In regretting that he could not attend a Democratic meeting, at Richmond, California, he sent this letter,—
My dear Mr. Naugle,— ... The cause of Democracy is being given more sincere and thoughtful interest this campaign than for many years. One of its cardinal principles is that the individual is more important to the State than mere property, and that the welfare of the majority of our citizens must always be paramount and their rights prevail, no matter what the weight of influence in the other side of the balance. It is work and personal worth which make a State great both politically and industrially, and in my estimation they are to be found in largest proportions in the Democratic party. For these reasons I believe there will be a very large change in the vote of this State in our coming election. Reports have reached me from many parts of the State, and I am entirely satisfied that we shall win this fight provided that we do our full share of earnest work, if that be lacking we don’t deserve it. ... Yours for honest victory,
At first Hearst’s powerful paper, the San Francisco Examiner, took a negative tone toward Lane’s candidacy but soon became dangerously, if covertly, antagonistic. Of Hearst’s methods of attack Lane wrote, in detail, on July 3, 1912, to Governor Woodrow Wilson, then Democratic nominee for the Presidency. After enumerating one specific count after another against the Examiner Lane said:—
“When a boy putting myself through college I was business manager of a temperance paper which advocated prohibition. He [Hearst] published extracts from this paper and credited them to me, and on the morning of election day sent a special train throughout the whole of Northern California containing an issue of his paper, appealing to the saloon-keepers and wine-growers for my defeat.
“... No editorial word of his disfavor appeared, but in every news article there was in the headline a cunning turn or twist, calculated to arouse prejudice against me. I notice in this morning’s issue of the American the same policy is being pursued regarding you.
“Now the great mistake I made was in not boldly telling the public just what I knew. ... I felt that it was a personal matter with which the public was not concerned, but I know now, as I have gotten older and seen more of politics, that it was a public matter of the first importance, as to which the public should have had knowledge.
“Later when he [Hearst] budded as a candidate for President, in 1904, he sought an interview with me and said that he was not to blame for the policy that had been pursued. Our interview closed with this dialogue:—
“’Mr. Lane, if you ever wish anything that I can do, all you will have to do will be to send me a telegram asking, and it will be done.’”