In the last weeks of August and first week of September, the Reno newspapers were full of political news as the state held the first primary election in its history. Stories of mudslinging and dirty tricks had dominated the news. Gambling was a hot campaign issue — a new law on the books mandated the end of legalized open gambling on October 1st.
According to the Reno Evening Gazette on September 3, 1910,
“A number of candidates are undoubtedly studying pretty carefully a certain circular that they have received during the last day or so, and probably some of them are hunting through the dictionaries of diplomacy to see if they can find some hints upon “Using Words and Saying Nothing.”
This circular was sent to certain candidates by a group of individuals and organizations stating that
“We believe an effort is being made to secretly induce candidates for the legislature, and other officers charged with the enforcement of the law to remain non-committal or to privately pledge themselves against the law …” and that “The voters are entitled to know before the primaries what your position upon it is …”