Jerry Voorhis at the launch of the Nixon Project

The 1947 Jerry Voorhis book Confessions of a Congressman is of interest in particular because it comes right off the heels of the first Congressional loss to a Richard Nixon.

The 12th District campaign of 1946 got started along in the fall of 1945, more than a year before the election. There was, of course, opposition to me in the district. There always had been. Nor was there any valid reason for me to think I lived a charmed political life. But there were special factors in the campaign of 1946, factors bigger and more powerful than either my opponent or myself.

And they were on his side.

In October 1945, the representative of a large New York financial house  made a trip to California. All the reasons for his trip I, of course, do not know. But I do know that he called on a number of influential people in Southern California. And I know he “bawled them out.” For what? For permitting Jerry Voorhis, whom he described as “one of the most dangerous men in Washington,” to continue to represent a part of the state of California in the House of Representatives. This gentleman’s reasons for thinking me so “dangerous” obviously had to do with my views and work against monopoly and for changes in the monetary system.

It appears that his California friends listened to him and were impressed.  Just how much this Eastern gentlemen and others like him had to do with the actual running of the campaign I do not know.  But many of the advertisements which ran in the district newspapers advocating my defeat came to the papers from a large advertising agency in Los Angeles, rather than from any source within the Twelth District.  And payment was made by check from the same agency.

[Followed by a discription of a McCarthyite campaign full of misdirections.  And from the congratulatory letter Voorhis sent off to Nixon:]

During the 10 years of my service I came to have a profound respect for the Congress of the United States and to realize the critical importance of its work, not only for the future of our country, but for the future of the whole world.  For those of us who believe in democratic government, under a Constitution which protects the individual citizen’s rights and liberties, it becomes more and more evident that the one essential bulwark of the people’s liberties in such a nation is the vigor and effectiveness of the national legislature.
If that national legislature occupies its proper place as a co-equal branch of government, and especially if it puts forth and enacts into law a program calculated to meet the nation’s present and future problems, the future of freedom will be safe.  What will happen under opposite circumstances we all know. […]

And then the description of his parting meeting with Nixon.

 We talked for more than an hour and parted, I hope and believe, as personal friends.  Mr. Nixon will be a Republican congressman.  He will, I imagine, be a conservative one.  And I know I appreciated his coming to see me very sincerely indeed.
But, he also believes he will be a “conscientious” congressman…

The subject of the unnamed conspirators swooping into the district, if you google the excerpt, is of interest in various conspiratorial … analyses you might go ahead and say and chunk the “Conspiracy theory” label.

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