is doing an outstanding job for is in Washington. Williams is one of our strongest candidates for reelection and I am 100 per cent behind his efforts." Whatever face Williams' fellow War Board members put on in public, it is clear that behind the scenes a power struggle is brewing, with the congressman the focus of attention. In taking such controversial stands on local issues in public, Williams becomes a "lightning rod" for the political opposition, and as a member of the War Board, draws undesired attention to that body, as well.


Williams, during his first term, has voted 92% with his party and had attendance of 93%. He was in support of the Johnson administration 49% of the time and in opposition 43%.
Williams and Schweiker receive a warm reception campaigning in the Upper Darby terminal and are joined by District Attorney McEwen. A woman, evidently referring to Williams' excellent constituent service, puts her hand on his shoulder, stating: "There you are, my penpal." Her companion states: "Larry, you've just made her day." Schweiker attributes his recognition from the recent televised debates with incumbent Senator Joe Clark.
Williams rails at the Johnson Administration and Attorney General Ramsey Clark for "not taking advantage of existing laws" to combat riots and crime. "This country is founded on one set of laws for everybody. The laws must be enforced equally for everyone. We've got to give back respect to the police officers." He calls the Vietnam War a battle against "world Communism".

Humphrey receives two major last minute boosts to his ascending candidacy: from Senator McCarthy and President Johnson. McCarthy announces he will vote for Humphrey, but qualifies his support, underscoring the deep rift between the traditional moderate/conservative wing and the newly resurgent liberal wing. His endorsement "is in no way intended to reinstate me in the good graces of the Democratic Party leaders nor in any way to suggest my having forgotten or condoned the things that happened both before Chicago and at Chicago."
Johnson takes the nation by surprise when he announces a complete halt to all bombing and other attacks on North Vietnam. Vice President Humphrey benefits from this peace gesture and he closes a once huge gap in the polls between himself and Nixon.

Judge Francis Catania issues a temporary injunction to prevent the Springfield School Board from condemning the 63 acre Borgh tract, owned by the Elocin Corporation, for the purpose of building a new school. The injunctions scores the probable tax burden caused by the new construction and the lack of need for new classrooms.
At a stormy meeting on the 29th, the Springfield School Board meets to decide a further appeal of the merger with Morton borough. Before a crowd of 700, charges of racism are made by merger supporters, such as: "Why don't you move to the South where you can continue segregation."
At one point, when a high school student attempts to speak, a resident grabs the microphone from him and a nasty altercation is narrowly averted by the intervention of other audience members. Finally, the Rev. Harvey Marsland, pastor of the Covenant Methodist Church tells the hushed crowd: "I sat in shock and dismay at the attitude expressed here, the lack of decorum. This is not the American way, to shout down speakers..."
In a climactic moment, the school board votes four to three against any further appeal, with one of the four votes being Pemberton's, who has switched sides in the dispute. After the Board adjourns, angry knots of residents, on opposing sides of the issue, confront the school board members on the podium and each other.
A woman hands a student, who supports the merger, some Wallace for President literature, commenting: "Here take this home and read it."


As the campaign winds up, Williams speaks at a rally at the headquarters of the Republican Party of Marple. "I've followed the career of Richard Nixon with great interest," Williams quips. "Particularly when I found out we're the same age."
At an appearance before the Radnor Republican Party, Williams comes out against the bombing halt, stating that during the past nine halts "no significant results except to give North Vietnam the opportunity to infiltrate more men into South Vietnam..."
Williams is reelected, 105,799 to 79,782, losing six towns and receiving lower than usual majorities in some of the larger towns, due to Humphrey's strong showing in the county. Williams beats Democrat Edward O'Halloran in Upper Darby, 22,611 to 18,496; Ridley Township, 7,988 to 6,797; Springfield, 8,247 to 5,139 and Marple, 6,638 to 4,839.

Richard Nixon wins the U.S. presidency, beating Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace, in a very spirited election. Nixon's margin over Humphrey is narrow, only 510,315 votes out of 73 million cast, but the G.O.P. picks up 4 House and 5 Senate seats.

Humphrey carries Pennsylvania by 169,388, with Wallace polling over 378,000. Delaware County voters, however, support Nixon over Humphrey, 133,777 to 106,695, while Wallace polls 25,051. Nixon's showing in the Seventh District is also not impressive, 99,140 to 79,916 for Humphrey and 17,276 for Wallace. Schweiker, though, carries the Seventh 113,021 to 73,414.
Due to Humphrey's fairly strong showing in the county, several county state representatives were reelected by much smaller majorities than usual. Mrs. Mae Kernaghan squeaks by her Democratic opponent, Aldan lawyer Joseph "Ted" Doyle, by only 334 votes, while Joseph W. Dorsey of Collingdale wins a second term by only 12,865 to 10,890. In Chester, which was carried by Humphrey by over 3,100 votes, incumbent Thomas H. Worrilow beats Democrat Lucius Norris 7,171 to 6,723. His re-election breaks a 36 year old jinx, which had voters sending a Democrat to Harrisburg from Chester during presidential elections.
Schweiker defeats Clark, 2.399 million to 2.117 million votes statewide and he carries the county 152,429 to 97,895. He fashions his upset by carrying the suburbs by 196,000 and only losing Philadelphia by less than 194,000. He scores very well in traditionally Democratic western counties, such as Allegheny, Beaver, Washington and Westmoreland.

1969 - Nixon Finally Makes It to the White House


Williams is sworn in for his second term, while Nixon becomes the first president since 1848 to begin his first term with a Congress controlled by the opposition party. Nixon states during his Inaugural Address: "The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker. This honor now beackons Amierca...if we succedd, generations to come will say of us now living that we mastered our moment, that we helped make the world safe for mankind. This is our summons to greatness."


U.S. troops in Vietnam reach their all-time peak of 543,000 and the Communists begin a major offensive.

The Independent Republicans of Springfield is formed to challenge Williams' control of the G.O.P. "In essence, we are attempting to provide the people of Springfield leadership that is neither controlled or tied to the machine, but that is both responsible and representative while maintaining the ideals of the Republican Party." The group, headed by Dean T. Helm, endorses four candidates in the upcoming primary.


In an interview, Williams describes his relationship with members of the War Board as "good", stating "I solicit their advice frequently, and not one has ever indicated to me he has any fault to find with my job as a congressman." He adds that he hopes to serve another five or six more terms in office.

U.S. combat deaths in South Vietnam reach 33,641, in eight years and three months of fighting, exceeding those lost in the Korean War.


Williams calls for remaining "strong militarily in South Vietnam", "more modern equipment to reduce our casualties" and resuming bombing of North Vietnam to "protect our troops". He also supports Nixon's controversial proposed Anti-Ballistic Missile system.

Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower dies at age 78 from coronary heart disease.


In a stunning blow to Williams and his local party organization, two independents win the G.O.P. primary for school director. In Williams' own ward, James D. Parmiter beat J. Robert Denworth, the endorsed candidate, by a narrow 612 to 594, while in the third ward, James V. Mannion, Jr. defeated organization candidate Elwood Kohl, 529 to 492. But, in the sixth ward, endorsed candidate, Joseph "Wally" Gattinella beat incumbent independent David Wolstenholme, 421 to 220.
In the open seat for second ward commissioner, James M. Hermann, who was backed by the party, barely beat independent Republican Allen A. Troutman, 342 to 306. This watershed election becomes remembered as the election that Congressman Williams lost.


Williams supports the first withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam, talks to end the Middle East crisis, and ending federal assistance to universities failing to curb campus disorders.
He also calls for revamping social welfare to stop programs that "accentuate the problems they are supposed to solve", citing huge increases in the Aid to Dependent Children payments, due to increases in "illegitimacy". (This became the cornerstone of the G.O.P. winning platform in 1994, as well as being embraced by a Democratic president, Bill Clinton.)
He again decries deficit spending, calling for closing tax loopholes for "high income corporations and families", cutting expenditures to create a "surplus each year to start paying off our huge debt." However, he supports an immediate increase in Social Security benefits, which will still leave a "$700 million" surplus in the trust fund.

Nixon announces the first U.S. pullout of 25,000 troops from Vietnam by August 31, with more cuts "as decisions are made."


The U.S. Command discloses that 5,666 U.S. aircraft, valued at $3 billion, have been lost in Vietnam fighting since January, 1961.


Commenting on the death Republican Senate Leader Everett McKinley Dirksen, Williams comments: "As minority leader of the Senate, Mr. Dirksen has been a powerful spokesman for the Republican Party for better than a decade." Dirkson succumbed to cancer at age 73.
Four days earlier, North Vietnam's president Ho Chi Minh had died at age 79, one day after the 24th anniversary of that nation's declaration of independence from France.


Hundreds of thousands participate in Moratorium Day events, in an unprecedented protest against the war.


Republicans come out on top in the elections held, taking both governorships at stake. William Cahill beats Robert Meyner for New Jersey's top spot by 500,000 votes. In Virginia, Republicans make further inroads, electing Linwood Holton as governor.

In the local elections, Republicans sweep all of the county row offices at stake by the traditional two to one margin, but in several townships, Democrats made some surprise inroads. The minority party picks up commissioner seats in Radnor, Haverford and Nether Providence townships, while also taking control of Darby Borough and Darby Township. They also retain their two year control of Marple Township.
Most important for Williams is the huge G.O.P. win in Springfield, including the hotly contested Sixth Ward school board race between Joseph W. Gattinella and Edward A. Powers.
Following the election, there is speculation that Williams will not seek a third term. Powerful Upper Darby G.O.P. boss and War Board member Sam Dickey, does not endorse Williams' reelection bid, but does say if Williams seeks the Pa. lieutenant governorship, "we in the Delaware County organization would go along with him". Williams has no comment on the speculation.
It's also a good year for Republicans in Philadelphia, as Arlen Specter is reelected as District Attorney, 347,681 to 245,858 and Tom Gola wins as Controller, 322,258 to 252,555. The G.O.P. also captures four contested Common Pleas Court judgeships.


Newspaper reports state that Dickey's War Board faction, which included the head of the War Board and County Commission chairman, Harry McNichol, Judge Francis Catania's Ridley Township organization, and the Chester group, headed by Joseph Eyre, County Recorder of Deeds and former mayor, have broken with Williams, who heads a smaller faction of his own. McNichol states he is "considering" his own candidacy for Congress. In the meantime, the president of the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, reformer Bernard White, declares his candidacy for the Republican nomination and has his name placed before the War Board.
A local group that backs independent candidates for school board, the Save Our Schools Committee asks that Williams apologize for statements made on a piece of campaign literature. The piece, on which Williams' name headed the signatures, claimed that Powers had misrepresented some of his credentials.

1970 - A Primary Battle with a Radnor Reformer

The News of Delaware County cites Williams "audacious manner and over-conspicuous over-involvement in Springfield's local affairs" and lack of being "the quiet organization man the machine would like to have in Congress" as reasons for his possible dumping by the War Board.
The editorial praises reforms in governmental operations during White's tenure on the Radnor commission, including: "inviting applicants (for township boards) to interview so choices could be made on the basis of qualifications, not political rewards."
Springfield commissioners vote to rezone 45 acres of land at Baltimore Pike and Sproul Road to allow the construction of a mall by Kevy K. Kaiserman, a Philadelphia Developer. A majority of the 350 residents who attended the meeting are in opposition. The following month, a "Stop the Mall" organization of Springfield and Swarthmore residents is formed.


With McNichol deciding not to run, Williams is endorsed by the War Board, reportedly by a narrow eight to six vote, over White. In attempting to defeat Williams, White takes on the War Board. Snear, an ally of Williams, steps down as chairman of the county commissioners, citing health concerns, and McNichol is elevated to the post. Both Snear and McNichol denied that the swap was part of a deal to keep the latter out of the primary race and preserve party harmony.
White attacks the "self-appointed, self-perpetuating" War Board and calls for its replacement by an elected executive committee. "Such an undemocratic setup can be compared with the Russian Politburo, a small group of men who run that country and choose the officials."
James H. Finch, a black man crippled by arthritis, is evicted from his dilapidated Springfield home by the township. The home is leveled by a bulldozer, with the township citing it as a "health hazard".


White comes out in support of the Javits-Pell resolution in the Senate to repeal the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and halt all U.S. combat operations in Vietnam by December 31, 1970. In an attack on Williams, White cited the recent and controversial rezoning of land for the Springfield Mall and the township's bulldozing of the Finch property, as events that seem "to have shaken the confidence of people in their local government."
The two Democratic candidates are conservative Joseph R. Breslin of Haverford township, who is supported by county commissioner Edward McErlean and liberal C. Barry Sherwin of Lansdowne, who has the backing of county Democratic chairman Ernani Falcone.


Williams, in a House debate, terms the Nixon Administration's proposed Family Assistance Act of 1970 "a dreadful hoax on the American people". "Past experience has proved that whenever a new welfare program is created for the purpose of solving a problem, that problem is only accentuated and its cost escalated," the conservative congressman further stated. The proposal would have had the federal government establish a guaranteed annual wage for persons on welfare.
White criticizes Williams, citing a "continual inconsistency between Williams' public statements and his voting record" and his (Williams') "very limited grasp of today's serious problems."
The incumbent declares: "We must never again commit American troops to an Asian land war," adding that the "63 million people (of South Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand) can fight off the approximately 19 million people in North Vietnam if they desire to do so." Democrat Sherwin says that the statement is "a confession of the bankruptcy of Williams' consistently pro-war position."
White unsuccessfully sues in U.S. district court in an attempt to stop the "practice of giving county employees primary election day off form their jobs to work at the polls for War Board-endorsed candidates." The practice is defended by Snear and McNichol, but not by minority county commissioner McErlean.
Another controversy erupts when White charges that Williams has shown only "perfunctory interest" in a Collingdale resident's proposal to prevent the M-16 rifle, which is used by U.S. troops in the Vietnam war, from jamming when being fired. Williams counters by reviewing his extensive involvement with the Army in an effort to resolve this safety issue.


At a candidates debate, Williams states "I didn't agree with the move into Cambodia", but had voted against a measure to cut off funding for the U.S. move into that country. White, in taking a more liberal stance, states he "opposed President Nixon's sudden decision to expand the war into Cambodia." Sherwin, likewise denounces the Cambodian incursion, but Breslin sides with the president. "Nixon decided to place the interest of the nation above himself and his political future," he declares.
In his newsletter to constituents, Williams attacks the News of Delaware County, citing "prejudiced, slanted and untrue editorials" against him. The newspaper responds by calling Williams accusations "vicious and absurd" and pointing out that the congressman "grossly violated his franking privileges" by using his taxpayer funded "Washington Report" for "an item which has very little to do with Washington but a great deal to do with the preservation of his political career."
Williams joins the fray in attacking Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. The congressman joins 51 Republicans and 52 conservative Democrats in requesting an investigation of Douglas for possible impeachment. Cited are Douglas' alleged public prejudging of specific cases; his chairmanship of a foreign affairs organization engaging in "un-American" activities, as well as authoring a book, "Points of Rebellion", which "clearly advocates rebellion and the overthrow of the Establishment," according to Williams.
Williams and the War Board show their electoral strength by defeating White by almost 2 to 1, 38,900 to 20,600 votes, spending about $31,000 to the latter's $15,000. In Springfield, however, independents make gains by winning two G.O.P. committee seats.
Williams and Springfield township's health officer, Mary Ann Arty, visit Finch in the Rest Haven Convalescent Home in Broomall. According to Finch, Williams was "trying to make a settlement" and asked for an estimate of damages.


In a nine page statement, Congressman Williams supports Finch's eviction and the razing of the home by the township. Williams and township officials are unsuccessfully sued by the man.

A proposed amendment to the Voting Rights Act lowering the voting age to eighteen passes the House on June 17. Williams is one of 132 representatives voting against it and explains: "I favor the reduction of the voting age to 19, but I do not believe it is practical to reduce it to 18." According to Williams' reasoning, nineteen is the age that young men can be drafted.

Fred Duke, a member of the War Board for over 30 years, dies at age 78. Williams, who had known Duke since 1939, claims "it will be almost impossible to find a man who will be ale to match the outstanding record compiled by Fred Duke." Duke had spent his entire life in politics, having served as a county Clerk of Courts, County Commissioner, a county detective and finally County Director of Personnel, until being forced to resign by County Commissioner Al Swing in 1961.


Congressman Williams votes with the administration against the Cooper-Church Amendment that would bar large scale military operations in Cambodia, citing it would "impair the safety of the remaining troops in Vietnam" and hurt the efforts of the Vietnamese "to protect themselves from attack".

Williams' key ally on the War Board, Frank Snear, dies at age 66, and there is a mad scramble to replace him.


Congressman Watkins, 68, dies suddenly, further complicating county politics. Hineman makes a play for the vacant county commissioner post, but Catania is also interested in the post. As a compromise, H. Walter Weaver, county parks superintendent, is selected to fill out the remainder of the term on condition he not seek election. Williams nominates Hineman for the War Board chairmanship, but Dickey and Catania are able to get McNichol elected to the post.


The War Board is sharply split on filling the three vacancies. After two new members are appointed, it appears that the Williams faction, now allied with another faction led by county G.O.P. chairman Ed Hineman, has greater strength than the McNichol faction.
Williams' group consists of William E. Ruthrauff Jr., clerk of courts, and William Kirschner, Haverford Township treasurer, and newly appointed James Merriman of Radnor.
Hineman is backed by County Commissioner H. Walter Weaver, State Representative Mae Kernaghan, John Gable, and newly appointed Robert Pennell of Aston.
McNichol is supported by Dickey, Eyre and Ridley Township treasurer, Nicholas Catania. Another member J. Warren Bullen, is reportedly unaligned. The vacancy caused by Watkins' death is left unfilled for the time being.


As the fall campaign winds to a close, Williams attacks the "Democratically controlled Congress" for overspending, deficits, and inaction on legislation to deal with environmental control and inflation. He reiterates "the economy of this country cannot stand any more deficit spending." He comes out in favor of federal revenue sharing with the states in lieu of a state income tax.
The 42 year old Breslin campaigns door-to-door, stressing that voters of the Seventh District "need someone concerned with their problems which are economy and taxes." His platform consists of more funding for mass transit, updated medical facilities, housing and education, but opposes massive foreign aid programs, including credit to Israel. He agrees with Williams on the Nixon Vietnam policies.


Williams easily wins a third term, defeating Breslin, 95,000 to 62,000.
It is not a good year for Republicans, though, as Nixon's push for G.O.P. control of the U.S. Senate fails, with the party picking up only two seats. Democrats gain twelve additional House seats and some governorships.
Democrat Milton Shapp resoundingly beats Lt. Governor Raymond J. Broderick, 2.036 million to 1.540, while Hugh Scott is reelected to a third term over state senator William Sesler, 1.869 to 1.647 milliion. Broderick carries Delaware County by only 15,000 votes and a Democrat, Joseph T. Doyle, in his second run, beats David W. McLaughlin, 10,519 to 10,377 in the open 163rd state House District. This is the first time ever that a Democrat outside of Chester is elected to the legislature from Delaware County. Doyle's win foreshadows the dramatic Democratic gains that will come four years later.
Falcone declares the Democrats' strong showing to be "the beginning of a genuine two-party system in our county."


Williams appears as a character witness for the president of the Havertown Savings and Loan Association, George Hykel, who is facing federal charges. There is a minor controversy as it is revealed that Williams had called the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Home Loan Board to arrange meetings to inquire into the case. Williams says he did "nothing improper and in fact would do the same thing for any constituent." He states he knew Hykel for four years and took an interest in the case because the Havertown Savings and Loan has "80 per cent of its money in home mortgages, which we need so badly now."

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a five to four ruling, approves lowering the voting age to 18 in national elections, but not state and local elections.

1971 - Some Local Surprises


Williams' clout on the War Board fades as key supporter, William Ruthrauff, suddenly resigns. The alignment now has McNichol, Dickey, Catania, Eyre, Merriman, Kernaghan and Bullen in one camp. Williams' only support remains from Kirschner, while Hineman has only Pennell, Weaver and Gable. With this change, the Upper Darby-Chester faction will have the majority of votes for the next four years, sealing Williams' political fate.


In his State of the World message, Nixon states his interest in "drawing the Peoples Republic of China into a constructive relationship with the world community" and was "prepared to etablish a dialogue with Peking."


Legislation is introduced by Williams to save a large area of tidal marshland in Tinicum Twp. in his district.


In a stunning rebuke to the Springfield machine, independent Republicans win two Springfield commissioner races in the primary. In an act of extreme carelessness or overconfidence, the board of commissioners had met only days before the primary election and voted on a controversial proposal to build a playing field in Woodland Avenue Park.
In Philadelphia, former Police Commissioner Frank L. Rizzo, wins the Democratic primary for mayor, beating Congressman Bill Green and state Senator Hardy Williams.


In order to cope with a worsening economic situation, Nixon announces the most radical economic program since the New Deal. "We must create more and better jobs; we must stop the rise in the cost of living; we must protect the dollar from the attacks of the international speculators," he declares.
Nixon orders a 90-day freeze on wages and prices, suspends the convertibility of the dollar into gold and imposes a 10% surcharge on imports.


Williams introduces a bill to cut the annual U.S. payment to the United Nations and condemns the replacement of Taiwan with mainland China in that body.

The financial records of the Delaware County G.O.P. are seized by Richard Sprague, a special prosecutor appointed by McEwen in response to charges by the Pennsylvania Crime Commission of widespread governmental corruption in Delaware County.
Sprague, the First Assistant District Attorney of Philadelphia, is investigating charges of forced political contributions, "macing", by county employees to the county Republican party. McNichol tells the audience at the county commissioner's meeting: "getting jobs based on patronage is prevelant today throughout the United States...All county jobs, with the exception of civil service jobs, are filled through patronage..." Later he denies that macing of these employees is occurring: "Again, as far as we're concerned, there is no macing. However, we are always glad to accept contributions."
Hineman describes the investigation: "I personally think this is a laughable thing. I think it's a joke." Several county employees, however, attest to being told by their supervisors that "certain payments" to the county G.O.P. would allow them to retain their jobs.
Meanwhile, Williams denies his opponent's charges that he is interested in taking political control of the school district. "As a U.S. Congressman, I have more than a full time job. I have no desire to interfere with the operation of the school district."


The first Democrat in history is narrowly elected commissioner in Williams' own ward. The county G.O.P. suffers unprecedented losses and Harry McNichol is narrowly reelected as county commissioner. Charges of county Republican corruption figure prominently in the election. Williams local strength has been sharply eroded, as his G.O.P. party controls only four of seven commissioner seats.

Also of major significance is the victory of Bill Spingler for the guaranteed post of minority county commissioner. In the past, this position was usually filled by what some observers have called a "McClure Democrat". Unlike his predecessors, Spingler would uncover and challenge publically questionable or controversial actions of the Republican majority.
In Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Frank L. Rizzo, a Democrat, beats Republican city councilman Thatcher Longstreth in a topsy-turvy race. Rizzo wins by only 394,000 to 345,000 by carrying the culturally conservative white Republican areas of south and northeast Philadelphia, as well as Roxborough, with his tough, law-and-order message, "Rizzo Means Business." As a result of a backlash to Rizzo, Longstreth carries the traditionally black wards of west and north Philadelphia, as well as the mostly white liberal areas of Chestnut Hill and center city.

1972 - Nixon's Landslide and Williams' Energetic Opponent

A Much Less Controversial Redistricting This Time
With the redistricting issue having been fought over bitterly twice in the past ten years and presidential electoral politics dominating the scene, the issue of reapportionment seems much less contentious this year. Since the crossing of county lines was finally breached in 1966, further changes to congressional district boundaries seem anti-climatic.
As a result of the 1970 census, Pennsylvania must reduce its delegation from 27 to 25. With the Philadelphia having lost 52,000 residents since the last census, there was agreement that the city could not retain its five seats. With four seats, Philadelphia would still have an excess of 63,000 residents. Rumor had it that some South Philadelphia wards would be shifted to the 7th District to equalize the population difference. At a political dinner that both Williams and Green attended, it is said that Green joked that instead of the "Green Grab", it would be the "Williams Grab".
Plans initially proposed in the House and Senate State Governments committees would have eliminated the 9th District by moving most Chester County towns to the 13th or a Lancaster County-based district. Eleven Delaware County towns would have been to the 13th District: Chester Heights, Bethel, Birmingham, Concord, Edgmont, Haverford, Middletown, Newtown, Radnor, Thornbury and Upper Providence. The 7th District would have consisted of the 38 remaining communities.
With the Democrats in firm control of the state House, 110 to 90, a revised plan is passed, 104 to 87, on January 20, that consolidates the Philadelphia districts of Democrats Bill Green III, who succeeded his late father, and James Byrne. The Republican-voting 21st Ward, consisting of Roxborough-Manayunk, is moved to the 13th District. Two Republican-held districts in central Pennsylvania are also paired together, those of J. Irving Whalley and John P. Saylor.
Relatively minor alterations are made to the 7th District, expanding it to the west to take in a dozen former 9th District Delaware County communities. In the state Senate's version, passed four days later, Ware's 9th District is renamed the 5th and drastically changed, with the removal of northwestern Chester County and the addition of northern Montgomery County.
Ominously for Williams, the friendly towns of Haverford and Radnor are moved to the 5th District and replaced with the politically hostile City of Chester. Interestingly enough, by not swapping Haverford and Radnor with Chester and several other adjoining riverfront towns, there would have been a negligible effect on the population differences between the 5th and 7th.
Williams was greatly preoccupied with the political climate in Springfield and there is no indication he played a major role in the redistricting discussions that took place. Indeed, his only comment was that he "picks up the strong Republican municipalities of Media, Nether Providence, Rose Valley and Chester."
McNichol snorts: "Mr. Shapp wanted it done this way and he had the votes." In reality, if Shapp and the Democrats had wanted to truly flex their muscles, they would have retained five city based districts by including areas of the suburbs. The addition of ticket-splitting blue collar and riverfront towns to the 7th and the removal of staunchly Republican Radnor, could hardly cause the Democrats to be unhappy, though. With the prospect of successfully dumping Williams sharply increased, his opponents on the War Board must have been even happier than the Democrats. Rumor has it that the War Board decides not to dump Williams during this presidential election year, but will wait two years.
The GOP House minority leader, Kenneth B. Lee, commenting from the sidelines, states prophetically: "Larry Williams might win one more term, but after that, it would be very difficult." He predicts that the Democrats could pick up the seats of John Heinz, Saylor and Williams.


In Williams' once all-Republican hometown, one Democratic and two independent Republican commissioners are sworn in and will consistently vote against the party agenda for the next two years.


Williams gives his usual strong backing to Nixon's Vietnam policies, supporting the recent mining and bombing operations against North Vietnam, stating Nixon "has taken the only possible course open to him." "President Nixon and his administration have made it evident in every way possible that the U.S. desires peace," Williams declares. "What the Communists are doing is Southeast Asia is sheer aggression and this should be recognized by everyone in this country."


Williams' opponent, Democrat Stuart Bowie unsuccessfully files a federal lawsuit, charging that Williams' constituent newsletter was being used for political purposes. Williams accuses Bowie of staging "a cheap publicity stunt."

On the local front, a citizens group, known as the Whiskey Run Rebellion, files suit against Springfield Township, in an effort to halt the bulldozing of trees in Thomson Park. According to Democratic Commissioner Gramiak: "I sit on the Park Board and I've been to all the Park Board meetings and I can't remember ever voting on or approving any work in Thomson Park." The president of the commissioners contends that the work was being done in preparation of the park's development into a recreational area.



Williams and a dozen other congressmen are opposed by a group of business executives for supporting Nixon's war policies. The group endorses Bowie, but Williams said "their efforts are having no effect."
As the election heats up, Bowie attacks Williams for voting against a House Banking Committee investigation of the recent Watergate break-in. The former refers to the latter as a "political hack" and "right winger" and announces Senator Edward Kennedy is supporting his effort to unseat Williams. Williams refers to Bowie as "ludicrous" and "misinformed" in attacking the former's vote against using highway trust funds for mass transit. Bowie is endorsed by three G.O.P. local elected officials, including one of the independent Springfield commissioners. They state that Williams is an "ultra-conservative" and is part of the "Republican establishment" that is open only to persons "who conform to its narrow ways of doing things without fail." In response, Harry McNichol states: "The Republican Party in Delaware County has delivered good government" and is "responsive to the people".
Bowie also charges Williams with failing to vote to cut federal spending "while voting for bigger budgets and higher taxes" and predicts a recession of "terrible magnitude" due to Nixon's economic policies. Williams cites his support for federal revenue sharing and social security increases and notes that Nixon kept his pledge to reduce American forces in Vietnam and that the economy was doing well.


In its newsletter, the Springfield Democratic Party refers to Williams as "a consistent supporter of big business and military interests and a poor voting record on measures supported by labor, consumer groups, and liberals, according to a recent profile issued by consumer advocate Ralph Nader." The Democrats also mention that the congressman had refused to speak to the Nader interviewer and subjected him to an "outburst of most ungentlemanly and profane behavior."
The local Democrats also make note of contributions to Williams' campaign by Kevy Kaiserman and Michael Lubin, developers of the Springfield Mall, as well as a plumber who secured a variance from the township Zoning Board.

Nixon is reelected in a huge landslide, winning 46.7 million votes to McGovern's 28.7 million. The Nixon-Agnew ticket takes 49 of 50 states, with only Massachusetts going Democratic, as well as 521 our of 538 electoral votes.
Nixon's coattails are short, however, as the G.O.P. loses two Senate seats and only picks up 13 House seats, still leaving the Democrats in charge, 242 to 192, with one independent.

Williams smashes Bowie's bid, 122,622 to 79,578. Nixon carries Delaware County by 65% of the vote. Some War Board members point out that in Springfield, Bowie received the highest vote of the five Democratic candidates on the ballot, while Williams received the second lowest of the G.O.P. candidates. In four of fourteen precincts in his hometown, the congressman polled less than 55% of the vote, while the lowest precinct vote Nixon received was 64.7%.


As the war finally comes toward a conclusion for this nation, U.S. armed forces in Vietnam total only 25,000.

1973 - The Decline of Nixon and Williams


Williams meets with representatives of local antiwar groups and states that Nixon is "daydreaming" if he believes that he can extensively bomb North Vietnam "without making explanations to Congress and to the people of the United States". He still will not vote to cut off funds, as long as "Russia and China and other Communist countries continue to supply Hanoi..."

As Republicans nationally lose popularity with the unraveling of the Watergate scandal, local politics heat up considerably. Controversy surrounds Williams dumping of the incumbent tax collector, his support for the controversial Springfield Mall and general involvement in local politics. In the primary election, Williams' loyalists win all contested commissioner seats against relatively weak opposition. They also win a governing majority of school board seats for the first time since the party began endorsing school board candidates in 1965. The onus is now on the Democrats to break Williams hold on local politics in the fall election.


Edwin Hineman, leader of the War Board faction that had joined with Williams' faction on some issues, dies suddenly of a heart attack. McNichol indicates that the War Board may never fill the vacancy. This untimely death probably removes the last barrier for the War Board to dump Williams.


A local furor is set off when a copy of a letter written by Williams on his congressional stationary to a Republican candidate for commissioner, is made public. In the letter, Williams negotiated with a major retailer regarding building a buffer fence behind a store and having the police chief erect stop signs on a local street. Questions are raised as to who is really governing the township and a Democratic candidate is escorted from the public commissioners meeting when he attempts to quote from the letter. Williams said he had "not a strong role at all" in running the township and only became involved when local officials could not resolve the problems.


Vice President Spiro Agnew pleads no contest to charges of federal income tax evasion and resigns from office.
In what became known as the "Saturday Night Massacre", Nixon orders the firing of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. This causes the resignations of Attorney General Elliott Richardson and his top deputy, William Ruchelshaus and a firestorm of criticism erupts, further damaging local G.O.P. chances.


In a major blow to Williams, a second Springfield commissioner seat is lost to the Democrats and Williams' party loses control, three to four. Almost immediately, Williams supports an effort to have the County courts redistrict Springfield's wards to add two new court-appointed commissioners, thus tilting the balance of power back to the regular G.O.P. The courts ultimately refer the issue to the Board of Commissioners, who finally realign the wards in 1975, retaining seven wards.
The Chairman of the county G.O.P. sharply criticizes the effort to realign Springfield's wards "in such a way as to thwart the will of the electorate." He further stated that he believed a majority of the War Board agreed with his statement. This is viewed by many as the opening salvo of efforts to dump Williams for reelection. The Upper Darby Republican Party then issues a statement urging that the courts not be used "to subvert the will of the voters, particularly those of our neighbors in Springfield Township" and further stating any ward realignment which "would negate the recent municipal election would and should result in the eventual rejection of the individual or party who benefits by this inequity."


The Springfield G.O.P. committee endorses Williams for a fifth term. The chairman of the War Board, Harry McNichol, warns Williams not to hold a planned fund raiser until after county endorsements are made. Williams ignores the warning. In a further bid to hold onto power, he suggests that the outgoing commissioners reappoint members of various township committees, rather than allow the new board to make the appointments. This attempt to circumvent the choices of the incoming commissioners fails when no commissioner seconds the motion.

House minority leader, Gerald Ford is sworn into office as Vice President, after having been confirmed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate.

1974 - The Fall of Nixon and Williams


In his State of the Union address, Nixon names the energy crisis as the nation's number one priority and says he would "never walk away" from his job.
Gasoline supplies grow shorter, as lines grow longer at the pumps. The 55 mile per hour speed limit goes into effect, along with daylight savings time four months ahead of schedule, as an effort to conserve fuel.
Inflation rose 8.8% in 1973, the worst showing in 25 years and causing further resentment against Nixon and the Republican party.

The governing coalition of the Springfield Commissioners now consists of two independent Republicans and two Democrats. The Democrats support Wright and Bryan for board president and vice president, respectively. The three remaining Williams loyalists, for the most part, are relegated to the role of minority opposition, a crushing blow to Williams' local power base.

Shapp, visiting Washington, intervenes and works out an agreement between federal officials and striking independent truckers regarding the sharp increase in diesel fuel prices.
A voluntary plan to help alleviate long lines at service stations and panic buying of gasoline is in effect. Motorists with license plates ending on odd numbers are permitted to purchase gasoline on odd days of the month, with even numbered plates purchasing on even days of the month.

Thirty year old Rev. Bob Edgar, a Democrat and Methodist minister, enters the race for Congress, as a political reformer.


The War Board endorses District Attorney Steve McEwen by a 14 to 2 vote. The two votes for Williams were his own and Marple Township G.O.P. leader Bob Wenner, who also lost the nod for state senator. The rejection is denounced by Williams, who said it came from those who felt his political independence "clashed with the special interests of a political group." Another spurned independent, Jim Wilkes, runs for a state house seat in the Chester Pike area.
Williams thus becomes the third incumbent congressman to be dumped by the War Board, following in the footsteps of Wolfenden and Milliken. In the rough-and-tumble world of Delaware County politics, no political endorsement comes easily.
The county G.O.P. mails a letter to each committee person, citing five reasons why the War Board did not endorse Williams: "meddling in the internal affairs of Springfield Township", membership "in a Congress that has lost the confidence of the American people", consumer-advocate Ralph Nader's report on Congress which characterized Williams as "arrogant and profane", Williams' misrepresentation of his committee seniority, and the resignation of 66 members of his D.C. staff during the past six years.
Williams resigns as Springfield leader in order to devote his time to his reelection fight. Although mostly loyal to Williams, his local G.O.P. is embroiled in intra-party fighting and contests for committee posts.
Williams and Wenner resign from the War Board. "I want it clearly understood we did not seek or ask for his resignation," says Harry McNichol. Stepping up his attacks on his opponent, Williams refers to the disappearance of $4,000 in evidence from the District Attorney's office as "something similar to a scene from the old Keystone Kops" movies. McEwen has no comment.

New York Senator James Buckley (R-Conservative), calls on Nixon to resign "in order to save the presidency."

A third candidate, Arnold Barnabei, who resides in the neighboring 5th congressional district, declares his candidacy for the 7th district.
An investigation reveals that the Springfield police chief, a longtime Williams associate, has been billing the township for repairs to Williams' personal vehicle. Williams denies any knowledge of the billing practice.
Governor Shapp vetoes a bill to restore the death penalty in Pennsylvania, saying: "The Fifth Commandment of the Lord is concise and all embracing - Thou Shalt Not Kill." However, the state legislature promptly overrides the veto.


Congressman Williams appears in the DA's office, asking to see an unreleased report that McEwen commissioned three years earlier that allegedly has information regarding corruption in the county government. McEwen is not present, but an assistant District Attorney, in front of a reporter, refers to Williams as being "drunk". Having disproved the charge with a sobriety test, Williams sues the official who made the allegation.

Democrats win a special election for Michigan's 8th congressional district. With the win of Bob Traxler, the Republicans have lost four of the past five special elections.
Pennsylvania Senator Hugh Scott says the recently released transcripts of White House conversations relating to Watergate show "deplorable, disgusting, shabby, immoral performances" by all involved.

As the campaign grinds on, the Evening Bulletin runs a series, "Anatomy of a Machine" that expose questionable or illegal practices in the county government.


Harry McNichol strongly denounces Williams at a fundraiser: "We made four mistakes (in endorsing Williams' previous election bids). We won't make a fifth." He said the major reason for the dumping was that Williams "tried to move in a power play...and get his greedy little hands in a position to call the shots." He told the audience of 1,200: "There will be no resurgence of a candidate with our backing in Washington like Williams, so despicable a man."
Then, during an interview, McNichol continued his tirade, stating that after the death of War Board member Frank Snear four years earlier, Williams attempted to "establish himself as a second John McClure", referring to the founder and uncontested head of the War Board.
During a televised debate between the Republican candidates, Williams continued to hammer at McEwen's record as DA, calling him a "do-nothing DA" who failed to prosecute alleged corruption detailed in the 1971 Pa. Crime Commission report. McEwen accused Williams of falsely claiming the endorsement of Vice President Gerald Ford on his campaign literature. Williams said that he was endorsed by Ford in a letter.
A few days later, Dickey sues Williams for libel for statements Williams made during the debate regarding allegations of payoffs of $100,000 made to Dickey by a landfill owner. Dickey's attorney stated Dickey was "an honest and law-abiding citizen".
Congressman Williams continues to criticize alleged corruption in the county government, stating that DA McEwen should put "a halt to the illegal macing (forced political contributions) of public employees that is taking place right under his nose."
The Evening Bulletin then publishes a letter that Williams wrote eight months earlier, while still a member of the War Board, to a Springfield G.O.P. ward leader, regarding the hire of a Springfield resident as a county employee, stating that the employee understands "she is expected to work politically for the Republican party" and "that she will make a contribution to the Republican Party Campaign Committee." This damaging revelation dilutes Williams charges of War Board corruption.
As the bitter campaign grinds to a close, Williams asks the U.S. Attorney General to send federal observers to polling places in the City of Chester based on allegations of past voting fraud.

On Election Day, McEwen narrowly defeats Williams, 35,098 to 32,561 with Barnabei receiving 3,788 votes. "Thank God for the city of Chester", proclaims Harry McNichol. McEwen wins Chester by a whopping 3 to 1 margin, 6,200 to 2,100, in spite of door-to-door campaigning by Williams there. Without Chester, Williams would have won by over 1,000 votes.
Williams carries 21 of the 38 communities in the 7th District and states that "the election was stolen from me in Chester. It involves the buying of votes, taking derelicts from missions and having them vote, and election judges helping people vote." A Williams worker in Chester is quoted: "It's so crooked down here in Chester, it's pretty hard to win an election."
Wenner and the independent state legislative candidate also lose, along with a slate for G.O.P. state committee members. Bob Edgar wins the Democratic primary and challenges McEwen to debates in the fall.
In Springfield, even though Williams receives over 62% of the vote, the War Board backed independent candidates win 11 of the 28 committee posts, including a precinct of Williams' ward.
Pete Flaherty, mayor of Pittsburgh, scores a narrow win for the Democratic nomination for U.S. senator, beating Herbert Denenberg, ex-state insurance commissioner, by 23,000 votes. Flaherty will square off against incumbent Richard Schweiker. Shapp is renominated for governor and will face Republican businessman, Drew Lewis, in the fall.


Williams, in a letter to the state Attorney General, asks for a probe of Chester's election results. In a report sent to the F.B.I., a Williams aide reported threats of bodily harm from a Republican committeeman at the polls. Some precincts reported 70% turnouts, even though the turnout was only 31% in the rest of the county.
In some key precincts, Williams lost by margins of as high as 16 to 1 and there were allegations that Republican election officials accompanied voters into the voting machines, votes were cast for persons who were not present to vote, the Republican lever was locked for registered Democrats with the judge of elections casting the votes, and voting that took place at the homes of city policemen.
The Democratic minority county commissioner, Bill Spingler, refuses to certify the results. The investigation is not pursued by the state, however. Harry McNichol, in rebutting the charges, said: "If Mr. Williams would look at the returns, he would find that Mr. Eyre has been providing these kinds of returns for years."

In further fallout from the party schism, Dickey announces his intention to resign from the War Board, stating: "I'm not in accord with Harry McNichol, with what he said to the paper to the effect that Democrats are not admitted to Fair Acres...In Upper Darby, to my knowledge, we never check political registration with respect to Fair Acres."
It is reported that the McEwen campaign committee spent $172,000, while Williams spent $76,000.


The House Judiciary committee votes to approve three articles of impeachment against Nixon regarding the Watergate cover-up and misuse of presidential power.


Nixon resigns as president, as the national elections ensue, with the Democrats poised for big gains.

Williams declares that he will support neither McEwen nor Edgar for his seat in Congress. "I am not going to support Edgar, that is my policy. I will do what I have always done and this is support the Republican ticket. As of right now, I have not patched up things with Steve McEwen or the War Board. I do not anticipate that they will come to ask for my support."


Williams loses a federal lawsuit to gain a place on the fall ballot as an independent. He also pursues a lawsuit to force the public disclosure and prosecution of alleged county corruption.


The Sprague Report is released and completely denying the existence of corruption within the government of Delaware County. "I wish to emphasize that very serious charges have been levied against government officials in Delaware County, but little or nothing has been shown by anyone to prove these charges," Sprague concludes. However, Lawrence Hoyle, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission, says otherwise: "...there is ample evidence of a scheme of macing in Delaware County that needs the attention of a prosecutor." He adds that the Crime Commission had given "specific detail and evidence" to Sprague regarding macing.


Williams states: "I knew McEwen was very serious trouble and that's why I came out for for him...The Republican Party started to decline about five years ago because of the changes in the Board of Supervisors." He cites the losses of Snear, Duke, Watkins and Hineman as having weakened the War Board.
"It's a funny thing that in 1964 Lyndon Johnson carried Delaware County but we didn't lose anything else," Williams opines. "Nobody can tell me the national scene had anything to do with the Democratic victory on Tuesday."
Williams further claims that had he been on the ballot he would have won by "60 per cent" of the vote and helped elect other Republicans locally. Edgar dismisses that analysis: "He can say that because his name wasn't on the ballot. He had his chance."

After a lackluster campaign by McEwen and hard work by Edgar, the latter wins by almost 17,000 votes, carrying Springfield by an unprecedented 62%. This time, the party machine in Chester only gives McEwen a 54% plurality.

It is reported that there was a celebration of the War Board’s loss at Williams house that night by loyalists. There are also other severe losses for the War Board, Governor Milton Shapp, a Democrat, carries the county and the party picks up the state senate seat denied to Wenner along with five state house seats. The G.O.P. is left with the other state senate seat that fortunately was not up for election, five other state house seats and control of the courthouse. Nationally, the G.O.P. is trounced in Congress and state houses.


1975 - Out of Office and Still Battling the Machine

In January, Edgar takes office as Williams' successor. For the first time in twenty-four years, Williams does not hold an elected office. Having decided to forgo a try for county commissioner, Williams is named by President Ford as special assistant to the federal co-chairman of the Ozark Regional Commission.
In February, in an effort to survive, the county Republican committee dumps McNichol and Catania for reelection as county commissioners and dismantles the War Board. Williams does not personally participate in the election, but does endorse a Democrat, Esther Clark, for the county courts.
On May 31, Williams enters Tri-County Hospital in Springfield with a severe concussion from a fall at home, a 104-degree fever from pneumonia and cerebral hemorrhaging. He is moved to Episcopal Hospital and diagnosed with brain tumors. His conditioning having deteriorated, Williams dies on July 13, 1975 at University of Pennsylvania Hospital.
"Those of us who knew Lawrence G. Williams over the years realize how much he contributed to making Springfield what it is today," reflects Andrew W. Wright, President of the Springfield commissioners and former Williams foe. "Those efforts can be appreciated by us all."
"The name of Lawrence Williams was synonymous with Springfield for many years. Now, on the occasion of his death, it is fitting to note that his influence will be felt in this, my home town," muses Edgar. "for years to come. He was a tireless worker, giving one hundred per cent of himself in the pursuit of his every endeavor. I extend my sympathy to his family during this sad and difficult time."
The L.G. Williams Memorial Fund is established by the Lions Club of Springfield.
Of Williams' former War Board colleagues, only Joe Dorsey and Bob Wenner attend his funeral. Congressman Edgar attends, as well as those from neighboring areas: Lawrence Coughlin, Richard Schulze, and William Barrett.
Some 15 years after his death, the Springfield Commissioners, on a split vote, renamed Powell Road Park to Williams Park.

Politics in Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District - Chapter 7

Bob Edgar - 1975-1987

Bob Edgar - One of the "Watergate Babies"
Robert William Edgar was born on May 29, 1943, graduated Springfield High School, then went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts from Lycoming College, followed by a Master of Divinity at Drew University Theological School in 1968. He also received a Certificate in Pastoral Psychiatry from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital.
While serving as pastor of the East Falls United Methodist Church in Philadelphia, he organized and was the first president of the Human Relations Committee of East Falls. Edgar also served as a member of the Police-clergy Unit and rode with city police in high crime areas. He also was co-director and funding coordinator of the People's Emergency Center in Philadelphia, which served as a shelter for homeless persons.
He served as a full-time United Protestant chaplain of Drexel Hill University from 1971 to 1974, where he helped organize the counseling center. All of his activities indicate he was geared to assist the less fortunate and vulnerable segments of our society, while trying to bridge the gaps between the races.

1974 - Bob vs. Goliath


The county political scene has incumbent Republican Lawrence G. Williams seeking a fifth term and on the outs with the War Board (Delaware County Board of Republican Supervisors) and politically vulnerable. Democrats had made significant gains in local elections and nationally, the Republicans are on the defensive on economic, as well as issues of corruption.


Edgar becomes the first Democrat to enter the tangled political fray in Delaware County, which pits the out of favor incumbent Republican against the War Board. He describes himself as a "new politician".


Edgar aims his campaign towards the fall by attacking both of his potential G.O.P. rivals and ignoring his primary opponent, David Belitsky.
Edgar accuses Williams of "trying to pass himself off as an independent," which "is a desperate move to woo voters who've become disenchanted with the Watergate administration. Ironically, Williams was pushed out of War Board power by another opportunist when Sam Dickey chose Springfield reapportionment as the opportune moment to axe Williams in favor of his protege (Steve McEwen)."
He describes McEwen as "the latest hand-picked offering" of the War Board, adding "voters in the Republican primary have a choice between Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee. They're both seasoned politicians who represent the special interests of the financial and political power blocs which back them."
Edgar receives a boost with the endorsement of most of the county's Democratic county and municipal leaders.


Edgar, evidently confident of an easy primary win, again aims his fire at the GOP: "I don't care who the Republican candidate is. If it is Williams, I'll run against his record. If it is McEwen, I'll run against his being a War Board-controlled candidate and some of the things Steve has muddled in." Edgar offers to fill in for McEwen, who has not responded to Williams' calls for a debate, but is turned down.


The thirty year old Edgar wins the Democratic primary over the twenty-six year old Belitsky, 10,511 to 6,367. With the incumbent Williams out of the race and the War Board thoroughly discredited, the spotlight is on the young Democratic nominee.


Edgar reports receipts during the primary election period of $3,611 and expenditures of $3,245. At a press conference, astutely following up on Williams' charges, Edgar calls for State Attorney General Israel Packel to investigate "macing and other official corruption in Delaware County", the release of the Sprague report, a new independent county prosecutor and possibly federal marshals to monitor the elections in Chester.


Edgar begins campaigning full-time, starting at the Swarthmore train station, shaking hands and handing out literature.


Edgar calls on McEwen to stop "playing games" regarding the investigation of official corruption in the county. All of the Democratic candidates, including Edgar and the legislative slate, issue a statement calling for the state Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor. Edgar pledges, if elected, to open district offices in Upper Darby and Chester.

Following the expected resignation of Nixon, the onus is on the new president, Gerald Ford, to lead the nation and prevent the wholesale defeat of the Republican party in the upcoming election. Several weeks later, Ford nominates former New York Governor Rockefeller for the vacant position of Vice President.


Edgar calls for improving the Pension Reform Act to extend protection to more workers and for reforming the congressional committee system.
State Representative Dorsey, who also serves as Republican chairman of Collingdale, heckles Edgar at a meeting of the county commissioners. Edgar, who had toured courthouse offices and Fair Acres, expresses his concerns to the county commissioners regarding admission policies to the county run nursing home. He states that in order for his grandmother to have been admitted to Fair Acres, his parents were forced to change their registration to Republican. Commission chairman Harry McNichol denies the allegation, stating "That is not true. You're making that statement for political purposes." Dorsey yells: "the reverend is a hypocrite" and "don't stand there and lie!" Edgar retorts: "I don't like being called a liar."
At a candidates' forum at the Media Fellowship Home, Edgar, McEwen and Ralph Johns, the Constitutional party candidate, share the floor. McEwen is peppered with hostile questions from the audience, which has an abundance of Democrats, regarding allegations of political corruption in the county. Exasperated, McEwen replies: "Don't vote for me, vote for my opponent."

President Ford pardons Nixon for any possible Watergate crimes and his popularity in the Gallup poll drops from 71% to 49% and with it, G.O.P. electoral chances. Edgar states his opposition to the pardon. Both he and McEwen are in opposition to any further pardons related to Watergate.


McEwen, in a letter to Edgar, registers his objections to the tone of the campaign. "You have engaged in personal attacks upon me during your campaign," the district attorney writes. Edgar responds: "At no time have I ever made any attacks on Mr. McEwen as a person."
In a letter to the Times, Edgar outlines ten major issues of the campaign: inflation, energy, tax reform, environment, mass transit, campaign reform, congressional reorganization, tax relief, senior citizens issues and foreign aid.
The candidates outline their views on the issues with Edgar supporting the right to abortion during the first three months of pregnancy and capital punishment "in the rarest of circumstances", including the killing of a prison guard. McEwen takes opposite stands, opposing abortion and favoring more liberal use of the death penalty.
Edgar is endorsed by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Minnesota U.S. Senator Walter Mondale stumps for Edgar, stating in the superlative: "There is no congressional candidate in the country better than Bob Edgar."


Bob Edgar trounces McEwen, 89,680 to 70,894, in a win that sent tremors through the ranks of the War Board and GOP faithful. In some towns, Edgar's landslide approaches fantastic proportions, for a Democrat: Aston by over 1,000 votes; Marple by over 1,800; Springfield 2,800; Ridley township over 2,100. He even carries staunchly Republican Newtown township and Sam Dickey's Upper Darby. All of this is in spite of the fact McEwen and the War Board spent $110,075 to Edgar's $38,819.
"I think the people are tired of corrupt politicians," the newly-elected Democrat declares. "It was a people's campaign, and it was the people who came out and voted today." The Republicans blamed their historic losses on the convergence of the "Three W's": Watergate, Williams and War Board. One employee of the county courthouse states: "John McClure gave up his ghost Tuesday night in Delaware County."

The issues of Watergate and double-digit inflation put a whammy on the G.O.P., causing the greatest losses in a decade. The Democrats picked up 43 House seats, leaving the balance over two-to-one in their favor: 291-144. In the Senate, changes were not as dramatic, with the Republicans losing three seats, leaving the balance in favor of the Democrats, 60 to 38, with two independents. Most of the casualties among the Republicans occurred with conservatives, while the moderates generally held their ground against the Democrats. Some of the moderate Republicans reelected were Charles McC. Mathias of Maryland, Jacob Javits of New York, Robert Packwood of Oregon, and Schweiker. The Democrats also nab three additional governorships, giving them 36 out of 50, their highest total since the 1930's.

In Pennsylvania, Governor Milton Shapp is reelected over Andrew L. Lewis by over 300,000 votes, 1.885 to 1.573 million. Shapp carries Delaware County 103,043 to 102,426, as well as Bucks County. The governor sweeps the five county Philadelphia region by almost 225,000 votes. However, voters are sophisticated enough to reelect Senator Schweiker to a second term, 1.838 to 1.597 million votes, over Pittsburgh mayor Pete Flaherty. Schweiker does very well in the Philadelphia area, carrying all four suburban counties and only losing the city by some 3,300 votes. He sweeps Delaware County 128,081 to 76,129, with East Lansdowne the only municipality he loses.
In a stunning rebuke to the War Board and Sam Dickey, Upper Darby Township Director of Parks and Recreation, F. Joseph Loeper, loses to Democrat John Sweeney, a real estate broker from Drexel Hill, 42,687 to 42,157. Sweeney becomes the first Democrat to represent the heart of Delaware County in the state senate since the Civil War. The Democrats pick up four additional house districts, as well as reelecting Doyle. Ralph Garzia beats incumbent Stan Kester in the 160th, 10,603 to 7,308; Peter O'Keefe bests incumbent Ed Jones in the 161st, 10,024 to 9,963; Pat Gillespie downs Bill Taylor in the 162nd, 9,770 to 8,819 and Tom Stapleton ousts four term incumbent Don McCurdy in Springfield's 165th district, by a surprising 11,835 to 11,037. A rising star in the G.O.P., Faith Ryan Whittlesey, wins a second term in Haverford Township by beating Archie Pergolese, 12,888 to 10,341.


During the transition period before taking office, Edgar works out of the office of Philadelphia congressman William Green, Democrat. He had spent only one half day in Williams' office before making the switch.
With an eye evidently toward the next election, Edgar tours Chester, introducing himself and handing out his card. He supports the reform package of the Democratic caucus.

1975 - The Year of the "Watergate Babies"

Edgar is sworn in along with 91 other freshmen and becomes part of a group that will have a major effect on legislation and congressional operations. He is appointed to two committees: Public Works and Transportation and Veterans Affairs.

In a major setback to the seniority system, Democrats in the House vote to replace three influential committee chairman: Wright Patman, Banking and Currency; F. Edward Hebert, Armed Services; and W. R. Poage, Agriculture. Edgar votes for the changes. In deposing three influential southerners from leadership positions, the Democrats have unwittingly contributed towards pushing white southerners out of the party and into the G.O.P. fold.

President Ford delivers a gloomy State of the Union address and calls for tax cuts and energy conservation in order to deal with the deepening recession and inflation. Ford will spend most of the year locked in a battle with the heavy Democratic majority over a variety of issues.


In responding to a tanker collision in the Delaware River near Marcus Hook, Edgar calls the federal disaster assistance program inadequate and unable to handle a "mini-disaster".

Ford presents a budget with a record peacetime deficit of almost $52 billion. Senator Hubert Humphrey, chairman of the congressional Joint Economic Committee assails the administration's forecast of an 8% unemployment rate as "unbelievable".
Moderate Democratic senators Henry Jackson of Washington and Lloyd Bentsen of Texas announce for the Democratic presidential nomination. The unemployment rate reaches a post-war high of 8.2% for January and Ford's popularity drops to a low of 37% in the Gallup polls.
Edgar votes with the rest of the House and rebuffs the president by suspending Ford's imposition of an oil import tariff. He also votes for a tax reduction totaling $21.3 billion in a bid to stimulate the economy and pushes for a five day workweek for members of the House.


Edgar, a champion of mass transit, meets with Amtrak to obtain Metroliner service for Chester. He makes a major point by bicycling to his first meeting with the president at the White House.

The March unemployment rate reaches yet another post-war high of 8.7%.

A county resident files a class action suit against Catania and McNichol, charging that her application for employment was denied because she was not a registered Republican. The Republicans refuse comment, but Spingler states: "For years, people have accepted political discrimination as a basis for filling county jobs. But the fact of the matter is that the salaries of people on the public payroll are paid by all of the taxpayers in Delaware County. And all of the taxpayers should have an opportunity to fill these positions." The suit was filed by Jack Brian, a Democratic candidate for county judge.


Edgar characterizes the House Democratic leaders as "egoship rather than leadership" and criticizes "excessive partisanship".
As the government of South Vietnam nears collapse trying to resist the invasion from North Vietnam, there is wrangling on the House floor regarding aid to the South. Edgar criticizes Ford's call for $722 million in military aid, stating "It shows he (Ford) is out of touch with reality...with what the American people want."
Edgar's amendment to set a ten day deadline on evacuations from South Vietnam and provide humanitarian aid is ruled out of order. He votes with the majority of his party against an amendment to prohibit the funds from being used by North Vietnam or the Viet Cong and votes "present" for an amendment noting the "flagrant violations of the Paris Peace Agreement" by the Communists.


In tough language, Edgar gives his view of the seizure of the American merchant ship, the S.S. Mayaguez, by gunboats from Com-munist Cambodia, in international waters. "If they don't give it back, we should go in and take it back." After military intervention by the United States, the ship is freed. "I commend the president for being decisive," Edgar states, but he feels that Congress is "ill-informed" during times of crisis.

Edgar votes against final passage of the Vietnam assistance bill, which fails anyway, 162-246. He also votes in opposition to an amendment to hold federal spending to the amount of revenues in 1976, $300 billion. The effort to balance the budget failed in the House, 94-311.

The unemployment rate finally peaks at 9.2% and then begins a steady descent as the national economy slowly pulls out of the worst recession since World War Two.


Edgar votes with the majority to renew the Voting Rights Act for another ten years and votes to override Ford's veto of a bill to provide temporary subsidies for the middle class to purchase homes. The veto is sustained, 268-157. Edgar votes to override two other vetoes on public works projects and strip mining regulations, but the vetoes are also sustained.


Edgar sets a precedent by performing a wedding for a fellow member of Congress, Representative Max Baucus of Montana. In response to many requests to lead a prayer when appearing before groups, the Times quotes Edgar: "I'm not a prayer dispensing machine."

Congress votes to block the Administration's plan to lift price controls on domestic oil, 262-167, with Edgar voting with the majority. He votes with the minority against raising the pay for members of Congress, as well as high level executive and judicial branch employees. Edgar also joins 90 other House members and backs a resolution calling for the U.S. to renounce "first use of nuclear weapons", stating such use is "not an option for civilized man."

President Ford declares his candidacy for a second term, but there are rumblings of opposition from the right wing of the Republican Party.


While the unemployment rate falls to 8.4%, inflation rose 1.2% during the month of July, led by fuel and food increases and underscoring the intractable nature of the nation's economic woes.


Edgar introduces legislation to reorganize thirty narrowly-defined transportation aid programs into four categories: interstate, rural, urban, and safety and bridge improvements. Commenting about two recent assassination attempts upon President Ford, Edgar states: "We live in a fragile society...attempts on the President's life are going to increase."
He announces that he will set aside the "after-taxes" portion of the recent congressional pay raise for a "small scholarship" program for Delaware County colleges.

Keeler and Whittlesey place some distance between themselves and the former War Board. Whittlesey states "We're regarded as outsiders by the old guard. We have different opinions about the way government should be run." Harry McNichol gives his support "wholeheartedly" to the candidates, though.


Edgar votes against final passage of the $90.2 billion Defense Department appropriations bill, which passes 353-61. Another of Ford's vetoes is overridden in the House by a vote of 397-18. Edgar votes with the majority to pass the School Lunch and Child Nutrition bill over the veto.


Former Governor Ronald Reagan of California, an arch-conservative, declares his intention to Ford to challenge the President for renomination.

Locally, the New Look Republicans, beat back a spirited challenge from the Democrats, who had hoped to follow in Edgar's footsteps. Whittlesey and Keeler are elected county commissioners, receiving about 103,000 votes to Spingler's 87,000, reelecting the latter to the minority seat. Bowie comes in last with a disappointing 81,000. Hazel beats Gannon for District Attorney, by a similar margin, 102,000 to 84,000. This will be the last election allowing for a guaranteed seat for the minority party. "We're making Republican politics fashionable in Delaware County," a beaming Whittlesey declares.
Spingler admits "Keeler and Mrs. Whittlesey are not the hack politicians that McNichol and Catania are, but they're philosophically different from myself. They believe government shouldn't do anything for people." However, the Springfield G.O.P., under new leadership after Williams' resignation the previous year, is trounced. The Democrats seize control of the Board of Commissioners for the first time in history and elect a District Justice.


Thomas Judge of Darby Township is unanimously elected chairman of the Delaware County Republican party, to fill in for the rest of Robert Kelly's term.

1976 - Edgar's Second "Miracle"

Edgar votes to bar aid requested by Ford to anti-Soviet factions fighting in Angola. The ban passes 323 to 99. He also votes with the majority to override Ford's veto of a $36 billion Labor-HEW spending bill, which passes 310-113.

The Democratic presidential field is quite crowded with nine candidates, including Governor Shapp, Alabama Governor George C. Wallace, Arizona congressman Morris Udall, former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter, Washington senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, and Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey.

Whittlesey, Keeler and Spingler take office under the new Home Rule Charter as County Council members and begin a series of reforms to streamline county government and eliminate waste.


Ford wins the New Hampshire primary, narrowly defeating Reagan, 49.4% to 48% and taking 17 delegates to Reagan's four. Carter wins the Democratic primary, 28% to his nearest rival, Udall, with 23%, followed by Bayh, 15%; Harris, 11%; Shriver, 8%; Humphrey, 6%; Jackson, 2%, and Wallace 1%.

Edgar votes with the majority to add 320,000 emergency jobs to the C.E.T.A. program.


Scoop Jackson's conservative bid falters as the only primary he wins is Massachusetts, with 22.3% of the vote. Carter comes in fourth with 13.9% of the vote and Shapp receives only 2.9% of the vote, causing his campaign to sink rather quickly. Carter wins an impressive string of victories in Vermont, Florida, Illinois and North Carolina and his momentum appears unstoppable.


In the Public Works committee, Edgar votes against a bill to limit federal regulation of dredge dumping and filling in waterways and wetlands. He warns that the bill will create an "ecological and administrative nightmare" and leave 85% of wetlands unprotected. He also sponsors an amendment to add $610 million to funding for extending educational benefits eligibility.

Congressman William J. Green of Philadelphia wins the Democratic primary for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Hugh Scott. Green beats state senator Jeanette F. Reibman 762,733 to 345,264 statewide, carrying Delaware County four to one. In a heated six-way Republican primary, Congressman John Heinz III of Pittsburgh edges out former Philadelphia District Attorney Arlen Specter, 358,715 to 332,513, with George Packard receiving 160,379, in statewide totals. Delaware County gives Specter an overwhelming majority over Heinz, however. Carter beats Jackson statewide, 511,905 to 340,340, with 259,166 for Udall and 155,902 for Wallace. The results countywide mirror the state returns.
The Republicans nominate John M. (Jay) Kenney Jr., a former deputy district attorney to challenge Edgar in the fall.


Kenney criticizes Edgar's commitment to "achieving a balanced budget as soon as possible", stating that the incumbent is "one of Congress' biggest spenders", having voted for a budget with at $50 billion deficit.
Edgar asks the House Ethics Committee to look into allegations that Congressman Wayne Hays, powerful chairman of the House Operations Committee, placed Elizabeth Ray on his payroll for non-work-related purposes.
The Congress
Edgar votes to override a presidential veto of bill to spend $125 million for states to comply with health and safety standards for federally funded day care centers. The override is successful, 301 to 101.
Edgar's bill adding the 45 acre Folcroft dump to the Tinicum Wildlife Center is approved by the House unanimously.


Due to his generally liberal voting record, Edgar is targeted for defeat by the conservative National Committee for an Effective Congress.

Edgar votes for a defense department budget of $105.4 billion and against the Hyde Amendment, which passes 207-187, to cut off federal funding for abortions.

After winning the Ohio primary, Carter appears to have won enough delegates to sew up the nomination.


The Democrats meet in New York City and nominate Carter on the first ballot, in a relatively peaceful convention. Carter then selects Minnesota Senator Walter Mondale, a liberal, as his running mate and begins the race against Ford with a 33 point lead in the polls. The platform of the Democrats calls for addressing unemployment and cutting the defense budget, among other things.

Meanwhile, Reagan, still unable to win enough delegates for the Republican nomination, throws a bombshell by announcing his running mate in advance: Senator Richard Schweiker. Instead of attracting enough moderate delegates from Pennsylvania to put Reagan over the top, the ploy backfires, costing him the support of the conservative Mississippi delegation. The former California governor then fails to have a convention rule passed that would have forced Ford to name his running mate in advance.

Edgar votes for a bill protecting consumers against unfair practices related to credit card companies, which passes 239-162. He also casts a vote in favor of a bill to increase unemployment benefits and to extend coverage to 8.9 million workers, which passes 237-157. Another veto is overridden, for a bill to spend $4 billion on public works jobs, anti-recessionary aid to states and waste water treatment. Edgar votes for this as well as a bill to mandate that all meetings of federal agencies headed by two or more open their meetings to the public, unless specific reasons are given otherwise.


The newspaper, Roll Call, names Edgar among the top ten most effective Democratic freshman, ranking him as seventh out of eighty-one freshmen.
He also denounces a Kenney campaign brochure that depicts Edgar's voting record with headlines as "grossly out of touch with reality" and files a complaint with the Fair Campaign Practices Committee. Not to be outdone, Kenney counter-files with the same group, objecting to Edgar's attacks on him. Both complaints are eventually dropped, however.

Edgar votes for an average workweek of 54 hours for federal firefighters and premium pay for overtime, but the bill fails 184-204.

A badly divided Republican party meets in Kansas City and renominates Ford over Reagan by a 1,187 to 1,070 vote of the delegates. Ford, having earlier dropped Rockefeller, moves to the right and selects conservative Kansas Senator Bob Dole as his running mate and begins the race with Carter as the distinct underdog.


In stepping up his efforts to unseat Edgar, Kenney states: "Edgar's voting record shows he represents a small fringe of his party." During a candidates' debate, the Republican challenger hammers away at the fact that Congress has been dominated for 40 of the past 44 years by the Democrats. In response to criticism of amnesty for draft evaders, Edgar states: "If we can allow Nixon and Agnew to play golf for the rest of their lives with just a slap on the wrist, we can deal seriously with young people who stood up against the Vietnam war." He favors pardons for conscientious draft resisters and a case by case review of military deserters. Kenney brands inflation as the major economic issue, stating: "Inflation is public enemy number one and deficit spending is the number one reason for it." Edgar, in contrast, states the traditional Democratic view: "Unemployment is our most serious problem."
A flap ensues regarding separate letters that Kenney and his wife wrote to Edgar's office in September 1975, stating their strong opposition to aid for Israel. Copies of the letters make their way into the county's Jewish community. Edgar denies Kenney's charges that the letters were deliberately leaked. Kenney extricates himself from the matter by stating that he and his wife had since changed their opinion on the issue. Edgar, in turn, remarks that the only two letters he had ever received from the Kenney's concern objections to Israeli aid.

Edgar calls for the deletion of two water projects in Alaska, costing $10.5 million, stating: "I decided that this project was clearly the most flagrant boondoggle at public expense." He backs down after being chastised by Alaskan congressman Donald Young. He also votes with the majority, 325-75, to stop automatic cost of living increases for members of Congress, federal judges and top officials. A bill to balance the budget, with $362.5 billion in revenues and expenditures, is voted down, 111-264, with Edgar voting against it. He does vote with 226 others to pass a budget blueprint, calling for expenditures of $413.2 billion and a deficit of $50.7 billion. However, 151 representatives, mostly conservatives, oppose the budget. Another notable bill passed by the House is to strengthen disclosures for lobbyists. It passes 290 to 53, with Edgar voting in favor.


In the fifth and final debate, Edgar calls for a balanced budget through economic growth and decreased unemployment. Kenney favors a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. The Times endorses Kenney, based on Edgar's pro-labor stand on repeal of the right-to-work provision, section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act.
For his first term, Edgar's support of Ford Administration legislation was 30% in favor and 67% opposed. He proves himself a loyal party member, voting 86% of the time with his party and only 10% against. His attendance is 99%.

Although many voters seem indifferent or turned off to both presidential candidates, Ford steadily closes the gap in the polls until he almost draws even with Carter.


When the results are counted, the Republicans are unable to avenge their losses from two years before. Ford does carry the county, 148,679 to 117,252 and Heinz is given an unimpressive majority of 141,651 to 124,088. But, to the G.O.P.'s dismay, Edgar soundly beats Kenney, 109,436 to 92,788, proving that his first election was not a fluke. Again, Edgar is outspent, $170,508 to $129,172, but the gap is closing. The incumbent carries both Chester and Upper Darby, causing one G.O.P. worker to mutter: "This is a total disaster." County Republican Chairman Thomas Judge and Whittlesey criticize the Chester party, led by Mayor John Nacrelli, for handing out sample ballots that left Ford and Kenney off.

The Democrats win five out of ten state legislative matches, reelecting all incumbents, except Gillespie, who loses to Gerald Spitz by 21 votes. However, the Democrats compensate by picking up the Chester seat with Francis X. Tenaglio's 9,096 to 7,971 win over Worrilow. Stapleton beats Williams 14,394 to 13,723 and wins a second term.
Edgar comments: "If I've done anything, I've established a healthy, two-party system in this county." He further predicts the Democrats will win some countywide races the following year. Whittlesey attributes the strong support of labor for Edgar's reelection: "Labor distributed a support letter for Edgar last week at a cost of $20,000. We've got a lot of work ahead of us."

Nationally, the election is close, with Carter taking the popular vote 40.828 million to 39.148 million. The Electoral Vote tally is much closer, 297 electoral votes for Carter to 240 for Ford, who had been steadily closing the gap in the polls. Even though Ford had made a valiant effort, the challenge from Reagan and the right wing left the president in a weakened position.
In Congress, the close national election is also reflected. The Republicans manage to pick up one Senate seat from an independent, leaving the Democrats with a 61 to 38 edge, with one remaining independent. In the House, the Democrats pick up one seat, giving them a 292 to 143 edge, their highest total in twelve years.

In Pennsylvania, Carter narrowly takes the state, 2.328 million to 2.205 million votes. Voters again split their tickets and elect Heinz over Green, 2.381 to 2.126 million votes. In Republican Bucks County, there is an upset, as Democrat Peter Kostmayer is elected over state senator John S. Renninger, 93,855 to 92,543. In the neighboring Fifth District, Schulze wins his second term by defeating Democrat Anthony Campolo, Jr., 119,682 to 81,229.


During Gerald Ford's relatively brief two years and five months in office, he cast forty-eight regular vetoes, with Congress overriding twelve of them. He also pocket vetoed eighteen other bills. His total of sixty-six vetoes is the highest for a president's term since Eisenhower.

1977 - the Democrats are Back in the Driver's Seat


Bob Edgar is sworn in for his second term and Jimmy Carter takes office as the first Democratic president in eight years.
Edgar spearheads a drive for federal funds for "an economic recovery program for the impacted industrial area of Delaware County...We're hoping we'll be the first area the new administration approves for such aid." He notes the loss of jobs at the FMC Corporation in Marcus Hook, the Westinghouse Electric plant in Lester and the Boeing Vertol Company in Ridley Township. Joining Edgar were all three County Council members and other local officials. He also appears before 4,300 Boeing employees, pledging help in getting an $800 million Navy helicopter contract for the company.
The Times, in an editorial, criticizes Edgar for voting against the B-1 bomber, stating: "Mr. Edgar, to say the least, is no friend of the Pentagon."


Edgar criticizes the scheduled $13,000 pay raise for members of Congress, stating he will vote against any increase to the salary of $42,500.

The Congress
Edgar votes for the Emergency Natural Gas Act of 1977, which gives the president power to allocate gas and raise prices, in order to combat critical shortages. His amendment to the Public Works Jobs Program bill to change the method of allocating funding to reflect the number of unemployed and the state unemployment rate, fails 187-201. After Representative Henry Gonzalez of Texas resigns as chairmen and a member of the Select Committee on Assassinations, Edgar is named to replace him. The committee, which is to investigate the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, saw a bitter dispute between Gonzalez and chief counsel Richard Sprague. Sprague also resigned.

Edgar and Spingler call for an investigation into county hiring under the federally funded Comprehensive Unemployment Training Act. At a County Council meeting, Spingler charges that almost all of the new CETA hires were registered Republicans. Keeler and Whittlesey vehemently deny the accusations.


Edgar votes against the wishes of President Carter for an increase in the standard federal income tax deduction from $2,200 to $2,400. The bill passes 386-29. He misses the vote on the tax cut bill, which passes 282 to 131, although he declares his support for it. He also cosponsors a bill to create an oil spill liability fund to be used for situations, such as the Marcus Hook collision and spill.


An amendment by Edgar to a water pollution control bill is attempted, but he throws his support behind a similar amendment, which loses by voice vote. Edgar's amendment would have strengthened and defined the wetlands protection program.
Edgar votes against cutting overseas troops by 17,000, as well as active military strength by 50,000, and the bill fails, 88 to 301.


Edgar votes against a series of amendments to weaken the Clean Air Act and supports its final passage. Returning from a trip to the Mideast, the Seventh District congressman states his belief that President Sadat of Egypt is sincerely seeking peace with Israel.


Although a bill to prohibit federal funds from being used to bus students beyond the school nearest to their homes passes, 225-157, Edgar votes against it. The bill also forbids HEW from mandating the merger, pairing or clustering of schools to achieve desegregation.
He also votes against an amendment sponsored by arch-conservative Democrat Larry McDonald of Georgia to prohibit federal legal assistance funds to be used for cases arising from a dispute over homosexuality or gay rights. The bill passes, 230 to 133.
Edgar also speaks out in favor of the Conte-Derrick amendment to delete 16 water projects, but the effort fails, 194 to 218.
He meets with Vice President Mondale to discuss the county's economic problems.


Edgar votes to raise the minimum wage from $2.30 an hour to $2.65. The bill is passed, 331 to 44.
An amendment sponsored in the Public Works committee by Edgar to impose user fees to recover 50% of new construction costs and 100% of operating and maintenance costs for water projects is rejected, by an eight to thirty vote.


The House votes to create the federal Department of Energy, consolidating several related agencies, 353 to 57, with Edgar in support.


Both Edgar and Carter oppose the proposed Clinch River Breeder Reactor Plant, due to concerns about the environment and the terrorist potential of the plutonium generated. "The breeder is bad business...A delay now would hardly be any sacrifice, and it might just make the difference to bring some sanity in a world which is becoming increasingly insane," Edgar states.
Edgar calls for the resignation of embattled Budget Director Bert Lance, whose personal business dealings have raised questions of ethics and competence.

A bill to raise the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70 passes 362 to 0. Edgar votes against an amendment to delete a provision for the automatic adjustment of the minimum wage for inflation. The amendment passes 223 to 193, but another amendment to pay 85% of the minimum wage to teenagers under 18, fails 210 to 211, with Edgar opposed.


Edgar and 18 members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation meet with President Carter to discuss local issues, such as the failure of Boeing Vertol to secure the Navy L.A.M.P.S. helicopter contract. Carter promises a review of the contract award and Edgar declares "the President is sensitive" to the county's economic problems.

A major reform of labor legislation passes, 257 to 163, with Edgar voting in favor. The bill will aid union organizing and bargaining by streamlining regulatory procedures and will strengthen penalties against employers who violate labor laws. The Times attacks Edgar for his vote, stating that the bill is too pro-labor.
The recommendation of the Obey Commission to reform House rules, travel, committees and House employee discrimination matters, fails 160 to 252, but Edgar votes in support of it. A major bill to ensure the solvency of the Social Security system is passed, with Edgar in favor, 275 to 146. Both tax rates and the taxable wage base will be increased.


Carter signs a bill introduced by Edgar to continue federal subsidies to SEPTA at 80%, rather than 50%, until October, then allowing them to drop for the next two years.

New Look Republicans Dennis Rochford and Harold "Bud" Haabestad are elected over Democrats Jim Cunningham and Henry F. Teti by about 87,000 to 60,000 votes. Springfield resoundingly returns to the G.O.P. fold, but Edgar's hometown of Marple Township is seized by the Democrats.


Edgar votes for the final conference report on the Social Security bill, which passes by a close 189 to 163 vote. Only 15 Republicans support the measure, while 109 oppose it. Democrats vote 174 to 54 in favor of restoring Social Security to fiscal health.

1978 - Resurgence of the Republicans, but Edgar Survives


Edgar works behind the counter at the Camera Shop in Lawrence Park, as part of a program sponsored by the Small Business Council of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. He also makes public his unhappiness with Carter's lack of commitment to mass transit, as shown in the budget.
Edgar's efforts finally bear fruit, as Amtrak announces that a stop in Chester will be given a trial run.
Edgar introduces a bill to provide for the merit selection of U.S. attorneys, in the wake of the public outcry concerning the firing of U.S. Attorney, David Marston. Marston, a Republican appointee, had been investigating cases involving allegations of corruption regarding local Democratic officials when the firing occurred by the Democratic Carter Administration last year.
The popular and affable Mayor of Upper Darby, Eugene "Sonny" Kane declares his candidacy for Edgar's seat. Edgar is accused by Kane of sending a staff member to collect information at the latter's press conference. Edgar later states that Kane's uninvited visitor was a volunteer, working at Edgar's office, who had attended the meeting on his own.

The two new Republican members join Whittlesey and Keeler on the Delaware County Council, leaving Spingler as the lone Democrat for the next two years.


Edgar votes for 150 new federal judgeships, $250 million for weather-related highway repairs, and again against funding the B-1 bomber, which the Carter administration opposes.

The U.S. Labor Department characterizes Delaware County's CETA program as having a "hiring system that is subject to charges of abuse, favoritism and political discrimination." It further charges that federal hiring guidelines are not being followed by the county or Upper Darby Township. In the case of the latter, while 68% of the voters are registered Republicans, 95% of those hired under the CETA program were Republican registered. Kane refers to Edgar's criticism of Upper Darby Township's CETA program as "politically inspired."


A proposed constitutional amendment to allow the District of Columbia residents elected representation in Congress, passes 289-127, with Edgar in favor. A bill to allow for public financing of House elections, fails, 198 to 209. Edgar votes in favor of the bill which would have limited the influence of outside special interest money on House elections.

At a press conference, President Carter attributes his decline in popularity to problems with the national economy. "Government doesn't have the unilateral autocratic control over some of these very difficult issues," he declares.


Edgar is challenged from within his party by Doris McHugh, a Lansdowne housewife, who opposes abortion rights and supports tuition tax credits for non-public students. Kane, the endorsed Republican candidate, is challenged in the primary by Raymond Burrows, a former Yeadon auditor from Folcroft and Peter Diachenko, a Philadelphia courts employee.

Democratic electoral fortunes fall as Carter's popularity continues its tumble. According to a Gallup Poll, only 39% of Americans voice approval of the job he is doing, while 46% disapprove.


Kane challenges Edgar's "liberal" stands on issues, such as the Panama Canal transfer and federal spending. He blames the incumbent's "anti-defense posture" for the loss of defense department contracts and jobs at Boeing Vertol. Edgar counters, stating that there is "only a limited amount a congressman can do to get a particular contract, and I did it." He blamed Boeing's loss on its bid being higher than that of the winner of the contract.

Edgar votes against a budget resolution to balance federal revenues and expenditures at $464.6 billion each. The resolution is defeated, 170-226, and he votes for another resolution that passes, allowing for a $58 billion deficit. Edgar votes in favor of killing the Neutron bomb, but the measure fails, 90-306.

When the primary election votes are tallied, Edgar easily defeats his opponent, 15,844 to 3,377. Kane, the first mayor of Upper Darby under its new Home Rule Charter, wins the G.O.P. nomination, 41,896 to 11,587 for his opponents.
With Milton Shapp bound by the two term limit for governor, the Democrats nominate Flaherty over Casey and Lt. Governor Ernest P. Kline. The county vote is Flaherty, 12,071; Casey, 9,448; and Kline 4,687. Statewide, Flaherty has about 575,000 votes to Casey's 445,000 and Kline's distant 224,000.
The Republican race is also divided, with three major contenders. Specter carries Delaware County with 36,383 votes to Republican House leader Bob Butera's 21,220, former federal prosecutor David Marston's 13,036 and another former federal prosecutor, Richard Thornburgh, with 8,541. Statewide, the results are quite different, Thornburgh wins the nomination with 325,000 votes, with Specter a distant second with 206,000, Butera 190,000 and Marston 161,000. With the huge statewide Democratic registration edge, Thornburgh begins the race as the underdog.
Locally, however, the big news is really the lieutenant governor's race for both parties. Spingler carries his home county, 12,532 to 5,108 for Robert P. Casey, who is not the former State Auditor. Statewide, Spingler comes in a disappointing eighth out of fourteen, with only 47,000 votes to the winner, Casey, who takes 346,000, with name recognition certainly a major factor. Philadelphia Controller Tom Leonard comes in second with 219,000 and C. Delores Tucker, also of Philadelphia, former Secretary of the Commonwealth, comes in third with 162,000.
The results on the Republican side are equally gloomy for county Republicans. Whittlesey is soundly beaten by Scranton, 444,000 to 265,000, but carries her home county 52,033 to 18,016. But, this will not be the last time that both Democrats and Republicans from Delaware County aspire to statewide office.


The Times lauds Edgar for his efforts as a member of the 148 member Northeast-Midwest Economic Advance-ment Coalition.

During the month, votes were taken on several "hot button" social issues. Edgar votes in favor of tuition tax credits for private elementary and secondary students. The bill, which passes, 209-194, would allow a maximum of $50 for 1978 and $100 for 1979 and 1980.
He votes on the losing side, 122-287, to allow HEW funds to be spent for abortions and votes against an amendment, which passes, 232-177, to outlaw HEW funding for quotas in hiring, promotions and admissions.
He votes against a bill to prohibit Commerce Department funding for conducting of trade with Cuba. The bill passes 241 to 158, however. He also votes with the majority for a $2 billion federal loan guarantee for New York City, which had been teetering on bankruptcy.


Edgar addresses a rally of Sun Ship workers, calling for the building of more smaller-sized ships, as a way to spur employment at the company.

In another pro-environment vote, Edgar votes to reduce funding for the Clinch River nuclear breeder reactor program and limit any further work done to studies. The amendment fails, 142 to 187.
Two amendments to restrict the Civil Rights Commission are voted on: to prevent the commission from studying discrimination based on handicap and the other to prevent commission members from lobbying Congress or state legislators. The first one fails, 87 to 224, but the second passes, 159 to 125, and Edgar votes against both.


Edgar pushes to have SEPTA trolley cars built by Boeing Vertol, rather than overseas. He had inserted language into a House transportation bill to require that purchases made with federal funds be made from American companies, if the cost is reasonable.

The House passes a Sense of Congress resolution against withdrawing troops from South Korea, 212-189, with Edgar in support. An amendment to prohibit foreign aid to Uganda, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam fails, 198-203, with Edgar voting against it.
As a prelude to the 1980 G.O.P. campaign, an amendment to reduce individual income taxes by one-third over three years, fails in the House, 177 to 240. The total package of cuts for individuals, corporations and capital gains would have totaled $16.3 billion.
In jousting over the Equal Rights Amendment, which was reaching the end of its seven year limit to gain the necessary number of states for ratification, several amendments were voted on. One was to allow states that had ratified it to withdraw and not allow any extension of the deadline. That failed, 196 to 227, with Edgar in opposition. A 39 month extension of the deadline for state ratification then passed, 233 to 189, with Edgar in favor.


At a Democratic fundraiser at the Log Cabin Inn, First Lady Rosalyn Carter addresses the crowd, which gives her a standing ovation. Edgar rallies the party faithful by stating: "I don't apologize for voting my best judgment or for standing up to the leadership of Congress when I think they are wrong."

The House fails to override President Carter's veto of a defense procurement authorization bill, 191 to 206. Edgar votes to uphold the veto, even though he had voted for the bill earlier in the year. Kane refers to Edgar as a "rubber stamp" for the Carter Administration and criticizes the incumbent's "flip-flop" on the defense bill. Edgar defends his vote on the veto, stating that the veto was due to the bill's provision for a nuclear carrier, which, like the President, he opposed.


Edgar and Kane meet separately with federal Housing and Urban Development officials to try to obtain $1.8 million in funding for a Community Block Grant for Upper Darby Township. Kane, who met with the officials, first, calls Edgar's meeting unnecessary.

Edgar votes to successfully uphold a presidential veto of a $10.1 billion water projects bill. The override attempt fails, 223 to 190. A proposed individual tax rate cut of 5% a year for four years with the proviso that federal spending is not increased above inflation is passed 268 to 135. Edgar votes against the cut.
In spite of strong administration opposition, Edgar again votes in favor of tuition tax credits for private elementary and secondary school students. Even though the bill passes, 207 to 185, it dies in the Senate. The final conference version of the Revenue Act of 1978, which provides for an $18.7 billion tax cut in 1979, passes 337-38, with Edgar voting in favor.

The position of the Democrats is strengthened, as Carter's popularity remains at the 50% mark, due to his efforts at brokering the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt.


Edgar is endorsed by the Inquirer and Bulletin based on his leadership on issues such as mass transit and the Tinicum National Wildlife Center.
Bob Edgar tops Sonny Kane by only 79,771 to 78,403, in clearly the former's toughest challenge yet, with Kane having a spending advantage of $170,508 to $129,172. A strategy pursued by Kane's campaign handlers to capitalize on his large girth, evidently backfires. A piece of literature, as well as television ads, stating "Sonny Kane Gets Results in Upper Darby by Throwing His Weight Around" appear undignified when compared to the clean cut and studious Edgar. Kane cuts into Edgar's margins in the blue collar areas, but does not do as well as expected in the white collar areas of Marple, Springfield and Newtown townships.

In a Republican year, Thornburgh tops Flaherty in the county, 125,936 to 80,571 and wins statewide by 228,000 votes of 3.7 million cast. The state senate seat vacated by John Sweeney, who had decided not to seek reelection, is taken by Loeper, who beats four term state representative Ted Doyle, 45,147 to 40,389. Tenaglio, Garzia, O'Keefe and Stapleton are unseated, as local Republicans ride the Thornburgh wave. Democrat Scott Caspar also fails to succeed Doyle in the district the latter vacated to run for state senate. Statewide, the G.O.P. gains 17 House seats, but with the results of one House district in doubt, there is now a 101 to 101 tie between both parties. In the 91st legislative district, encompassing Adams and York counties, both candidates receive 8,551 votes. A recount awards the seat to the Democrat by 14 votes, but another recount settles the matter in favor of the Republican by 21 votes.

Nationally, Republican gains were modest, but solid, with three additional Senate seats, twelve House seats and six governorships swinging their way. The new lineup will see slightly reduced Democratic majorities of 59 to 41 in the Senate and 276 to 159 in the House. Pennsylvania will be sending twelve Democratic congressman to Washington, along with seven Republicans. National Democratic chairman John C. White assesses the election, stating: "For the first time in the postwar era, Democrats have retained more than 60% of the House seats in three successive elections."


For the 95th Congress, Edgar has a 99% attendance record and supported the administration on 75% of votes taken and was in opposition only 19% of the time.

1979 - The Year of Hyper-Inflation and the Iranian Crisis


Edgar testifies at a hearing before the U.S. Fisheries and Wildlife Service against a planned location for an environmental education building at the Tinicum National Environmental Center. He favors a location at the western end of the center, as opposed to the proposed eastern location.
At a forum in Media, the Seventh District congressman criticizes Carter's State of the Union address as having "fell flat". Edgar states: "The mood in Washington is sobering. We're all interested in getting the national deficit down and balancing the budget by 1981." Regarding his votes against the defense budget, he explains: "The country needs a strong, practical defense system...I retain the right to weed out parts I cannot accept." He also reiterates his support for term limits: "Congressmen should be recycled every twelve years."

Tip O'Neil is reelected Speaker of the House, 268 to 152, for his second two year term. John J. Rhodes of Arizona, again becomes the Minority Leader, a position he has held since 1973.


The report of the task force appointed by Edgar to study the Blue Route is presented to Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams. According to Edgar, the original highway design was to accommodate a 70 m.p.h. speed limit and had traffic projections based on the completion of other since canceled expressways. It was also planned for six lanes its entire length, with wide medians to allow expansion to eight lanes. Lowing the limit to the current 55 as well as reducing the overall width of the highway would result in slightly sharper curves and steeper grades and use less land.
Edgar tours the Wade dump in Chester, located under the Commodore Barry Bridge, where some 3,000 of barrels of toxic wastes, such as sodium copper cyanide and glacial acrylic acid were left behind. Edgar comments on the site, calling it "a time bomb waiting to explode."
Edgar declares he will not seek the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by the retiring Richard Schweiker.


Edgar debates Marple Commission president Gerald Connors, a fellow Democrat, regarding the proposed scaled-down version of the Blue Route. Connors exclaims: "We were assured all along PennDOT would investigate alternatives to the Blue Route" and that officials were trying to "ram the Blue Route down our throats." Edgar retorts that "There are highways that are built well", such as the Baltimore-Washington beltway and calls for a regional transportation plan giving motorists access to trolley, bus and railway lines. Connors states that it will cost the township $900,000 a year in additional police patrols and a new pumping station will be needed to pump sewage across the highway.
Edgar hopes for "genuine support" in Congress for a scientific review of the evidence that led the House Committee on Assassinations to conclude two gunmen shot at JFK. "I don't think we should reopen the whole investigation again. But we had better make sure the acoustics stuff was as valuable as the majority of the committee said it was. We found no evidence to suggest a conspiracy. We found no gunmen or evidence of a gunman. We found no gun, no shells, no impact of shots from the grassy knoll. We found not entry wounds from the front into any person, including President John Kennedy or Governor John Connally... Few credible eyewitness accounts back up the marginal findings of our acoustics experts." The committee had spent $5.8 million to investigate the slayings of Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Catania is rebuffed in his bid for a comeback to county office. His first effort to have the votes of the municipal leaders cast by secret ballot loses by a vote of 39 to 10. He receives 101 votes for endorsement, as opposed to 164 for state representative Frank Lynch, 200.5 for Whittlesey and 225 for Keeler. Catania charges that county job holders had been pressured and flirts with the idea of an independent candidacy.


Speaking before the Council for Urban Economic Development in Long Beach, California, Edgar praises the jobs created by small business. "We have to develop more imaginative tools to develop finance legislation to help these firms."
In a letter to the Times, Edgar, who now serves as Chairman of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Co-altion states: "I believe that far more harm than good would come to the economy of the nation, the Northeast region and the 7th District if we put ourselves in the straightjacket of a mandated balanced budget at this time."


The Edgar for Senate Committee files with the Federal Elections Commission and Edgar states he is "exploring the possibility" of pursuing Schweiker's seat. However, he qualifies this by saying: "I like being a congressman from Delaware County." He also wins the Environmental Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for "enlarging the area of the Tinicum National Environmental Center and his search for an environmentally sensitive solution to the Blue Route."

In spite of worsening oil shortages due to the turmoil in Iran, a bill supported by Carter to permit gasoline rationing under emergency conditions fails, 159-246, with Edgar supporting the administration.


At a forum on the energy shortage, Edgar states the increased demand for gasoline, the small reduction in imports from Iran, inadequate supplies of unleaded gasoline, and the building up of oil stocks for the winter season "create the appearance of a shortage more severe than it actually is."

In a relatively close vote, Edgar votes with the administration to implement the Panama Canal treaties. Only 35 Republicans vote in favor, while 122 are in opposition. The legislation passes, nevertheless, 224 to 202. He also supports taxing corporate windfall profits due to oil price increases.
Another Edgar amendment to delete spending for a water project, fails 13 to 97. In attacking the proposed Stonewall Jackson dam in West Virginia, Edgar remarks: "This project has no merits" and that he was "angry at the Congress for its failure to stand up to the politics of pork."


Edgar criticizes the administration's gas allocation system and calls for the firing of Energy Secretary James Schlesinger. He introduces legislation to permit the issuance of "Energy Savings Bonds", calling the purchase of the proposed bonds a "patriotic act". An estimated $50 billion would be raised and used for research and development. Another bill sponsored by Edgar would provide another $10 billion for mass transit.
He also is leaning strongly towards running for the Senate and is involved with three major events that center around meeting state Democratic officials or raising funds.

A constitutional amendment that would, in effect, prohibit school busing beyond the nearest school, fails, 209-216, with Edgar voting against it. In another example of the growing ideological split between the two parties, especially on social issues, Republicans support the amendment almost three to one, while Democrats are opposed almost two to one. The all-white Southern Democratic delegation, in a show of increasing moderation, only narrowly supports the amendment, 47 to 38.
In its final report, the twelve member House Assassinations Committee concludes that conspiracies probably played a key role in the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Edgar, along with three other members in dissenting from the majority, states that there was a "rush to a conspirational conclusion."

Edgar who is "shocked" by Carter's purge of top government officials, believes that the president is blind to "excessive dependency on White House staffers from Georgia. These people have often shown political insensitivity and ignorance during the past two and a half years."
Gone from the administration are Attorney General Griffin Bell, Brock Adams, HEW Secretary Joseph Califano, Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal and Schlesinger. Carter had appointed Hamilton Jordan as his Chief of Staff.


Edgar decides against running for the United States Senate, citing the difficulty in raising the large sums of money needed for the campaign.

Edgar votes for the Emergency Energy Conservation act, which finally passes, 263 to 159. The measure authorizes the president, with the consent of Congress, to ration gasoline if there is a shortage of 20% or more.

In an opening salvo for his upcoming congressional bid, County Councilman Rochford attacks Edgar's votes in 1975 against the Republican administration's energy plans. Specifically, he criticizes Edgar's vote against congressional review of federal Energy Department regulations and his vote to rollback domestic oil prices. Edgar retorts, stating: "My record is pro solar energy, pro synthetic fuels and pro coal gassification."


Edgar votes against a proposed 7% raise for members of Congress and others. The measure fails, 191 to 211.
The American Conservative Union gives Edgar a score of 4% and Schulze 89%. The statewide average for is 45% and the national average 47%.


Rochford again criticizes Edgar for being only one of 49 representatives to vote against "final" passage of the defense budget for 1980. Edgar says he opposed the bill because "each and every increase in the defense budget serves to send more of our tax dollars to the South and West. It's about time we protested." He qualifies this by stating: "I have voted for every appropriations bill and defense bill to come before the House of Representatives."

A bill passes the House, 217 to 198, to limit the amount a House candidate can receive from PACs during a two year cycle to $70,000. Each PAC would be limited to donations of $6,000. It would also prohibit campaign funds from being used to repay a candidate's personal loan to the campaign in excess of $35,000. Edgar supports the bill.


Edgar is not aligned with Carter or Kennedy, but says that the Massachusetts senator "can only go down" in the polls. He also is fighting plans by the federal government to move over 400 jobs from the Defense Contract Administration Service from Philadelphia to Marietta, Georgia.

In other "hot button" social legislation, a welfare reform proposal to create demonstration programs, using block grants to the states and allowing greater local flexibility, fails, 200 to 205. A bill setting a national minimum benefit, requiring states to cover unemployed two family households with children, and reducing administrative costs, passes by 38 votes. Edgar votes against the first bill and in favor of the second.

The unfolding hostage crisis in Iran gives Carter a needed boost in popularity, as the nation rallies around its leadership. Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy and California Governor Edmund Brown, Jr. formally enter the race for the Democratic nomination, challenging Carter. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker and former California Governor Ronald Reagan enter the fray on the G.O.P. side.
Regarding the American hostages, Edgar states: "Let me emphasize that it is counterproductive to make inflammatory, belligerent remarks at this sensitive time." Edgar says he will urge Carter to break diplomatic relations with Iran once the hostages are returned.


Edgar begins his campaign for a fourth term by attending a fundraiser in Middletown, with guest speaker Representative Morris Udall of Arizona. At several other meetings held, the major topics are energy, inflation and the hostage crisis in Iran. "Regardless of how you feel about the Shah or Iran, all over the world we have embassies and American citizens who could be held hostage for one thing or another," states Edgar. "Many congressmen are determined to do something but are not sure how to respond."

After several votes are taken, the House fails to resolve the issue of setting a national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King. In its last piece of major legislation, during this long session, the Crysler loan guarantee program, backed by the administration, finally passes, 271 to 136. Edgar votes for this bill, which provides $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees to the ailing corporate giant, on the condition that there are $500 million in wage and salary concessions by both blue and white collar employees.

Kennedy, in a television interview, criticizes the deposed Shah of Iran, and opponents charge that the Senator's remarks could possibly endanger the hostages held by the Iranian militants. Nine days later, a Gallup poll shows Carter now leading Kennedy among Democrats, 48% to 40%. Carter calls for increasing the military budget 4.5% a year for the next five years, in light of the Iranian crisis and increased Soviet military spending.

1980 - Another Incumbent President is Challenged & the Pendulum Swings Back to the Right

At a forum in Swarthmore, Edgar "reluctantly" states his support for President Carter's call for universal draft registration, in response to the international situation. He also supports increased funding for research into nuclear waste disposal. He talks tough about the Soviets, stating: "I deplore the obscene move of the Soviet Union into Afghanistan. It is a brazen act of audacity with complete disregard for the international community and a massive violation of human rights that must be dealt with."

With the lure of federal spending for their constituents, House members reject another Edgar amendment to delete eight water projects that had incomplete feasibility reports from the Army Corps of Engineers. The amendment would have saved $161 million, but failed by well over two to one.

Kennedy's hopes are dashed by his loss to Carter in the Iowa caucuses, by a whopping 59% to 31%. Bush beats Reagan, 33% to 27%, with Baker trailing at 14%, and the rest of the vote split among the others.
Consumer prices for 1979 have risen 13.3%, the highest rise in 33 years, with the cost of energy leading the way.


Edgar's endorsed Republican opponent is Delaware County Councilman Dennis Rochford.

Edgar carries the Carter Administration banner to oppose unnecessary water project spending and introduces 184 amendments to cut spending. However, the House refuses to pass another Edgar amendment to delete a proposed memorial to the Army Corps of Engineers to be built in the District of Columbia.
An amendment to force the president to terminate assistance to Nicaragua if free elections were not held by the end of 1981, fails 191 to 212, with Edgar in the opposition. With Republicans attempting to force the administration to take a tougher stance on international Communism, another amendment to forbid funds to be used for any Nicaraguan schools that house or are used by Cuban personnel passes by a vote of 235 to 166. Edgar votes against this amendment, also.

Reagan's candidacy receives a major boost at a debate with Bush in Nashua, during a dispute as to whether the other contenders should be invited. Reagan's campaign had financed the entire cost of the one-on-one debate with Bush, which was sponsored by the Nashua Telegraph. Unknown to Bush, the Reagan's campaign director invites the other candidates, anyway and Bush refuses to acknowledge their presence. When Reagan protests that they are being silenced unfairly, editor Joe Breen threatens to have Reagan's microphone turned off. An angered Reagan declares: "I paid for this microphone, Mr. Green (sic)."
Three days later, buoyed by his debate performance, Reagan beats Bush by two to one and his momentum is regained. Carter beats Kennedy, 49% to 38% and takes 10 delegates to the latter's nine.


Edgar and 99 other members of Congress and key government officials met with Carter to discuss the President's plan to balance the budget. Edgar warns that revenue sharing cuts would cost Pennsylvania over $110 million. "I have asked the president to consider weaning the states off revenue sharing rather than dropping it all at once," Edgar states.
Edgar meets privately with Carter as the chairman of the Northeast-Midwest Coalition and speaks for the 218 members of the group. He is hopeful that Carter will reverse the decision to move the DECASA to Marietta, Georgia. He also warns that the deregulation of domestic oil would provide $157 billion in state oil surtax revenues to eight major oil producing states.


Edgar introduces legislation to make van and car pooling a priority within the federal Department of Transportation. "Ride-sharing is a proven energy conservation measure."

Haabestad carries Delaware County over Specter, 64,000 to 25,000, but loses the state narrowly, coming in second out of eight. Specter wins the prized nomination for U.S. Senator, 419,382 to 382,281. There are also eight Democratic candidates, with Flaherty far ahead of the rest, with 771,119 votes to his nearest competitor Joseph Rhodes, who receives 179,107. Flaherty also carries the county with 11,000 votes to Logue's 3,000.
Rochford defeats his rivals easily, with 41,000 votes to the 24,000 combined tally for the other three. Edgar is renominated without opposition.
Edgar votes to allocate $13 million for the administration's call for resumption of Selective Service Registration in wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The vote is close, however, 218 to 188.

Failing to make headway in the Republican primaries, Congressman John Anderson announces an independent bid for the presidency. A poll has shown the half of Americans believe Carter and Reagan to be unsatisfactory choices for the job. Carter admits that a "short" recession has begun as sales of automobiles and new homes plummet, while the unemployment rate increases to 6.2%.


In opposition to the administration, Edgar votes to delete funding of the MX missile program, but the measure fails by almost four to one. He also votes against another measure to delete $500 million for the missile, but allow studies. The vote is 152-250.

Reagan has won enough delegates to lock up the nomination, while Bush ceases active campaigning.


Edgar argues that the proposed Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway will have a true cost of $3 billion, rather than the estimated $323 million. An amendment to delete this project fails, 185 to 230. "This is the granddaddy of all pork barrel projects, requiring as much dirt to be moved as digging the Panama Canal," Edgar declares.

Edgar also opposes the president's imposition of an oil import fee of $4.62 per barrel. The disapproval receives a ten to one majority in the House.
An amendment to strengthen the Fair Housing Act by allowing the Justice Department to appoint Administrative Law Judges to handle bias cases, passes 205-204, with Edgar in favor.
He votes against the final version of President Carter's Selective Service registration bill, which passes, 234 to 168.
Also, the Synthetic Fuels/Defense Production Act passes, 317 to 93. Edgar votes in favor of this bill, which will spend $20 billion to encourage the production of synthetic fuels, $3 billion for solar research and $1.5 billion for alcohol-based fuels.
Edgar is hopeful regarding the Blue Route's final approval by Transportation Secretary Neil Goldschmidt. The amended Environmental Impact Statement had been approved by the acting head of the Federal Highway Administration.

Carter also gains enough delegates to win the nomination over Kennedy.


"I think we ought to have an open convention," declares Edgar in response to revelations that Carter's brother, Billy, was paid $220,000 as an agent of the Libyan government. "I join with the number of members of the House who have called on both the president and Ted Kennedy and all delegates at the convention to make the process open." Rochford states that a final determination should await a probe by the Senate.
Edgar also proposes five planks for the party platform: tax cuts to stimulate investment and jobs where needed the most, energy conservation, mass transit, defense dollars spent in high unemployment areas, and reauthorizing Community Development Block Grants and general revenue sharing.

At the G.O.P. convention in Detroit, Reagan is nominated on the first ballot with 1,939 votes, 809 more than needed to win. After former President Ford declined the position, Bush is named the vice presidential nominee. Accepting the nomination, Reagan calls for a "new consensus of common, work, neighborhood, peace and freedom."


County party chairman Jon Auritt echoes Edgar's comments by also calling for an open Democratic convention. Auritt hopes Carter and Kennedy will both withdraw and a third candidate will be nominated. Edgar is not invited to join the eighty Democratic congressmen who meet with Carter to pledge their support at the convention. Edgar supports Carter, though, but still calls for an open convention.

Edgar votes against an amendment to prohibit the use of federal funds to require some school districts to provide instruction in native languages. The measure passes, 213 to 194.

Kennedy's proposed rules change to open up the Democratic Convention and weaken Carter's lead in delegates, failed, 1,936.4 to 1,390.6 votes. Kennedy then withdraws from the race, leaving behind bitterness between the two camps. Carter then went on to win the nomination, retaining Mondale as his vice president.

Former Upper Darby G.O.P. boss Sam Dickey dies at the age of 82, having held the reigns of power in that township from 1950 to about 1978. "I am neither a saint nor a sinner...I am proud that I have never been a hypocrite. I was a 100 percent rackets man when I was in the rackets," he had been quoted in the Inquirer.


During the first candidates' debate, Rochford states: "I am not just asking for you to look at the man, but also to look at the party." He charges that Democrats have monopolized the legislative branch and mismanaged the government. Edgar retorts: "I am proud that Republicans in Delaware County voted for the man and not the party."
A week later, at their second debate, Edgar and Rochford agree on the Equal Rights Amendment, alternative energy sources, completing the Blue Route, tax incentives for growth and balancing the budget. However, they sharply disagree on how to balance the budget, abortion rights and the need for congressional coalitions, such as the Northeast-Midwest coalition, that Edgar chairs. Rochford declares: "I am tired of this country being torn apart by petty regionalism."
New York City Mayor Ed Koch speaks at the Bob Edgar Dinner at the Log Cabin Inn: "I am here because I really like Bob Edgar. He's bright, honest, forthright and (after a brief pause) he's not in jail." Koch, who served three years with Edgar in Congress, refers to the indictment of other congressmen on corruption charges. Future congresswoman Marjorie Margolies serves as the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Edgar states at another meeting, he has worked for improvements at the Veterans Administration hospital in Philadelphia and that management has shown improvement since.

Edgar refers to the Tug Fork flood control project as a "dangerous practice of legislating on an appropriations a new extreme." The House votes, 230 to 164, to keep the project.
Edgar votes against a resolution to nullify a previous one directing the White House to turn over records regarding Billy Carter's dealing with the government of Libya, with the vote being 124-260.


Edgar receives a score of 86% from the League of Conservation Voters, which cites his "outstanding record on conservation."
He is endorsed by the AFL-CIO of Pennsylvania, as well as the Daily Times, which cites his work as chairman of the NE-MW coalition in keeping defense jobs in the region, persuading the Navy to overhaul aircraft carriers in Philadelphia, rather than Virginia, and working to create the Riverbridge industrial park in Chester.
He is also endorsed by fellow Democrat Ed Rendell, District Attorney of Philadelphia, and Edward Kassab, a member of a prominent county Republican law firm. Rendell praises Edgar, stating: "He stands out as a beacon of integrity. Bob Edgar stands for integrity, honesty and courage." Rendell does say that Rochford is of a higher caliber than past G.O.P. candidates in Delaware County.
The third debate is heated, with Edgar telling Rochford to "focus on facts, not fiction." Edgar plays a Rochford radio advertisement that claims "30,000 manufacturing jobs have left Delaware County" since 1975. Edgar states that since there were 39,000 manufacturing jobs when he took office, for 30,000 jobs to be lost, virtually every plant in the county would have to shut down. Rochford attacks Edgar on his voting in support of Carter policies 75% of the time, while only supporting Ford 24%. Edgar opposes balancing the budget at the expense of senior citizens and public mass transit. At the last debate, Edgar states his opposition to Selective Service registration and the draft. Rochford and Edgar differ on repeal of 14(b), creation of the Department of Education and a constitutional amendment banning abortion.

The House expels one of its members, the first since 1861, Philadelphia Democrat Michael J. "Ozzie" Myers. He had been convicted of bribery and conspiracy charges that arose from the Abscam investigation.

With the Gross National Product rising 1% for the third quarter, the recession is over.


In spite of a G.O.P. sweep locally, Edgar easily downs Rochford, 99,381 to 87,643, giving the Democrat a fourth term. This is the first election where Edgar has outspent his Republican rival, in this case, $295,529 to $253,406. He does well in the the Chester, the blue collar and Chester Pike areas and cuts the G.O.P. margin sharply in Newtown, Springfield and Upper Darby, as well as carrying his home town of Marple, by over 1,000 votes. In the Fifth District, Schulze wins a three to one victory over Democrat Grady G. Brickhouse, 148,898 to 47,092.

Back in Washington, Edgar votes against the bill to fund the Energy Department's nuclear warhead program, but the bill passes 333 to 39, anyway. He believes "Reagan will not be as bad as some people think he might (be)."

With inflation and the hostage crisis the major issues in voters' minds, Reagan defeats Carter and Anderson, 43.9 million votes to 35.5 million and 5.7 million respectively. Voters also extend their feelings for change to the U.S. Senate, voting in an additional twelve G.O.P. senators and giving that party a 53 to 46 majority, the first time since 1955. In the House, the minority party picks up another 32 seats, leaving the Democrats with a reduced majority of 243 to 192. The Watergate election gains of 1974 are more than rolled back by the public, giving Reagan a chance to enact much of his legislative agenda.

Reagan also carries Pennsylvania 2.261 million to Carter's 1.937 and Anderson's 292,000 votes. Specter finally is elected to state office, beating Flaherty 2,320,404 to 2,122,391. The former Philadelphia district attorney carried his home city, 337,516 to 325,593 and did well in the suburbs, sweeping Delaware County 154,255 to 90,400. The county also gave its customary nod to the top of the ticket, with Reagan leading Carter 143,282 to 88,314 and Anderson trailing with 20,907. In the only close legislative races, in the 159th legislative district, Early beat back a challenge from Democrat Leroy Frattarola, 7,365 to 6,751. In the neighboring 160th, Durham defeated Garzia, in a rematch, 12,981 to 10,781. Ted Doyle tries to reclaim his old seat from Micozzie, but the Democrat is turned back, 13,646 to 11,140.
While Edgar coasted to reelection, cracks in the unity of the county Republican organization were rapidly developing into chasms.


For 1980, Edgar was present for 90% of the votes cast and supported the administration 65% to 17% and his party, 77% to 14%. Many of his votes in opposition to the administration involve the MX missile and other weapons systems.

Edgar votes for an amendment allowing states to veto the selection of nuclear waste dumps within their borders, unless Congress overrode the objections. The bill fails, 161 to 218.

1981 - the Old Guard of the G.O.P. is Back and the Reagan Era Begins


Edgar is sworn in for his fourth term, along with a decreased Democratic House majority.
Edgar and fellow congressmen Gerry Studds of Massachusetts and Barbara Milkulski of Maryland are on a fact-finding visit to Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. Upon his return, Edgar immediately telegraphs President Carter, with the urgent message: "Halt immediately military aid to El Salvador."
Although he did not enter that country, Edgar has heard stories of "murder, rape and torture" committed by forces loyal to the military junta in control of El Salvador. He says that U.S. support of the military government is pushing the people towards Communism.
Further, he believes many revolutionaries in El Salvador are not Marxist guerrillas, but "Catholic priests, nuns and church activists". Costa Rica, by contrast, is an "island of peace" and the overthrown head of Nicaragua, Somoza, was a "brutal, torturous dictator". Honduras, Edgar finds, is led by a "three member junta" with its leader a "military general and alcoholic".
This year will prove to be especially taxing for Edgar, who now will serve as a liberal in a House where many key votes will be dominated by a coalition of conservative Democrats and Republicans. But, Edgar will not be alone in his frustrations.

With the Senate in control of the G.O.P., Howard Baker of Tennessee is elected Majority Leader and Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia moves to the Minority Leader's job. Democrats elect Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill to his third term as House Speaker. This is the first time since 1932 that different parties are in control of the two houses of Congress.

Ronald Reagan takes the oath of office for the presidency, and gives an upbeat address, calling for "an era of national renewal." The new president declares: "we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams" and that the nation is not "doomed to an inevitable decline."
Jimmy Carter's Farewell Address to the nation warns of the dangers of nuclear war and he states the importance of human rights throughout the world, "human rights invented America."

Locally, as the New Look Republican faction continues to unravel, Haabestad lashes out at Whittlesey for opposing salary raises for members of County Council. He attacks her as being "a little bit hypocritical" for opposing the pay raises, while having "substantially augmented" her own income last year by taking a part-time job with a Philadelphia law firm. He also charges Whittlesey with failing to attend important meetings and trying to engineer the G.O.P. endorsement for Catania.
Haabestad also accuses Whittlesey of publicly taking credit for holding down the county's tax rate, but was not attending the council work sessions where the required budget cuts are decided. "I don't care if I get any credit at all," he says, "but I'll be damned if I'll sit there and see her get the credit" for keeping taxes down.


Edgar blasts the proposed Reagan budget cutbacks of 100% for the Economic Development Administration. He also opposes Reagan's request for an increase of $20 million in aid to El Salvador, stating: "I think it is outrageous that the new administration has separated the investigation into the death of the nuns from the increased military aid to the government of el Salvador for the specific reason that the troops we are giving lethal weapons to are the same troops implicated in the deaths of the nuns and religious worker."

Whittlesey tells the Suburban and Wayne Times of her frustrations with Delaware County politics and her parting of the ways with Sam Dickey's successor as leader of Upper Darby, John McNichol. "McNichol is in charge. He runs Delaware County." McNichol retorts that "Faith is like a South American country. The more you do for them, the more they resent you, and, finally, they burn down your embassy." Having failed at state office and tiring of fending off the Old Guard, Whittlesey sums her feelings up: "Let someone else lead the reform movement."
With the leaders of the New Look movement casting their eyes on higher office or appointments, Catania and the Old Guard are poised for a comeback.
"The controller is an independent sort of person," County Controller Tom Lynch states. "He's a checker (on county finances), and I don't think he should be looking to the party leaders all the time." At the G.O.P. nominating meeting, Springfield Auditor James Scanlan is nominated to oppose Lynch by party leaders unhappy with the latter's increasingly maverick stance. There is some suspense generated at the party enclave as Haabestad withdraws his name from consideration, after having received no commitment from Republican leaders that he would not be relegated to the role of an observer on County Council.


Standing on the Courthouse steps with Bob Edgar, County Controller Tom Lynch makes the following announcement: "I accept the endorsement of the Democratic Party because it is clear that the Republican Party has again become the captive of the War Board."
At the endorsement meeting of G.O.P. municipal leaders the previous night, Lynch was rejected for a second term by a vote of 230-23 in favor of Springfield Auditor James Scanlan. Edgar refers to Lynch, who also changes his party registration, as the kind of "good-government" candidate that deserve support from fellow Democrats.
Calling himself "the uncontrollable controller", Lynch says power in the county Republican Party again was being exercised by a "small group" of local leaders and that "the tactics of fear, intimidation and threats which they employ are intolerable."
The endorsement vote for two seats on the County Council goes overwhelmingly for Catania, 55, and party stalwart Thomas Hayward, an accountant and commissioner in Radnor Township. They soundly defeat four other candidates, including state Rep. John Alden of Radnor.
The Bulletin, in an editorial, states that the dumping of Tom Lynch and endorsement of Catania are a sign that the "Son of War Board" has returned to county politics. "The good-government theme that we have tried to bring to government will be carried out," declares party chair Thomas Judge, denying the charges.


Commenting on Reagan's nationwide speech on the economy, coming about a month after the attempted assassination of the president, Edgar states: "I will not support the president's plan because of unfairness to our region." He will, however, support the House Budget Committee's plan, which shows a deficit of $40 billion, as opposed to Reagan's proposed $54 to 64 billions.


Edgar and Auritt and blamed by some organization Democrats in Chester for the victory in the primary election of independent Democrats Anne V. Stanley and William "Rocky" Brown for city council. On a more positive note, Edgar receives an honorary doctorate from his old alma mater, Lycoming College.

In the first major showdown over Reagan's economic blueprint, the G.O.P. plan to cut outlays by $26 billion and cut taxes by $31 billion, leaving a deficit of $31 billion passes, 270 to 154. Edgar votes against it, but 84 Democrats have deserted their leadership and supported the Reagan plan. Only one Republican votes against it. An alternative Democatic plan, supported by Edgar, had been rejected.
Several weeks later, the conference version of the Reagan budget is passed by the House, 244 to 155. Again, Edgar opposes it, but 77 Democrats have teamed up with 167 Republicans to pass the plan. Expenditures for fiscal 1982 are set at $695 billion, revenue at $658 billion, leaving a deficit of almost $38 billion.


The debate on renewing the Legal Services Corporation, which the Reagan administration has sought to abolish, brought some social "hot button" issues to the forefront. An amendment sponsored by ultra-conservative Larry McDonald, Democrat of Georgia, to prohibit Legal Service Corporation funds to "promote, defend or protect" gays, passes, 281 to 124. Edgar voted against the amendment. Another amendment to prohibit LSC lawyers from giving legal advice on abortion laws fails, 160 to 242, with Edgar voting in the negative.
Among representatives who voted for the McDonald amendment, but against the anti-abortion measure are: Coughlin, Coyne of Bucks County, Democrat James Florio of New Jersey, Allen Ertel, upcoming Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Gephardt, and rising Republican star, Newt Gingrich of Georgia.
Against the wishes of the administration, the LSC is reauthorized, with a budget of $241 million.


John "Terry" Dolan, co-founder and chairman of the National Conservative Political Action Caucus, holds a press conference in front of Edgar's district office. According to Dolan, "Edgar is the most liberal of the Pennsylvania delegation and yet in the last election, his district voted for President Reagan." Edgar is also targeted by the Fund for a Conservative Majority, headed by Robert Hechman. The Broomall Congressman's reply is: "I am not going to be blackmailed by any one special interest group."

Another showdown occurs between the Democratic House and the Republican administration over Reagan's proposed tax cuts. A Democratic alternative plan for a one year reduction in individual taxes, geared toward those making less than $50,000 a year, along with narrower business tax cuts, fails, 144 to 288. The administration plan calling for an across-the-board 25% cut in individual tax rates over three years, indexing tax rates to inflation starting in 1985, and generous business and investment tax incentives, passes, 238 to 195. Again, 48 Democrats, mostly southern conservatives, desert their party and vote with 190 Republicans. Only one of the latter votes against the party plan. Edgar votes for the Democratic plan and against the Reagan proposal.


Edgar votes against the final conference report tax cut bill that is passed by the House, 323 to 107. It will provide a 25% individual tax cut over 33 months.
Conservative state representative Stephen Freind of Havertown, attacks Edgar's vote against prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from enforcing auto emission standards.

Catania and Sexton are a subject of an F.B.I. probe regarding allegations that they enlisted and paid Democrat Richard T. Burke to run against Lynch in the primary. Sexton allegedly had promised Burke a "no-show state job" could be arranged through state Auditor General Al Benedict, a Democrat.


Edgar votes against an amendment to prohibit Justice Department funds from being used to block voluntary public school prayer and meditation. The bill passes by a resounding six to one margin, signaling a further shift to the conservative end of the spectrum for the House.
He also votes against amending the National Security Act of 1947 to make it a crime to knowingly expose the identities of U.S. intelligence agents. But, the administration bill passes overwhelmingly.

Whittlesey resigns from County Council and is sworn in as Ambassador to Switzerland, after winning Senate confirmation. G.O.P. county controller candidate Scanlan is indicted by a federal grand jury for perjury regarding his alleged involvement in the brewing election fraud case.


Edgar announces a $200,000 to $300,000 grant from the EPA superfund for the cleanup of the toxic Wade dump in Chester.

Edgar votes to disapprove the administration's proposed sale of AWACs and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. In spite of administration pleas, the disapproval passes 301 to 111. A bid to increase the outside earned income limit for House members fails, 147 to 271, with Edgar voting against it.

As the recession takes hold, the nation's unemployment rate reaches 8.4%, the highest since the last severe recession of 1974-75.

"Curt Weldon is most definitely my candidate and will remain my candidate," Keeler states regarding the filling of Whittlesey's seat. Weldon, Keeler believes, "has great personal courage, he's a doer and he's superbly qualified to sit on council. I challenge anyone to question Curt's credentials." The potential for a deadlock on the appointment occurs when Rochford declares his own candidacy for the opening and is supported by Haabestad, while the fourth Council member, Frank Lynch, is behind Weldon, the Mayor of Marcus Hook.
No deadlock occurs when Weldon, considered a member of the New Look faction, receives the appointment unanimously. Even Bob Edgar calls Weldon's selection "an excellent choice."
Stepping up his campaign, renegade County Controller Tom Lynch states: "I'm nobody's boy! I haven't been anybody's boy for the last three years and I won't be anybody's boy for the next four years. I'm not controlled by the Republican Party and I'm not controlled by (county) council."
Lynch further lists his accomplishments as having "implemented a fully automated accounting system at the courthouse; blew the whistle on bad management decisions that cost hundreds of thousands of tax dollars; and directed the investment of all idle cash."
In statements reminiscent of the Williams-War Board feud, he sums up his candidacy by saying he was dumped because he was "too outspoken...The party and council told me to keep my mouth shut."
Scanlan, handicapped by his indictment, criticizes Lynch's managerial style. "...the controller should not be an adversary. I think Mr. Lynch has proven that he cannot work with council."


Steve Joachim, 29, announces he will run for the Republican nomination for Congress. He is known locally as the athlete who was the star quarterback at Haverford High, who played two years at Penn State before starring at Temple, and who later was with the New York Jets after being released by the Eagles.
After leaving professional football in 1977, Joachim began a consulting business in pension and profit-sharing. Having been groomed for local office by Springfield Party Chairman Charles Sexton, he was elected a Republican committeeman in 1978 and a township commissioner in 1979.

Edgar again votes to delete funding for the B-1 bomber, but the amendments fail. He then votes against final passage of the $200 billion defense budget, as well as the conference report.

The Old Guard of the G.O.P. takes control of the party by soundly defeating the Democrats. Catania and Hayward carry about 76,000 votes to the Democrats' 50,000. In the hotly contested Controller's race, the incumbent Lynch is trounced, 73,000 to 53,000. While the G.O.P. margin is less than the customary two to one, the results prove once again that there was no serious threat to the political status quo.


Edgar decries the decision of the federal Justice Department to abandon a grand jury investigation into allegations of bribery and fraud stemming from the county controller's primary election. The indictment against Scanlan is dismissed. In his letter to Attorney General William French Smith, Edgar states "the public needs to know why the decision was made and who made it." The congressman believes that the decision to turn the investigation over to local authorities could allow a "political fix" to occur.
Associate Attorney General Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican, later to become mayor of New York City, calls Vairo back to Washington to discuss the election fraud case. Edgar, sounds a hopeful note: "It is rare for him to call a U.S. Attorney back to Washington to reopen a case."
Network, a Catholic social justice lobby presents an award to Edgar for his voting record in favor of social justice and human rights.

Following the elevation of Keeler to a county judgeship, Upper Darby Township manager Edwin B. Erickson is appointed to the vacancy in a unanimous vote. Erickson who also served as township director of public health, holds a doctorate in biochemistry and microbiology.

The Wrangle Over Redistricting

Another chapter in the partisan squabbling over congressional redistricting unfolds in the legislature, once again centering on how the five county Philadelphia area should be divied up. With the Senate in Democratic hands, 28 to 22 and the House Republican, 101 to 99, compromise would be needed for any plan to be approved.
According to the 1980 census, Pennsylvania gained only .5% in population, a pathetic 64,000 residents. California, Florida and Texas together gained about 9.7 million new residents. Their share of House seats rose from 82 to 91, while New York lost a whopping five seats and Pennsylvania two seats.
Philadelphia lost a stunning 261,000 residents, while the suburbs had a net gain of 54,000. Delaware County lost 56,000 residents, with over 10,000 of the total coming from Chester.
With the ideal House seat in the state having 515,857 residents, Philadelphia would need a population of 2.063 million to keep its current four seats, which would mean adding large areas of the suburbs to seats held by Philadelphians. It was generally agreed that the city would be entitled to three seats, leaving an excess of 140,000 mostly Democratic residents who would need to be shifted into the suburbs.
In September, 1981, the Republican National Committee and the twelve G.O.P. members of the state U.S. House delegation draw up plans to add several city wards to the 7th District. Loeper registers his objections: "I wouldn't tolerate adding parts of Philadelphia to the 7th District."
A plan drafted by Stephen McNett, counsel to the minority Senate Republicans, would move about 46,000 residents of Philadelphia's 40th Ward into the Seventh District and move the remainder of the city residents into Larry Coughlin's Thirteenth District. Senator Bell objects to the plan, due to the fact he had no input and that seven municipalities along the riverfront would be moved into the Fifth District. Another Republican proposal would add the Philadelphia wards to the over-whelmingly Republican Fifth District, thus improving the chances of a G.O.P. victory in Edgar's district by diluting Democratic voting strength.
A third Senate plan would shift 46,000 residents of the 34th and 52nd wards, with a five to one Democratic registration edge, in West Philadelphia into the 7th District. Haverford and Radnor would also be moved to the 7th, but the riverfront towns, except for Chester, would be shifted to the 5th District. Edgar registers mild objections to the plan, which would favor his reelection: "It is in the best interests of Delaware County to have a congressman who thinks exclusively about the county."
In October, the Senate revises its plan again, which will be closer to the final result. The 7th loses Chester, Marcus Hook, Trainor, Chester Heights and Lower Chichester and gains Haverford, Radnor and the 40th Ward. Aston, which would have moved to the 5th is retained.
Edgar opposes the latest plan, stating: "It is in Chester's best interest" to remain in the Seventh District. He believes that Schulze does not even want Chester in his 5th District. Schulze makes no comment about the plan.
In January, the state House, by a vote of 104 to 88, approves a plan that moves Chester to the 5th and the 40th Ward to the 7th.
The issue quickly moves towards a conclusion when the Senate votes 28 to 22, on a final bill on March 1, with House following suit the next day, 118 to 73. The measure would reduce the state's congressional seats by consolidating four Democratic districts into two. Philadelphia's 1st and 3rd Districts and the 12th and 21st in western Pennsylvania would be consolidated.
The president of the Chester N.A.A.C.P., Commodore Harris says that blacks were "disheartened" by the move of Chester to the 5th District. Democrats charge that Chester was gerrymandered, moving some 20,000 urban black residents into a primarily rural district. A federal lawsuit is promised.
Governor Thornburgh quickly signs the redistricting plan, just in time for the candidate's filing deadline. A panel of three federal judges refuses to delay the May 18th primary election due to questions about the legality of the redistricting.
In September, the three judge panel rules against a suit filed by the Chester NAACP, which had charged that the 7th District restructuring had "diluted" black voting strength.
Edgar predicts he will carry Haverford, but Radnor "will be a little more difficult." Even though Chester was removed from the district, the addition of the heavily Democratic 40th Ward is no cause for alarm for Edgar.

1982 - Reagan's Recession and Edgar's Biggest Win

Edgar criticizes Giuliani for halting the election fraud probe, stating: "What you've said to the people of Delaware County is nobody's watching the store. I think it's a miscarriage of justice". Giuliani had told Edgar that federal prosecution of a local election fraud case would set a precedent, tying up federal prosecutors in "nickel-and-dime election fraud allegations raised in every local primary".


Edgar quietly meets with newly appointed District Attorney John Reilly to question why the election fraud case has not moved forward on the county level now that the federal investigation has been dropped.
Edgar will not accept an increase voted by Congress in the tax deduction for expenses incurred by members. The deduction has been increased from $3,000 to $21,000.
Edgar tells teachers and administrators from the Southeast Delco School District that "government is not the enemy" and Americans have "a very human, people-oriented kind of government."

House Democrats attack President Reagan for certifying improvement in the human-rights record in El Salvador, as required by law in order to allow military assistance to continue. They argue that Reagan's account of declining political killings conflicts with reports of independent human-rights organizations, which found continuing high levels of political slayings and other abuses in that country.
Edgar, Gerry E. Studds of Massachusetts, Tom Harkin of Iowa and about 30 other members introduce a bill to cut off $26 million in aid and nullify the presidential certification. Studds declares the purpose of the bill was "to make it as costly as possible in political terms for the administration to proceed on this course."


Edgar votes to authorize a study for a memorial to Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Warm Springs Georgia. The legislation passes 288 to 103.

104 House members, including Edgar, and almost all Democrats, want the Administration to support proposed negotiations between the military junta of El Salvador and the rebels, as well as hold talks to ease tensions between the United States and Nicaragua. In a letter, they urge Reagan to support the suggestions of Mexican President Jose Lopez Portillo, who has proposed the negotiations and also asks that Cuba be brought into the process.


In center city, Philadelphia, some 200 people conduct a peaceful march, demanding a halt to the nuclear arms race. Speaker after speaker denounce the Reagan Administation's view that a nuclear war can be winnable. Edgar urges the participants to rise and hold hands with one another, and most all do. "We want to tell Congress to freeze and reduce the weapons of war," he declares. He asks that funds spent for additional nuclear weapons be spent instead on social programs.
The Consumer Federation of America names Edgar and 33 other House and Senate members "heroes" for their efforts on behalf of the consumer.


Edgar easily beats anti-abortion opponent, Robert E. Moran, 16,425 to 3,601 for the Democratic nomination. "The voters disappointed me by not turning out in greater numbers, even if only to oppose me," remarks Moran. "because I thought this was a referendum on abortion." Joachim is unopposed.

Continuing his votes against the intelligence establishment, Edgar is only one of 23 who votes against the classified budget for the Central Intelligence Agency. 357 representatives vote to approve the budget.
In yet another Democratic alternative budget, Rep. Miller of California, offers an amendment that any increases to spending be offset by cuts or revenue increases. This plan loses, 181-225, with Edgar voting in favor. Edgar votes against a complete freeze on nuclear weapons testing, production or deployment. The amendment loses overwhelmingly.

Cyril Wecht, an Allegheny County Commissioner, beats John Logue for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator, 426,000 to 166,000 statewide. However, countywide, Logue is favored, 10,453 to 2,719 for Wecht.


Chaplain Fred Salsgiver, a Baptist minister and WWII veteran with right wing views, is unhappy with some criticism from Edgar. Both Edgar and Salsgiver had given speeches on the steps of the Courthouse during Memorial Day services. "After the prayer, I turned to him and said I was disappointed in it," Edgar states. "I told him I felt it was highly politicized and inappropriate for Memorial Day. It was a long list of very ultra-right wing causes that I thought were out of place."
The part of Salsgiver's speech that Edgar objected to was: "If we as veterans are going to keep true faith with our honored dead, it will mean putting on the whole armor of God as we engage in this spiritual warfare and as we strive to return prayer and bible reading back in school, oppose the communist-dominated United Nations, the murder of America's babies by abortion, those who advocate a nuclear freeze, the Declaration of Interdependence, promotion of a world government and peaceful co-existence, all of which weakens our freedoms." Edgar also notes that he had observed a "Steve Joachim for Congress" bumper sticker on Salsgiver's car.

After several attempts, the House passes a budget resolution by a narrow margin, 219 to 206. Edgar votes against the plan, which calls for spending $765 billion, revenues of $666 billion and a whopping deficit of over $99 billion.


Bianca Jagger visits Edgar to discuss her concerns regarding the situation in El Salvador. The wife of Mick Jagger is a native of Nicaragua.

Edgar votes for an amendment to delete $50.9 billion from the defense budget by killing the MX, Pershing II, B-1 bomber, two nuclear powered aircraft carriers and cruise missiles. This amendment fails, 55 to 348. Three amendments to cut each of these items out individually also fail, as well as an attempt to cut $10.5 billion from nuclear weapons production. The only measure that passes is one to delete all funds for binary chemical weapons and bar the use of existing funds for their production. Edgar votes for all amendments, except the cut in nuclear weapons.


Edgar votes against a measure to spend $7.5 million to construct a radio station to broadcast to Cuba, Radio Marti, which passes, 250-134. He does support an unsuccessful effort to use existing facilities for the same purpose. He also votes for an amendment banning funding for constructing or improving airfields in Honduras, which was resisting aggression from Nicaragua. The measure fails, however, by almost a three to one margin.
In an infrequent vote of support for the administration, he votes in favor of a bill backed by the Republican-led Senate and Administration, raising revenues by $98 billion over three years and reducing expenditures $97.5 billion. With low-key Democratic support, it passes, 226 to 207. The bill, which had been sponsored by Kansas Senator Bob Dole, increases excise taxes, reduces deductions for medical expenses and casualty losses, and mandates the withholding of 10% of dividends and interest. In effect, it rescinds about one fourth of the previous year's tax cut.
"I can't think of an issue where my staff was so divided," states Edgar. "My wife was on the other side of the issue. There are an awful lot of stories around here about the trauma a lot of us have gone through trying to decide what is right."
The Pennsylvania delegation split 14-11 in favor, of the tax measure, which was also endorsed by the State Republican Committee. The House Republicans from Pennsylvania split 8-5 in favor, with the Democrats, 6-6.
Bill Gray declares that the measure merely reduces a $450 billion deficit to $350 billion over the next three years.
"There's no way this administration is going to stand by and watch a $350 billion deficit," he says. "I think he's going to come back and continue the ravaging of social programs."
Edgar blames excessive increases in defense spending for the need for a tax increase. "He (Reagan) gave the store away last year. He increased defense spending $1.5 trillion over five years. If we only spent $1.4 trillion on defense over five years, there would be no need for this tax bill at all." Joachim, Edgar's Republican opponent, opposes the tax bill.


During their first debate, Joachim accuses Edgar of "pursuing his own social Utopia", while showing concern for "the whale, the snail darter and the oppressed guerrillas in El Salvador." He further states Edgar's votes are "anti-American and Communist using our tax money to pursue his own twisted foreign policy." Joachim receives boos from the audience after he responds to Edgar's blaming of the Reagan administration for high unemployment. "I'd just like to remind everyone that he's not running against Ronald Reagan tonight," Joachim states. Edgar reiterates his strong support for the Equal Rights Amendment, while Joachim states: "It's already in the Constitution." The next day, Joachim clarifies one of his statements: "I'm not saying he's anti-American and Communist, but he's definitely left wing."


Joachim hammers hard at Edgar, stating: "...his having foreign policy discussions with Bianca Jagger insults my intelligence." Edgar responds that Jagger "is respected in and out of her own accord and has a long history of being involved with human rights issues."
At the second debate at the Delaware County Community College in Marple Township, attended by 2,000, Joachim charges: "No matter who is in control of the White House, we continue to lose jobs and Bob Edgar continues to do nothing about it." He comes out against gun control, stating: "Gun control does not reduce violent crime." Edgar states: "Some responsible regulation can and may prevent many needless deaths."


Edgar wins reelection by his largest margin ever, 105,775 to 85,023, defeating Joachim in Springfield 6,370 to 5,702, including the latter's own precinct. Edgar has now pulled far away from his challengers in campaign spending, having spent a whopping $495,013 to Joachim's $261,041, still a record for the G.O.P. This time, Edgar has received a huge $292,313 from PACs, including $157,390 from labor special interests alone.
"I think Steve made a tactical error in building all the negatives with no positive in the beginning," Edgar declares. Joachim agrees: "I could have spent a little more time about what Steve Joachim thinks and building up a credibility, as opposed to spending so much time pointing out Edgar's weaknesses. I still believe I will be the next congressman. I feel very strongly about running again. I made the commitment to the office, not to the campaign." Edgar says he will run for one more term in the House: "It's too early to say whether I would try for governor or senator or something else."

With the recession as a major issue in Pennsylvania, the unknown Ertel makes a strong showing against Thornburgh, only losing by less than 100,000 votes statewide. The governor receives 1,872,784 votes to Ertel's 1,772,353. In Delaware County, the Thornburgh-Scranton ticket coasts to a two to one win, 127,000 to 67,000. In fact, Thornburgh carries the Philadelphia region by about 49,000 votes and Allegheny County by 6,000. But, due to the recession's effects on the state, the normally Republican outlying counties in the central "Bible Belt" give Ertel surprising support, along with the Democratic counties in the western and Scranton areas.
For Senator Heinz, it was quite a different story, with a 724,000 vote route of his Democratic opponent. State Senator Loeper is reelected by 52,000 votes to 32,000 for Charles F. Sanders and no state legislative race was even close. Delaware County voters, with the exception of Edgar's victory, show their full confidence in the Republican ticket top to bottom. In the only relatively close legislative race, Durham defeats Brookhaven Councilwoman Janice Sawiki.
In the other district that Delaware Countians are part of, Dick Schulze is easily reelected by over two to one, and in Bucks County, Kostmayer makes a comeback by defeating Coyne 83,242 to 80,928.

Nationally, with Reagan's popularity barely above 40%, due to the severe recession, the Democrats pick up 27 House seats. However, they are unable to pick up any seats in the Senate, leaving the G.O.P. with a 54 to 46 majority.
A few days after the election, the Reagan Administration releases the October jobless rate, which shows an increase to 10.8%, the highest since the Nation was pulling out of the Depression. Twelve million are out of work, 1.6 million have given up looking for jobs and 6.5 million are underemployed. A record 4.84 million are receiving unemployment benefits.


Edgar also supports an administration-backed bill, the Transportation Act of 1982, which increases the gasoline and other highway taxes to provide more funding for projects. The vote is 236 to 169.
A bill requiring U.S. automakers to use a specified percentage of American parts and labor in the making of vehicles sold here passes 215 to 188. Edgar votes in favor, but the Administration is opposed.
The conference version of the defense budget passes 346 to 68, with the Administration's $250 billion request having been reduced to $230 billion. Edgar, however, votes against it.
An amendment to freeze congressional pay at its current level of $60,662 fails on a tie vote, 208 to 208, with Edgar voting in opposition. A bill to raise the pay 15%, to $69,800, passes 303-169, with Edgar in favor. Supporters had argued that Congress had gone three years without a raise.
For 1982, Edgar supported the Reagan agenda 30% of time and opposed it 62%. He attendance is 92% and he supported his party 84% of the time on the issues, while opposing it only 10%.
Edgar reflects on the biggest win of his career and its impact on local politics: "What happens is that people split their tickets. People who are ideological Republicans can deviate on one instance, maybe two instances, but on the whole pull the party lever and only deviate when it comes to my office."
"In order to really make a substantial impact on Delaware County, we have to either retrain people not to pull the party lever or we'll have to win from the ground up, and I think that's where the effort has to be put."
"There are clearly a lot of people who are for Bob Edgar because they're environmentalists, because they're active in women's groups, or active in veterans' groups or active in senior citizens' groups, and they don't see themselves as either Republicans or Democrats," he opines.
He attributes his wins to coalitions that support him on particular federal issues, which cannot be applied in the state legislative and county political arenas.
In spite of this, Edgar believes that the all-Republican five-member county council may have Democratic members in the future. "But I think not until the day after half the townships and boroughs have a majority Democratic organization, and not until we get a cadre of five, six or seven really qualified Democrats who step forward to win some key races."

1983 - A Fifth Term and More Budget Battles


Edgar is sworn in for his fifth term, joining 268 other Democrats, with the Republicans having only 166 representatives.


Edgar gives up the chairmanship of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, after serving four years in that position. He is selected the chairman of the Clearinghouse for the Future, a group of 70 members of Congress.

Reagan's firing of Rita M. Lavelle, former head of the $1.6 billion Superfund program to clean up toxic wastes prompts a flurry of congressional investigations, including hearings by the Public Works and Transportation, of which Edgar is a member. Reagan's action occurs after Lavelle refuses to resign at the request of EPA Administrator Anne Burford, who stated she lost confidence in Lavelle's ability to enforce the Superfund program. Members of Congress looking into allegations of mismanagement at the agency are characterized by Edgar as being "like piranha in the Amazon, smelling blood."
EPA officials admit before the House Public Works and Transportation Committee that it was ''stupid" to put paper shredders in the same offices where subpoenaed documents were being kept. As a result, the FBI starts a criminal investigation into the use of the shredders following the Reagan administration's refusal to allow Congress to see numerous subpoenaed documents.
Edgar questions whether President Reagan, who had cited executive privilege in ordering Burford not to turn over some documents to the House committee, saw those documents. He states that issue is important because the Watergate scandal established a precedent that executive privilege may apply only to documents with which a president is personally familiar.
The Committee on Public Works and Transportation had recommended a contempt charge against Burford and charges abound regarding possible "sweetheart deals" between the Administration and toxic polluters.


The Edgar amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriation, which will mandate 75% of the bill's discretionary funding be spent in areas of high unemployment, passes 335 to 83. A compromise between the House and Senate versions of the provision is worked out between Edgar and Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Ore), which allows each sponser's formula to be used. Edgar's proviso, which was approved in the compromise, would target $1.67 billion in funds for the EDA, federal building repair, mass transit, rural water and sewer, national and urban parks, SBA and the Army Corps of Engineers "the the extent practicable". Hatfield's formula would involve other funds in the $4.6 billion appropriations bill.

Edgar unveils an "environmental works bill" aimed at putting nearly 300,000 jobless people to work rehabilitating parks, weatherproofing homes and repairing railroad tracks.
Edgar introduced the measure as a partial alternative to the compromise $4.6 billion jobs bill, pushed by House Democrats. He estimates the cost of his program at $4 billion to $5 billion.
Criticizing the public-works program in the House package as "a slow way to create a few expensive jobs of dubious benefit," Edgar offers his bill as a way to create more jobs for fewer federal dollars while filling environmental and transportation needs.
Even though three national environmental groups, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Policy Center, support his bill, it does not pass.
A proposal supported by Reagan to gradually raise the Social Security retirement age from 65 to 67 after the year 2000 in order to help keep the fund solvent, is passed 230-200, with Edgar in favor.
The First Budget Resolution calling for revenues of $689.1 billion, expenditures of $863.5 billion and a deficit of $174.4 billion passes with Edgar voting in favor. The blueprint, presented by House Democrats, is a rebuke to Reagan and slows the rapid arms buildup, restores many social spending cuts, and possibly will cancel $30 billion in tax cuts.
Thirty-six Democrats and four Republicans, all from the Northeast, defect from their respective parties in the basically party-line vote. In a continuing display of the erosion of loyalty to the national party, 21 of 38 conservative Southern Democrats vote with the President, while 16 stay with their party.


Edgar asks the House to provide full public disclosure of the hearings of the Select Committee on Assassinations.


Edgar is the chief House sponser of the Veteran's Health Care bill, calling it "the most sweeping veteran's legislation to come before the 98th Congress." Among its provisions: giving Vietnam veterans permanent eligibility for readjustment counseling, promoting preventive health care and alternatives to institutionalization, mandating a study and report to Congress on post traumatic stress disorders and other psychological problems of Vietnam veterans, creating an advisory commission on women veterans, and the study of long-term effects of radiation exposure from nuclear devices on veterans.

After partisan wrangling, a resolution calling for a mutual and verifiable freeze on and reduction of nuclear weapons possessed by the United States and Soviet Union passes 278 to 149, with Edgar in favor.


Edgar's amendment to delete $56 million for the Dolores and Dallas Creek water projects in Colorado fails, 140 to 257. The $14.2 billion Energy and Water Development approprations bill then is passed, by a ten to one margin, with Edgar opposed.
The Reserve and Economic Recovery Fund is created by budget conferees to authorize spending for recession relief, as the unemployment rate hovers above 10%. It proposes $3.5 billion for public works jobs, $2 billion for health insurance for the unemployed, $1.5 billion for extended unemployment compensation benefits, $600 million for emergency loans for farmers and to help them avert foreclosures, $200 million to help homeowners avert foreclosures, $450 million for expanded food stamp eligibility and $150 million for veterans' job training.
Edgar, though, expresses reservations about the fund: "(it) is not talking about industrial policy, it's not talking about retraining, it's not talking about long- and short-term infrastructure investment. I think it can really be described as a series of programs to buffer the long-term unemployment rate." He further reflects on the feelings in Congress: "There is little enthusiasm for public projects, whether they are good for us or not, because of the size of the deficit."
While the debate over relief drags on in Congress, in Pennsylvania, the previous month's unemployment rate was a staggering 12.6 percent, with almost 700,000 out of work.

Congress is in no mood to make cuts in spending, especially for its own budget. Seven G.O.P. sponsored amendments to cuts legislative expenses, such as committee staffing, expense accounts, mailing costs, and operators of automatic elevators, fail by large margins, with Edgar voting against them.
An amendment to Treasury and Post Office appropriations bill to cut over $910,000 from the office expenses of former presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter passes 244 to 169, with Edgar voting in favor.
Again, Edgar supports attempts to delete billions of dollars for B-1 bombers and Pershing II missiles, which fail by large margins. Again, with Edgar voting with the majority, the House rejects the administration's plans to procure binary chemical munitions by 256-161, saving $115 million.
Edgar votes for a Democratic plan to cut the deficit by placing a $720 per family limit on the 10% tax cut scheduled for July 1, 1983. The measure passes 229 to 191. He also votes for a plan to reduced spending by the same amount that is generated by the $720 tax cut limit. That also passes, 267-155.
The Reserve and Economic Recovery Fund is agreed upon by budget conferees to provide money for recession-relief programs proposed by House Democrats, including $3.5 billion for public works jobs, $2 billion for health insurance for the unemployed and $1.5 billion for an extension of federal supplemental unemployment compensation benefits. Congress would, however, need to pass separate bills authorizing the actual spending.
The fund, declares Edgar, "is not talking about industrial policy, it's not talking about retraining, it's not talking about long- and short-term infrastructure investment. I think it can really be described as a series of programs to buffer the long-term unemployment rate."
From December to May, the number of those unemployed for 27 weeks or more rose by 179,000, to 2.8 million. Also, in May, for the second consecutive month, the median duration of unemployment stood at 12.3 weeks, meaning that half of the 11 million Americans out of work had been unemployed for nearly three months.
Pennsylvania was faring worse than rest of the nation, with May unemployment in May reaching 12.6 percent, representing 693,000 people out of work. The national rate was 10.1% in May.
In 1982, when the state's annual unemployment rate was 10.9 percent, 67 percent of Pennsylvania's 599,000 jobless were out of work for five weeks or more, and 39.7 percent were out of work for 15 weeks or more.
"It is true that things are getting better, but in northern states like Pennsylvania we are not participating," Senator Heinz declares.
Liberals again blame the record budget deficits created by the Reagan’s large tax cuts and military buildup for hampering Congress' ability to pass new social legislation.
"The debate has been fundamentally changed," says one economist. "It is no longer one of providing adequacy for people who are in need. It is now about the deficit and the budget and increases in defense spending."
"There is," Edgar surmises, "little enthusiasm for public projects, whether they are good for us or not, because of the size of the deficit."


Regarding two House members accused of misconduct, Republican Daniel B. Crane and Democrat Gerry Studds, Edgar votes for the lesser penalty of censure, as opposed to a reprimand. Crane's censure receives 289 votes to 136, while Studds receives 338 to 87 votes.

A proposed amendment to the Defense Authorization bill opposed by the Reagan administration would limit the numbers of U.S. advisors in El Salvador to 55 and military personnel to the present number fails 170 to 247. Edgar votes in favor. Republicans overwhelmingly support Reagan, 16 to 147, but Democrats from the North votes 141 to 26 in support, while Southern Democrats are opposed 13 to 73.
Another Democratic amendment to bar U.S. combat troops in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatamala or Costa Rica, unless certain extreme conditions are met, fails by a similar vote. Edgar also supports that proposal.
One Democratic amendment that does pass, however, will allow up to $7 billion in defense procurement contracts to be spent in areas of high unemployment. That passes by a vote of only 218 to 201, with Edgar in support. Edgar, however, votes against the final House version of the Department of Defense authorization bill. He votes for the Boland Amendment to terminate U.S. covert actions in Nicaragua for 30 days, then allowing the president to submit a new plan to Congress for resuming such activity. The vote is 221 to 205.


Edgar and six other House members challenge a scientific finding that U.S. servicemen who were exposed to radiation in Nagasaki did not suffer an excess amount of bone cancer. The seven write that they were "concerned that such confusion and disputation should reign supreme on so important a subject, and that it should originate from so prominent a scientific body." They asked for a review of the research methods and conclusions of the study.
Edgar believes that veterans exposed to Agent Orange or radiation from atomic bomb testing should be compensated for their suffering. "I think that government has to have compassion for its Vietnam vets who were exposed to higher levels of dioxin in many instances than those at Times Beach." He was referring to a Missouri community that was bought out by the federal government for $30 million due to its high level of dioxin contamination.

An amendment to reduce revenue sharing from $5.02 billion to $4.6 billion, fails 176-248, with Edgar casting a "nay" vote.


Edgar meets with the new regional director of the EPA regarding the reports of toxic wastes in the Clearview landfill on the border of Darby Township and Philadelphia.

Edgar votes against the conference report on the $187.5 billion Department of Defense Authorization bill, which passes 266 to 152.
Edgar observes that the deployment of American peace-keeping troops to Lebanon may be one of those "no-win situations" that Americans find hard to understand or tolerate. Edgar and other liberal Democrats take issue with the Democratic leadership's decision to make the deal with the White House for a bipartisan resolution allowing the Marines to remain in the Beirut area for another 18 months while giving Congress a voice in military deployment after that.
A rival resolution requiring the president to invoke the War Powers Act by the end of November unless he certified to Congress that a ceasefire was in effect in Lebanon, fails by a wide margin, 158-272. Then, the bipartisan proposal is approved 270 to 161. Edgar votes in favor of the former and against the latter legislation.


Another Edgar amendment goes down in defeat, 133 to 271. This time, he attempts to delete 20 unauthorized projects from a $119 supplemental appropriations bill for 43 water resource projects.

The Boland amendment dealing with U.S. covert activities in Nicaragua is attached to the Intelligence Authorization bill by a vote of 227-194, with Edgar in favor.
Evidently in a bid to help local shipbuilding interests, Edgar votes for two amendments to the Defense appropriations bill to increase naval shipbuilding. An amendment to add $218 million for the frigate construction passes 287-140, but another bid to add $355.5 million for other shipbuilding fails, 85-342.


A reintroduced Equal Rights Amendment fails to achieve the necessary two-thirds vote in the House. Edgar votes for it, but the constitutional amendment fails, 278-147, having needed 284 votes. The proposal had died on June 30, 1982, having been ratified by only 35 states out of the 38 needed.
Edgar votes against the conference report for the Defense appropriations bill, which passes 311-99. The $249.8 billion measure is $10 billion, 4 percent, higher than the 1983 Pentagon spending bill and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the 1984 federal budget.

The House votes , 403 to 23 to apply the 1973 War Powers Act to the recent U.S. invasion of Grenada. The vote requests that Reagan remove all troops from the Caribbean island by Dec. 24 or seek an extension of the deadline. Edgard votes with the majority.
The House refuses, by a 153 to 274 margin, to force the withdrawal of U.S. Marines from Lebanon by cutting off funds for the operation. The vote was on an amendment, which Edgard supports, to the fiscal 1984 defense appropriations bill to end funding for the Lebanon deployment next March 1.
An Inquirer editorial calls the Reagan foreign policy “the most militarized American foreign policy since the 1960s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson virtually put the Pentagon in charge during the Vietnam War.”
"This administration," states Rep. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.), "is using military force instead of foreign policy; it is relying on bullets instead of brains."
House Speaker O'Neill Jr. describes the administration's policy as: "If they can't love ya, make 'em feel ya."
Edgar asks: "Are we to send in our Marines and Rangers every time there is an international disturbance?"


Edgar warns County Council that the soaring federal deficit will force the federal government to shift entitlement programs back to the state and local levels. He blames the rising deficit partly on the huge hike in defense spending.

1984 - Staving Off Defeat, Barely

A Republican-supported amendment to reduce weatherization funds for low income persons from $500 million to $200 million is passed 233-142, with Edgar in opposition.
The Library Services and Construction Act is passed, 357-39. The measure, which Edgar votes in favor of, will allocate $156 million in 1985 and rise to $186 million by 1988.


Edgar's announced Republican opponent is one of political and community stature: Curt Weldon, member of the County Council and former mayor of the borough of Marcus Hook. Weldon is a formidable opponent due to his possession of some of the political strengths of Edgar: an appeal to both blue and white collar voters, a keen grasp of the issues, and a very strong sense of what it takes to win an election. Where Edgar's last strong opponent, Mayor Kane, could not sufficiently cut into the incumbent's white collar base, Weldon, the former teacher and community activist, certainly could.
Weldon begins the race by offering a challenge to Edgar to avoid the influence of national special interest groups. "Rather than either side being supported by PACs, I'd like to say...neither of us will take any support from PACs." Edgar refuses, countering that with his G.O.P. base, Weldon can easily outraise him in funds locally.
Edgar criticizes an Air Force report that the Agent Orange defoliant used during the Vietnam War does not have an effect on the health of those exposed to it. He believes the Air Force reached its conclusion before studying the issue.


Edgar kicks off his campaign for a fifth term, terming the race his "toughest". He states: "I am very concerned about the legacy this administration is leaving our children and grandchildren - soaring budget deficits, the unchecked growth of nuclear weapons, toxic waste dumps and water supplies, and an educational system that is ill-equipped to prepare young people for the future."
Showing his strength and credibility as a candidate early, Weldon is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Delaware County Lodge 27.
Again, Edgar plugs the Blue Route, stating that it "...will give the river corridor an opportunity to compete with King of Prussia and Plymouth Meeting in attracting business and industry."
Thinking ahead, former County Councilman Bill Spingler says his is interest in pursuing the congressional seat in 1986 if Edgar runs for the U.S. Senate that year.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Edgar votes to override Reagan's veto of the $36 million Water Research bill to aid in cleaning up drinking water. The vote is 309 to 81.


Edgar responds to Weldon's previous letter to the Times that reiterates the latter's call for both to not accept PAC money. "We ought to get on to talking about the real issues of the campaign," Edgar states, again rebuffing Weldon, who said fundraising is still the "whole key to the race." He also states: "He's (Edgar) supposed to be a candidate of the people. Why does he have to raise so much money. He has far greater name recognition that I do."
The endorsed candidates for G.O.P. delegate to the National Convention from the Seventh District are: Springfield Republican chairman and Weldon fundraiser, Charles Sexton, Catania, Judge and Dorsey.
In the Primary Election, once again, Edgar easily beats Robert Moran, the national chairman of the Catholics Concerned for Mother and Child, an anti-abortion group. Moran had favored a tough approach toward the Soviets, cutting back U.S. support to Israel until the Palestinians are granted a homeland, tuition tax credits for non-public students and endorses Reagan's Central American policies. Edgar receives 28,526 to Moran's 3,556.
The Reverend Jerry Falwell, head of the extreme right wing Moral Majority, and Edgar speak at the University of Pennsylvania regarding Religion and American Politics. Falwell refuses to share the stage with Edgar and the former and half the crowd leave when the latter speaks. Edgar nonetheless speaks: "I hope for an America where no individual will be deemed less of an American because of ...religious beliefs."

Reagan's proposed Fiscal 1985 Budget is voted down by the House, 401 to 1, with Edgar voting with the majority. Edgar votes for the budget blueprint proposed by the Congressional Black Caucus to reduce the deficit $324 billion over three years by cutting military spending $203 billion and raising taxes $181 billion. That measure fails by a vote of 76 to 333.
He also votes for a version by the Democratic Study Group that would reduce the deficit $261 billion by limiting domestic spending, holding defense spending increases to the inflation rate and raising taxes $76.2 billion. That plan, supported mostly by liberals, also fails, 132-284, but picks up five Republican and ten Southern Democratic votes.
The plan submitted by the Conservative Democratic Forum, fails by an even larger vote of 59-338, even though it picks up 33 G.O.P. and 22 Southern Democratic votes. Edgar votes with 157 other Democrats and 123 Republicans to kill the measure, which would have cut the deficit by $255 billion with spending cuts of $53 billion and tax increases of $70 billion. A plan finally emerges, setting expenditures at $918.2 billion, revenues at $742.7 billion, leaving a deficit of 174.5 billion.
A Reagan-supported plan to cut the deficit by raising $49.2 billion in new taxes, closing some tax loopholes, and raising taxes on liquor, cigarettes and telephone service, passes 318-97.
Efforts to protect the fiscal integrity of Medicare are made by Congress. A proposal to freeze physician's fees for Medicare services for one year and cut increases in spending fails 172-242. However, a small $3.9 billiion cut over three years in Medicare, welfare, veterans and other benefits passes 261 to 152, with the majority of Democrats in favor and the G.O.P. opposed five to one.
A measure expressing the Sense of Congress that no funds should be used for the mining of Nicaraguan waters in passed 230 to 153 in an almost party line vote.


After a town meeting regarding Central America held by Edgar in Collingdale, he denounces the "crassest display of political activity that I have ever witnessed in my 9 1/2 years." He charges that the forum was invaded by Weldon campaign operatives, led by Dorsey, a campaign manager, intent on disruption. According to Edgar, Dorsey turned people away at the door by putting Weldon signs on the door and "telling them it was a Weldon rally", raised "Weldon for US" signs in the audience, then stood up and led a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Dorsey counters, stating his objective was "letting our people know what Edgar stands for, that this congressman is an ultra-liberal congressman and cares more about the enemies of this country than our friends."
Weldon told the Times he was not responsible for Dorsey's behavior and the former "came to take notes, to listen and ask questions. I think he (Dorsey) was emotional. But I think he was emotional about the issues and Bob's lack of support of this county." Edgar states: "This was a congressional forum and it was a congressional activity. Previous opponents rejected this (type of disruptive activity)."
Since Weldon needs every Republican vote he can get to unseat Edgar, his response is rather measured. But, the Daily Times wastes no time in responding in an editorial stating that Dorsey "showed up at the meeting to do nothing more than heckle Edgar, wave Weldon placards and generally disrupt the meeting... If he (Weldon) doesn't think he can beat Edgar without the help of people like Joe Dorsey, he is giving himself less credit than he deserves."
Edgar is dissatisfied with the $180 million tentative settlement offered by the makers of Agent Orange. He states that if the matter had gone to court and the company found guilty, Congress could have determined the federal liability.

Edgar votes for an amendment to prohibit aid to El Salvador unless the president certifies: the government of that nation removes those active in the death squads from the military, complies with international agreements on the protection of civilians during civil wars, and participates in good faith negotiations with all parties in the war. The amendment, sponsored by Gerry Studds (D-MA) fails by a wide margin, 128-287. The bill to authorize aid to Central America and military assistance to El Salvador only if the president certifies progress on human rights there, passes by a dangerously narrow 212 to 208 vote. Edgar votes against this as well as the entire Foreign Aid Authorization bill, which also barely passes, 211 to 206.
He also votes against an amendment to allow religious groups to meet in public schools during non-class hours if other groups are allowed. The amendment fails on a 270 to 151 vote, with two-thirds, 281, needed for passage.
Again, Edgar votes for a series of amendments to delete MX and Trident II missiles, as well as the B-1 bomber and binary chemical munitions. All such efforts fail, except for the vote to prohibit chemical weapons, which passes 247-179. He also votes to prohibit funding the Sargeant York anti-aircraft weapon unless results of testing are sent to Congress; allow the Pershing II missile only if the Soviets refuse to limit their nuclear weapons deployment; and allow no funding for testing the Anti-Satellite missile system unless the Soviets conduct a test in space first. The first two amendments fail, but the latter is approved, 238-181.
Edgar votes with an overwhelming majority of the House to bar the introduction of U.S. combat troops into El Salvador and Nicaragua, except under certain specified circumstances. That measure passes 341-64, with a majority of both parties in favor. A similar amendment to bar combat troops in Western Europe, Korea and the Middle East is overwhelmingly rejected.
With these votes, Congress, with the support of about a third of the G.O.P. members on some votes, has shown its willingness to reign in the Reagan foreign and defense spending policies.


Showing an uncanny knack for identifying the issues, especially those damaging to his opponent, Weldon takes a bullhorn and addresses shift workers arriving at the Boeing Vertol plant. He blasts Edgar for voting against a defense authorization bill, which contains $800 million in contracts for Boeing Vertol. "Your current congressman on Thursday voted against the JVX program, the CH-46 and CH-47 by turning down the 1985 defense authorization bill." Edgar counters by stating his vote was actually against the Pershing II cruise missile, B-1 bomber and MX missiles.

The administration-backed Immigration Reform and Control Act barely passes, 216 to 211, with both parties closely divided in their support. Edgar votes against the measure which will provide sanctions on employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens and also provide legal status for many illegals in this country.
He votes for the conference report on Deficit Reduction, which will increase taxes $50 billion and cut Medicare and other spending $13 billion. The bill, which is supported by Reagan, passes 268-155, with the G.O.P. almost evenly divided and almost three to one Democratic support.
The House votes for a 2% cut in its budget by a close vote of 193-190, but Edgar votes against the cut.


Edgar urges a one year moratorium on the proposed selling of Conrail to private industry.
Accusing Edgar of accepting PAC contributions, while supporting legislation to curb them, Weldon says: "He does one thing in Washington and comes back here and tells the people of Delaware County something else." Edgar retorts: "I cannot allow myself to be handicapped by a PAC limit while my opponent can raise thousands of dollars from county contractors." Further, he states he would amend his bill to "put more limitation on the amount of contribution by local people who do business with public officials running for elective office."
Regarding the choice of fellow Congress member Geraldine Ferraro of New York for vice president, Edgar, a strong Mondale supporter, agrees: "I think it's time for a woman. She's not only qualified to be vice president, but she competent to be president."


The Boilermakers Local 802 at Penn Ship endorses Weldon, the reported first time that Edgar had been passed over. The business manager for the union states: "It was our feeling that when Sun Ship made its decision to get out of shipbuilding, Bob Edgar turned his energies to other interests and that was it."

Edgar votes against a measure to weaken the expansion of the Superfund which would prevent citizens from suing for damages caused by toxic waste dumping. The measure to limit the Superfund bill passes, however, by 208 to 200. Then, the expanded Superfund renewal bill passes, 323 to 33, with Reagan in opposition.


Edgar, in response to Weldon's relentless attacks on his defense votes, states: "No major defense contract has been lost to Delaware County since 1977. He's trying to give the impression that by final vote of defense that I'm not working with and fully supporting these items." But, Weldon is quick to respond: "Bob Edgar has no influence whatsoever at the Department of Defense. He has the worst voting record in the country...Boeing Vertol has gotten everything without Bob Edgar."
Edgar, as the chairman of the subcommittee for hospitals of the Veteran's Affairs committee, pushes for $18 million for site preparation for a $140 million expansion and renovation of the Veteran's Hospital.
Weldon criticizes Edgar's vote for a budget blueprint sponsored by Julian C. Dixon of California, an African-American, calling it the "Jesse Jackson Budget". Weldon charges that the budget proposal would raise taxes and cut three defense contracts for Boeing. Dixon's office spokesperson states that the proposal would raise taxes for the wealthy, cut taxes for the lower income levels and not affect Boeing. He further states that the budget was developed by the Congressional Black Caucus Budget Task Force, headed by Philadelphia Congressman Bill Gray and that Jackson had no input. Edgar, obviously not pleased with Weldon's attack, states: "I don't know what kind of games he's trying to play with the name Jesse Jackson, but I object to the inference he's making."
The Congress
Over Reagan's opposition, the Safe Drinking Water act is passed overwhelmingly, 366-27, with Edgar voting in favor. The bill sets federal standards for contaminants, revises the enforcement mechanism, establishes new groundwater protection programs, and authorizes $216 million annually for the new program.


The Weldon camp pulls an "October Surprise" with a campaign flyer criticizing Edgar for renting a home in Springfield from his Administrative Assistant. The brochure states: "He now lives in a house that is owned by one of his paid staff assistants, Ms. Ella Powers." Edgar terms the attack "offensive", stating "it implies that unless you own property and pay property taxes, you have no right to vote or privilege to vote." Weldon charges that Edgar, his wife and Powers voted from the same residence.
Merle Edgar in a letter to the Times, explains that their Broomall home was sold in an effort to keep the family together and to allow the children to attend schools in Virginia, where the family has been living since 1975. "Whether we own a home in Marple or rent our home in Springfield, the entire 7th District remains the most important place on earth and always will."
To add fuel to the fire, Springfield Auditor and County Controller, James Scanlan, publicly accuses Powers of not paying the business privilege tax on the rental income. However, 109 other landlords in the township who have also not paid the tax are sent letters and are not publicly harangued.
Like a dog with a bone, Weldon refuses to let the residency issue die, bringing it up at the next debate. "I think it's important for you to tell us today, Bob, where you live, and why all of a sudden because you're moving on to the Senate, you no longer consider Delaware County your premises," Weldon charges. Edgar counters: "Curt, I think your question shows the level of interest you have in the real issues of the campaign." Edgar goes on to mention that fellow congressmen Schulze and Coughlin own homes in the Washington area and not in their districts.
The 2,800 members of Local 1069 of the United Aerospace Workers at Boeing Vertol endorse Edgar and the Boilermakers reverse themselves, after new leadership is elected, and endorse Edgar. In spite of this, it is clear that Weldon's persistent efforts have been cutting into the incumbent Democrat's traditionally solid labor support. The Times also jumps aboard the Edgar bandwagon, stating that his "honest, dedicated service as a reformer in Washington has made Delaware County proud."
During another debate, Dorsey's son-in-law, James Powers, a councilman from Collingdale, challenges Edgar's patriotism at the Amvets Post in Morton. Powers, in referring back to the congressional forum in Collingdale in May, asks Edgar to deny that the congressman had said: "There are good Communists and bad Communists". Edgar responds: "You have made that statement before this and that is not only outrageous but is wrong."
Weldon hammers Edgar for voting to spend $168,000 for elevator operators "to move congressmen up and down one floor to the other." Edgar replies: "Maybe we'll need a 13th debate to talk about the Taj Mahal County Courthouse in Media. We'll prepare some numbers."
Geraldine Ferraro visits the Drexel Hill Middle School, stating: "You are very, very smart people when you send people like Bob Edgar to Washington." While Republican hecklers attempt to disrupt her speech, she declares she wants "a Supreme Court chosen by Walter Mondale and not by Jerry Falwell." Edgar jokes: "I hope to bring Fritz Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro in on my coattails."

A measure to require both the president and Congressional Budget Office to submit balanced, as well as budgets not in balance, is passed by the House overwhelmingly, with Edgar in favor.
The Omnibus Anti-Crime Act is passed, 406 to 16. The legislation, which Edgar votes for, will revise federal sentencing procedures, tighten the insanity defense, allow pretrial detention of dangerous suspects, provide anti-crime block grants and create a victim's compensation fund.
Edgar's voting attendance is 94% for the year, with his support of fellow Democrats, 89% to 7% and for Reagan, 25% to 71%.


In a cliffhanger election that appeared to hinge on a handful of voting divisions in the 40th Ward of Philadelphia, Edgar has an unofficial margin over Weldon of less than 500 votes. The incumbent outspends Weldon $765,898 to $434,420, with 32% of the Edgar's funding coming from PACs and 31% for his challenger.
With Reagan's lead in the district, heavy ticket-splitting, once again, is responsible for Edgar's reelection. Some typical comments of voters interviewed after the election were: "I'm a Republican, but I still like Edgar."
Sexton sums up the feelings of the G.O.P. leaders: "I think as far as Delaware County goes, for the first time in 10 years we managed to get through to the voters...and brought Edgar's negative voting record to the attention of the voters. They're sending Bob Edgar a message that they've had enough. Our committee people were absolutely enthused with the candidacy of Curt Weldon since last spring. We put on an issue-oriented, door-to-door campaign." Edgar dismisses the Republican ward-heeler's rhetoric, stating succinctly: "If the Republican organization is an strong as it thinks it is, it would have won this election." Edgar must have been referring to an old political saying: "A win is a win is a win."
Due to some suspicion that there were voting irregularities in the 40th Ward, Weldon requests a recount. Edgar, even though convinced that he won, agrees. When a voting machine used in Upper Darby's 3rd District, 10th Precinct, is opened, there are 100 votes not previously counted for Edgar. The Democratic minority inspector of elections charges that she was barred by the Republican judge of elections from viewing the voting machine counters during the vote count.
Three weeks later, Weldon holds a press conference and conceeds, blaming his loss on the 4th, 6th and 8th divisions of the 40th Ward, where Edgar won 605 votes to Weldon's 51. Weldon also admits that he could not prove any massive, widespread vote fraud in the Philadelphia portion of the district.

The economic recovery appears to be slowing, as the GNP grows only 1.9% for the third quarter and the unemployment rate remains at 7.3% for October.
Bob Dole is elected Senate Majority Leader by a 28-25 vote over Ted Stevens of Alaska. Dole succeeds Howard Baker, who did not seek reelection to the Senate.

In Bucks County, another incumbent squeezes by an energetic opponent, with Kostmayer beating David Christian, 112,648 to 108,696. In the Thirteenth District, veteran incumbent Larry Coughlin survives a much closer race than usual, by defeating Joe Hoeffel, 133,648 to 104,756. In the Fifth, Schulze coasts to a huge win over Democrat Louis J. Fanti, 141,965 to 53,586.


The official tabulation from the recount is released, showing Weldon carrying the Delaware County portion of the district, 115,537 to 112,479, while Edgar carried the 40th Ward 12,076 to 8,447.
Edgar backs the Reagan administration tax reform proposal, citing his own goals of insuring adequate revenue, ease of administration, fairness and efficiency. He also meets with SEPTA General Manager Joseph Mach to discuss the unfolding financial crisis at the agency. Edgar places some blame on Reagan budget cuts and the need for emergency bridge repairs.

Reagan proposes $34 billion in spending cuts in domestic programs in response to estimates of a string of federal deficits exceeding $200 billion. He proposes eliminating the Small Business Administration, Job Corps, Legal Services Corporation, rural housing programs, subsidies for Amtrak, dairy subsidies, and most urban mass-transit aid. The Pentagon proposes only $6 billion in cuts.

1985 - Aspirations for Higher Office

On the third, Edgar is sworn in for his sixth, and last, term, calling his electoral victory a "mudslide". He votes for Tip O'Neill for House Speaker over Bob Michel, with the vote being 247 to 175, along party lines. He does not receive a seat on the Budget Committee, even though he was recommended by Majority Leader Jim Wright, as well as the chairman of the Public Works committee, Jim Howard.

Dole introduces a bill to reduce federal deficits to $100 billion by 1988, in contrast to the Administration's projections of $240 billion. Dole and other G.O.P. senators believe that Reagan's proposals do not adequately address the budget problems. However, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Barry Goldwater, warns that any cuts in the military budget would endanger national security.

The economy faired well in 1984, with the GNP incresing 6.8%, car sales up 13.1% and the Consumer Price Index rising only 4%.


In an opening salvo for the Democratic nomination for the 1986 U.S. Senate race, Pennsylvania Auditor General Don Bailey, a Vietnam veteran, states: "I have strong concerns about any candidate who had an anti-war orientation at that time." This statement is interpreted as an attack on Edgar.

Reagan's 1986 budget comes under sharp attack, as the $973.7 billion proposal provides an overal increase in spending of only 1.5%. Sharp increases in defense spending would be offset by cuts in domestic programs, along with a 5% cut in the salaries of federal employees. Senator Mark Hatfield, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, refers to the budget as a "fantasy."
Presidential Counselor Edwin Meese finally wins confirmation from the Senate for the position of Attorney General. Reagan had nominated him 13 months ago, but the hearing were suspended pending an investigation of ethical violations.


In apparent response to the controversy surrounding his county residence, Edgar purchases a condominium at Riddle Glen in Middletown Township. Sexton and Dorsey continue pursuing the matter, having sent a letter to Edgar demanding cancelled checks to prove he paid rent.

In yet another close vote, $1.5 billion is approved for 21 MX missiles, 217-210, with Edgar voting against.


With the situation in Nicaragua still generating controversy, the House votes for a Democratic plan to provide $4 million to implement the Contadora Peace Agreement and $10 million to assist refugees outside Nicaragua. Edgar votes in favor, with the vote being 219 to 206. Only 15 Republicans support the measure. Edgar votes against another amendment to provide $14 million in humanitarian aid to the Contras. That measure fails on a close vote, 213 to 215, with only 46 Democrats, mostly southernors, in support and 14 moderate Republicans opposed.


Edgar, in preparation for next year's race, raps Specter for casting a deciding vote for the compromise budget plan worked out between Reagan and the G.O.P. Senate leaders, which passes 50 - 49.

In the disputed election for Indiana's Eighth District, Edgar votes with the majority of Democrats to seat Francis X. McClosky, who was declared the winner over Republican Richard D. McIntyre. After months of bitter arguements, the vote was 236-190, with ten Democrats deserting their party.
Edgar votes for the Democratic plan to cut the deficit $75 billion in 1986 and $350 billion between 1986 and 1988. Among the plans provisions would be an elimination of the cost of living adjustment for Social Security and other federal pension benefits, $12 billion in new taxes, along with other cuts. The vote was 258 to 170, with 24 Republicans voting against their party and only 15 Democrats doing the same.


Edgar tells top state Democratic leaders that he will run for the U.S. Senate with or without the party's endorsement. He also is fighting to save the state and local tax deduction in the tax reform bill. "The average Pennsylvanian will come out better by retaining the deduction," he tells Governor Thornburgh.
An Edgar amendment to reduce proposed Army Corps of Engineers water projects from $151 million to $51 million passes the House, 203 to 202.

The House passes the Anti-Apartheid Act, which places immediate sanctions on South Africa due to its policy of racial segregation. The bill would ban bank loans to the South African government, prohibits the sale of certain equipment, bars U.S. business investment there and the prohibits the import of gold coins. The vote was 295 to 127, with Edgar, as well as 56 Republicans in favor. Only six Democrats, all southernors, voted against it.
He also votes for the Boland amendment to indefinitely bar aid by intelligence agencies to the Contras, but the effort fails, 196 to 232, with 58 Democrats, mostly southernors, deserting their party.


Edgar is cleared by the Federal Election Commission, which dismisses charged filed in May by Dorsey and Sexton regarding the home rental dispute. "We are very pleased," Edgar states. "they had pretty much laid to rest this silly controversy."

Edgar votes against a bill to authorize $5 million in aid for non-communist resistance forces in Cambodia and to prohibit aid to the communist Khmer Rouge. The measure passes 288 to 122.
He votes against a measure to prohibit aid to El Salvador until the president reports to Congress and Congress passes a resolution stating that El Salvador has met three conditions. It must have made progress in prosecuting those responsible for 45,000 murders, carried out land reform and the government must pursue a negotiated settlement based on free elections. The measure fails with a 47 to 375 vote, with no representative from Pennsylvania voting for it.
He votes against insisting that House conferees for the Department of Defense authorization bill insist on language providing the death penalty for peacetime espionage. The measure does pass, however, 320 to 101.

A coalition of conservative groups is asking Thornburgh to run against Specter. After some thought, the governor declines.


The radium contaminated "Hot House" located at 105-107 E. Stratford Avenue in Lansdowne is one of 67 projects put on hold due to the fact Congress has not reauthorized the Superfund. As a result, Edgar may introduce his own legislation, setting strict timetables.

The conference report on the Anti-Apartheid Act is passed 380 to 48, with Edgar in favor.


A statewide poll sponsored by the Pennsylvania Education Association, has Edgar with 24% support among state Democrats, trailing Bailey with 27%.
Edgar is sharply critical of a bill approved by the Veterans Committe by a 14 - 12 vote, that cuts $300 million from the budget by the use of a deductible fee for veterans' medical care.


Edgar calls for a cease-fire in campaign rhetoric, after a key supporter, state representative William DeWeese refers to Bailey as exuding "a jock, macho, gook-killing ethos".
In spite of this request by Edgar, a fund-raising letter from his camp warns that Bailey accepts support from the "politics of hate," such as the Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the National Association of Pro-America and Sane Americans for Free Enterprise. Edgar's letter appeals to Democrats to "prevent right wing extremists from taking over the U.S. Senate."
Bailey charges that Edgar is "preaching hatred and making a fool of himself" and refers to him as the "Goldwater of the left".

Economic news is bright, with the GNP advancing 3.3% in the third quarter and inflation running so far at an annual rate of 3.2%.

Weldon releases a six page investigative report of alleged voter irregularities in the 40th Ward, showing the 8th Division as having the most problems. Philadelphia Registration Commission officials respond with a four page report, dealing with the 8th District only. "Most of the allegations were not sustained by the investigation," the deputy registration commissioner states. "There were some irregularities that indicated further investigation should be made. We have not been able to do so because we are in the middle of an alignment of all divisions in Philadelphia."
Weldon had complained that city officials and the local voter watchdog group, the Committee of 70, failed to respond to the allegations. Fred Voight, executive secretary of the Committee of 70, states: "We're certainly concerned about problems in the entire district...I seem to recollect there were problems in Delaware County. I would certainly like to meet with Mr. Weldon, in a place other than the pages of the newspapers." Some of the questionable voters are stricken from the registration rolls by the city.


In a series of kickoff gatherings throughout the state, Edgar officially announces his candidacy for Specter's seat, stating that Pennsylvania "is crying out for new leadership. It's a choice between stagnation and progress." He charges that Specter issues "press releases instead of making policy."

The House passes its own version of the Gramm-Rudman deficit control act, allowing the president to make cuts in certain programs if Congress could not agree to balance the budget. The vote is 249-180 and the bill moves to a conference committee with the Senate.

The Dow Jones average breaks 1,400 for the first time and the third quarter GNP growth figure is revised to a robust 4.3%.
Governor Tom Kean is reelected with 70% of the vote in New Jersey over Democrat Peter Shapiro. In Virginia, the Democrats hold onto the governorship, with 55% of the vote. Gerald Bailes beats Republican Wyatt Durette and Douglas Wilder, a Democrat, is the first black to be elected lieutenant governor in a southern state since Reconstruction.

1986 - Looking for a Seventh and Eighth Miracle

Edgar is sworn in for his sixth and last term, but his sights are really on the U.S. Senate. Meanwhile, Delaware County Democratic leaders are pushing for an open statewide primary, which would benefit Edgar.


Edgar attacks Don Bailey's record as a congressman: "When Pennsylvania's future was on the line, Don Bailey votes for the (1981) Republican tax reform plan that helped big business, line the pockets of the rich and stuck it right in the heart of Pennsyvania." Bailey denies the charges, stating that he had voted for the conference report version of the Reagan tax bill that had "good, vital and necessary things for Pennsylvania."
With the Democratic State Committee voting 289 to 107 to endorse Bailey over Edgar, the latter is again in his usual role of running against the ruling political establishment. Edgar charges that Specter voted for the Gramm-Rudman deficit control act, while at the same time opposes cuts in Amtrak and declares: "You simply can't have it both ways."
In a major coup, the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO endorses Edgar, leaving Bailey to comment that he is "deeply saddened and hurt."


The Sierra Club endorses Edgar and he also receives top ballot spot, which can be a critical factor in primary elections.

Reagan's proposal to provide $100 million in military and non-military aid to the Contras, as well as lift restrictions on the CIA and Defense Department's assistance to the Contras, fails. The vote is another narrow one: 210 to 222, with 46 Democrats, mostly from the South, joining the Republicans. Edgar opposes this proposal.


Edgar and Bailey back the U.S. bombing attack on Libya. Bailey suggests that Edgar has a "tendency to consider the U.S. the wrong-doer, the heavy in international relations. I don't think that is right." Edgar responds: "I recognize there are times when a good citizen must criticize his own country."
Edgar charges that employees of the Auditor General's office "felt fear they would be in trouble on their jobs" if they did not contribute to Bailey's campaign. A Bailey spokeman calls the charge "smear and innuendo."
The 440 member Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity endorse Edgar. "He has stood with us when the Reagan administration has sought deep cuts in social programs."

Edgar votes for $27 million in humanitarian aid for the Contras. The measure passes overwhelmingly, 361 to 66.
The gun lobby scores a huge victory with a 292 to 130 vote to weaken provisions of the 1968 Gun Control Act. Edgar votes against this amendment to allow the interstate sales of rifles and shotguns, as well as transportation of all types of firearms and limit federal inspections of gun dealers to one unannounced inspection per year.


During a debate, Bailey makes an issue of an ad in a Philadelphia gay newspaper, the Au Courant, which gives information about an Edgar fund-raiser and a contact number in City Hall. "How can Bob campaign," Bailey asks. "with a phone number in Philadelphia City Council?" Edgar refers to charges of politics in Bailey's office, stating: "It's the old way to use patronage and patronage politics to run your campaign." When questioned about his attack, Bailey responds: "Oh, no, I'm not trying to link him to gay and lesbian rights. This is a specific fund-raising thing."
The campaign takes a nasty turn, as both sides air television ads personally attacking the other. Bailey's ads depict Edgar growing a Pinnochio nose, while Edgar's show his opponent gradually turning into an old, cigar-smoking stereotypical politician. Edgar picks up endorsements, from the Times.
Edgar pulls off his "seventh miracle", by defeating Bailey, 432,940 to 408,460 statewide and securing the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Delaware County is a critical factor in his victory, giving its "native son" 25,112 votes to Bailey's 2,813.

In an interesting twist, chairman Weldon asks Edgar to join the rest of the County Council for a press conference regarding the 40 day old SEPTA strike. Edgar, seated alongside Weldon, Ted Erickson, Nick Catania and John Taylor, comments: "This is a historic moment, I guess, for both of us to be sitting on the same side of the table."


Edgar urges Specter to vote against the nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions III for the federal judgeship in Alabama, citing the latter's "abysmal" record as U.S. attorney.

In a reversal of its previous opposition, the House narrowly passes an amendment to provide $70 million in military aid and $30 million in non-military aid to the Contras. Edgar votes against the measure, but it passes 221 to 209.


Specter calls Edgar to task for missing 46% of the roll call votes taken in the House so far. Edgar replies: "The real question is key votes." While the state AFL-CIO endorses Edgar, a poll is released that shows some discouraging numbers. The G.O.P. funded poll shows 63% of Pennsylvanians approve of President Reagan's performance, while only 33% disapprove. By a margin of 61 to 29%, voters choose Specter over Edgar.


Edgar charges that Specter flip-flopped on the issue of economic sanctions against South Africa. Specter replies that he has been "always a strong opponent of Apartheid."
Edgar is supported by Barbra Steisand and Meryl Streep, who donate $1,000 each to his campaign. He also receives the endorsement of Robin Williams, Judy Collins and Ed Asner and the backing of the Pennsylvania State Education Association.


Specter attacks Edgar's vote against a bill to protect the identities of intelligence agents, calling the bill important to the fight against terrorism. Edgar defends his 1981 vote, stating it involved a "freedom of press issue."
Edgar charges that Specter voted in 1982 to cut $40 billion from Social Security to reduce the deficit. Specter repeats his charge that Edgar is distorting the incumbent senator's voting record.
Both candidates have reservations about the Reagan administration's plan for mandatory drug testing of some government employees.
While the Veterans of Foreign Wars endorse Specter, his is criticized by the Black Clergy for his vote against combatting Apartheid. The Penn-sylvania National Association of Women and the Human Rights Campaign Fund both endorse Edgar, who receives a $5,000 donation from the latter. He is also endorsed by the 4,900 member Association of Pennsylvania State Colleges and Universities Faculties.
The United Press Service quotes Specter's top aide, Dan McKenna, as referring to Edgar as a "lying bastard" and "son of a bitch." McKenna denies the remarks.
Edgar states: "There is an Arlen Specter on both sides of every issue." McKenna replies: "All Edgar has done in this campaign is throw mud."


Edgar describes the television ad from the Specter camp that criticizes the 7th District Congressman's attendance record as having "premiered in the gutter."
During their debate on television, Specter states: "My opponent is not only outside the mainstream of his party, he is outside the mainstream of the most liberal wing of the Democratic Party...really off the board." He repeats his charges that Edgar has distorted and misrepresented Specter's record.
The Times endorses Edgar, but the powerful National Rifle Association targets him for defeat.
Perhaps the American Civil Liberties Union sums up the race, finding more areas of agreement between Specter and Edgar, than differences. The liberal organization finds that both oppose the constitutional amendment to limit abortion, both support restoring federal Medicaid funding for necessary abortions, favor restitution for Japanese-Americans interned during WWII, oppose silent prayer in schools, oppose aid to the Contras, support the Civil Rights Restoration Act and oppose legislation to weaken the Exclusionary Rule which would permit evidence obtained from illegal searches to be used in court.


Edgar is not able to overcome Specter's name recognition and popularity, garnering only 1,448,219 votes to the incumbent's 1,906,537. Specter, as the incumbent, outspends Edgar, $5.993 million to $3.968 million. Each candidate loses his own home county, with Edgar losing Delaware County, 107,922 to 83,779 and Specter failing to carry Philadelphia, 271,759 to 211,193. The three other suburban counties weigh in very heavily for Specter, 233,000 to 138,000.
With the economy expanding under Reagan and no serious issues that could be used against the incumbent senator, Specter was in no serious danger of defeat. Pennsylvania voters, when faced with a choice of a moderate Republican and a liberal Democrat, have generally chosen the former.
Both Specter and Edgar were perceived by the public as being on the side of the "little guy". The Apartheid issue used by Edgar did not play as a major issue in the minds of many Pennsylvanians. Unlike 1974, it just was not a good year for Edgar to make another breakthrough.
Even his own consituents were wary about replacing the popular Specter with their own Bob Edgar. The ticket-splitting Republicans who had loyally stuck with Edgar, even during the close 1984 election, would not transfer that loyalty to the Senate race.
"Edgar's yesterday's news in this county," gloats Sexton, who serves as Weldon's finance chairman. Dorsey is even more harsh in his crowing: "Bob Edgar would not pledge allegiance to the American flag (in 1984) and I said we'd get him for that and we did." If Edgar were ever to seek office again in Delaware County, Dorsey adds: "we'll beat him. I'm confident of that."
With the last Democratic officeholder gone, the final vestiges of a system of "checks and balances" in Delaware County is finally gone, to the obvious relief of the Republican party bosses.


Edgar will teach a political science course at Swarthmore College as a Lang Visiting Professor of Social Change. He is left with $121,000 in campaign debt, while Specter sits on a cash surplus of $234,000.

A Distinguished Career of Public Service Comes to an End

On December 17, 1986, Edgar tells over 200 supporters at a dinner in his honor at the Springfield Country Club that he has no regrets about serving in Congress. "It was worth the effort, it was worth the risk, it was worth the spirit and the enthusiasm and the commitment...I got elected to the private sector by accident."
His remarkable career spanned the Ford, Carter and six years of the Reagan administration, an era where the Republican right wing moved toward dominating national politics. The political scene shifted towards the right during those twelve years, 1974 to 1986, with Edgar serving only four years with a Democratic president. He was elected and reelected based on his record as a reformer and one willing to challenge the status quo.
After Edgar's first election breakthrough, jubilant Democrats thought the sky was the limit and felt confident enough about the future to agree to the elimination of the seat on the county commissioners that was guaranteed for the minority party. Subsequent elections proved that much of Edgar's victory was personal and was in spite of, rather than due to, the county Democratic organization. When the Republicans ran candidates for other offices, such as Whittlesey, Keeler, Hazel and Rochford, who were considered as "clean cut" and corruption-free as Edgar, they also won.
What is actually even more remarkable is the fact that Edgar was not elected in the overwhelmingly Republican Seventh District because he was a moderate or conservative Democrat. He was elected over and over as a liberal Democrat, who was a loyal member of his party in Congress. With his voting record, he was able to put together a coalition of labor, women, die hard liberals, minorities and environmentalists, bringing together enough Democrats and Republican ticket-splitters to guarantee re-election.
As he gained seniority in his Democratic party in the House, his Republican opponents, especially Weldon, sought to brand him as a member of the status quo, part of a majority of tired, old Democrats who had held the reigns of power in Congress too long. It did not matter that several of his opponents were closely tied to the same old Republican machine that dominated all countywide offices in Delaware County since the Civil War.
"He would have continued to win in Delaware County," stated Dianne Merlino, chairperson of the county Democratic committee. "I think Bob Edgar would have won this year, if that's what he had chosen to do."
Several days after leaving office, Edgar reflects on his past twelve years: "It is a fun job, being a congressman. You're at the cutting edge of a lot of important issues, meeting a lot of important people."
Retiring from political office at age 43, Edgar does not rule out a return to political life in the future.
"I told someone that I spent 12 years in the ministry, 12 years in the House, and if I spend 12 years doing something else," he said, "I will still be younger than many of the current senators."

Activities After Leaving Office (1987-1992)
In January 1987, Edgar speaks at a Jobs for Peace rally in front of the Delaware County Courthouse. Speaking to about 40 people, he attacks the Reagan Administration's budget priorities.
"The commander of a single Poseidon submarine floating offshore has the potential (firepower) of three World War IIs," Edgar states. "How many tons of food do we have available to feed the needy?"
In April 1987, Edgar begins working as finance director for the presidential campaign of Illinois Senator Paul Simon. When he resigns from that post a year later, he explains: "I am really looking for a new direction and a new vocation for my life. It's time."
The following January, when asked about returning to politics, the former congressman replies: "I have no immediate plans, but I'm not using the word 'never'. My personality and ego aren't based on getting elected to public office."
In February 1988, when asked his opinion about his successor's performance in office, Edgar brands Weldon "an ultraconservative". He criticizes Weldon's votes for aid to the Contras, "Star Wars" and against the Gephardt amendment for free trade. He serves as the campaign chairman for Weldon's Democratic opponent, David Landau.
In June, he becomes the Director of the Committee for National Security, a group that researches American foreign policy and nuclear weapons issues. That October, he speaks at a county Democratic fundraiser, standing in for Gephardt.
The following month at a seminar sponsored by the Delaware County SANE/Freeze groups, he tells the activists that peace groups need to "think strategically" and become experts on weapons systems, reach broader audiences and build bridges to the Bush administration.
In May of 1989, he speaks at the Media Democratic Committee's Sixth Annual Community Service Awards dinner. "I have a dream that someday the U.S. and Soviets will together say, 'Let's vaccinate every child in the Third World."
The following March, he endorses Weldon's Democratic opponent, John Innelli. The following month, he announces: "I'm leaving secular politics. I think now I really want to educate others to do the same things I was able to do."
He will depart for his new position as president of the School of Theology at Claremont in California in July.
In Media, he adddresses a crowd assembled to commemorate Earth Day, warning them that "our planet can only sustain twelve billion" people.
Even though he will be moving out of the state, he accepts the co-chairmanship, along with state representative Karen Ritter of Lehigh County, of the new group Democrats for Choice.
In January, 1992, Edgar returns to Delaware County to endorse the congressional bid of Frank Daly. In October, he holds a press conference with Daly to criticize Weldon's voting record on the environment.

copyright 2006
Sources: Delaware County Daily Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Evening Bulletin, News of Delaware County, Facts on File, World Almanac, Bulletin Almanac.