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Said Bogart: "I belong to ICCASP because I believe in the principles promulgated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. My choice for President in 1948 is Harold Stassen."
On the other hand, some of ICCASP's growth was the result of the absent-minded alacrity with which famous people often join societies for the advancement or prevention of almost anything.
One of these is Humorist James Thurber, who is listed as a member of ICCASP's Connecticut Chapter. His reactions to it are restrained:
Q. How did you become associated with ICCASP? A. What's that?
Q. You knowthe Independent Citizen's Committee. A. Huh?
Q. Jo Davidson's outfit! A. Oh, yes. I think I belong to it.
Q. How did you become associated with it? A. Well, I think they sent out a letter or something. . . . I think I'm an honorary member.
Q. How do you like Jo Davidson? A. I only met him once. He's got a beard.
Q. What should the organization stand for? A. Well, I've been awfully busy and I suppose someone has formulated its ideas better than I could.
The Hardheaded. Despite these somewhat vague attachments of some of its members, ICCASP nevertheless has some hardheaded political thinkers and seasoned politicians who know what they are driving for. Best-selling novelist Howard Fast (Citizen Tom Paine, The American), who writes for the Communist Daily Worker and New Masses, writes ICCASP's handouts. Jimmy Roosevelt was once its executive director for the West Coast at a reputed $25,000 a year; but he broke with the Committee over the left v. far left wrangle in California politics (TIME, July 29) and is now the chairman of the less turbulent California State Central Democratic Committee.
When he quit the Cabinet last February, Harold Ickes went over to ICCASP as executive chairman (reputedly at $25,000). But Honest Harold is a little too old, crotchety and hog-on-ice independent for ICCASP. The Committee wanted him to speak here, there & everywhere; Harold wanted to speak only at rallies of his own choosing. Result: Ickes will make some speeches for the Committee this fall, and will not collect anything near $25,000. Asked about Jo Davidson's political savvy, Ickes replied: "He's a good sculptor."
With the help of its more professional members, ICCASP has also learned to avoid some of the minor blunders of politicking. Explained a Hollywood member: "Ingrid Bergman would never be sent off to a small neighborhood meeting because it would cheapen her glamor value. Groucho Marx wouldn't attempt to talk to a ladies' society, but would leave it to Sterling Hayden or John Garfield."
But sometimes ICCASP's undergraduate enthusiasm is a little too much for politicos to bear. At a Jackson Day dinner in Los Angeles last spring, at which the Committee was set to shower its kisses on Henry Wallace, its favorite son, Henry was preceded on the speaker's program by Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Jerry Colonna, Burns & Allen, Edward G. Robinson, George Jessel, Mickey Rooney, Margaret O'Brien, Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis. So, by the time hapless Henry got up to talk. . . .