The Spokesman-Review printed a front-page editorial rebutting the accusations made a day earlier by Democratic presidential candidate James M. Cox. Cox, in a fiery speech at the Interstate Fairgrounds, said Spokane businessmen – including Spokesman-Review publisher W.H. Cowles – had contributed $50,000 to a controversial Republican campaign fund. Cox claimed the fund violated laws banning corporate political donations and the Republicans were seeking to corrupt the electorate by amassing a $15 million campaign fund.
Cowles’ rebuttal consisted of three main points. First, that Spokane’s contribution to the fund was only $5,100, not $50,000, as Cox alleged. Cowles subscribed only $500, and most of that went to state and county campaign funds, not national funds.
Second, his contributions were above-board, and a strictly personal donation. He said he had not “subscribed or obligated myself in any way” to any other Republican fund.
Third, all of the other Spokane donations were above-board. He listed the names of the other businessmen Cox mentioned and wrote, naturally, they contributed because they were “lifelong Republicans” who have been “active for many years in public-spirited movements for the upbuilding of our city, state and nation.” In other words, why shouldn’t they donate?
Cox during his speech said he would be glad to answer any questions The Spokesman-Review put to him about these charges. But Cowles said Cox did not “frankly and satisfactorily answer the questions as put to him by the Spokesman-Review.” Cox suggested he would like to subpoena Cowles and other Spokane men to testify before a Senate committee investigating the fund.