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ASK THE GOVERNOR ;'- \r
(For release Monday, April 9, 1962)
It's time to "Ask the Governorj" when Governo' r Is
Bryant answeps questions sent in by ditizehs and basedion letters
from citizens from throughout Florida.
QUESTION: Governor, the first question deals with
persistent rumors that there is an intra-party squabble within the
Democratic Party over leadership here in Florida and that you seek
control of the party. You have spoken out on this before, what do you
GOVERNOR: Well, of course, one characteristic of Democrats
is that they are always pretty vigorous until election time comes
along -- they generally find something to be controversial about. But
I think there has never been a time in the history of Florida when
there has been as much harmony in all elements of the Party as there
is at this time, and I think that this is a good thing both for the
Party and for Florida. I think one instance is the conduct of the
past Legislature. I didn't use a big stick. As a matter of fact I
declined to use a big stick to the criticism of some of my critics
from time to time, but worked together with legislative leaders to
have the most harmonious legislature in history. And then the Florida
Presidential dinner -- here we raised a quarter of a million dollars
as compared with the Presidential dinner a couple of years ago when
they raised about $22,000. The difference was the teamwork and the
harmony. The Senators, the Congress, the members of the Cabinet,
everybody worked together to make it a successful dinner, and it was.
QUESTION: Governor, what is your concept of the
organization of the Democratic Party in Florida. What is it and what
should it be?
GOVERNOR: Well, when you say Democratic Party it could
mean any one of a number of things. The statutes provide that from
each county there shall be elected one man and one woman who will serve
on the State Democratic Committee and they will elect a chairman and
to them there is a certain amount of money paid from the candidates
fees and then they raise other moneys and expend this money for such
purposes as the organization is inclined to do. Then, of course, there
are those candidates who are successful and Democratic Party nominees.
They are in a sense the Democratic Party. Of course, the real
Democratic Party are the people who go to the polls in the Democratic
primaries and vote Democratic. I can see that the Democratic Party
is all of these, but each is an arm of the other and that together
they represent the aspirations of an overwhelming majority of the
people of Florida.
QUESTION: Does the Democratic Party in Florida have need
for a full-time chairman or director or manager, or whatever you might
want to call it, to hold the party structure together?
GOVERNOR: I would think that such a man could perform a
very useful function. Normally, of course, it is the administrative
head or the Governor who is the particular head of the Party, but
obviously he doesn't have the time or the inclination to do all these
kinds of things -- the kind of things that are required to build and
hold good organizations and represent the views of Democratic leaders
to the people and vice versa. And, therefore, I should think that a
full-time paid executive-director, if you please, serving such a
function would be serving a useful function.
QUESTION: In the past individual candidates have had
individual organizations in their campaigns with little relationship
to the party structure as such. Do you foresee that as continuing
in the future or is there going to be a joining of the two?
GOVERNOR: Well, I would think there would be a joining
of the two. I don't believe a candidate can ever be elected to any
significant office unless he gathers together a large number of
people who become dedicated to him and who believe that from his
election good things will flow for the politic unit he seeks to
represent. At the same time, the Democratic Party organization has to
be interested in and effectively interested in every candidate who is
on the Democratic ticket.
Thank you, sir. If you have a question of general interest
you would like Governor Bryant to answer on this program, jot it down
on a post card and send it to "Ask the Governor," the Governor's
Office, Tallahassee, or in care of this station, which has made
available this time in the public interest.
Be with us next week when again we "Ask the Governor."