Hon. Sidney J. Catts, Candidate for Office of United States Senator
Subject to Democratic Primary, 1920
[left column, beneath photo]
To the Democratic voters of Florida:
Why is it that the large daily and weekly papers of the State are
opposing Catts in his race for the United States Senate? They are opposing
him because they know very well the people of Florida put Catts
in as Governor, and as these papers represent the big corporate interests,
they do not wish the people of the State to have any officer whom
they have elected. Let us take up each paper separately and see why
it opposes Catts.
First - The Tampa Tribune. This paper belongs to the whiskey
crowd and the Peter O. Knight and Hog Island bunch. When Stovall
and Peter O. Knight could not control Catts in calling the extra session
of the Legislature which they knew would put Florida in the dry
column, they began to fight Catts and have consistently done so ever
since. When Peter "All Knight" put the spurs to Stovall he had
to go with the big corporations and whiskey interests. This accounts
for that paper opposing me.
Second-The Times-Union. This paper opposes Catts because it
is owned by three of the biggest railroads in Florida - the East Coast,
Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line. This paper and Railroads
know they cannot boss Catts as they have bossed Fletcher, because Catts
has a head of his own and butts with it. Therefore, they oppose Catts
and the people and side with Fletcher.
Third-The Tampa Times, Miami Herald (owned by the Florida
East Coast Railroad Interests), St. Augustine Record and the Pensacola
News all oppose Catts because they are Catholic papers and Catts has
consistently fought the Roman Catholic Hierarchy, which put the
Knights of Columbus organization over the Protestant Churches in the
late War, and by their intrigues and innuendos have done their best to
weaken the influence of and cast reflection on all Protestant Christian
Churches, the Y.M.C.A. as well as the Great Jewish Welfare Board
and our Grand Masonic Order. These Catholic toe-kissers of the Pope
know very well that if Catts gets to the Senate they will hear his
strong, fierce voice, urging that the United States shall not be sold to
the Pope of Rome. The other little daily and "weekly" papers oppose
Catts, because they have not the grit of their own convictions, but love
to follow in the lead of these big newspapers and cry "Me Too," so
the poor little fellows follow their masters. You can see at once where
this flight comes from. The Corporations against the people.
If the people of Florida, who put Catts in as Governor, elect Fletcher,
they can just say that they have bowed their knee to the corporations
and Catholics of the State. Will they do it? No, they will not. They
will if they want to make corporation and Catholic slaves of their children.
They will, if they desire to put a man in office who will deliberately
turn his back upon the people and stand for the corporation
interests. Mr. Fletcher has to explain same things to the people and
he is now trying to do so, and these are some of the things he is trying
Why was it that he did not go to Camp Wheeler and give those soldier
boys relief, when they were dying with pneumonia? Catts went
and helped them. Why was it he allowed the First and Second Florida
Regiments to be torn to pieces and scattered all over the United
States Army? Why was it he allowed white and black troops to be put
in the same barracks and hospitals at Camp Johnston, Jacksonville,
Florida? Why was it he allowed Pleas Holt to make 20c a piece per
day feeding officers at Camp Johnston? This is patriotism personified,
isn't it?, but not the variety the voters approve. People do not be deceived.
Why is it Florida is so barren of everything the United States
should have done for her, such as helping in the Great Everglades
Drainage District, as has been done in the Western States? Why was
it, with Senator Fletcher close to the President's ear, and claiming to
be high in influence, that Florida was threatened with being a dumping
ground for lepers?
People, if you want the same idleness and inactivity and ostentatious
display, and desire to wrestle with world problems to the detriment of
Florida Senatorial business, to prevail in the future as you have had
in the past, you can send Mr. Fletcher back. If you want a man who
will go there to attend to the affairs of Florida, send Catts. We do not
care so much about world-wide questions, but want a man there who
will attend strictly to the business of Florida, and that alone.
Again, "Old Catts," whom the white Florida Democrats elected by a
ten thousand majority, over the protest of the "Sturkle Resolution"
over the decision of a prejudiced Supreme Court, and over the final
railing of him, by the so-called Democratic Executive Committee, not to
be the nominee of the Democratic party; is a man of determination,
grit and courage and did not stop his fight for the people against the
Florida ring politicians until he landed in the Governor's chair, and in
the Senatorial fight, if the same good constituency, and the many voters
whose eyes have been opened to conditions, will back him and put
him in the Senate, they will have the same fierce and fearless
leader there that they had in the Gubernatorial contest four years ago,
Catts is a man made by the people of Florida and now that they have
made him they will not desert him.
I am against the League of Nations, because I do not believe in
having a government over the United States Government.
I am in favor of giving every soldier who fought in France 40 acres
of land and $100.00 in cash.
I am opposed to the New York Assembly, or any other Assembly or
Congress, which expels socialist members, or any other member, for
I am in favor of the Cross State St. Lucie-Lake Okeechobee and
Caloosahatchie Canal. I am in favor of St. Mary's-St. Marks Canal.
I am against Fletcher's bill for banishing anybody and every body but
"his and his'n."
I am in favor of the Full Crew Law.
I am not in favor of allowing the Railroads to haul fruits and vegetables,
raised by Cubans and negroes in Cuba, through Florida, while
the Senate and Congress allow the Florida fruits and vegetables to rot
in our fields and groves. I will see that the Florida citizen has a better
chance than the Cuban to sell his fruits and vegetables.
Catts is a friend of the poor people. Not long ago a citizen of Flor-
ida said that the "poor man in Florida had but three friends-Jesus
Christ, Sears Roebuck and Sidney J. Catts."
Plain everyday people remember this when you come to vote.
So work for Catts, scratch for Catts and vote for
Governor Catts will speak at
Florida on the [blank] day of [blank] 1920, at [blank] A.M. [blank] P.M.
Come out, every body, and hear him
T.J. Appletaid, Printer, Tallahassee, Fla. (Over)
State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0060
Side one: To the Democratic Voters of Florida. A letter defending Catts against the negative publicity he received in newspapers from around the State of Florida -- Speaking announcement to be completed (place, date, and time).