MUTINY AND PARTY DISCORD
Like an unseasonable snowfall on a spring day, the national Progressive party quickly melted away after the brief election flurry of 1912. When Frank Munsey, the millionaire newspaper and magazine publisher, deserted the camp, there seemed little hope left for the party's continued existence. California progressive leaders debated whether it would ever be worthwhile to leave their secure political position to embark upon the unknown seas of national Progressive politics.
Efficient and astute Meyer Lissner was the most determined to break away from the California Republican party.1 Johnson and Rowell also wanted to organize a new party. Dickson and Stimson, on the other hand, were not so adventurous. Additionally, a majority of important state leaders and almost all of their friends in the state legislature were against any radical departure. "I find three classes of people among our supporters," an annoyed Johnson wrote: