CHAPTER 5
From Oil Rebel to Governor

Kansas politics had changed considerably after Clyde M. Reed's defeat in August, 1930. Frank Haucke's nomination for governor had been generally considered by Republicans as tantamount to his election, but they soon came to realize that his success was not guaranteed. The state Democratic party, which after the 1928 elections had been called "a thing of the past," had been reinvigorated under the leadership of national committeeman Jouett Shouse. In 1930 the Democrats, by then keenly aware of the American Legion's political importance, nominated the energetic Harry Woodring, a former state Legion commander, for Governor.1

More sensational was the entry of a write-in candidate, Dr. John R. Brinkley of Milford. In the 1920s the degree-mill graduate had attracted a national clientele and a fortune with his goat-gland transplantations and compounds, which were advertised as methods of restoring virility. His powerful radio transmitter, KFKB, increased his advertising power, and it later provided radio diagnoses of ills that his listeners described to him in their letters. As his radio activities increased, alarm spread among physicians and competing radio stations. Attempts were made to restrict his efforts, and Brinkley had to contend with the hostility of the American Medical Association, the Federal Radio Commission,

____________________
1
William F. Zornow, Kansas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957), pp.243f.

-91-

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