The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America

By Richard C. Cortner | Go to book overview

Chapter 3
The Kingfish Goes National

[ Huey Long is] the liar, crook, petty larceny thief and scoundrel, who is now governor of Louisiana and seeks to perpetuate his evil power by not only controlling the governorship but by representing this great state in the United States Senate, which would be a disgrace and dishonor.

-- New Orleans States, August 1930

You are being asked to help send to the United States Senate a man without a scintilla of respect for worthy womanhood, a reprobate of the first water, a man possessing neither culture nor refinement, a man whose every public and private act is offensive to good taste--a blasphemer, a ruffian and a cad.

--Shreveport Times, September 7, 1930

◆ As his opponents blocked his program by delaying tactics in the waning days of the 1930 legislative session, Huey Long reluctantly admitted to his inner circle, "I'm licked." He undoubtedly commanded a majority in both houses of the legislature in 1930, but his opposition in Louisiana remained formidable and capable of summoning sufficient strength to prevent the enactment of his ambitious program. Following the legislative session of 1930, it was therefore clear that the Kingfish needed to strengthen his grip on the political process in the state even further and to reduce, if not eliminate, the power of his enemies in order to realize his political ambitions. On July 15, the means by which he chose to attempt to accomplish those goals became clear, when Long announced that he would be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the September 9 Democratic primary, opposing the incumbent, Senator Joseph Ransdell. "I am now, as I have always been, the servant of the

-47-

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The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Notes xiv
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction: Huey Long, the Press, and the First Amendment in 1930 1
  • Notes 16
  • Chapter 2 - The Kingfish and the "Lying Newspapers" of Louisiana 19
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 3 - The Kingfish Goes National 47
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter 4 - Guiding the Newspapers in the "Path of Rectitude": Censorship by Taxation 67
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 5 - The Press Counterattacks 95
  • Notes 116
  • Chapter 6 - The Grosjean Case before the Three-Judge Court 119
  • Notes 148
  • Chapter 7 - The Appeal to the Supreme Court 149
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter 8 - Epilogue 175
  • Notes 185
  • Bibliographical Essay 187
  • Index 191
  • About the Author 197
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