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Turcheneske, John Anthony / The Ku Klux Klan in northwestern Wisconsin

Chapter 9: The sheriff and the yellow fringe,   pp. 160-186 PDF (9.4 MB)

Page 185

the World War veterans, and the sheriff of Pierce County 
aided and abetted this disturbance and affront."  It was intolerable
that Baker, as a public official, was in alliance with an organization that
practiced dissemination of prejudice, hate and intolerance. Blaine agreed
that time did not permit the successful conclusion of 
impeachment proceedings. Nevertheless " ....public officials who associate
themselves with an organization that undertakes to take government into its
own hands are guilty of official misconduct, and the membership of Frank
L. Baker in the Ku Klux Klan no doubt was responsible for his neglect of
duty and his official misco-:duct." In short, Sheriff Baker had brought
dishonor to himself by his association with this blighting organization.47
After the expiration of his term of office on January l, 1927, the erstwhile
Sheriff returned to River Falls. Charging the Governor with slander, Baker
stated that 
I do not deny that I am a Klansman, but I do deny 
that being a member of the Klan in any way 
disqualified me for performing the duties of 
Sheriff. There was slander in the testimony of 
several witnesses who appeared in the 
investigation of the Legion flag affair... and the 
Governor has slandered me in charging that I 
neglected my duty. I am going to take the matter 
directly to the Supreme Court.4 
Baker also contended that the fact he was not removed by the Governor did
not make Blaine's charges any less 
47Deoision of Governor John J. Blaine, December 27, 1926, FBI, pp. 1-4. 
48River Falls Journal, January 6, 1927, p. 1. 

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