WISCONSIN: Marxist Mayor

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Milwaukee Sees Red. During most of his career, Mayor Hoan's Socialist ideas have hardly furnished a campaign issue. But since 1932, with a Socialist-controlled Council and a Socialist city attorney also in power, Milwaukee has begun to see Red. Since Depression, say his opponents, Dan Hoan has swung left. Before, they cry, he only talked Socialism; now he wants to put it into practice. That cry had by last week heated Milwaukee to its highest political fever in 20 years, brought out a record registration.

Chief factual basis for the Red scare is the Hoan proposal for public ownership of the city electric company. A referendum on that issue will accompany next week's elections. Businessmen make much of the facts that Milwaukee had 107 strikes in 1934, that the Mayor's secretary and one of his chief organizers have marched in picket lines and made fighting speeches to strikers, that the Mayor himself was reported to have said to a group of strikers: "We must demand our rights. God bless you, I hope you win." They were aghast when Socialist City Attorney Max Raskin refused last year to prosecute a group of Communists arrested for creating a disturbance at a reception for German Ambassador Hans Luther. They profess vast alarm over an anti-strike-violence ordinance passed by the Common Council last autumn. This ordinance provides that if an employer refuses to bargain with his striking employes, thereby causing 200 or more resentful citizens to demonstrate around his plant for one hour on two successive days, the Mayor or chief of police may, if they and a citizens' committee agree that the peace of the city is endangered, close the plant.

The president of Lindemann & Hoverston Stove Co. has threatened to move his $1,000,000-per-year payroll out of the city if the Socialists are kept in power next week. Other businessmen, say anti-Socialists, are canceling expansion plans or preparing to move because of the Red nightmare. New business, they assert, is being frightened away from Milwaukee.

Final source of conservative alarm is the Wisconsin Socialist Party's merger, effected last winter, with La Follette Progressives in a Farmer-Labor Progressive Federation, pledged to a ''production for use" program. By this deal Progressives are to support Socialists in Milwaukee; Socialists, who cast only about 10,000 votes outside Milwaukee County, will support a Federation slate composed chiefly of Progressives in State elections. First test of Federation effectiveness will come at Milwaukee's polls next week. For Mayor Hoan, who has made a more than local name for himself not only by his Milwaukee record but by his leadership in the U. S. Conference of Mayors, the Great Lakes Harbor Association and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the new alliance seems to open the way toward the U. S. Senate, where he would one day like to sit. Ominously, however, Governor Phil La Follette had not, up to this week, opened his mouth on the subject of Hoan for Mayor.

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