Few employees complained about the deducts, because jobs were scarce. Governor Huey P. Long. Rural audiences loved Huey’s sense of humor and the memorable nicknames he invented to poke fun at his opponents. Favorites included “Turkey Head” Walmsley, “Whistle Britches” Rightor, “Shinola” Phelps, and “Feather Duster” Ransdell. To finance these improvements, Huey restructured the tax system, shifting the burden from the poor to large businesses and the state’s wealthiest citizens (see "How Did Long Pay for His Programs?" The most lucrative one, the property tax, bore more heavily on the taxpayer of average or below-average means.". Long, a left-wing populist, first proposed the plan in a national radio address, which is now referred to as the "Share Our Wealth Speech". Read more quotes on Huey Long's political methods. Conversely, Huey slashed personal property taxes and fees, shifting the burden of government financing from the public to industry. Louisiana — and its politics — would never be the same. Dirt roads and abundant water hazards made travel and commerce difficult. In his 1928 campaign for governor, he covered 15,000 miles on Louisiana's dirt roads and made 600 speeches. The president of the Senate, Alvin O. King,a supporter of Long, took the office of lieutenant governor as succession dictates. Earl Kemp Long was an American politician and the 45th Governor of Louisiana, serving three nonconsecutive terms. Huey’s revolutionary campaign methods transformed Louisiana politics. He departed from other southern politicians of his time by promoting a progressive agenda, expanding school-lunch programs, teacher pay, public-works projects, and minority voting … Allen. Huey stated to a reporter, "[Cyr] is no longer lieutenant governor, and he is now nothing." The official version of Long’s death is that it was an assassination carried out by a 29-year-old, well-respected Baton Rouge physician named Carl Weiss. The alliance guaranteed support for Long’s programs and candidates in exchange for major structural improvements in New Orleans. Long's platform was summarized in a famous 1928 campaign speech delivered in St. Martinville, La., under the Evangeline Oak, the subject of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Louisiana — and its politics — would never be the same. After a failed attempt by his opponents to remove him from office, Huey consolidated his power in the state and became known as the “Kingfish.”. Huey Long, the eighth child of a Louisiana farmer, stands out as one of the most colorful figures in the history of American politics. Traditional figures of Southern authority despised him, but he quickly gained a following among small independent farmers. Courtesy of LSU Libraries Special Collections, Baton Rouge. O.K. Huey employed many of his predecessors’ tactics to get his programs passed; however, he never received the corporate and media support that the “Old Regular” politicians enjoyed. Huey immediately pushed a number of bills through the legislature to fulfill his campaign promises, including a free textbook program for schoolchildren, night courses for adult literacy, and piping natural gas to New Orleans. Upon his election, Huey transformed the state bureaucracy, installing supporters in every level of government and often placing a premium on competence over cronyism. A legal genius, Huey used the law to his advantage without breaking it. He promised Louisiana’s needy citizens good roads, bridges, free hospital care, free education, and lower property taxes. Huey Long speaking to a rural crowd on the courthouse steps. He attended local schools, where he was an excellent stu… Huey reached nationwide audiences through radio broadcasts and a newspaper called The American Progress. Look no further than Depression-Era Democratic governor Huey Long, a larger-than-life Louisianan who captured 96% of the vote and revolutionized his state. One of Huey Long's major promises when he ran for Governor in 1928 was free: Textbooks for school children. He also launched a massive building program of roads, bridges, hospitals, and educational institutions. Huey became known as “the Kingfish” in Louisiana, after a character in the radio show “Amos ‘n’ Andy” who headed a fraternal order called the “Mystic Knights of the Sea.” After winning his Senate seat, Huey explained his nickname by saying, “I'm a small fish here in Washington, but I'm ‘the Kingfish’ to the folks down in Louisiana.”. In 1928, Huey P. Long was elected governor, establishing himself as one of the state's most colorful characters. Huey frequently resorted to standing on the top of his car to personally nail campaign posters high on telephone polls, where they could not be easily torn down by his opponents. In the face of entrenched opposition from the old guard, he launched an unprecedented program to build the state’s infrastructure and provide education and economic opportunity to the masses. A man of boundless energy, he pursued an exhaustive speaking schedule, often making five or more campaign stops a day. Without a base of wealthy political contributors, Huey reasoned that this was an appropriate source of funds for his political activities. While in … Huey Long won the governorship in 1928 without any machine backing, winning the Democratic primary because of his visceral connection with white rural voters. Huey Long shakes hands with constituents on the courthouse steps. All I care is what the boys at the fork of the creek think of me.”. Long's education programs were funded by increasing the severance tax on natural resources extracted from the state by various industries based on quantity, which increased state revenue particularly from the oil industry. After his commanding victory, Huey pursued his agenda with renewed strength and formed an uneasy alliance with the “Old Regulars” and their chief, New Olreans Mayor T. Semmes Walmsley (nicknamed “Turkey Head” Walmsley by Huey). Huey lowered tuition and instituted scholarship programs that enabled poor students to attend. Louisiana's total government operating costs (state and local) were $41.97 per capita - third-lowest among the 24 states that kept such records. As Governor, Huey became an active promoter of Louisiana State University. Huey attracted huge crowds with his fiery speeches, and his appearances became the talk of the state. Huey’s revolutionary campaign and victory toppled the corrupt political establishment that had ruled since the French. Most white farmers had not completed the fourth grade, and nearly 240,000 adults could not read. active promoter of Louisiana State University. Give me the chance to dry the eyes of those who still weep here.”. Poised to run for president on his “ Share Our Wealth ” platform, Long was assassinated in 1935 at the age of 42. He entertained crowds with a warm-up band, and then lobbed barbs at his “rascal” opponents to the delight of his fans. Senator on a platform of social reform and justice, all the while employing graft and corruption to get what he wanted. Among its hallmarks was its rank as the tallest capitol building in the U.S. "Everything I did, I've had to do with one hand because I've had to fight with the other hand," he said. He came from a large, comfortable family in a small, close-knit community. Public education was virtually non-existent among the masses, and one in four adults could not read. Huey Long was elected Governor of Louisiana in 1928 by the largest margin in the state’s history. The poll tax hindered the lower classes from voting, and the poor paid disproportionately high property taxes for state services they never received. Huey Long is inaugurated as Governor Source: LSU Special Collection Upon his election to the Governor’s seat, he immediately began to reform the state’s bureaucracy installing his supporters in all major offices of the Louisiana state government. He fired and hired state employees at will, packed local governing boards with supporters, brow beat legislators to vote with him (or bribed them with jobs), passed scores of laws in rapid succession, reduced the powers of city governments that opposed him, and publicly ridiculed the old guard for their reactionary outrage. Poor voters felt privileged that a candidate would take the trouble to court them. This corporation was Huey Long's biggest enemy during his time in power: standard oil. Louisiana had the third-lowest cost of government in the nation while providing unprecedented services to its people. He refused to take the usual bribes offered by business in exchange for their support, and he was frequently in need of cash to print circulars and travel the state to advocate for his programs and combat negative press. With greater access to transportation, education and healthcare, the quality of life in Louisiana was on the upswing while the rest of the nation declined. Courtesy of the Louisiana Political Museum & Hall of Fame. In a state covering nearly 52,000 square miles, of which 16 percent is dominated by waterways, there existed only 300 miles of paved roads and three major bridges. He also established the LSU medical school to meet the state's desperate need for new doctors. Huey Long, "Share the Wealth," 1934 . In 1930, Huey Long was elected as: If nothing else, Huey Long was a fascinating character and one of the most unique politicians in American history. Huey Long first entered politics as the Governor of Louisiana in 1928. 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