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 Sheridan Downey

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Posts : 261
Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Sheridan Downey   Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:35 am

In 1913 Downey moved to Sacramento, California, and continued to practice law with his brother, Stephen Wheeler Downey, Jr. During his first few years in California, he devoted most of his time and energy to his law practice and various real estate interests. In 1924 he supported Robert La Follette's Progressive party campaign for the presidency, and in 1932 he became a Democrat and campaigned for the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In October 1933 Downey announced that he was running for governor of California, but after a series of meetings with the writer Upton Sinclair, who also had designs on the governorship, Downey agreed to run for Lieutenant Governor of California as Sinclair's running mate, stumping on the End Poverty in California (EPIC) plan (opponents called the ticket "Uppie and Downey"). EPIC began as a mass movement, calling for an economic revolution to lift California out of the depression. The EPIC platform called for state support for the creation of jobs, a massive program of public works, and an extensive system of state-sponsored pensions and radical changes in the tax structure. Before long, more than 2,000 grassroots EPIC clubs sprouted throughout the state, and the most popular EPIC anthem, "Campaign Chorus for Downey and Sinclair," was made into a phonograph record for mass distribution featuring Downey, among others, singing. While EPIC suffered a landslide loss to Republican Frank Merriam in November 1934, Downey, who had been subjected to less vitriol than Sinclair during the campaign, remained a viable political force in the state. Downey actually garnered 123,000 votes more than his running mate, and he gained a statewide reputation as a champion of progressive politics.

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