The Object of the Assaults on the Convention.
The Chicago Times of Thursday, says:
Though it was not necessary, it is well that the constitutional convention has taken notice of the scandalous libel which has been perpetrated through the vile abolition newspaper sheet of this city concerning it. The convention has power to protect itself against the perpetration of this sort of thing by its own members or by persons admitted to privileges upon its floor, and it should exercise the power, taking care not to give notoriety, infamous though it be, to the latter class of persons. The newspaper assaults upon the convention are unparalleled in grossness in the history of popular deliberative bodies in this country, and it is time the people of the state were made acquainted with the nature and object of them. We shall do something in the line of imparting this acquaintance, and the present investigation by the convention will have done something in it.
The Times is correct in describing the attack upon the convention as gross and libellous. One of the objects sought to be accomplished by these attacks is the creation of the impression on the public mind, that the convention has not the power to interfere with the plundering schemes of the state administration, in pursuance of which schemes millions have been already illegally extracted from the public treasury, and other millions may, and should the convention not interpose its authority, no doubt will be, extracted in the future. In pursuance of the programme agreed upon by the republican wire-workers, Governor Yates on Thursday officially notified the convention, that he did not recognize its authority to instruct him. This is no doubt in anticipation of an ordinance from the convention forbidding the creation of any further state debt, except in the mode prescribed in the constitution; namely, by legislative appropriation. The state executive has, by his previous action, shown himself utterly regardless of constitution of laws, and now he caps the climax by announcing himself superior to the sovereign people assembled in convention. He will refuse to obey instructions of the convention intended to protect the public treasury. The illegal issue of warrants on the treasury will be continued in order that speculation in them may go on and the bonds of the state be bought up by financial sharpers at 15 to 25 per cent. discount, the state thus absolutely losing from a fourth to a fifth of the whole amount of debt created, and in addition to this paying ten to twenty per cent. more than the general government cash prices, for everything she buys. It is in order that this state of affairs may be continued, that the convention is being assailed so grossly for the so called "usurpation of power," by the republican party press. The convention will, however, we trust, exercise its authority, and that promptly, to prevent the continuance of this wasteful and unauthorized expenditure for the enrichment of partizen friends at the expense of the state. Let the convention make the issue as to whether the executive is above the constitution and the people, and we doubt not the result will be, that the treasury will be protected. The governor will not dare to disobey the mandates of the people, and even if he should be willing to do so, he would not find any one foolish enough to trade for his warrants or bonds, in opposition to the expressed will of the people.