ACCEPTANCE SPEECH OF GOVERNOR J. BRACKEN LEE TO RUN ON
INDEPENDENT TICKET, OCTOBER 13, 1956
Last Saturday a petition was filed with the Secretary of State designating me an
independent on "Citizens for Lee" ticket as a candidate for Governor.
Prior to that filing and ever since, I have received hundreds of telephone calls, letters
and wires urging that I run for Governor as an independent. I also have received
numerous messages urging me not to run. Two days ago I thought my decision was
ready to be announced, but the many conflicting words of advice I had received caused
me to postpone my announcement so I could give further consideration to this problem.
I now owe it to the people of this State to clarify my position, which is the purpose of
my statement tonight. In making my decision, I have prayed for the wisdom to do the
right thing in resolving one of the most difficult matters ever to confront me.
Let me say at the outset that I did not encourage any of the independent movements
organized in my behalf. They were organized without my knowledge or consent by
individuals who expressed confidence in me and the manner in which I have administered
State affairs. Needless to say, I am grateful beyond words for these expressions.
When I was seeking the nomination for Governor eight years ago, I promised the people
I would do all in my power to give them an honest, efficient, economical and scandal-free
administration. In the intervening years, I have kept faith with that promise and with the
people who supported me; and I am proud of the record my administration has achieved.
Apparently it was this record and my outspoken support for constitutional government
which prompted the independent organization in my behalf.
As you know, I have been somewhat outspoken in my beliefs, and have criticized certain
policies and practices of Democrats and Republicans alike whenever I felt the welfare
of the people was involved. Consistently I have fought pressure groups and politicians
who had only selfish interests at heart.
I have attempted to alert the people to the danger of high taxes and unlimited taxing
authority, and I am still an advocate of the axiom that the power to tax is the power
to destroy. I have been so concerned with what I feel is an unconstitutional use of
American tax payers money that I have filed an action in the United States Supreme
Court to test the constitutionality of the foreign-aid giveaway program.
At all times I have fought to hold down State spending and ease the burden of taxes. I have
met pressure groups head on, and have said NO to their demands when they went beyond
reason. When new governmental services have been proposed, I have supported them
only if we had the means to support them and their nature was in the interests of the
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